Note: This feature was printed in the Jan. TT&C 2012 issue.
Ronald James holding his favorite truck, a John Deere transporter that he purchased at the National Toy Truck ’N Construction Show in Indianapolis in 2009.
James is particularly proud of the two mint-condition Yellow Freight trucks he purchased at Savers for $5.99.
James has several Corn Flakes. CBers used to call Consolidated Freight trucks Corn Flakes because of the letters CF written on the trailers.
Ron James holding his NASCAR Tabasco sauce model truck.
Precision Series POW truck and trailer from 2008 are from Tonkin Replicas.
More photos available in the Jan. TT&C 2012 magazine. Call (701) 883-5206 to purchase.
If John Rambo had collected model trucks, his collection might have been something like Ronald James’ collection. James, of Little Rock, Ark., is a retired Air Force Senior Master Sergeant and has collected an interesting hodgepodge of items just like he was gathering a movie special operations team for a dangerous mission, only James would surely state that none of his collection is “expendable.”
Hodgepodge may not be as accurate a term to describe James’ collection as hoarder. James appears to collect almost everything. “I collect cookbooks, especially Afro-American ones. I have an extensive Afro-American military library. I also have a large Masonic library. I’m a 33rd degree Mason, and I’m quite active in the Order.
“I also collect G.I. Joes, Budweiser holiday beer steins, golf clubs, teddy bears, police cars, Corvette models, ceramic eagles and farm toys, especially John Deere tractors. In fact, the first model I ever collected was a John Deere tractor. And I collect model big rig trucks.”
In all, James thinks he has about 300 toy trucks, both plastic and die-cast. “My toy farm tractors collection is larger. I believe I have about 600 of them, but they are scattered around, so I’m not sure of an exact count.”
James started collecting about 15 years ago, somewhere around 1995 or so. “I’m a former police officer, and, among other things, I drove a Freightliner in the Air Force. Prior to retiring, I began to notice toy shows and other collections. After getting my first collectible, the hobby appealed to me, so I started getting more items.”
James’ knowledge of the trucking industry shows, as he enthusiastically shows trucks in his collection. “I have several Corn Flakes,” he stated as he shows several Consolidated Freight models. “The trailers all have CF written on them, CBers used to call them Corn Flakes.”
While some of his trucks are common, James also likes to search for rare or uncommon models. “I like my NASCAR truck, advertising Tabasco sauce since Tabasco is no longer a sponsor for NASCAR. I also like my Walmart pink breast cancer truck. It is a die-cast 1/53 scale Tonkin Replica model, and it’s hard to find since not many were made. I also have a Precision Series Tonkin Replica POW truck that was manufactured in 2008. I not only like this model, but I respect and care about what it represents.”
James has truck models of every size and scale in his collection, but his collection’s focus is 1/64 and 1/53 scale. “I like large scale models since they appear almost real and have lots of detail.
“My favorite truck is my John Deere car hauler. I purchased this truck at the National Toy Truck ’N Construction Show in Indianapolis in 2009. I paid $50 for it, and today it is valued at around $400. I believe this truck is 1/50 scale.”
James has several trucks manufactured by Die-Cast Promotions, featuring Fikes advertising. “Fikes is a truck company located here in Arkansas, so I really like collecting these trucks. I have the first one that Die-Cast [Promotions] ever produced, a Freightliner with a flatbed trailer. Fike’s logo and trademark is on the cab, and Razorbacks are depicted on the trailer’s load.” This Razorback Fikes Freightliner was released in 2002 and is currently sold for around $100.
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