February 2009 Michael was inducted into the "Diecast Hall Of Fame" as a Hot Wheels Historian and later that year Mattel Hot Wheels® honored Michael by reproducing his old Altered Roadster Race Car as part of their Nostalgic "Drag Strip Demons®" Series!
Michael was born April 21, 1958 in Utica, New York into a working class family. As with most young men of that era, he grew up with aspirations of getting married and working with his dad in their family Body Shop repairing cars. But, as we all know, things change. His parents divorced in 1974 and his dad moved to Florida. Michael stayed in Utica with his mom and attended local schools while working as an Auto Mechanic at "Nichols Department Store".
Though he was able to graduate high school after the 10th grade, he continued to attend with two classes his 11th year and one in his 12th year allowing him the opportunity to work full time since the 11th grade. "My classmates thought it was pretty weird that I would come to school every day wearing a blue work shirt that had "Mike" on it. They didn't understand that I worked 45 hours a week while I still attended High School. They were all playing sports and hanging out while I was turning wrenches and fixing their parent's cars.
He graduated from John F. Kennedy High School, Utica, New York in 1976.
Some of Michael's other accomplishments over the years include racing Moto Cross as a teenager to building and driving many show and drag cars as an adult. Some of those drag cars ended up being street racers for other people. Michael has many stories about those street racing days including the time that he got kidnapped at a street race. This story has made it all the way across the country to Hollywood where he was asked to write a screenplay about it for Actor/Producer Christopher Titus. He has also rewritten that script to be published as a novel titled "Once Upon A Street Race".
Michael has had a passion for Hot Wheels toy cars and their accessories since their release in 1968 and has collected them whenever he could find them. It's come to be, that Michael has spent so much time and effort on his collection that he has become one of the world's most respected authorities on Hot Wheels ® and their variations. So much so, that it prompted him to write a best selling Variation Guide called "The Ultimate Guide to Hot Wheels ® Variations", that was published by Krause in 2002 and went into it's second printing just a year after its released. That book is now out of print and sold out. Since then he has written 13 more books, was under contract with Toy Cars & Models Magazine for 6 years where he wrote a monthly Hot Wheels column and price guide, written numerous chapters in many other die cast books and countless articles for magazines such as "Die Cast X" and "The Car Room Magazine". He is currently Senior Contributing Editor at "Die Cast X Magazine" where he has had his Hot Wheels sections "The Hot Wheels Highway" and "The Hot Wheels Flashback" since 2011.
Michael also provides Hot Wheels Collection Appraisal services for Insurance Riders, Insurance Claims, Ebay Fraud Claims, US Postal Damage Claims and Court Cases including Estate and Divorce Settlements, including services to authenticate or disprove fraudulent Hot Wheels product including issuing Certificates of Authenticity when needed.
Michael makes his home in the small upstate New York town of Deerfield with his wife Tina, youngest son Cody and his wife Joanna along with his oldest son Christopher who is a Hot Wheels collector and Customizer himself.
Michael makes appearances at Schools, Conventions, Toy Shows and Hot Wheels Club functions across the United States and Canada. You never know where you'll find him. He has even made a few appearances in the movies.
Filmography:"Artie, the sleazy comic book publisher", In the Catch Your Breath Productions film "Detour".
Magazine Publications:2002 to 2008 - "Toy Cars & Models Magazine" (Hot Wheels Column and Price Guide)
Book Publications:2002 - "The Ultimate Guide to Hot Wheels Variations"