A Story of Minis

How does a full-grown man come to own thousands of toy motorcycles?

Just lucky I guess! But actually, any obsession (lunacy) never happens overnight. It is always gradual, over time, in small stages. So it was with my toy motorcycles. My first recollection of contact with toy motorcycles was the Auburn soft vinyl cop bike. I had one as a child, it was blue. Not my favorite toy, since it wouldn't roll and promptly fell over as soon as I let it fly across the floor. But I can probably blame my parents for planting the seed there and then. That toy has long since been lost, but boy, have I replaced it! During adolescence I built the occasional model kit. But it was at thirteen that the fire was lit for the real article. Sorichiro Honda began his assault on the American market with his "You meet the nicest people on a Honda" campaign. I turned 14 in 1966 and since that was the legal age for riding on the street in Oklahoma, I convinced my parents to let me buy a motorbike. (Why did they ever let me?) I would never let a 14 year old of my own on the streets alone. Maybe the fact that under 16 riders were limited to under 5 horsepower and the fact that I had saved $300. to pay cash for a brand new Honda S65 (4.9 hp). Once I put a wheel on the road, I never stopped. But the toys were to wait until much later. No kid is interested in toys when he can have the real thing!

Somewhere along the way, I noticed a small toy that was just like my 1983 Honda VR750F Interceptor. Of course I bought it. Then I saw they made several other street bikes, Kawasaki Gpz, Suzuki GS1000, Yamaha XS650. Those were cool too, so I bought those too. Not a collection yet, just a few toys to grace the shelf. Then, it started. That terrible peculiarity that all humans share. The "collecting bug". I began to think it would be nice to have a whole set of the bikes shown on the back of the packages, you know, "collect 'em all". That's when the search begins. Owning is not nearly as exciting as tracking down the next "find". Pretty soon, you're making special, out-of-the-way trips just to find more toys. The rest, as they say, is history.

left:Number One, Auburn's Cop

right:It started the bug, Zyll's Interceptor

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