Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Corny" NASCAR Collectibles

In the world of diecast collectibles, I doubt any one category is as big as NASCAR. From very inexpensive off-brand 1/64 scale (Hot Wheels size) to the very detailed (and often very pricey) 1/24 scale models, if it has ever made a left turn at a NASCAR race, it has probably been issued in diecast. 

Typically, collectors will pick a theme and follow a racing series, a driver, or a team. In my case, I tend to follow sponsors for their flashy and stylish graphics. I personally like the Kellogg's cars. The Kellogg's iconography fits well with my general fondness for pop culture and advertising memorabilia. I also like that a good selection of cars are offered as cereal premiums rather than strictly as collectibles. To me, digging into a box of Cheerios to find a #43 Richard Petty car is way cooler than just picking it off a peg or ordering it online. Additionally, these cereal premiums are still relatively inexpensive. Check around the high shelves in flea markets or in the plastic bags in the bins. Treasures abound.  

However, you like to collect, NASCAR diecast has something to suit your taste and budget. 

I found this six car set that was originally a mail-in premium in 1996 for $5.00 on the shelf of a little flea market in Independence, Kansas. I like it because it includes a car you don't see very often. In 1990, the #97 car, driven by Chuck Brown, was the first NASCAR racer to carry the Kellogg's colors. At the other end of the spectrum, is the 1996 "Iron Man" car specially built to celebrate Terry Labonte's 500+ consecutive starts. It's toys! It's advertising! It's history! That is a nerd triple-play.

1996 Mail-In Kellogg's NASCAR Diecast Set (c) Terri Lynn Coop
Now, these cars I dug out of the Cheerios and Wheaties with my own sticky hands, just like going after the cereal box toy when I was a kid. Man, we at a lot of cereal at my house while the car promo was going on . . . .

2008 Kellogg's Cereal Box Premium

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Horny Mike Horned Helmet Accessories

When I was visiting Count's Kustoms in Las Vegas this August, I was out in the parking lot getting spare disks for my camera so I could keep snapping away until they threw me out. Off to one side, I saw a flash of movement and color as the biggest damn spiked helmet I had ever seen flew by. 

I asked at the office and was told (with a laugh) that I must have seen Horny Mike. I grabbed a business card and did some research. Michael "Horny Mike" Henry is a customizer and airbrush artist for the Count's hot rod and motorcycle shop. As seen by the helmet below, it is obvious that he is also an imaginative and skilled artist.
Horny Mike Custom Helmet (c) Terri L. Coop
Parked in the Count's swag shop is the incredible, stunning, splendiferously radical horned bike built by Mike. Check out the vid, because stills just don't cut it.

I christened this the "Demon Bike" when I saw it in the swag shop at
Count's Kustoms in Vegas. Created by Horny Mike. (c) Terri L. Coop 

Horny Mike has created adhesive helmet horns for the do-it-yourself customizer. To learn more about them and hope of some of the cool rubs off on you, visit his site at You can also keep up with The Count, Horny Mike and the rest of the crew on History Channel's "Counting Cars"