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#1 OFFLINE   kenrobinson6

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 04:33 AM

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For the first time in DX there is going to be two interviews in one post. These two members are very well known in our community.  Step forward Jeff (aka Maxpower) and Felix (aka StygianMax).

Hi both, first off all, can I say thank you for participating in this unusual interview.


Jeff:Well Ken, Thanks to you for asking!  

Felix:  Well, it's a real honour to be requested for an interview.

Question: Could you both tell us something about yourselves and your childhood?

Jeff:(do you want the long or the short?)
I was the first born (of 2) to a car crazy ex-Marine(Dad) and a Farm Girl(Mom). My Dad always was involved with cars, from owning racing cars  (Stock Cars) to some pretty cool street cars, I got to see a lot of stuff. He even worked for an auto company. Some of the cars that my Dad had  were a Sunbeam Alpine, Tiger, Austin Healey 3000, Shelby Cobra, Shelby Mustang, Pantera and a few Vettes etc.

I was lucky to be able to be around the oval track crowd from the time I was born. In addition to my Dads involvment my Neighbor also raced Midgets and I got to go to quite a few races with him and be on the crew.

I also was exposed to road racing as a family friend raced a TVR Griffith and my Dad also knew a guy that raced a 427 Cobra who became the A Production National Champion with it and we saw him race a few times as well.

My Dad was very involved with The Cobra Club (which grew into SAAC) and I was also around a bunch of those guys and got to go to a couple of National Conventons. Met Carroll Shelby as a boy and also got to meet AJ Foyt and my Mom won a trip for us to ride down to Mid- Ohio to see the Can Am race and have a "Meet and Greet" with Sterling Moss.  Lucky enough to see a few Can Am races and also was at the first couple of 24 Hours of Nelson @ Nelson Ledges Road Course. My friend who grew up across the street was a mechanic at Fred Baker Porsche Audi who was heavy into racing at the time and i got to go be a "stooge" in the pits with them.
So you can see I had no choice as to if I was going to be into cars or not.


Felix:  I'm a single child, born in the Vancouver, Canada.  I had a dog for 13 years and couple weeks but I've been told he didn't count as a sibling. Oh well.  Between the ages 3 and 4, I lived in Nijmegen, The Netherlands where my dad had a fellowship to do reseach work in the university there.  Following that, we moved back to Canada where I spend the bulk of my childhood years in Quebec City.  While there, I attended an English elementary and high school as there was still quite an anglophone population in Quebec back then.  Following my completion of high school, we moved to Ottawa (capital of Canada).

Unlike Jeff, my childhood didn't involve a huge exposure to cars.  I think the first car my Dad had that he was really passionate about was our family's red BMW 2002 (1975).  I still recall him being a member of the BMWCCA and the monthly "Roundel" magazines we'd get in the mail.  Occassionally, when he went on a business trip to the U.S. he'd lug home in his suitcase car parts like brake discs and set of brake pads.  Little did I know at the time, but odd bits of car modification would have an impact later on with my own car.  To this day, I'm still a little jealous that he got a Momo steering wheel on his car and I likely won't because of insurance issues.  

Question: Could you both tell us how you met your significant others and their attitudes towards your diecast hobby?

Jeff: Kind of a funny story on how I met my wife Sandy. I knew a guy that worked at a place I dealt with. I also knew the owners secretary and it turned out that she was interested in that guy. So, she had me drop a couple of hints but he was rather shy so she arranged a double date so I could go along and "push" him toward the right direction I had just broken off an engagement with someone else so she brought along her friend, who became my wife I am surprised my wife puts up wit as much as she has! My house looks like a toy shop.  She still points out sales or tells me that so and so store has lots of diecast. I really married up.  

Felix: I met my wife Karman in Toronto through a mutual friend of ours.  I think our first date was working out in a gym that I belonged to at the time. She's a great gal especially given that she was game for learning from me how to drive manual transmission.  I had a 2nd hand Mazda 626 5-speed I scooped from my folks.  We found an empty parking lot and went through the paces of shifting from 1st to 3rd over and over again until I wasn't doing any more headbanging.  I think she's learned to appreciate cars a little more since then just because she can be that much more connected to the task of driving a car.  Because of that, she has tried to relate to my interest in watching autoracing on TV.  So when my hobby of diecast collection came into full bloom, she saw it as a way I connect to the sport and didn't just view the cars as a bunch of toys.  Somehow or other, she's accepted my passion for collection diecasts and photographing them.  As my diecasts are confined to my study, Karman has been pretty good about things.

Question: Could you both tell us how you came to be where you live now?

Jeff I was actually born in the city that I now live in. I've alway been in the general area, grew up two towns over, had my first house one town over and here I am, back where it all started. Actually a big reason for us being here is the fact that it is very close to mine and my wifes parent who are elderly. It just makes life a bit easier for them to have us close right now.

Felix:  I chose Toronto to look for work after university because of the all the work opportunities.  It's a big city with a lot of diversity and ethnic mix which is great.  I like the fact that I can find almost any sort of cuisine within Toronto because I love trying new food!

Question: How did the both of you get into collecting diecasts and have you got a theme to your collections?

Jeff:I was a big plastic model builder and sometime collector of diecast. This of course was well before what we have now. There was no diecast in 1:18 and hardly anything in any scale. Anyway, I kind of stopped building plastic when I was starting house, building my business and changing diapers.

After things slowed down again I found that I wasn't able to do the kind of work on the models that I had previosly done. It became a source of frustration for me so I got rid of all my plastic. I was looking for a hobby again (I had been very heavy into 1:1 cars up to the point of building a car from scratch, welding up the frame making the body etc) but Iknew I didn't have the time to get back into 1:1 cars. About that time My wife bought me a Danbury Mint car. And then another and before I knew it, I was buried in diecast!

As far as a theme... Indy Cars, Can Am, Le Mans, Trans Am, Sprint cars, Maisto GT cars Oldies in 1:24,  English sports cars, Porsche and whatever else catches my eye.
  

Felix:  Since childhood, I've had a fascination with models of any sort whether they were planes, cars, ships, or dioramas.  I like anything that is laden with tiny or intricate details that challenge me to discover them all.  I used to build plastic airplane from kits but was never really became skilled at it.  The diecast collecting in my household actually didn't start with me, but my son.  Like most boys, he likes cars a lot.  So when I was on a work trip in Geneva in 1998, I found a 1:18 Bburago Lamborghini Countach for a good price and brought it home for SM Jr.  A few months later during Christmas shopping time, three other cheaply-priced Bburagos came home with us.  My own collection didn't really start until 1999 when I found a bunch of Maisto 1:18 GT cars at a local Zellers department store.  I recall those cars sitting there for months on end so I had to "save" them and brought them into the safe refuge of my home. My collection remained quite modest until the day I discovered eBay.  That's when the floodgates really opened up.  My wishlist suddenly included cars from makers like UT and Autoart.  My focus was very much GT type cars with the occasional street car being purchased.  Only recently had I branched out from 1:18 to include 1:43.  I've discovered there is much more variety in race cars in that scale.  

Question: How did you find DX and what does it mean to you?

Jeff:I came right when it was opened up. There was only a few people posting at the time. I lurked for a day or 2 and then joined up and started posting. I still remember when the 100th post was made  

As for what it means to me, It really has become part of who I am.
I spend probaly 3+ hors a day here and quite a bit of time thinking of things I want to do here when I am ofline. I always find myself wishing for more time as I never feel that I accomplish as much as I want to.


Felix:  Back in 2003, I found a link to DX through a 1:1 automotive forum.  I was immediately attracted to the friendliness of the folks here.  People here had interests in a wide variety of diecasts which made things really interesting and educational for me.  I was also very much impressed by all the diecast photos.  That got me coming back daily.  Nowadays, the DX Forum is the first place I got to every day, and almost always the last site I'm at in the evening.  I've gotten to make many friends on the forum from far & wide.  There's truly a sense of camraderie and community here which is just awesome to see.

Question: You two attended the Detroit Auto Show, where you met one another, what was it like to meet for the first time after communicating online all this time??

Jeff:It was great! We got along as we had been friends forever. I can't tell you when I have had a more enjoyable afternoon I will let Felix tell the story on how we met up.  

Felix: Well, it's like this. Jeff and I both live about 4 to 5 hours away from Detroit.  Before leaving our respective hometowns, we exchanged cell phone numbers.  As this was my very first time being in Detroit, I knew it was going to be a little challenging for Jeff & I to meet up with one another.  I didn't know any of the landmarks in the city.  We eventually found ourselves in Cobo Hall where the autoshow was held.  On the main floor, we walked around trying to locate one another.  I whipped out my cell phone and called Jeff.  We agreed to stay on the phone with each other until we met face-to-face.  We must have been on the phone for 3 to 4 minutes as we tried to find one another.  Eventually, we realized that we had been talking to one another for about 1/2 minute while we were standing merely 20 feet from each other.  Now that was funny!

Jeff impressed me as a real down-to-earth guy and one who knows a huge amount about cars!  It was really educational listening to Jeff describing all this history about all the different automakers as we roamed around the showfloor.  The few short hours I spent with Jeff was really a great time that I'll never forget.

Question:  As you both were members at one point, tell us a little about how you came be part of the staff?

Jeff:As I mentioned before, DX was very small and very different than it is now. We all knew each other (I really wish I could keep track of all the members now but there are so many of them!) and one day Darrick asked me if I would like to help out. Of course I was very flattered! We were probably staff heavy compared to the number of members but it worked out well as many of the features you see on DX today came out of that group. Sadly, I think I am the only one left from that early group.

I will say that it has been a fantastic experience to be a part of all this and it has really given me a sense of pride to see what DX has evolved into.

The chance to get to know and work along side so many great people has been awesome!


Felix:  I joined DX about half a year after Jeff.  The forum was still a small community to the point that you could remember nearly everyone's names and their User IDs.  One day, Darrick asked me if I'd like to help him out as a Ringer.  I was very humbled by his invitation as I hadn't been a member all that long.  I gladly accepted and haven't looked back since. I saw the forum community as an exciting place that was going to grow quite a bit. I, being a 'Lego Kid' who gets joy from building things, was excited at having the opportunity to be involved in a community that could bring together diecast enthusiasts from all around the world.  

Question: The duties of an Administrator are never clear cut to the members, give us a sneak peek into what you do that members often do not see.

Jeff:  Kind of a hard thing to define.  I am here to observe and react to whatever is going on. Many situations that pop up are of course discussed by the staff and even more so by Darrick, Felix and myself. I am also here to assist anyone that needs it and at times to act as a referee/bouncer. I do some work on the back end and most of the time, just to offer another set of eyes and maybe a different perspective on things. I have been in the hobby a while and I am a bit older than most of the members (except you Ken  ) and in what has been noted   I can offer a different opinion on whatever is going on at the time.

Like I said, its kind of hard to define.
  

Felix: Let's see now.....I take out the garbage and de-odorize anything that smells around the forum. Keeping the forum in neat and tidy is a big part of what an Administrator does. Every now & then, Darrick, Jeff & I will take a step back and assess how things are going, and discuss what things are going well and identify what can be improved.  I think collectively, we work well together in tending to building and maintaining the site and community here.  Of course, I can't forget to say that all our fellow Ringers do a really superb job in keeping things ticking here.  There's some truly awesome teamwork and synergy amongst us.

Question: You both have been collecting for sometime, how has the hobby changed in that time in your eyes?

Jeff: Ken, the hobby has grown from a tiny acorn into the giant oak it is now since I have been involved. I really think that we have just seen diecasts golden age. Car I never would have thought would be made have been released and in better detail than anyone could have imagined!

I remember the days when a Ertl was thought to be incredible. I myslef paid over 100 1990 dollars for a Franklin mint car that was jaw dropping with detail that now is not as good as a Maisto  

The amont of detail, selection and price are almost mind numbing. I wish a lot of collectors could go back to about 15 years ago when the complain that there isn't enough new stuff.
  

Felix:   When I got seriously started with collecting about 3 years ago, there seemed to be a wider variety of diecasts available.  I used to flip through Autoart's catalog to see what my next purchase should be.  But over the past year or so, there doesn't see to be quite the variety available.  We saw cars being made as sealed models.  It almost seems as though some diecast companies are at a crossroads in their approach to making diecasts.  So in the past year, I've broadened my horizons to from sealed 1/18 models to sealed 1/43.  I've come to discover that 1/43 is a really amazing scale to consider for any race car enthusiast given the huge variety they have.  Deep down, my first love is still for 1/18s that has opening body panels, detailed wheels and brake calipers, etc.  But if diecast makers release more and more sealed 1/18 models, I would much rather turn to 1/43s given there are so many more race cars to choose from in that scale.

Question: Has that change affected your collecting and if so how?

Jeff: Just look at my collection! I have diecast coming out of my ears!  

Felix:  Well, 20% of my collection is now 1/43 cars and I sense that percentage will grow over time.

Question: Where do you see your collection heading in the future?

Jeff:At the rate I am buying it is going to have to go in its own wing!
I really don't kno what I am going to do with all the cars I plan on getting. At times I wish some of the new releases would slow down a bit.
  

Felix:  My focus will still pretty much be on post-1995 Le Mans, ALMS, LMES, DTM and FIA GT cars.  I really don't see a lot of street , rally and F1 cars in my future eventhough there are some really stunning models in those categories.  I think the cars I want to add are more rare so I'll have to be more careful with how I allocate my budget.  

Question: Where do you see the direction of the hobby going?

Jeff:I don't think the future is all that bright. Over production, too many "Limited Editions", rising prices, The MFG's inability to come to grips with eBay and its effect on pricing and the ever increasing attitude of the companies to say "here it is, come and get it" are just some of the problem I see. I think we are just starting to see the end of "The Golden Age" and I also believe that we will see some consolidation, There are simply to many hands in the cookie jar of diecast right now.

Time will tell...


Felix:  Wow, that's a deep question!  I think the diecast industry as a whole is at a bit of a crossroads, or very close to it.  I think fundamental issues like manufacturing cost control, breadth of models, time-to-market and sales approach (brick & mortar stores vs. online) will very much influence where the industry heads to in the future.  

Question: We have seen some of our greatest members bow out of the hobby for numerous different reasons. If you could give a new collector a bit of advice, what would it be?

Jeff:Go Slow!
Buy no more than one diecast a month. It is so easy to go wild when starting out and before you know it, you have a giant collection. Then you start questioning why you spnet so much money and where are you going to put these things.

Diecast collectiong is not an easy hobby to be in, It take a huge commitment of money and space. And it is something that most people will not understand nor are you likely to run across another collector in your area.


Felix:  If money and display space are constraints (as they are with most folks), having a reasonably clear focus of one's collection is important.  It goes a long way to help prioritze what to buy and what not.  There are always more cars out there that are "good deals" that what one can afford.  It's a bit like setting up two lists titled of "Must Have" vs. "Want to Have".  Pacing yourself is also very helpful for staying in the hobby.  Buying too many cars in an impulsive buying spree isn't always a good idea.

Question: Your enthusiasm for the hobby suggests you enjoy the hobby greatly. This is also evident from your contributions to DX which has helped shape and mold the environment of DX. Can you both tell us a little about your personal contributions to the hobby.

Jeff:That is very hard to answer. I am not sure if that is for me to decide. I just enjoy the hobby and the people in it and I try to leave things better than I found it. I try to live my life the same way.

Felix:  I echo much of what Jeff said.  I'm really a relative newcomer to the hobby and am not quite sure there's a whole lot that I'm able to truly contribute.  There are certainly a lot more seasoned 'veterans" than myself.  I try to help out Darrick and my fellow Ringers however I can.  If people are enjoying themselves here on DX, then I think we colelctively are doing a good job in building this forum into a community.

Thank you both very much for this very illuminating double interview and for giving us all in DX a chance to get to know you better!  With grateful thanks to Darrick for suggesting some of these questions.

Jeff:Thanks to you for taking the time to work on this.
Kind of interesting to be on the other side of the desk so to speak.
I guess I can't complain that you asked Felix all the easy questions
  

Felix: Thanks Ken for taking the time to speak to Jeff & I.  It's been a pleasure chatting with you.

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#2 OFFLINE   JSB 33

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Posted 01 July 2005 - 01:27 PM

Thanks again to Ken for not only asking Felix and I to do this, but taking the time to put it all together :nicejob

Thanks Buddy! :cheers


********************************************************
Ken is offline for a bit and he asked that this be posted for him.
Jeff
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Posted ImageE Rod_017, on 23 July 2012 - 11:34 AM, said:

Reason why 1:43 scale cars aren't that popular because most people including me(sorry it I offend) consider them toys and not Collectable model cars. .

Should you collect 1:43?

Quote

The Paladin

In my opinion, no if you can afford 1:18 models. First of all, most people will think of them as toys, while 1:18 models can look as something classy if you have a few.



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#3 Guest_nadav_86_*

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Posted 01 July 2005 - 02:34 PM

Great interview, nice to learn more about you Felix & Jeff  :cheers

#4 Guest_LHD_*

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Posted 01 July 2005 - 02:59 PM

nadav_86, on Jul 1 2005, 04:34 PM, said:

Great interview, nice to learn more about you Felix & Jeff  :cheers

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

:iagree  Thanks Felix and Jeff  :cheers

#5 Guest_jwp79_*

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Posted 01 July 2005 - 05:30 PM

That was a real insight. Thanks Jeff and Felix. :cheers

When I first became a member of DX I thought that both of you were named Max! :giggle

Great questions too Ken.

:cheers

#6 OFFLINE   cobalt1959

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Posted 01 July 2005 - 08:07 PM

Great interview of two members that I like to think of as friends.  And thanks for the interview Ken. . .   :nicejob  :nicejob
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#7 Guest_corvettekingofcanada_*

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Posted 01 July 2005 - 08:13 PM

Great interview. Believe it or not, I get the two of you mixed up for some reason all the time. :cheers

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Posted 01 July 2005 - 08:26 PM

Fantastic interview, great to know you guys more :cheers

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Posted 01 July 2005 - 08:58 PM

That was an excellent interview! Splendid job, Ken. :nicejob :nicejob :nicejob

It's great to know more about you both, Don Felix and Don Jeff.

Always a pleasure talking to you. :cheers

#10 OFFLINE   Speedfiend

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Posted 01 July 2005 - 11:13 PM

Another great interview, Ken!  :nicejob

This board's got two great Admins in you, Jeff and Felix!  :cheers  :cheers
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#11 OFFLINE   Car Lover

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Posted 02 July 2005 - 08:28 AM

Great interview guys  :cheers  :cheers

Its very nice to learn a little more about you
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#12 OFFLINE   vegasracer

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Posted 02 July 2005 - 08:39 AM

Great interview! Jeff and Felix are two of the pillars of DX, and it's great to hear their story!  :ok

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Posted 02 July 2005 - 04:48 PM

Interesting read  :cheers

About time we got to know a bit more about you two  :giggle

Congrats to all of you for a great read

#14 OFFLINE   winstoncds

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Posted 02 July 2005 - 10:36 PM

Good to know so much more about you guys, Jeff and Felix. Thanks to Ken for putting this together. Great stuff. Enjoyed reading it. :cheers
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#15 OFFLINE   acisne

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Posted 02 July 2005 - 11:09 PM

Great job guys! :cheers Thank you for taking the time to share and thank you Ken for making it happen! :310

Where is it written that the more diecast $$$ equals a better diecast?

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#16 OFFLINE   LUW

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 04:35 PM

Fantastic!!!! :nicejob
Great to read and learn more about the "Max Brothers". :giggle How did I miss this, if it was written in May 31st? :confused
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#17 OFFLINE   StygianMax

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 04:43 PM

Max Power, on Jul 1 2005, 03:27 PM, said:

Thanks again to Ken for not only asking Felix and I to do this, but taking the time to put it all together :nicejob

Thanks Buddy! :cheers

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


:iagree  :iagree Once again, Ken has really shined with his fine effort with this interview.  :nicejob  :nicejob
Felix (Click banner to see my diecast website)

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#18 Guest_mwrmt_*

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 05:29 PM

Very cool read. It's nice to learn more about two great guys.

Thanks Ken, Jeff and Felix. :cheers

#19 OFFLINE   Ronan

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 05:47 PM

A fantastic read guys! Great to hear your stories at last! Well done! :cheers

#20 OFFLINE   Delta_Farce

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 06:01 PM

Great interview guys and well done to Ken on putting together such a fine piece on two of DX's most intriguing characters.

Thanks for sharing a bit about yourselves gents!

:cheers

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 10:55 PM

great interview gents :cheers

nice to learn a bit more about Felix and Jeff :cheers

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 03:00 AM

Some very good advice in there for new collectors.

Well done gents!

A great read and thanks to all concerned for taking the trouble to do it. :nicejob  :nicejob  :nicejob

Best wishes.....

:cheers

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#23 OFFLINE   JSB 33

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 03:58 PM

LUW, on Jul 3 2005, 06:35 PM, said:

How did I miss this, if it was written in May 31st? :confused

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Maybe the key word was "written" and not posted :wink
Jeff
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Posted ImageE Rod_017, on 23 July 2012 - 11:34 AM, said:

Reason why 1:43 scale cars aren't that popular because most people including me(sorry it I offend) consider them toys and not Collectable model cars. .

Should you collect 1:43?

Quote

The Paladin

In my opinion, no if you can afford 1:18 models. First of all, most people will think of them as toys, while 1:18 models can look as something classy if you have a few.



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#24 OFFLINE   mox

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 01:51 AM

Another great interview, Ken! Thanks to you, Felix and Jeff for taking the time to put together a truly interesting and enjoyable read.

John
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#25 Guest_DiecastX_*

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 10:54 PM

Simply a great read :nicejob

Thanks gents for allowing us a glimpse into your lives and thanks to Ken for making it happen :cheers




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