Review by JoshB
It’s amazing how as adult collectors, we obsess over these things we remember from our hazy memories of childhood. We hunt them down as adults, even if they don’t fit into the current scope of your collection. This is the tale of one of those items.
This toy is the Matchbox Super Kings Auto Transport (K-10 Car Transporter), released by Lesney in 1976. I probably got mine in 1977. I was 4.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember a whole lot about being 4. I have memories from photos, but we didn’t have a video camera, and my parents were not big on taking pictures. I remember we lived in a second-floor apartment on Beacon Street in Lowell, Massachusetts. I had a playroom, which I think was a pantry. The walls were paneled with dark wood. I lived there when Star Wars came out, and my first Star Wars toy I got there was the Land Speeder, which I promptly broke. I was 4, and I remember it was the middle engine on the back that snapped off – my dad re-glued it for me.
I remember I had a friend named John, who would come over and growl. Not talk, growl.
It must have been my birthday in 77 that I got this toy. I remember playing with it in the shared driveway, unsupervised. I remember my mom telling me, don’t leave your toys in the driveway or they will get run over.
I remember, of course, leaving the cab of this truck in the driveway. I remember finding it flattened in my driveway on my way to daycare the next morning. I remember being really, really sad. I had only had it a few days. Lesson learned – take care of your toys. Listen to your mother.
The trailer remained intact, and I held onto that trailer for years, much longer than I should have. It was always this reminder to me that I needed to take care of things. Had I just thrown it away when the cab was destroyed I doubt I would have remembered it. I know I had it until we lost our house in the early 90s, then after that who knows what happened to it.
Flash forward to years later. I am hanging out at Matt Doughty’s house on one of those Friday nights, rummaging through his piles of toys in between drawings, and I spy the cab of the Super Kings Car Transporter. A wave of nostalgia overcomes me. I had forgotten all about it. I get emotional and tell Matt the whole story – he says “here, take it”. I am in awe of his generosity and friendship.
I know I put it in my bag, but somewhere between his house and my house, I lost it. It is as if I am destined to not own this toy.
To hell with destiny, I’m buying one on eBay. I did, and here it is. Stunning. The great thing about it is, not only is it a great memory, but it is also a great toy.
This toy is a big hunk of metal. Its surprising how many design elements share similarities to the Japanese robots of the same time. The cab is a glossy painted red metal, with the bottom being raw untreated metal, held in place by rivets. The windows are a transparent orange, and inside, the cockpit and engine details are chrome. It makes for a dazzling effect.
The wheels are large and gnarly – a signature of the Super Kings K series.
On the back is what they call a 5th wheel – the plate that connects the trailer. This is a softer PVC plastic, which has worn over time.
The trailer is also metal. The body is the same painted red, while the upper deck is painted grey. The trailer can hold 5 cars of Matchbox scale, but I was always more of a Hot Wheels kid. The upper deck has textured tracks for the cars, and small indents to keep the cars in place.
The upper deck is held in place by tabs that hook onto the red metal door on the back. Two working pistons hold the deck up, and help it descend with just the right amount of friction.
I’m not going to start collecting Matchbox toys, or cars in general, but I could be tempted to get a few more Super Kings. These things are awesome.
I have now come full circle, and I am not leaving this one in the driveway.
|Posted 22 March, 2010 - 12:10 by JoshB|