Arrrgh! I hate photographing black toys! Sometimes I think they're designed with the express purpose of collecting dust!! No really. I mean I take them outof the packaging, spritz a little Armor All on a rag, dust them all down and then blow on them to get any loose particles off and voila' - DUST descending from all corners of The Cave. You can see it traveling in waves; attracted to that nice, new, black-colored toy with the goal to blanket it in a coat of smutz. Needless to say I spend a fair amount of time Photoshopping-out dust flecks but even that's not a perfect solution - cuz I don't have the time to mess with it any more than I do. Also, diecast toys don't have perfectly smooth surfaces. Close examination of just about any diecast metal toy will reveal very tiny bumps, many of which will reflect the light in such a way as to make it look like dust flecks.
All that being said, it was still nice to pull out this early Lionel City offering from Corgi. In the mid-'90s Lionel was having a resurgence in popularity following on a wave of toy train popularity in general. Manufacturers like Corgi and Ertl were producing licensed vehicles under the 'Lionel City' moniker. It was at this time that I was pretty much out of HO scale trains and committed to 3-rail O-gauge. Having jumped on the tinplate/toy train band wagon I started buying up these little gems. And then...
...and then I stopped. By the end of the '90s I was pretty much hooked on Marx trains and Lionel sorta fell by the wayside. Not entirely though as I would still pick up the occassional set or piece of rolling stock, but mostly Marx was in, Lionel was out for me.
The past several months have been spent trying to make sense of the nonsense out in The Cave. Recent archaeological digs uncovered the box of diecast Lionel vehicles and boy was there a lot! First up is this gorgeous '57 Chevy decked out in Lionel City Police Department livery. The black & white color combination is just about as old as the invention of the automobile (okay that's just speculation, I honestly don't know when that scheme started). As a fatter-of-mact, Las Vegas Metro still tools around in black-&-white units. The car sports a huge siren flanked by two lights on the roof, has an opening hood and trunk, and measures 4 3/4" (12.06cm) L x 1 3/4" (4.44cm) W x 1 3/4" (4.44cm) H. Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina