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How do I start collecting diecast models

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Four wheeled collectibles that appreciate in vlaue for kids of all ages

Four wheeled collectibles that appreciate in vlaue for kids of all ages

There’s no two ways about it, boys love cars; okay, and so do some girls. But we all can’t be Jay Leno and convert a warehouse into a garage, then fill it with rare and unique vehicles to rival the Petersen Automotive Museum. If you’re new to the hobby, you may be wondering, how do I start collecting diecast models? Before dipping into your wallet, take some time to consider the purpose behind your purchase.    

Play or Admire – If you’re buying diecast cars for a child to play with, then there’s really not much to consider outside what tickles your kid’s fancy. There’s loads of neat vehicles to collect, including cars from movies, comic books and even historical replicas. But if you’re an aficionado looking to start a collection that appreciates in value over time, then the makeup of your collection will have a completely different set of requirements.      

Open Sesame – Probably the most vital decision you’ll have to make, is whether to crack open the product packaging or leave it sealed. This is kind of a tough one, because the urge to rip open the packaging and get your mitts all over that shiny new diecast car will be strong. But conventional thinking dictates that if you intend to create a collection that increases in value over time, then you’d do good to admire that new collectible from afar and leave the packaging intact.

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Limited Editions – This should be your next consideration. Often times, new diecast arrivals will be released in a numbered edition, and hardcore collectors will gobble them all up fairly quickly. So if you see something that catches your eye, don’t spend too much time mulling it over, because you may well miss out and will have to pay a premium to get it elsewhere.


Buy Multiples – When deciding how to start collecting diecast models, a good tactic can be to buy multiple units of the same limited edition. No one knows for sure which collectibles will be the most valuable years from now, but you can certainly hedge your bets if you buy a numbered copy of a popular super hero’s car, or a rare historical piece. Once the original stock has been depleted, you can immediately sell off your duplicates for a profit. You can also keep one model sealed to retain its value and open the other to admire and enjoy.   

Size Matters – 1:64 scale cars are the most popular and are typically what children play with, however, this size isn’t ideal for collectors because the details aren’t great at a size this small. They cost more, but serious collectors should consider 1:8 and 1:43 scale models because their larger format affords more details and realism, which in turn, makes the model’s resale value greater in the long run.   

Brand – The most well-known brand of diecast car is probably Hot Wheels; most every little boy has had at least one in their lifetime, but it isn’t exactly the go-to brand for discerning aficionados. Serious collectors should consider Minichamp, IXO or Spark. They can be pricey, but these manufacturers produce stunning models rich with accurate details that justify the price tag. 

Join a Community – Online trading has become such a boon that joining a discussion board can be a great way to locate a rare gem. It also never hurts to associate yourself with like-minded people who are more knowledgeable than you. If you’re good at haggling, you may be able to barter or trade some of your stock with another collector. Brick and mortar stores specializing in diecast cars are another good source, but are few and far between. However, a few good ones still exist, like Diecast Direct in Frankfort Kentucky. But fret not if you don’t live in the area, because they ship direct. 

Storage – With the big questions about how to start collecting diecast models out of the way, consider how to best store and display all your new four wheeled treasures. A wood case with glass doors is great for keeping your models safe, yet still accessible, and it will help reduce your feather dusting time. It also keeps your treasured collectibles in plain view where they can be admired. Most modern collectibles come in stunning packaging, so there’s no harm in keeping your model’s packaging intact and just making it part of your display. 

Collecting diecast models can be fun and rewarding, and with a little care and planning, the hobby can be profitable too.    

eBay: Tips for Collecting Diecast Cars


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