Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Food Trucks

Before they became trendy, food trucks were often referred to by the unflattering nickname of "roach coach".

Chef, 2014

I used to think the name was unique to Hawai‘i, since that was where I first heard the term, but apparently it had been used on the mainland since the 1960s.

The Manapua Man

Wikipedia claims that food trucks originated from chuckwagons, but I prefer to think that they evolved from the food cart, as does this post from Cheapism.

Both Hot Wheels and Matchbox make models of food trucks, though none are truly 1/72 scale.

Hot Wheels produced food trucks in various liveries, based on their Good Humor Truck.

I don't have a model with the Good Humor tampos, but i do have a generic ice cream truck with scary clown tampos, and what I presume to be a Rasta bowl truck.

Around 2014, it seems that the base and interior were retooled, resulting in the ice cream man turning into something closer to an ice cream ghoul.

Quick Bite, 2017

Finally in 2018, the metal body was replaced with an all plastic body.

The Hot Wheels models are all similar in dimensions to the Combat Medic, which is to say they're very wide.

The Matchbox vehicles I have are the Ice Cream Van, and Chow Mobile.

The Ice Cream Van looks like an old style Bedford van, while the Chow Moblie is similar to a coffee/canteen truck, except without the quilted stainless steel body. Both models are all plastic.

A comparison of the metal and plastic Hot Wheels models with the two Matchbox models reveals they are all similar in size. The Chow Wagon might pass for 1/72 scale, but the Ice Cream Van is definitely overscale.

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Toys Cabin Parking Lot Collection

Toys Cabin (トイズキャビン) is a manufacturer of gashapon toys of various type, among which are 1/64 cars and related diorama items.

While their cars aren't of any interest to me, I did want to get some of the diorama items to see how they look with 1/72 scale miniatures. Their most recent set is the 1/64 Parking Lot Collection Ver. 1.5 (駐車場コレクション Ver.1.5).

The original set released in 2021 used different colors for some pieces, and had different stickers for signage.

The sets come randomly in gashapon capsules, and I was able to get all four variants. I don't think that each colored capsule corresponds to a particular set, but I could be wrong since I only had a sample size of four.

The first thing I noticed upon opening the capsules was that some of the pieces were bent from being stuffed inside the capsules.

Set A consists of road pieces, a wall, signs with stickers, and a payment machine with cover.

Some of the pieces were bent, and I did my best to straighten them out by heating them with a hair dryer.

Set B includes parking space pieces, a wall, parking blocks, flap locks, a vending machine with stickers, and a recycle bin.

Set C includes parking space pieces, a wall, a ticketing machine, and a parking gate which needed to have the arm straightened out.

Set D includes parking space pieces, a wall, parking blocks, flap locks, and some traffic cones along with a couple of traffic cone bars.

I think that the sets are actually pretty compatible with 1/72 scale figures. The sign post didn't fit in the base, so I drilled it out, but ended up making the hole to big, so now it's all wobbly.

Stickers are included indicating either a full lot or with vacancy, and I chose the later.

The parking spaces are probably unrealistically wide for 1/72 cars, and cars with low ground clearance might not fit very well over the flap lock (thus the painful way the Ferrari is parked).

The ticketing machine doesn't come with its own base, so the one from the payment machine needs to be used for it.

Eight sets are needed to create the lot shown in the promotional art, but I've seen Japanese parking lots with just one or two spaces.

If anyone is interested, a good overview of how hourly parking works in Japan can be found from RISE Corp.