Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Collecting -- and collecting information 8A

Three examples of Bandai's Model A series.
One of the side projects I have going is collecting information about some Japanese tin friction cars I own. Bandai produced a series of Ford Model A tinplate vehicles in the early 1960's. By just changing out a few parts, Bandai was able to offer a line of toys, without the expense of creating tooling for each model.

The Model A pick-up with the top up. Change one
piece of metal...
If there's a theme to the Collecting -- and collecting information series, it's this: how much information can be gathered about an under-documented topic? And how best to make sense of that information in a meaningful and realistic fashion?

I remember seeing six of these Model A toys for sale at Kann's Department Store (where my grandmother worked);  a touring car with the top down, a touring car with the top up, a coupe with the top down, a coupe with the top up, a pickup truck with the top down, and a pickup truck with the top up.

All had the same wheels, frame and friction motor. They all had the same grille, hood, bumpers, and plastic headlights and steering wheel. I received three of these models as a boy, and until quite recently I was sure that I had half of the set.

...and you have a different toy. Changing colors
helps, too.
While checking on the prices for the Bandai Model A's I owned on eBay, I discovered I was wrong. There were body styles and colors I had not seen before. And so a new hobby was born. I'm curious to find out exactly how many Model A variations Bandai made.

In a sense, it's a virtual hobby. I'm doing some searches and saving images to a folder, but that's the extent of it. I have no desire to purchase any more of these toys, nor do I want to devote the space it would take to display them properly.

No, I just want to know how many variations there are, and so I'm just keeping track of them as I run across them. It's sort of like trainspotting, I suppose, and probably just as long-term. We'll see!

Part 2: Bandai Model A cars bodies 
Part 3: Bandai Model A truck bodies 

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