Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Indianapolis 500 Memorabilia | Programs and Photos

We just found some new Indy 500 memorabilia items and have them listed for sale.

1. 1965 Indy 500 Race Program - features '64 race winner A.J. Foyt
2. 1966 Indy 500 Race Program - features '65 race winner Jim Clark
3. Johnny Parsons Jr. Midget Car Photo
4. Salt Walther Press Photos

The can be purchased at indypicker.com.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Searching for Bakelite Jewelry

The Misses and I went antiquing this past weekend. We were in the mood for jewelry and Bakelite is one of our favorites. We went to one of our favorite spots and began to search for some pieces. What we found was not surprising. A lot of people offering Bakelite that is not Bakelite. We tested 6 pieces that were plastic and yet marked Bakelite.

I wrote about this a while back about pieces on eBay. Buying Bakelite from eBay is a crap shoot. Many pieces are just not Bakelite. We used our Q-tip water test. The clerk working with us was amazed by how it worked. We showed her a plastic piece and a Bakelite piece results. Nicotine stain was present.

We did find pay dirt. Here is our find of the day. A vintage Vendome signed piece. This piece is likely from the 1940s as plastic started to take over in the 1950s.

Vendome was established in 1944 as a subsidiary of Coro and made a superior line of jewelry until 1979.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Retro 1950s and 1960s

Many young people today are discovering the world of Retro. This term means different things and different times to each individual depending mostly on your age. There is a huge market being tapped by the Chinese to make items of these periods complete with simulated rust and dents. These can be seen at local flea markets and all over eBay. But I digress....

Retro categories can consume clothes, kitchenware, toys and much more. We are going to talk about items that we know and love.

Retro Toys - toys from the 50s/60s came into a wonderful era. Tin windup toys of the 30s/40s were replaced with battery operated that not only could move but light up and make realistic sounds. Mattel created Barbie, Matchbox and Hot Wheels diecasts moved Dinky, Hubley, and others like Midgetoy to the lower shelves of the five and dime.
Vintage Matchbox No. 13

Vintage Redline Hot Wheels
Japan came on the scene in the 1950s, some of these space themed robots and rocket ships can go for 5 figures at auction. These toys such a Diamond Plant Robot from Yonezawa can be valued at $50,000 in mint condition. Robots and spacecraft were in vogue during this period as the space race was heating up between the United States and Russia.

Tin Litho Skyexpress
Diamond Planet Robot

Even kid's lunch boxes had rocket ships and military weapons. 

Mercury Spacecraft Lunchbox

4 Branches of GI Joe

And then along came Hasbro who created GI Joe action figure in 1964 to offer the boys who didn't want to play with Ken dolls. GI Joe is still being made today. For collectors, the original Joes were 12" tall, not 11.75" as they are today and they didn't have all these muscles that the new Joe does. Every GI is not built like Arnold  Schwarzenegger.

Retro Kitchenware - the kitchenware of the 50/60s became ultra modern. Many of the advances developed in the space programs found there way into mom's kitchen. Dishwashers, elaborate stoves and microwave ovens. Even the colors, gone were the pink and light blue kitchens of the 30/40s and now was harvest gold, avocado green, burnt orange and more wild colors for mom' decor and appliances. We had a bright blue stove in our kitchen in 1968. Items of that period are not only collectable, but functional. The devices were made better than the stuff you get at Walmart.

Retro Radios - the 1950/60s was the era of the transistor. Radios went from big bulky tube types that were not at all portable to small devices run by 9v batteries and could fit in you pocket. In the 1960s, the World Series games were played during the day. Schools in my part of the country and certain teachers would allow us to bring our pocket transistors armed with single ear plug and listen to the game during class time. As long as we didn't yell out when someone scored.

Retro items are fun to collect and not just for us Baby Boomers.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Vintage Matchbox Skybuster Aircraft

We just came upon some vintage 1970s Matchbox Skybuster series aircraft by Lesney of England. The Skybuster series started in 1973 and continued off and on through the years. These aircraft are in C7.5 to C9 condition and are box less. They feature both military and civilian models of the period.

The Matchbox brand was developed by accident you might say for Lesney LTD by designer Jack Odell who had designed a toy that could fit in a matchbox for his daughter who took it to school for show and tell. The teacher had told the class that anything they brought couldn't be any bigger than a matchbox. Lesney LTD and the Matchbox brand by the mid-1960s were the largest producers of diecast toys in the world. So much that a company called Mattel developed a product called Hot Wheels to compete against them.

By the early 1980s Lesney would go into receivership and was eventually bought by who else but Mattel. Some of the dies used by Lesney are used by Mattel today. Diecast toys have been sold by the millions, but the older ones in good to excellent condition are harder to find these days. Remember they were toys that kids played with and paint scuffs, wheels bent and such happened.  [We will be adding more in the coming days]

These items can be purchased at our online shop indypicker.ecrater.com
Don't forget to visit www.indypicker.com for more great vintage items!

Matchbox Skybuster Mig 21 Jet Fighter

Matchbox Skybuster RAF Lightning Jet Fighter

Matchbox Skybuster F-16A Jet Fighter

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Jabo Mables | Hillbilly Magic | Mamie Sisterville | Joker 2

We came upon some great collector marbles designed and made by master marble maker Dave McCullough of Jabo Inc. of Reno, Ohio. This was the last marble company in the state of Ohio. The doors have been closed since the marbles were made.

These marbles can be purchased at Ohio Valley Antique Mall showcase #7 or contact us via email at indypicker@woh.rr.com.

Hillbilly Magic- fiery reds, yellows, blues and some aqua with aventurine sparkle
Hillbilly Magic

Joker 2 - Oxblood red & gray swirls
Joker 2
 Mamie Sisterville - Oxblood red, turquoise, grays and browns
Mamie Sisterville

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Classic Toys from the 1950s and 60s

Toys from the 50s and 60s can always stir our childhood memories if you are of that age. A lot of these toys were made of tin, diecast and hard plastic unlike the toys of today. Companies like Louis Marx, Hubley, Gilbert, Lionel, Mattel and Hasbro were the kings in the U.S.. The secondary manufactures were from Japan and Taiwan. Some of these Japanese tin litho toys [robots, rocket ships, etc.] from the mid to late fifties can bring 5 figure prices at auction.

The tin litho toys had intricate colors and designs, many of these are of vehicles, robots and space ships. The diecast markets were lead by Hubley, Tootsie, Lesney [aka Matchbox], Midgetoy and finally Mattel with Hotwheels.

Toys were mainly given at Christmas or a birthday, but the kid could always buy his own at the Dime Store. Yes, millennial's there was a Dime store before the Dollar Store and Walmart where a kid could spend an hour or so trying to decide if they wanted a bag of plastic army men from Marx or Timmee or a diecast car or balsa wood airplane.

Here are some of our picks that can be purchase at www.indypicker.com  

60s Marx Tin Litho Mini Crawler

60s Marx Hard Plastic Military Vehicles

Tada Tin Litho X-5 Heavy Machine Gun Noise and Lights

Hubley Flintlock Pistol Cap Gun

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Lace Purple Sensor Guitar Pickups Review

Last post I talked about the RPA treble booster and indicated I was installing Lace Sensor Purple pickups. After fighting some gremlins in the wiring, I have now completed the pup exchange.

The pickups are very warm in tone, not quit a humbucker but close (P90 sound) and have very good sustain. Even with the RPA out of the loop I can get notes to hold for a very long time. These pickups would be good for anyone who is wanting a great vintage rock sound of the 1970s. These pickups due to there design have now dead zones when the string is pulled away from the magnet because they have no pole magnets like ordinary pups.

Next on the project list is a Danelectro Fab Echo mod.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Blackmore in a Box | BSM RPA Treble Booster

Bought myself a Christmas present this year. I grew up in the early 1970s and Machine Head was the default 8-track played on the way to school every day. I started playing guitar in the mid 70s and had a few bands in the early 80s. I just play for the enjoyment now.

I have seen Ritchie with both Rainbow and Deep Purple and other than Jimmy Page are my two biggest influences. I own a 1978 Marshall JMP 50 amplifier that is all original including the El34 power tubes which the amp was wired for. Ritchie's setup as you know was Marshall Majors and not many have the ability to own one of these.

I had been looking at the effect pedals from German company BSM for almost a year. They have several pedals supporting different era Blackmore sounds. I chose the RPA as it supported two sounds, the Burn album tour i.e. Cal Jam and the Machine Head sound. I have tested the pedal and we are close. I am in the process of upgrading pups to Lace Sensor Purples from StuMac Golden Vintage. These pups have to much tin when turned down. I have modified my strat to 2 pickup as Ritchie did, not mainly because of him, but didn't care for the sound of it.

There are numerous posting out there that talks about Ritchie's sound. Including Dawk Stillwell's site who was Ritchie's guitar tech during Purple era. He created the MTC component which was used in some of his guitars in the 70s. The RPA has include the mods of his Marshall Majors as well as the AIWA 1100 tape deck he used for pre-amp and echo.

Overall I am pleased with the sound and once the pickups have been changed I expect better low volume clarity. The key to this pedal IMO is running the amp about half volume. Ritchie's sound was not on 11 as he put it the Majors would just catch fire. The overdrive was in the pre-amp and not the power amp.

The BSM RPA is $360 but you will be pleased with spending that amount. You can find it in the states at Steve's Music Center. I have not tried running it on 18v yet which it is capable of and will give you even more headroom.

Updates - Purple Sensor PUPs have good warm sound. Christmas 2014 Santa gift is a Weber amp attenuator. This should allow me to run the Marshall at optimal power without melting the cats or my neighbors.