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Toy Collection

Broadcast date : 3rd September 2006


Discovering Tommyís Toys in Main Road, Rosettenville, is like discovering an Aladdinís Cave full of unspeakable treasures. The sheer size of Tommyís inventory will have model-car addicts foaming at the mouth, torn between an obscure Triumph sedan, an iconic Porsche 917, perhaps a London bus, or the inevitable Ferrari.

Tommy Soutar drove buses in England and downtown Joburg before acquiring his shop, and his passion is reflected in the esoteric collectibles he stocks, such as Lucky Strike-liveried Formula One cars.
Even more collectable are the cars stocked in the Tortoy Toy Museum upstairs from Tommyís, run by David Sawyer.

Here youíll find the really old cars, such as first-edition Dinkys, and Corgies from the 1950s, famous movie car models, such as the Batmobile, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and even a range of Noddy Cars.

When it comes to Dinkys and Corgis, they donít have to be new, or even in good condition to be collectible. Sometimes well-used cars tell more of a story than pristine ones.

When it comes to the famous Dinkys, which were THE cars to buy in the 1950's and 1960's, a pristine car with its box is the ultimate. David buys many of his cars in England, some of which date right back to World War Two.

Foden Trucks and buses were popular Corgis, as was the Mark one Zephyr in 1954, and these toys kept pace with modern car production. With todayís models, the main difference is in accuracy.
The detail on this Alfa Romeo 6C seventeen-fifty kit is so precise that each spoke of the wheels is hand assembled, not cast.

Every cooling fin on the inlet manifold and the supercharger is present, as is each of the plug leads for this classic straight-eight, overhead cam engine.

Boys of all ages will be pleased that slot-car racing is making a comeback

The Cheetah Slot Car Club hosts races at the Southern Suburbs Recreation Centre in Rosettenville, one of Joburgís oldest suburbs. The club members meet twice a week to thrash out speed issues and relive their slot car pasts.

Slot car clubs are springing up all over the country, and The Cheetahs race against a number of Joburg Clubs once a month.

Races can last as long as two hours and the concentration levels are enormous.

Despite its anti-computer game stance, club members use the dreaded micro chips for lap counting, and the new palm controls feature up-to-date electronics.

The modern one-thirty-second-scale slot cars are much more robust than they were decades ago, with integrated body and chassis structures. Magnets are used by some racers in the sport to keep the car on track, but are frowned upon in Rosettenville.

Itís all good, clean fun, and at R300 a car, a lot cheaper than the real thing.

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