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In addtion to creating comics and advertising concepts, Ron Ruelle alwo writes blog articles and Facebook posts for hobbyDB.com, a website about toys, collectibles and antiques. Here are some articles from the past year. (Caveat: there is a lot of specialized terminology and dialect that might be aimed at people who are enthusiasts of these particular topics, so don't worry if you don't understand some of it. Also, the client requires these articles to contain lots of links to their main site, so try not to get too distracted by all the blue text. And yes, I write about Buicks a lot.) Enjoy!

Be Thankful for Slot Cars This Week!

slot car track
We don't take slot car course design lightly in our house.

There are no finer traditions for Thanksgiving than turkey with stuffing, binge watching football on TV all day, and trying to avoid politics around the dinner table. In our family, there’s one more important ritual: Setting up the slot car track in the basement. Read more!

Thirteen Awesome Hot Wheels Cars Based On Not-So-Great Real Cars

hot wheels poison pinto
A real Ford Pinto, not yet detonated, and the Hot Wheels Poison Pinto

For almost half a century, Hot Wheels vehicles have fueled the imagination of kids with their cool, innovative, wild toy car designs. While many of them are pure fantasy creations, a lot are based on real cars. And in a few cases, they are based on regrettable, forgettable, even horrible cars... Read more!

Electable Collectibles: Political Memorabilia Gets Our Vote

Sprio Agnew watch
Wendell Willkie powder puff compact and Spiro Agnew watch.

Over the course of U.S. history, presidential elections have resulted in a side industry that has created buttons, hats, posters, signs, bobbleheads, stickers… if it can promote a candidate, someone will make it. Some of them were created as giveaways, some as fundraisers, some as third party cash-ins. But however they came to be, election-related items can be an interesting batch... Read more!

Thirteen Video Games Based on Blatant Product Placement

video game atari 2600 kool aid man
Oh yeaaaaaaaah! Who didn't want to pretend to be the Kool-Aid Man?

Product placement in video games has become an annoying intrusion (except for driving games, in which case branded realism is more than welcome). But over the years, several companies have developed promotional video games starring their actual products, logos, and spokescharacters in acts of commercialism so blatant it’s almost cute... Read more!

Ten Hot Wheels Models So Cool They Inspired Real, Full-Sized Cars

hot wheels twin mill redline real full size
If you say you wouldn't want to drive a real Twin Mill, you're a liar.

On several occasions, Hot Wheels has produced models that were so over-the-top awesome that they inspired someone to make a real-sized running version of that car. Let’s clarify that a bit… We’re talking about miniature vehicles made by Hot Wheels (which may have been inspired by an actual running production car or even a scale model kit from another company) that served as the template for someone to create a functioning full-size car based on that crazy model. Got all that? Good... Read more!

Everyone needs to own this casting! (At least I think so!)

hot wheels riviera
These Hot Wheels Rivieras are looking for a good home. Won't you help?

I had a conundrum at the grocery store the other day... Looking at a freshly unboxed display of Hot Wheels, I was overwhelmed by how many '71 Buick Rivieras were there. As you may have ascertained from earlier posts, this is my favorite casting, mostly because I own a real example of this car. In some instances, I would have scooped them all up to give them a good home, but in this case, I already have several of this particular variant... Read more!

To Open or Not to Open? That is the Question

hot wheels el dorado
Run free, little El Dorado, run free!

What you see in this photo is either a crime against collecting or a strike in favor of treating toys like, well, toys. This 1968 Hot Wheels Custom El Dorado was recently "liberated" from its original blister. Finding one of these cars in good condition is fairly rare; finding one in the package is the holy grail. Part of the reason that vintage Hot Wheels are so valuable today is that in to kids in that era (myself included), “collect them all” meant to obtain one of each, open them up, and play with them... Read more!

What happens when you die?
Among the great mysteries of life: “Who really built the pyramids?” "What happens when you die?” and “Do I have that 1/18 scale 1970 Chevelle SS model in orange, and if so, does it have black stripes or white, and, where did I store it and what did I pay for it?” My father-in-law collected die cast models. A LOT of them. He amassed thousands of Dinky, Corgi, Solido, and other cars, mostly 1/43 scale. And almost all of them were still in their packaging. Since there wasn’t room to display them all, most were in storage and got shuffled around over the years... Read more!

"Borrowed" Details Can Lead to Interesting Errors

Husky Buick Electra
This yellow slot car has a strange, incorrect detail copied from the copper coupe above.

Most diecast collectors would be upset to discover that a model car they just bought was an unauthorized knock-off of an original item. But in many cases, these copies are well documented and downright collectible on their own. And in rare instances, the alternate versions might even be worth more than the official models... Read more!


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Ron Ruelle, Cartoonist, Illustrator, Ad Guy, Graphic Novelist, Pen for Hire. HeyDarwin@comcast.net Or snail mail to Ron Ruelle, PO Box 19492, Boulder, CO 80308-9492. All contents (C) 1986-2017 Ron Ruelle and/or their respective copyright holders. So don't go printing this stuff on t-shirts and selling it at the county fair! This website designed, developed and maintained by Ron Ruelle.