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Rarity List

15153 Views 92 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  dgersh
Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone knows of a Slot Car Rarity List.

A list containing aspects such as rarity ratings, 1-10 (10 being extremely rare)

Might even contain collectors comments, country of origin, current value etc..

I`m guessing such a list would be massive .... but not impossible.

p.s In some respects, I guess this collectors corner is one big list.. just not quite sorted.

If not... perhaps I shall start such a list.. After all, I do have a life time in front of me to gather the info required
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QUOTE (TSRF @ 24 Aug 2011, 05:20) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Now that's really rare. may I have it please?

Don, I am SURE that you meant "23", right?

Oops... yes, that 's what I meant. In fact, I hesitated between the two because I was replying off the top of my head, which gets lower by the day... I still say it almost looks as much like the 19 as the 23, kind of like the Bergman version.

Good to get more background on Estrela, which is really a fascinating brand! It seems that slot cars are still referred to generically as "Auto Rama" in Brazil - is that true? And since I'm asking, weren't the later F1 cars, which are 1/24 size, sold as 1/32? I seem to remember hearing that story, and that it was for a technical reason. The anglewinder chassis looks very effective!

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Yes Don,
commercial slot Brazil in 1963 reached the hands of Gilbert. Recall that the circuits are marketed under the name Autorama and were made by the brand Estrela.

These first circuit a couple of Corvettes are injected into Brazil with the original cast of Gilbert. Such items are not a citizen could afford half Brazilian, but the elite class.

I know the only legal license that has Estrela, because later made copies of many world records in both HO, 1:32 and 1:24, although a few models at first seem original or at least must come from other toys I unknown. Their catalog is as striking as irregular.

In the 70's production of the Autorama Estrela was regulated with a number of cars at approximately 1:24 type all Grand Prix (except for a Fiat GT).

Brazilians know the hobby of slot car, named in honor of Auto branch circuits to the first licensed Estrela comercialzados by Gilbert. Despite this there was another old brand (Atma) which made copies (I think) of Aurora to 1:32 of 2 models. They can be seen for example in the page of Pace Oswaldo or Luiz Valdetaro.

Cases like Brazil, reminds us that the slot is a global phenomenon that takes parallel paths and even today not sufficiently studied.
For many cases, are no less exotic cases without a significant, although attention because others are not so much and Brazil is a good example.

I have not had the opportunity to have all models in my hands (just a few) and this is why I've asked Pace if some of these other models were also replicas. To me it was obvious they were, for many reasons, but I needed the definitive statement for example of Pace ( by the way, thanks for your comprehensive and accurate response. )
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QUOTE I know the only legal license that has Estrela, because later made copies of many world records in both HO, 1:32 and 1:24, although a few models at first seem original or at least must come from other toys I unknown. Their catalog is as striking as irregular.
Actually, Estrela negotiated licenses with all the companies from which they copied the products: Cox, Gilbert, Strombecker, Gar-Vic, Monogram, even Mabuchi as they made copies of their motors directly in Brazil.
The reason of course was simple: enormous import duties forced local manufacturing due to a protectionist policy that still stands today, albeit in a much more relaxed fashion.
In the 1970's, Estrela also purchased the tooling for the Monogram slot car track.
This information was obtained from Luiz Valdetaro.
Sorry, but Luiz Valdetaro is totally wrong on this, my information came from Mr. Mario Adler, the Estrela owner on that time and from Evaldo P. de Almeida,
The "Aurorama" division manager for about 30 years.
Dear José,
Thank you for your reply on the forum, and your comments. If I can help you with some additional information about Estrela, let me know, although you seem very well informed. I like very much the way you put things, in a clear way. You seem to me to be a very reasonable person.
Slot cars as a whole, and Estrela especially, are my passion so, for this reason, I am always looking to improve my knowledge about the history of these fascinating little cars, kind of some sort of archeology of the business. In the case of Estrela, I can say that my friend and also collector Pierre, who does not like so much the Estrela brand (when he wrote the article in the NSCC, I came to the conclusion that the childhood brand has a very strong appeal. For me it was Estrela, for him it was Strombecker, though he admits they produced a lot of poor [!] items), anyway, in this particular case of Estrela, we have been in the process of collecting and putting together all necessary data in order to write a book on the Estrela slot cars, the Autorama brand, as it is known here. So, we interviewed personally Mr. Mario Adler, the owner of the Estrela Factory, in his office, and he told us essentially the commercial aspect of the slot market at the time. We were also lucky to become close friends of Mr. Evaldo P. de Almeida, who was in charge of the slot division at Estrela. In addition of having worked for more than thirty years at Estrela, he was a true slot cars aficionado, and we owe him a lot of ingenious innovations, like the rotary contacts, or pads, seen on the first Corvettes and Formula Junior, which, as opposed to the A.C. Gilbert contact pads, which were soon worn out -to the point of getting holed- by the vertical rail of the track, hence a less lot complaints by unsatisfied customers. Evaldo was also one of the founders of the Scorpius Team, sort of an Estrela factory team, as was the Russkit Team in the U.S. It was one of the most important teams in Brazil at that time. He told us that foreign models were brought into the country by Varig pilots (one of the national airline companies, also at that time), who would travel to the Chicago toy fair, or even by Estrela´s employees. These "toys" were then locally copied (very skilled machine shop workers) and the hardware (mechanical components) readily available adapted to them. This the reason why the Ford GT -a copy of COX´s- has this protruding section at the rear . He also told us how the development of the Oxford motor happened. Ken Mabuchi had told Mario Adler he would need some two to three years to be able to supply motors to Estrela (an enormous demand in the U.S.), so the company decided to make their own motor. Of course, a Mabuchi motor was copied (the 16D second series, or Can Drive). No one would, or could, accept the challenge. Then, the Oxford - which produced some poor quality TVs and radios, and had some financial difficulties - accepted the deal. They would make the armatures as long as Estrela would supply them with the painted cases (cans) and nylon end-bells. For what regards the supposedly buying of the Monogram tooling for their plastic track, this also never happened. Estrela simply copied their track well before 1970, and named it "Super Pista", and it was injected in black. This occurred in 1966.
Don't forget the country was closed to the world, no importations; the country was living at the margin of the world. All this due to the Generals and the military revolution against "communism". What a joke! There was no "communism" at all.
Anyway, another factory that was an adept of the same procedures was ATMA, a company that was already manufacturing electric HO trains, in addition to a lot of other toys. Not willing to stay out of this promising market, they copied the Aurora Ford Mustang fastback and their Chaparral, only in 1/32. The result was OK, fairly good in fact, but they never reached the success Estrela had with its Autorama. Estrela also produced the "Derbirama", a copy of the Horse & Sulky" racing set, the same that was manufactured by GeGe in France. Many people in Brazil say with good reasons: "Here nothing is created, everything is copied."
There is no shame in saying that, with the exception of the A.C. Gilbert cars (poor performers, in fact), the only company that licensed Estrela and went bankrupt a little while after, all other models were some sort of copies of already existing slot cars (I have already sent a list of the aforementioned copies, see my previous posting in this forum).
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to make things a little clearer.
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Thank you for your offer Pace
please you must write a book on the Estrela and Atma!

Give your friend Pierre, my references
I will understand him because Strombecker is also my favorite brand and it is possible to he not know the Strombecker-Mont Blanc, the Strombecker-Hermanos Paya or some replicas / copies made of Autorama (not Brazilians of Estrela , but Mexicans of Industrias plásticas Jugarama SA ).

Foto of Strombecker France by Sr Willy/Esteve

Foto of popyslot of pasion slot. Strombecker-Hermanos Paya unit.

Foto of Luiz Valdetaro. Not Strombecker but mexican copy.

The historical context of the former slot of Brazil is very similar to my country (Spain) and the result there are many things in common. In the 60's imports were not totally banned but highly controlled by the protectionist laws of Franco (even more before the decade of the 60s with another things ).

This led to a parallel universe of slot in Spain. A surprising universe under alien eyes and even eyes of Spanish, who the vast majority still think, that there was only one brand of slot. In fact, the Spanish know our hobby with the name of Scalextric and only from the era of internet, the well known fans that´s slot called.

These strict customs laws cause any of this material copied, licensed or not other brands. It follows that many of you will seem like science fiction, but in Spain there existed no only one brand of old slot ... existed until 7 old slot branche ! . This material was not always original, some were copied with or without a license.

Some things were common while others are not. For example the so-called Great Depression of the slot in the 70's did not exactly global impact, countries like Brazil manufacturers, Spain and Germany had very good decade in the slot.

Germany, France, Italy haven a very powerful production and even today is unknown, but much less known are undoubtedly other small productions such as Mexico, New Zealand, Czechoslovakia, Argentina, Greece ...

Hong Kong in particular is in my opinion an extremely difficult case to investigate, since the same factory could be converted and made another totally different product, so as to set an example not real, could make watches, slot cars next year stuffed animals and the following year. Often their products are copied and can be confused.

In my opinion the beginning of slot especially in Japan, you can change the ideas we have today about the history of global slot. In particular I have seen things that I have left Sanwa very surprised, now I have no knowledge to classify them.
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Hi José,
Fantastic photos indeed. And fascinating story also. Never heard of these brands. But under Franco, I can understand it must have been quite similar to the situation here. Happy you like Strombecker too.
Best regards,
P.S. Osvaldo is posting this for me.
QUOTE Sorry, but Luiz Valdetaro is totally wrong on this, my information came from Mr. Mario Adler, the Estrela owner on that time and from Evaldo P. de Almeida,
The "Aurorama" division manager for about 30 years.
Jose, I am not sure if Luiz was right or wrong but as former manager or R&D for Cox Hobbies, I recall having seen some correspondence between Leroy Cox and the Estrela company that dated from 1966 at the time of a big clean-up of R&D artifacts in 1977. If Estrela did not have a license, why in the world would they correspond with the president of a company of which they were going to copy the product?

Also I have a copy of an Estrela catalog page from 1966 that shows the various products under their names...
# 95901 Chaparral ( Cox injected body)
# 95803 Ferrari 330P2 (Russkit vac body)
# 95801 Cooper F1 (Russkit vac body)
# 95802 Ford GT (Pactra vac body)
# 95804 Firebird (Gar-Vic vac body)
These are described in Portuguese as RTR models with metal chassis (that appears to be the same for all the models).

In the same page, one can see 3 HO cars, one of them the Aurora T-Jet Ford "J" car.

While the vac bodies could have been copied from original, the Chaparral shown is certainly a Cox product or one made in tooling from Cox, no doubt about that.
So I am pretty convinced that there was some kind of licensing going on... as far as what a former executive had to say, let me tell you that when I interviewed several former presidents of slot car companies (Bill Selzer of Cox and Jim Russell of Russkit as examples), they denied that they made certain products in their lines, that I had to physically retrieve from collections, and were dumbfounded when they saw those 'non existing" products in perfect condition inside their original boxes, so I would not pay too much credence to what they have to say other than generalities. One forgets lots when getting older...
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Wow now I can scratch this baby of my Rarity KIT list.

Looks to be in MIB condition too.

box is fine, even comes with all papers and parts still attached to spruce in their bags + decals. Perfect

Just wondering about such fine looking kits.. looks nearly brand spanking new. I'm fairly certain this is not a copied box but I did notice on the Electric Dreams site they sell re-printed boxes. One could easily feel a little uneasy buying a kit from a company that sells fake boxes.. yes ? as they could easily load parts into such a box & sell it off as original. Perhaps that doesn't effect overall value in the slot collecting domain.. I have no idea.... but one thing I do realize is I've gone slightly off topic regarding lists etc... sorry bout that, I like to simply ramble along sometimes.

Hhmm... After careful examination I have found a slight tear down one side of the blank packing box.. its nothing as the lower container box (not sure of the correct term) is simply a brown carton. you can see it to the right in one of the pix.

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Most of these Strombecker kits were never all that rare, but a large batch popped up a few years ago, making them even less rare... however, that source is finally drying up, so they may be rare again - until a bunch of us all try to sell them in 10 years and realize they're not rare, super-rare or even hyper-rare!

I also don't think Strombecker is considered desireable enough for anybody to bother printing new boxes: only Cox, Classic and Scalextric merit that honor, to be knowledge (and here I hope to be corrected by all you wise-guys).

QUOTE Just wondering about such fine looking kits.. looks nearly brand spanking new. I'm fairly certain this is not a copied box but I did notice on the Electric Dreams site they sell re-printed boxes.
you do not have to worry much about that. A few choice boxes were reproduced between 1994 and 1998, and none has been made ever since. These boxes were made to display rare models of RTR cars for collectors who did not have any hope of finding the real thing and all are clearly stamped inside with the Electric Dreams identification.
No "kit" boxes were ever made, no need of that.

Don is correct about the Strombecker kits: a large number of the unsold 1966 kits leftover at Vuillerme, the French distributor, were "rediscovered" in someone's warehouse about what, 4-5 years ago and were sold over the Internet ever since. There were some good picks in there, some selling as low as E40.00 in mint and boxed condition, in kit or RTR form, in both scales.
The prices have now gone back to what they were.
Beware because many of the kits offered by some sellers have mildew damage on the box bottoms...
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The kit I purchased is mint so I am happy to know I have a great looking kit that will only appreciate over time.. as long as I look after it that is.

This is my next issue... KIT PRESERVATION.

I'll do a search as I'm guessing kit preservation will have been flogged to death already.
hhmm lots of preservation tips already.. mostly pertaining to tyres though. My immediate environment here is probably a slot cars worst nightmare.. I live aboard a narrow boat on a Canal in London.
As a matter of fact, I don't think we've gone into that Mick, but you're right: you probably live in about the worst environment for slot car preservation! If you want to get into the subject, I suggest you start a new thread, since we're leaving rarity and entering the realm of climate-controlled, non-smoking, non-singing, non-dancing environments...

We have talked some about value appreciation, however, and opinions are about evenly divided between yes ("it's become a classic toy, so can only appreciate" and nay ("slot cars will die with the baby boomers").

I'm not taking any bets, but one can check with one's local bookie...

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