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About Hibernaculum

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  • Birthday 06/03/1977

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  1. Each ball is a rare part. We are all hippos. The gameboard is eBay. As the years pass, you have to hammer the lever harder and harder, until the whole table is shaking. That's what is happening in vintage RC now, compared to what it was like 21 years ago when I joined eBay Back then, vintage parts were so plentiful, some collectors had swimming pools filled with them, surrounded by beautiful girls in bikinis basking in their glow by the poolside... Not quite. But there were certainly plenty of crabby old hobby shop owners with dusty cardboard boxes out the back, filled with old parts, who would eye you suspiciously if you asked about them... Invest in a few extra spares if you can. If you like driving your cars vintage (and why shouldn't we - most 1:1 car collectors drive their cars original. Otherwise, what's the point of vintage enthusiasm?) - then have a few backup parts. If I know I have more than 1 of something, I'm happy to use it. Because I know there's at least one more spare left in the world. I do have a few spares though, where it's unclear to me if another exists as I haven't seen one come up in 10+ years. Those items are ones I am reluctant to open and use - for the sake of history.
  2. My additional tips for restoring boxes... (as I have done this dozens of times) Use PVA glue to repair tears, or lifted edges. If your box is warped, get a clean spray bottle and spray some mist water on the underside of the box to make it damp. Then place something large and flat on the affected side, and weigh it down with heavy books. And leave it for several days. Clean water won't discolour anything and will disappear once dry.. Even the worst, most warped Tamiya boxes can be restored this way and end up with fairly square sides and corners again. I know I posted one a while back...
  3. A lot of good and interesting comments here. My answer is: Yes, they are good investment. Not for huge profit. But what I can say is that the value of vintage Tamiya never goes away. If you buy vintage Tamiya kits, I wouldn't expect to profit from them. But what I think you can expect, is that the value will hold over the long term and it might creep upward a little too. So as far as the word "investment" goes - it may not be the best word in that I wouldn't consider it a money-making enterprise. And I don't think anyone should buy vintage Tamiyas purely for that reason. You should only do it if you love the items themselves. And as a side effect of enjoying the hobby (and provided you look after your cars)... I think you can safely assume the value of them won't go down. It will hold. And it may go up a little here and there. So why is that exactly? Well here's my theory... Ever since the internet went mainstream (let's say, 2000 onwards), "Retro" has become huge business in every industry/category. We humans now have endless access to pictures and history and information and social media about collectibles and fashions and crazes and relics of the past. Prior to the internet, we never had access to that information, and we were not constantly being reminded of the past, nor did we have access to buying those items. Once a fad was over, it was gone. And the goods were gone. Now, all the fads of the past come back. Over and over and over. A worldwide market enables you to find many originals - plus there are all the remakes. And all those online platforms for buying and selling, means there are now collectors out there for absolutely everything you can imagine. And they have become far more fanatical than was previously possible. (Example: I recently watched an Australian collectors tv show, called "Desert Collectors" https://7plus.com.au/desert-collectors It's a bit like American Pickers. In it, at one point a collector explained how the restorers of some vintage 1:1 cars now insist on restoring them state-specifically - that is, if a car was manufactured in a plant in a particular state in Australia (like Queensland), then they will only restore it with parts that also originate from that state. You've got to admire them.) Here we are in 2020. And I never thought I'd see the day when vinyl came back - yet it only grows in popularity. The same is happening with cassettes. And the time for CDs will come too. Almost every second pair of sneakers I see in sneakers stores, is a retro item harking back to the 00s, 90s, 80s, 70s...Did you guys know that sneaker collecting didn't even exist, prior to about 2004 or so? I also like Casio watches. Every kid in my school playground had a cheap Casio watch when I was growing up. Now, many Casio watches are highly coveted collector's items and even the most scratched vintage examples will get bids on eBay. Brand new vintage examples can fetch thousands of dollars depending on the model. In general, any examples which are "Made in Japan" are more coveted than later ones (which are mostly made in China). Collecting Casio watches is an extremely expensive business ... and that's to say nothing of Seiko and other brands. But what's interesting to me is how Casio was the "cheap" brand that made a lot of really creative and fun watches - but how strong the nostalgia has since grown for that. Our lives and society are also racing toward a higher-tech future, which makes a lot of people uneasy - and this only fuels the desire to look "back" to the comfort and simplicity of earlier objects and culture. In summary Retro is big business, has been big for at least 15 years, and shows no sign of slowing. I don't think it's going away. And vintage RC is one of many hobbies that will ride that wave no matter how long it continues. And to answer @Hudson's question - "will the market will die an instant death when all of us circa 1970 - 1980 kids start dying off"... I honestly don't think so. Vintage RC is going to transition from retro craze to antique value. And antiques are also massive business, and will continue to be. The only thing that will ever upset the apple cart, is major worldwide financial chaos/depression/war etc.
  4. Just wanted to mention - great job updating the wheels and tyres info @Ernie^s BadAss Airplane Co I had never noticed the weight difference before. And what's more, it's quite a large difference. I'd like to log this information on my website, with a mention of your name as the source. Would that be ok?
  5. Nice restoration effort. Though I couldn’t sleep knowing I’d swapped in the remake chassis parts ☺️ Maybe you can swap for a used original chassis one day, to keep all the stampings original. On the subject of rubber bags... I always fit them to my restos, and I try to keep a small spare stock of original rubber bags with the Tamiya logo on them. They don’t seem to melt at all when I run the cars. I actually coat the rubber bags with silicon oil to keep them hydrated so they don’t dry and crack, and it makes them easier to fit. Personally I love that Tamiya recommended all those kinds of details - the “over the top” nature of Tamiya builds with all the waterproofing, branding etc is a quintessential part of 1980s Tamiya cars and builds. Sure it makes no sense in a modern context. But I’m never happy with a restoration until I follow all those crazy details. The 1980s were all about blocky, chunky, utilitarian excess in so many ways. I love the aesthetic of it 👍 cheers, H.
  6. RA-12XX for the 1/12 scale kits yes, I got that wrong. Also wrong - the 58XX (4 digit) instances actually started after the 58XXX (5 digit) instances? ie many earliest kits never used the 4digit. I hadn’t realized that. While the 5digit carried right through. But here is RA-1031 Brabham as mentioned, so I got that bit right at least https://tamiyabase.com/tamiya-models/58031-58031 That’s all according to what Tamiyabase has filed for each kit anyway. Presumably Lars’ info is right, as he has probably been losing sleep over the database organisation of Tamiya’s early, messy kit/parts numbering, for many years 🙃
  7. Perhaps the "white" Jet Hopper from @Stefan(2) 's memory was in fact the Taiyo Jet Fighter. Or perhaps it was the Taiyo Jet Racer 4WD... These were Taiyo's premium models that were released in 1987, following the success of the Jet Hopper. For the record - there are some known sales figures for the Jet Hopper in Australia, and also the Tamiya Fox in Australia. To quote myself (apologies, but it's easier than retyping ) - https://rctoymemories.com/2016/09/11/metro-taiyo-jet-hopper-1986/ These figures I used were official figures from distributors for Tamiya, and legal documents related to Taiyo.
  8. The kit numbers were expanded from 4 digits to 5 digits sometime (I think) in the mid-late 1980s, but I would have to double check the exact timing. But it is true that the earlier kits had 4 digits (for example on the kit box) Of course, the very earliest kits actually use the RA numbering. Tamiya's original numbering system for R/C kits was RA-1001 and onwards. This numbering system lasted as far as kit 31 aka "RA-1031" Brabham BT50 BMW Turbo. Beyond that point, Tamiya switched to the "58" sequence using 4 digits, and later 5 digits. Yeah it's true of course... everything was just old, unwanted, out-of-date stock for many years. Nobody considered it vintage...because vintage wasn't even a term we used. And not enough years had passed for people to really think in those terms. And those were great days too if you started collecting early. The first time I can honestly say I went to hobby shops looking specifically for old, leftover stock related to cars from the 1980s was in 1992. I know that sounds incredibly early... why would I have even thought of it, at that stage? Well, having grown up mostly in the 1980s, I was somehow acutely aware and/or obsessed with the R/C models of that time (and the rest is history). I also didn't have access to a lot of the things I had wanted during those years. So I was somewhat starved for access (and money) and the ability to own some of the great toys of my childhood. As early as 1992 I visited a hobby shop about 1 hour from where I lived, with the specific intention of trying to find parts/bits/anything related to the older Tamiyas that were out of production. And I was very happy to find a large plastic container there full of boxed Sand Scorcher original tyre sets, which were "on sale". I bought a couple of them, and also got an original Tamiya Hornet body set, which cost me AU$45. I knew these cars (as new in box kits) were no longer available by then... and I had developed a sense of "I need to stock up on spare parts when I can afford it" because I sensed they were becoming scarce. I remember the store owner telling me that a new "Hornet" was coming out soon, called the Super Hornet. Shortly after that, I also visited Sydney's Hobbyco hobby store - a store that has now been around for some 80 years or more. It's one of the last great hobby stores in Australia. And on that day, I remember they still had original issue sets of rear Super Champ tyres for sale on the shelf. But I remember they were about $30 or so. I didn't have a lot of money at that time, so I bought a few other small things from an "old stock" parts/sale bin they had. I was pretty pleased because back home I had begun restoring an old Hotshot (a wreck - found through a newspaper ad), and I got an original set of Hotshot front tyres in packet for $10, and some other little random little bits like Tamiya bearings and so forth. I told myself I'd go back to the store for the Super Champ tyres the next time. That was a mistake - and something I really regretted later. Because the next time I went to Hobbyco, the Super Champ tyres were all gone. And I ended up ringing around every hobby store in the Sydney region - to no avail. Nobody had the Super Champ tyres any more. And no amount of back-ordering was able to get them either. This was in 1993. At this point, I had to admit - I felt a bit crushed, thinking I would probably never obtain spare sets of those tyres. Little did I know that in years to come, the Internet would appear. And then eBay. In 1994 I decided to make an attempt to see what, if any, whole new in box "1980s" era Tamiya R/C kits might still be lingering in all the hobby stores in Sydney. So I rang around every store in the phone book. And I got lucky - there was one store that had one (just one) Monster Beetle kit left. I had some money, so I swooped and purchased it. A lot of my enthusiasm for the "old" items during this time was also being inspired by the sense that Tamiya had changed direction - releasing mostly touring cars in the early-mid 1990s. Or otherwise less interesting (less real looking) off-road vehicles, compared to the past. They just didn't do it for me, like the 1980s ones did. And combine that with the "fear of missing out"... and it meant I was inspired to start searching very early. And so began... a lifelong obsession. When I first got home internet access in 1996, there wasn't really even anything much on the web about Tamiya - let alone vintage Tamiya. And at first it never even occurred to me that the internet would eventually become a tool through which you could trade (safely). It was all very new and daunting at that time. If I could a website about Sting or Pink Floyd to appear on my screen, or download a 2Mb video clip, it was a revelation. Even MP3s didn't exist at first. eBay didn't really gain much attention from the mainstream until 1998, but most people were still pretty cautious about buying anything online. So for a while I looked at eBay but thought it was still too "risky". By 1999 though, I joined, and tried my hand at sending a Western Union money order to buy something from a seller in the USA, in the hope that the eBay "feedback system" would work and that people really were honorable. To my relief, it worked. And as my confidence grew, my bank balance diminished What followed from there, was the stunning discovery that old Tamiya stock actually existed in the world. Not just Super Champ tyres. But whole kits. Even the earliest kits - many of which I had previously never seen before in unbuilt form. Some sellers were selling them via their websites, but most were on eBay. And everything - and I mean everything - was a bidding war. Because every listing was an auction, and there was no such thing as "buy it now".
  9. Apologies to @nowinaminute as I just realized I have repeated some info he already posted - but you get the idea We are both nerds for some of these lesser known models.
  10. Aristocraft was Korean. An early example of Korea trying to get in on the action, and I have to say, they did ok too. They didn't simply rip off and counterfeit everything. And the Aristocraft buggies (Kangaroo, Dolphin and Koala) were at times.... raced in some competitions. Also... Yeah, so... Yonezawa is the original manufacturer of these. The Land Dash and Missiler (both released in 1984) were the original incarnations of them. Here's a Land Dash in box I sold a while back. I actually love the action photo on the box of this model. https://rctoymemories.com/items-for-sale/for-sale-2-yonezawa-land-dash/ Monogram bought them from Yonezawa, and sold them in the US an elsewhere under the other names - like "Lightning" etc. The Red Arrow meanwhile, was manufactured in Taiwan by a little known company called Radcon. It was in fact, the Radcon Wild Fox... Tandy/Radio Shack purchased this model, and re-sold it under their branding as the Red Arrow. This complimented the naming of the "Golden Arrow" they already had, which had in fact been custom manufactured for Radio Shack, by Nikko. Red Arrow... https://rctoymemories.com/2017/01/28/tandy-radio-shack-red-arrow-buggy-1988/ Golden Arrow... https://rctoymemories.com/2013/04/29/tandy-radio-shack-golden-arrow-1987/
  11. Also, the "old dates" on "Re re" parts are often new stampings. Or to explain another way - just because a part has an old date on it like "1985" or something, actually does not mean it's even using the exact same mould and same stamping, as the original 1985 part did. Often the old moulds were reworked and modified. Sometimes they were revised entirely. Early parts from the 80s can easily be identified because they had very simple embossed details. Times were simpler... there were less regulations. All they usually had written on them was one or all of these: Model name (e.g. "RCC Grasshopper"), year (e.g. "1984"), and "Made in Japan" Modern remake editions of those parts, have new stamps consisting of: EU compliance material stamps with alphabetic codes, e.g. “ABS” (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), “PS” (Polystyrene), “PA” (Polyamide) or “PC” (Polycarbonate). These never appeared on vintage parts. Tamiya name, e.g. “© Tamiya”. This never appeared on vintage parts. Year, e.g. “© 1979”. While year did also appear on vintage parts, the use of the “©” symbol proves a part is a remake part. Vintage model number e.g. “58047”, PLUS product code e.g. some 7 digit number like “0984071”. Even though a vintage model number like “58047” refers to a car from the 1980s, such numbers never actually appeared on vintage parts. Likewise, product codes never appeared on vintage parts. Have this info here also.
  12. That's definitely not what is happening. That's definitely not what's happening either. Having collected older kits (even since before eBay began), having been in contact with Tamiya on occasion, and having spoken to other collectors over many years including some who have visited Tamiya in Shizuoka... the old stock you see online on eBay and so forth, has always been old shop stock, or otherwise items owned by private sellers. There is no leftover kit stock with Tamiya themselves. At least not for the purpose of cannibalizing the kits, or secretly trickling the old stock onto the market. They do however, have a nice display in their foyer! The reality is that a lot (millions) of kits were sold in Japan alone even just during the "vintage" era. And there were a lot of toy and hobby stores that sold them. Some stores still to this day find lingering old examples of kits and models of all kinds, then throw them up online for sale. In other cases, Japanese owners (either collectors or just people who never got around to opening the models) list them online. As with any collectible - the radius area closest to the factory where those items were manufactured, has a tendency to have the most surviving examples in the years that follow. The same thing happened around the Kenner factory in the USA, in relation to Star Wars collectibles. When it comes to leftover Tamiya in other countries... As mentioned, there is less chance to find leftover items at the international distributor level, because those companies were more concerned with shifting stock and getting rid of it ASAP. There are relatively few stories around of collectors hitting vintage gold from distributors. Though there were a few here and there who got lucky. Hobby shops however, did tend to be places where a few old items would linger, especially parts but occasionally kits. And there are many stories of hobby shop finds, everywhere from Australia to Cyprus. I have had a number of lucky kit finds from hobby stores. But hobby shops outside Japan were always less likely to yield vintage gold than the stores in Japan. And today, both the stores inside and outside Japan now rarely contain much in the way of vintage items. As it has for years been mined and listed on eBay by probably hundreds of collectors and traders. These days I would suggest that most vintage kits are in the hands of collectors already. With only a small trickle still being "found" either in Japan or internationally. Most of the examples being sold online these days are being sold from one collector to another. Unlike in the early days of eBay, when most listings were still "store finds". Some of you may remember an eBay seller called jr-rc... he was actually an Australian who lived in Japan, and made a business for himself finding and selling old stock of R/C models, parts and other things, on eBay. Business boomed for him, in particular from 2000 to 2005 or thereabouts. I was even told once, that he drove a very nice 1:1 car as a result of the success of his eBay shop. There are few eBay sellers now, who can maintain the type of mass-listings of vintage stock, that stores like jr-rc had during the peak years - when eBay first opened up the opportunity for all that stock to be traded around the world. cheers, Rob.
  13. It's a different kind of treasure hunt these days. 15+ years ago it was still possible to find whole kits as old stock in physical hobby stores. Much less so today. So the only way to find them now, is online. But I do get what you are saying. If you can find something online, and it's a waiting game, is that really a "treasure hunt"? I still think it is. Because even the most popular vintage kits are not always available. Most buyers are not patient and do not have the patience to watch the market all year long. They only try for a few weeks, then give up. Popular vintage kits might come up for sale 5-10 times a year. But you also have to compete with other buyers for them. You could also argue it's "lucky" just to be able to afford them, as most people can't. Then there are the rare kits. Rare kits might only come up once a year, once in five years, or never. And there is no doubt getting one of those is "treasure" - even if you were waiting and watching for it to appear, rather than rummaging for it in a farm shed. Then there is also the aspect that not everything on the internet is plainly visible and easy to find for everyone. A lot of things I have found through contacts met online, which is another dimension to the searching. Or via very rigorous searching on foreign websites themselves, where sometimes things are hidden, expired or just poorly displayed - requiring effort to trawl through, translate, or chase old links or old expired listings. I have found many things this way, over the years.
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