Updated: May 11
Have you ever wanted to wow the neighbors with your gallery of rare, collectible, classic cars, but found yourself tragically limited by your garage space? Try downsizing! Collecting diecast models of your favorite cars offers all of the thrill of hunting and holding a gorgeous vehicle—with a fraction of the overhead. If you’re ready to start collecting but aren’t sure where to start, this guide is for you. Die-cast cars, sometimes called diecast cars, are miniature, scaled versions of real vehicles. Diecast model cars, diecast model motorcycles, diecast model aircraft and even miniature garbage trucks all offer a pocket-sized opportunity to own a beautifully crafted piece of history. Plastic car models, aluminum diecast models, and more can add sparkle to your shelves and make for a fascinating hobby! Where to Buy When it comes to collectible toys, the thrill of the hunt is often half of the hobby! Nothing feels quite like uncovering a rare edition—or even a die-cast model of your dream hotrod. There are several different sources for uncovering these gems, and there is no right or wrong way to go about hunting your next favorite find. Online manufacturers, such as Collectible Diecast and J. Thomas Collectibles are a great starting point for those unsure where to begin collecting diecast cars. These are a reputable and safe bet for making a purchase, and have the added security of knowing exactly what you’re getting. For more specific models or a rare, out-of-manufacture item, online resellers may be a better bet. Online marketplaces like Ebay and Etsy both offer a wide selection of diecast model cars, diecast airplanes, and more from various individual sellers. While these marketplaces offer incomparable range, be sure to check the sellers’ reviews before purchasing to be sure they have a strong track record of selling high-quality diecast models and safe packaging practices. If you’re interested in a truly thrilling hunt, you can take to local charity shops, bargain resellers, thrift shops, flea markets and more! These locations are no doubt harder to sift through—many resale diecast vehicles may be out of box, missing certificates, or in need of repair—but to a careful eye, there are gems to be uncovered at a fantastic price. Tips On Starting Your Collection You already know you want to start a collection, and who wouldn’t? But there are some additional factors to consider when collecting diecast models.
Diecast toy cars come in a variety of sizes, ranging from 1:4 scale to 1:72. With diecast models, the smaller the ratio, the smaller the car. Smaller scale cars may be more desirable if you’re hoping to display a variety of vehicles in a tight space. 1:72 diecast models are also useful to consider if you enjoy collecting large vehicles, such as diecast trucks or diecast model aircraft. Despite being less space-economical, however, large diecast model cars often have more intricate detailing. As well as size, you should consider which manufacturers you would like to purchase cars from. Brand name can mean a lot when it comes to value for diecast car collections, so be sure to purchase only miniature from reputable manufacturers if this is a priority for you. Additionally, keep track of your packaging and proof of purchase to ensure that your diecast toy car collection retains its resale value. Why Diecast Cars Are Expensive If you’re new the hobby, you may find yourself asking: Why are diecast cars so expensive? While they’re much less expensive than a garage full of the real deal, diecast model cars are made from carbon fiber are rare earth metals such as gold, silver, and titanium. In addition to these pricey materials, careful craftsmanship is needed to shape these delicate pieces at such a petite scale. For rare diecast model cars, price points can be even higher. Considering the exclusivity of certain models by desirable manufacturers, it isn’t uncommon for toy diecast models to significantly appreciate in value over time. For a more affordable starting point, consider trying a plastic model kit. Plastic model car kits offer all of the beauty of collectible diecast cars, with the benefit of a lower price tag. With these kits, you’ll handle the assembly and much of the delicate work yourself, keeping prices low and delivering an enjoyable experience. Conclusion Collecting diecast models can be a thrilling and fulfilling hobby for any automotive enthusiast. The most important thing to keep in mind? Collect what you like. From there, you can do research and expand your collection to better suit your specific tastes. Be warned: This hobby can get addictive! While you may not have the garage space for a dozen real cars, you can surely find room for a few dozen diecast models. Or a few hundred-dozen. We aren’t judging! Visit J. Thomas Collectibles see our collection for some great ideas to begin.