Friday, July 30, 2021

The Micros and the Tinies

Micro Machines
Going through a plastic shoebox of little toys, I ran across some very tiny toys, some so tiny they fit on my thumbnail.  Not having raised boys (we have 2 girls), they had only a slightly familiar feeling to me, and I don't really know where they came from. Some were probably in 50 cent bags of Hot Wheels we picked up at garage sales.

Hovering over the undersides of these, they are nearly all marked as "Micro Machines", which I have actually heard of (TV commercials!) but these aren't really things he collects, so I was surprised at the things that were tossed into this small "keep" box. There is an even "tinier than micro" red car (bottom row, left) that isn't a Micro Machine, but has no markings and is hollow but, it is a metal car. Super micro, but I have no idea what it is.

Lilliput Lane, David Winter & Matchbox
As a women, I think "oh those are cute" but ... do we need them?  Probably not, but I have to admit that I have a certain fascination with miniature things ... most miniature things, which is why I'm working on finishing up my second dollhouse (passed the first one onto my sister-in-law for her granddaughters to play with).  In the attic bedroom of the second dollhouse is a toy trunk (one I built myself) with tiny toys in it ... some from Kinder eggs, some I made, and one or two tiny cars (a yellow "Kinder" convertible).

Part of the Liberty Falls collection

 As I was going through this newly discovered bunch of tiny cars I thought ... well, I could add a couple more to the attic, and hey, a couple of these would fit my tiny house collections too (yeah, I have a few collections to, but definitely not anything the near the amount the Toyman has amassed).  In Florida, the collection is nearly all comprised of "Liberty Falls" buildings (which has it's own little history), while the few I have at home here are either Lilliput Lane or David Winter Cottages (British issues).  

The next one is this burgundy-ish miniature van (I know, it looks red, but it isn't). It's also plastic, so I figured it wasn't "anything of interest". Well, the underside is stamped with "DC99" and "Ertl". I recognize Ertl since a lot of the bigger toys are that brand, and I can only assume DC99 is related to the "The Joker" sticker on the side ... so from one of the Batman movies/series or comic books maybe. I never knew ERTL made anything that small, or plastic. (I also didn't notice just how dusty it was ... you can't really see it with the "naked eye").

Next there are a couple of Matchbox tiny toys (the tow truck, the horse and wagon), a green tractor (colour-wise I would have guessed it was a John Deere, but Massey Harris is stamped on the side if you look close) with metal tires but no manufacturer anywhere; and a tiny Cadillac (?) marked on the bottom with "Monogram Models" ©1989. Except for the Cadillac, the other three are all metal.

Another mixed batch ... this one has two Tootsie toys (the orange tow truck, and the green truck), along with a Matchbox double-decker bus (again, smaller than the average Matchbox toy), and an oddity ... a small Japanese tin toy with the Shell logo on it. That one had what appears to be a friction apparatus, which no longer works, although it's surprising that the toy and it's finish is still in good condition. For a tiny car, it seems rather well made. checking out the underside there are two tiny tin tabs that hold the top onto the bottom ... someone could possible repair the friction wheels if they cared to take it apart, but I don't think that's going to be us.

Of the two Tootsie toys, he has duplicates - another of the green truck, and same tow truck, but in white.

The last few are strange as well. The blue truck and pink tow truck "look" like they are made by the same company, but they aren't or at least, aren't marked as such. The blue one says "Made in China" and has a flat underside, while the pink one has a shaped underside with a magnet in it. If it's marked, it's impossible to see. The pink one is totally plastic, so most likely a China piece, although the blue one, surprisingly, is metal and not plastic. Weird, and no idea why we have them or where they came from.  

The two little blue cars are plastic, and marked K96 n85, the other only has the word "Patent" on the bottom center, a "T" inside the bottom base, and n89 on the underside of the step. The first, is definitely a toy out of a Kinder Surprise Egg, so I'm think the other may be as well, and n89 in the patent office is somewhere you don't want to go. Lots of information and arguments over "n89", but none seem to refer to a toy car. On the other hand, I did find the other blue car for sale on eBay (from someone in Serbia?) for what I think is an awfully hefty price-tag but who knows, maybe there is a serious Kinder collector out there.

The final two (oh, there are some other small ones, just not as small as what's on this page ... that article will come later) are, I'm fairly certain, also from Kinder Surprise Eggs - one only has China stamped on the blade, the other has no markings but they have the look and feel of later Kinder toys.

 So, when it comes to value, I don't think any of them are of much value at all, not even cobbled together as a single sale. I rather like some of them (the Cadillac, the two blue Kinder ones, the Matchbox horse and wagon, the Matchbox tow truck) but I think that's more my affinity for miniatures than any thought of a full-grown collectible with value.

Are they worth collecting?  I guess that's totally up to the collector. What I see as no or little value is only monetary. If you love something enough to collect it, then it has personal value, and in the long run, isn't that what the collector is really looking for?

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