sexta-feira, 30 de julho de 2010

Interview: Gary "DU" Ritchie

Gary is a great guy.

He got this great humor that we can find on aussie people, and he's crazy about cars. And he began to BBQ some rare cars, like the Hot Wheels T-Hunts. Yes, you heard right: B-B-Q.

Gary shocked the collectin' world doing this, but he can explain for all of us why he did that crazy thing!


When and why you had that crazy idea to make those BBQs of your cars? Is there any "social motivation" to toast rare models such T-Hunts? Which model is better to make a good BBQ?
As I collect for personal pleasure and not monetary gain, I got tired of the rantings of fanatic collectors who got upset when I dared to open the cars and remove them from their packaging in the days when they were very collectable. In protest I decided to BBQ a Hot Wheels T Hunt Car, which I knew would shock them even more, but only to show them at the end of the day, we are talking about a $2.00 (.99 cent USA) car and they really need to get a life! Amusingly enough my BBQ T Hunts now have become collectable in their own right, but are ONLY ever given away as RAOK's.

As for which model is better.. all Hunts BBQ the same..... the all diecast ones just take a bit longer to get the desired effect!... The wheels on the $uper Hunts burn very well.... and I have BBQ'd a few $uper Hunts during my time.... When I first started BBQing these little treasures, I just used to burn them, but now I burn them in a special way to get certain effects and then when they cool, I polish them to try and get some of the tampo's to stand out.

How you australian collectors felt about Mattel doing an aussie car (the Ford Falcon)? We here in Brazil had the same homage with the VW SP2.
I think everyone here in Australia and New Zealand had been waiting in anticipation for a long time for an Australian Model to be made.

I think most are very happy with the choice Mattel has made, as with this model, the customisers can go to town making the Mad Max Car. This XB Falcon is very hard to find hanging on the pegs here in Australia, as everyone who sees them, buys all that they can see.

I personally have over 100 of them now. But these are to be customised to be the Convention car for next years D.U.D.E. Convention in Melbourne.

When you started collecting, and why? How many cars you have today?
I have been collecting for many many years now...... Why...? because not being able to afford the real thing these cheap little replicas were the next best thing, and at that time there were a lot of Hot Rods that I really liked, I first started building plastic kitset cars and then proceeded onto diecast cars. As for how many I have...? I gave up counting when I got to 12,000.

Do you collect carded or loose? How do you keep your collection? Do you have a theme?
I collect both loose and carded, all will eventually be opened and displayed in glass cabinets in my HW's room. The only ones I will keep carded will be the ones I had autographed like my Larry Woods Convention cars etc. All Hunts and $uper hunts will be opened also....

At the moment I have quite a few opened and on display ie: all my Maisto, D Rods, BTM etc etc... I also have a huge cabinet to house my Major Theme.. 49-51 Mercury's..... I love this casting and I now have over 400 different Purple Passions/Mercury's of all makes and sizes on display. I also have a large collection of Hot Wheels Accessories... which I enjoy collecting because they are different.

Is it easy to collect in Down Under? Do you guys receive every collections of Mattel and others brands?
Well this is a hard question to answer because I can only speak for my area. I am very lucky where I live as I have quite a few shopping centres very close to me, so I don't have to travel far to buy cars. But somedays I will travel all over Perth and get very lucky. I like to post pictures of all my finds to let people know where all the new cars are being found etc, but a lot of people get very jealous when I show my finds... they tell me off for buying all that I do....LOL I think that is very funny, the cars are on the pegs for anyone to buy and they can buy as many as they like....... I feel sorry for them when they post things like that.

Special Mattel; Target Cars, Walmart Cars.. K Days.... No we don't get these at all.. Mainly just the mainlines and just now we are starting to get Larry's Garage Cars, New Classics, DSD's, Deliveries and a few others, but they are still very expensive compared to the US prices. The only way we get most special release cars, is by trading overseas.
Only in the last year or so, we have started getting a lot of other brand releases here like Maisto AllStar cars, New Johnny Lightning, Siku, New Jada, Greenlight, Muscle Machines etc etc

Australian collectors have some clubs and meetings? Is Mattel doing a convention in the future there?
There are a few clubs around Australia and most have meetings every month or so. We are not as serious in that respect as they are in the USA etc.

I have heard a little rumour that there may be an Official Hot Wheels Convention in Australia in the not too distant future just like the one you are having in Brazil soon but don't quote me on that yet!

You're famous for doing a lot of RAOKs, including sending toasted T-Hunts over the world for other collectors. Do you think that friendship is above collecting? This hobby gaves you more friends?
Again another hard question to answer, I can only speak for myself. I think maybe 50/50.. I have made a lot of friends over the years and their friendship has enabled me to increase my collection more than I could have without them. But having said that, I was collecting these little cars a long time before I got on the internet and made friends with like minded people. This reminds me of the age old question: Who came first ? the chicken or the egg?

Any chance of you coming to Brazilian or Japanese convention this year?
Sorry Cant make it this year.. I am currently saving hard to go to the USA in Oct 2011 to attend the LA Convention again. I was lucky enought to attend one of these in 2003. So looking forward to catching up with old friends and people I trade and talk to on the net, but have never met in person.

Was there a better time to collect than now? Has the internet changed your way to collect and to interact with people with the same interest as you?
Yes, there was a better time to collect, way back when there were no whiners and whingers that cried about one finding a huge lot of Hunts etc etc etc. In those days it was enjoyable to collect and show off pics of all your finds etc, but try that now and you get flamed for buying all those cars and you get told in no uncertain terms.. why didn't you leave some for them to find........Hello!!! don't you realise that I live in another country....LOL Check the Message boards at some sites, and you will notice that a lot of the early members there don't post anymore, which is very sad.

Yes the internet has changed my way of collecting and interacting with others...... In simple terms... my collection would not be where it is today without the help of the internet and people with the same wacky interest as me.

Do you have any advice for who's starting collecting right now?
Yes... Collect for the "FUN" of it and not for monetary Gain. Don't think that by collecting rare and special cars that you will be able to retire by selling them for a profit in the Future...LOL.

Collect what you like, and as many as you like, but most of all Have Fun in doing so.

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