Saturday, 29 December 2012

IT'S THE MARVEL OF THE AGE - CECIL COLEMAN SUPERCAR...


Take a look at
the little beauty in
the accompanying
photographs. It's
only yer actual
CECIL COLEMAN
toy SUPERCAR
from the 1960s -
wow! I've had this
for quite a number
of years now, but it
took me even longer to acquire from the time I first saw this imitation BUDGIE
TOYS plaything back when I was a mere kidlet. (The camera flash has wiped
out some colour and detail, but you get the picture - pun intended.)

Talking of Budgie Toys, I actually owned one of their diecast Supercars
for half an hour or so (might have been a bit longer) way back in 1965. I
had swapped a toy yacht and a water pistol with a boy 'round the corner
for his rather beat-up "marvel of the age" - only to soon change my mind
when I realised it was on the verge of falling to bits. He was reluctant to
swap back, of course - but I 'insisted'.

Regarding the
Cecil Coleman
version, however,
I first saw this toy
circa 1966 or '67 in
my local SAFEWAY
store, hanging on an
end-of-isle display,
while being dragged
'round the shops by
my mother. If I
recall correctly,
it was only 2'6d,
but, despite my pleas, I came away empty-handed. A couple of years later,
I saw another one on a stall in Glasgow's famous BARROWLAND market
('The Barras'), but again (even 'though it was only 1'9d this time 'round)
my entreaties fell on deaf ears.
 
Cut to around thirty years later when I saw one advertised for £350 in
a collector magazine. I had to have it, of course, so promptly stumped
up the admittedly overpriced amount, even by then-current standards. ( I
purchased it from a well-known dealer who tends to charge rather on the
extreme side compared to other dealers.) What can I say? These toys
are as rare as hens' teeth and it's only money.

It came in a carded blister-pack, with figures of MIKE MERCURY,
PROFESSOR POPKISS, DOCTOR BEAKER, JIMMY (not the one from
The Krankies), and MITCH THE MONKEY. I'll show you them another
time, as they're safely tucked away at the moment. (Besides, I want to
repaint the figures to a higher standard first.)

It must be admitted
that dear ol' Cecil's
Supercar is a rather
flimsy, underwhelming
vehicle in the cold light
of day, compared to
how I remembered it
from my childhood
Then, it seemed like
a plaything of unlimited possibilities; in reality, it's a two-colour, fragile affair
that looks as if it might fall apart if someone breathes too hard in its vicinity.

Now, I have to admit that I've got quite a few items in my collection
for which I've paid rather steep prices, but I don't buy to cash in at a
future date when they've increased in value. I purchase things merely
because I want them, and I don't mind bringing an item up to my rather
high standards if I consider it can stand improving. I'm lucky in being
able to repaint things to a far higher specification than when they
were originally issued.


A Coleman Supercar without 'improvement'
Case in point:
when I acquired
my excellent
STEVE ZODIAC
& ZOONY on a
JETMOBILE toy
by FAIRYLITE,
Steve's body wasn't
glued together
properly, leaving
a one millimetre
gap between the two parts. Also, his hands weren't painted, and the seat of
the jetmobile wasn't fitted properly. They are now, and the overall look
of the toy has been vastly improved since coming into my possession.

Same with my Supercar. Previously, it boasted a mere two colours - red
and silver, and was rather boring to look at. Now, with a bit of 'detailing',
it looks like a far more substantial toy than it actually is. Some collectors
would regard my 'improvements' as sacrilege, but, as I said, the monetary
potential in the collectors' market is of no interest to me; all I'm concerned
with is an item looking as good as possible.

And doesn't my Supercar look brilliant?!

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