For Kevin Barry, fixing things comes naturally.
In his work hours, Kevin works as a diesel mechanic in a fleet workshop, fixing vehicles and getting them back on the road.
In his leisure time he still fixes cars, but of the Matchbox variety.
Swapping out the large tools for a small grinder and a paint sprayer, Kevin spends hours returning the collectible toy cars to their former glory.
He has always liked Matchbox cars, he says.
"Ever since I was a little tacker, I had about 20 of them. I didn't collect them, I played with them. Between being run over accidentally by a lawn mower and stood on, they ended up in a bad way."
Matchbox is a popular toy brand, first introduced by Lesney Products in 1953 and now owned by Mattel. The brand was given its name because the original die-cast Matchbox toys were sold in boxes similar to those in which matches were sold.
While Kevin, who lives in Eltham, has always liked the toy cars, it is only over the past year he has started restoring them.
"I was in Sanson and I went to a secondhand market. I had a walk around and I saw these broken Matchbox cars. I thought to myself 'I could fix those'.
"When I came back home, I went straight to the shed and had a look at what I could do. I also looked up some clips on YouTube on how to restore the parts."
His creations aren't just limited to Matchbox cars, he has also made a life-sized model of a fireman.
"I'm senior station officer for the Eltham Volunteer Fire Brigade. We were decorating the hall for a double gold star presentation and we wanted to do something different. I volunteered to make the model to be placed on a ladder. I then turned it into a CPR dummy so it had another purpose."
Kevin's wife Wendy says she thinks it's 'awesome' that Kevin is restoring the cars.
"It's a great hobby to have. My brother Graeme owned a large collections of Matchbox cars back in the 70s. We had a family friend at the time who also collected them. They were very popular."
Kevin says he is giving the toys a second chance at life.
"They were quite popular back in the 70s. The toys were well made at the time. I'm wanting to restore them back to their original condition."
He says he has gone 'full circle'.
"When I was younger, I used to wreck them from over use. I'm now working to restore them, it's quite funny how things go. I wish I looked after the ones I had when I was younger."
Kevin says he is always looking at garage sales and secondhand shops for the toys.
Kevin's daughter Rebecca has recently started up a Facebook group, called Phoenix Matchbox Toy Restoration.
"The name of the group symbolises the Matchbox cars being given a second life. Much like a Phoenix, they're rising from the ashes and a reborn."
Kevin says through the group he has had people reach out from both Taranaki and other parts of the North Island, asking him to restore their toys.
"I've had someone from Wellington contact me. It's quite amazing the attention it's getting. Without my daughter, I don't think this would have gained any traction."
Kevin says he is happy to restore Matchbox toys for people.
"I'll always give it a go."
He says patience is needed for the process.
"It can take an hour to fully restore the toy but getting the right part can take a month to six weeks. It's all about patience."
To start the process, Kevin pulls a part Matchbox toy and places the pieces in a tray so he doesn't lose them.
"I grind off the rivet head which holds the wheel on. Once that's done, I assess the body and look for what needs to be done. I use a paint stripper and water to strip the paint."
Kevin then orders the parts he needs.
"While I wait for the parts, I paint the body. Once the parts arrive, I put it all back together."
Sometimes, if the part isn't available Kevin makes his own.
"There's a lot of filing involved and I often make two or three to get it right."
Once the toys are restored, Kevin sells them on Trade Me.
"It would be a shame to throw the toys out so I fix them up and sell. They always get quite a lot of interest."
■ For more information, visit the Phoenix Matchbox Toy Restoration Facebook group.