My name is Mike Colasurdo aka MikeCola99, I have been collecting for over 40 years.
It all started in Youngstown, Ohio in 1965, my dad would take me to a local toy store after church, if I was good of course, I got to pick out a Match Box car. Soon after in 1966 our family moved to Southern California where I now live with my wife Susan and my son Michael and daughter Brittney. The real collecting started Christmas 1967. That year I got introduced to Hot Wheels via the Sear's Christmas catalog. I got the 48 Car collector case and a few cars and track set. That started me down the road of Hot Wheel Redlines, Heavy Weights and Rumblers.
I was the type of kid that collected to display my cars as well as having the cars I played with on that famous orange track. To this day, I still have that case and all of my original Redlines, Heavy Weights, Rumblers and Sizzlers. That collecting lasted many years till I was about 12 years old. That's when my interest moved to full scale 1:1 cars due to my older brother. My brother passed on his passion for cars to me. He bought a 65 GTO (389 w/3 2 Barrels & Hurst 4 Speed) from our cousin for $500. My brother passed on his beat-up 65 Chevelle to me and I was introduced to my first addiction, "the need for speed". That led to my 1:64 collecting taking a back seat to 1:1 scale cars, super bikes and dirt bikes.
After I got married in 1985, I went through a 12 step program to get me away from that need for speed. Well it didn't work; I got back into die cast which became my new addiction. Less horse power and more cars - the smaller versions. Unfortunately, there is no 12 step program that works for Hot Wheels; I heard they may be putting warning labels on the packaging of all Hot Wheels. Well I made up for lost time and stated collecting and doing small local diecast shows to help my for the collecting (or addiction depending on your view).
For those of you guys & gals in the mid west and on the east coast are lucky, you have basements. No such thing in California, we have earthquakes so no underground rooms. Other than converting your garage, it is much harder to have big display rooms. But I am married to a truly wonderful women, who let me build a 500 sq ft guest house behind our home and it has become my mini museum and more recently my on-line TTP business. I have been going to the Mattel outlet store by me since the mid-90's and have some good contacts. I was able to buy some beautiful display cases that Mattel had made for some of their bigger retail hobby stores. I was lucky to get my hands on 3 of them along with several plexi-glass cases I have about 25% of my collection on display. I have a good amount, a couple thousand loose cars. I think they look so much better out of the package. I have many favorite categories & brands. Besides Hot Wheels, I love M2's attention to detail on their 50's and 60's cars. I also have many hundred Muscle Machines and Green Lights which have some wonderful castings. Then there is Jada's line-up of D-Rods, Rat Rods and VDubs and muscle cars some great looking castings. I also enjoy meeting folks in the hobby so I have a small shop where I sell on Sundays. I am part of Jimmy's USA which is a collectables mall, similar to an antique mall. I have also found doing business on the Toy Peddler has been considerable fun. I have gotten to know some of the nicest collectors; everyone seems to be so friendly. It is my hope someday to meet some of the collectors at one of the HW Conventions or Die Cast shows.
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