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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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Collecting vintage R/C in the years ahead

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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Retro-mania and the race for original 80s toys

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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What are your Christmas R/C memories?

Tandy Christmas Sale And Gift Catalogue 1987

Tandy Christmas Sale And Gift Catalogue 1987In the spirit of the festive season, perhaps it’s time I dedicated a page to everyone else’s R/C car memories (not just mine)…

What memories do you have of receiving R/C cars (or other cool retro toys), at Christmas?

What cars did you receive (or miss out on) back in the 1970s, 80s or 90s?

And what are some of your best (and worst) memories of R/C cars around Christmas time?

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Christmas shopping at Tandy in the 1980s

Tandy Australia Christmas Commercial (1987)

Tandy Australia Christmas Commercial (1987)Christmas shopping in Australia back in the 1980s meant summertime, heatwaves, flies, Westfield shopping centres, the hope that Santa had received my letter, and last but not least… a visit to Tandy Electronics to see their R/C cars.

Those were my experiences anyway. And even though Tandy Electronics is now long gone, summertime always reminds me of the fun of seeing all those brand new R/C vehicles, stacked on the Tandy showroom floor…

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Why “sealed” vintage Tamiya kits may not be what they seem

Vintage Tamiya kit sealed in shrink-wrap

Vintage Tamiya kit sealed in shrink-wrapMost vintage Tamiya R/C kits are in boxes where you can take the lid off, see what’s inside, and enjoy looking at all the cool parts and pieces, not to mention all that great vintage blister packaging.

But some vintage kits are sealed in shrink-wrap. So if you like collecting old R/C kits, are the ones in shrink-wrap the most ‘mint’ ones? And should you pay extra for them?

Well, no. I don’t think you should. And it’s because vintage R/C kits are not the same as other sealed-in-box vintage toys.

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The R/C cars of the film “Malcolm” (1986)

Malcolm - Tamiya Sand Scorcher

Malcolm - Tamiya Sand ScorcherIn 1986, a low-budget Australian comedy called Malcolm featured a Tamiya Sand Scorcher R/C VW buggy in what you might even say was a “Supporting Actor” role.

Little-known outside Australia, the film was a local success. And on a tiny budget, it’s portrayal of a social recluse whose love of toys and gadgets leads him to become mixed-up with a couple of aspiring bank robbers had a quintessential Aussie blend of humour, characters and pathos.

All up, you should spot two R/C cars in the film, plus lots of other cool 1980s gadgets.

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Lost Hobby Shops: Toy & Novelty

Toy & Novelty - toy store in Queensland, Australia, 1985

Toy & Novelty - toy store in Queensland, Australia, 1985A small toy shop chain from Queensland, Australia that is all but forgotten – “Toy & Novelty” had three locations in the mid 1980s.

Here’s a little TV commercial that will make you want to take the nearest DeLorean back to 1985.

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Collecting vintage R/C models

Collecting Vintage R/C models

Collecting Vintage R/C modelsAs this website was created to share my ramblings about the toys I’ve collected over the years, I thought I’d take a moment to talk a bit more generally about what I like to collect, and why.

So please forgive the fairly prosaic title of this post, as I go back to basics and look at the philosophy behind a lot of my own toy collecting (and perhaps you’ll have a think about why you collect as well).

I’ll also use this opportunity to sneak-in some views about collecting in general, my opinion on things like remakes and reproduction items, and a new UK TV show about people with huge collections. Read More…

The Star Wars toy packaging scandal

Star Wars Toy Packaging Scandal

Star Wars Toy Packaging ScandalIn the past year or so, Star Wars toy collectors have discovered that not all the so-called “MOC” (Mint On Card) action figures they were trading for thousands of dollars, were legitimate brand new original collectibles.

If you’re a Star Wars collector, this will be old news. But for those who hadn’t heard about it, it’s a sobering reminder of the pitfalls of placing high values on mint/sealed vintage toys. And it even made it onto UK TV.

So as a follow-up to an earlier article I wrote about the pros and cons of vintage toy packaging, check out this video about the Star Wars toy packaging scandal…

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