How to avoid two common eBay scams

ebaylogoWhen collecting valuable items, there are always dodgy sellers you need to avoid. Some eBay sellers use tricks like shill-bidding and short-selling to make bigger profits, and this is no less prevalent in vintage toys and vintage R/C, than any other area of collectible.

Here are some very simple tips to help you avoid these two dimwitted eBay scams, which are common among vintage R/C items, and probably common among a lot of other vintage toys as well.

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Metro/Taiyo Jet Hopper (1986)

metro-taiyo-jet-hopper-001

metro-taiyo-jet-hopper-001Despite having already written about the original Taiyo Jet Hopper, plus it’s American release the Tyco/Taiyo Turbo Hopper, I also wanted to share some additional photos and clippings relating specifically to the Jet Hopper in Australia.

And since 2016 actually marks the 30th Anniversary of the release of the Jet Hopper worldwide, this seemed like the perfect excuse for one more article about this legendary R/C toy. So let’s enjoy some memories of the Jet Hopper as it was “Down Under”, here in Australia…

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A quick guide to Vintage vs Remake Kyosho R/C kits

kyosho-vintage-vs-reissue-000

kyosho-vintage-vs-reissue-000While less well-known to most backyard R/C drivers than Tamiya, Kyosho was another Japanese icon of 1980s R/C modelling who created a range of stunning, high-end, kit-based vehicles in their heyday – often with a race-winning edge.

Like Tamiya, original examples of their early R/C models are now highly sought after by collectors.

Some of those kits are now being remade as well, and the new models are different. So if you’re nostalgic for the original Kyosho models, here are some quick buying tips to help identify them.

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Collecting vintage R/C in the years ahead

A random selection of vintage R/C items collected over the years.

collecting-vintage-rc-001When I first began buying things online in the late 1990s, I was amazed at how much ‘old stock’ there was in the world. Prior to eBay, I hadn’t imagined that any unbuilt vintage R/C car kits from the 1980s (or earlier) still existed, let alone that anyone would be able to find them.

Nearly 20 years later, the Internet is still a great source of vintage toy treasures. But inevitably the supply of unused ‘old stock’ out there, is in decline. And it’s only going to get harder to find things in the years ahead.

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A detailed guide to Vintage vs Remake Tamiya R/C kits

A reissue part showing the plethora of modern codes on the sprue.

tamiya-vintage-originalMany of the popular Tamiya R/C models we knew in the 1980s have been remade in recent years. But the remakes are quite different to the original ones.

If you are looking for an introduction to this subject, please see my earlier article A quick guide to Vintage vs Remake Tamiya R/C kits.

However, if you need some more detailed information about actual parts differences between vintage vs remake Tamiya R/C cars, this is the article for you.

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Vintage Marui R/C car promotional videos

Marui Hunter 1986 promo video

Marui Hunter 1986 promo videoWhen it comes to vintage kit-based R/C models from companies with a past history in plastic models, many people think only of the red and blue stars of Tamiya.

But rival Japanese plastic kit maker Marui made the same transition from plastic model kits to R/C buggies in the 1980s. Their models, while less well known, were just as detailed and beautiful as those from Tamiya. And around their peak in 1986 they even had their own promotional videos for playing in hobby stores…

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Nikko Turbo Panther (1986)

Nikko Turbo Panther (1986)

Nikko Turbo Panther (1986)The Turbo Panther was Nikko’s perfect little R/C buggy for 1986 – probably the peak year of the R/C buggy craze, when they were among the hottest toys in the world.

Looking like a smaller version of the more expensive 1/10 scale buggies, yet still quick for it’s 1/16 scale, it was a big seller both in Japan and abroad. It even had it’s own TV commercials and was a direct rival for Taiyo’s Jet Hopper, released the same year.

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Lost Hobby Shops: Dick Smith Electronics

Dick Smith Electronics

Dick Smith ElectronicsThis month, Australia loses another “hobby” store when Dick Smith Electronics shuts it’s doors for good, after 48 years.

I really enjoyed visiting DSE stores while growing up in the 1980s, just as I did with Tandy stores – mainly due to the toys.

So if anyone else can remember the days when they sold Tamiya R/C cars, electronics kits, and some of the 1980s coolest robot toys, then let’s take a look at some archive material that proves they really were a fun store to visit back in their heyday.

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Retro-mania and the race for original 80s toys

retro-mania

retro-maniaIt’s no secret that there’s a booming market out there for retro items, particularly toys. A lot of companies are remaking products or brands as a result, and more seem to appear every month.

All of the big decades of toys feature as a source for these revivals, but the 1980s seem to get special attention. I have a theory as to why – and it isn’t just because kids of the 80s now have incomes. I think 1980s toys were particularly primed to become collectibles in the future.

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Tomy Radica A Lancia Stratos (1978)

Tomy Radica A Lancia Stratos

Tomy Radica A Lancia StratosA 1/12 scale R/C model from Tomy that you’ve probably never heard of before, the “Radica A Lancia Stratos” was a 70s kid’s chance to drive the legendary Stratos rally car.

It had advanced features for the time such as a working differential, working indicator lights, Digital Proportional transmitter and more.

Let’s take a look at this lost gem from Tomy.

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