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Diecast Cars vs. Plastic Model Kits: Which Is Right For You?

The miniature replica vehicle world has long been a source of fascination for collectors and hobbyists. Diecast cars and plastic model kits are two popular choices for those looking to engage in this enjoyable pastime, each offering its unique allure that attracts enthusiasts with various interests and abilities.

According to recent statistics, the global diecast model market is expected to reach a value of $12.54 billion by 2025, while the plastic model kit market is projected to reach a value of $6.61 billion by 2023. These impressive figures illustrate the enduring popularity of these miniature replicas and the vast array of options available to collectors.

With so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming for those new to the hobby to decide which model is right for them. Through a comparison of diecast cars and plastic model kits, we hope to provide readers with the information and insights needed to make an informed decision on which type of model is the best fit for their interests and preferences.

Diecast Cars

Diecast cars, also known as metal models or diecast toys, are miniature replicas of vehicles typically made of metal or a metal alloy. They generally are intricately detailed and highly collectible, with many enthusiasts seeking out rare and limited-edition models. Diecast cars are available in a wide range of scales, from small to large, and can be found in various themes, such as classic cars, racing cars, and military vehicles.

One of the main advantages of diecast cars is their durability. Metal models are typically more robust and long-lasting than plastic models, making them a good choice for those who want a model that will stand the test of time. Diecast cars are also known for their high level of detail, with many models featuring opening doors, hoods, trunks, working suspension, and steering.

However, diecast cars also have some drawbacks. They are generally more expensive than plastic models and may not suit those on a tight budget. They can also be more difficult to find, as many diecast models are produced in limited quantities and may not be readily available at all times.

Popular brands of diecast cars include Hot Wheels, Matchbox, and Maisto, among others. These brands can be found at hobby stores, toy stores, and online retailers. Some collectors also look for rare and limited-edition models on auction sites or through private collectors.

Plastic Model Cars

Plastic model kits, also known as scale models or plastic models, are miniature replicas of vehicles made of plastic. These kits typically come unassembled, with the parts molded in separate sprues, and the modeler is required to cut them out, trim them, and glue them together. Plastic model kits are complex. Some are suitable for beginners, and others are more suited to advanced modelers.

One of the main advantages of plastic model kits is their cost. They are generally less expensive than diecast cars, making them a more affordable option for those on a budget. Plastic models are also widely available, with many hobby stores and online retailers carrying many brands and kits.

However, plastic model kits also have some drawbacks. They are typically less durable than diecast cars and may not hold up as well to wear and tear over time. They also require particular skill and patience to assemble and may not be suitable for those looking for a quick and easy project.

Popular brands of plastic model kit include Revell, AMT, and MPC kits, among others. These can be purchased at hobby stores, toy stores, and online retailers. In addition, collectors may seek out rare and limited-edition kits through auctions or private sellers.


When deciding between diecast cars and plastic model kits, there are several factors to consider, including cost, difficulty level, and detail level. By evaluating these characteristics, collectors can determine which model best fits their interests and preferences.

In terms of cost, diecast cars are generally more expensive than plastic model kits. This is partly due to the materials used to construct the models, with metal models costing more than plastic ones. However, prices vary widely depending on the model's brand, scale, and theme, and collectors should be prepared to spend more on rare or limited-edition models.

The difficulty level is another vital factor when choosing between diecast cars and plastic model kits. Diecast cars are a great way to test your skills. On the other hand, plastic model kits need more time and effort to put together and may be more challenging for beginners. The model's level of detail an