Is it True That Die Cast Model Cars Are Valuable Collectors Items?

Is it True That Die Cast Model Cars Are Valuable Collectors Items?

Astin Devon - Dinky Die Cast Car
Erik Baas from nl [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Model cars are valuable collectors items – at least to those who find them so. Some people just love them for their own sake, and so they value them, but others may need a certain, limited edition car no longer being made. Such a person may well pay you a premium for the car you just happen to own.

This is what collecting is all about. An item is made in a limited edition, so many being produced and then no more, ever again. If the item remains in demand after the edition is sold out, the value of each individual example rises. So to make money with a collectible, you must find a buyer. Remember the craze for Beanie Babies? People paid high prices for them at one time, but the fad burned out, and now the buyers are mostly thrift shop bargain hunters.

Speed of the Wind Dinky Car
By Andy Dingley (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Model cars have not suffered the same fate. Dinky toys made in the 1930s are still found in attics and old toy boxes, and will not be thrown into a two for a dollar bin. Moreover, editions being released today still sell out. This is good news for those who collect model cars, which are ‘scale’ models or exact representations of original cars on a miniature scale, for investments.

Is it wise to collect diecast metal cars? You will either understand the impulse or you won’t. Some people collect, while others call it clutter. But it is fun, it is affordable (which collecting fine art may not be), and many people have a personal connection to cars – fine pieces of machinery that go very, very fast.

Citroën Model C Dinky Car
By Wouterhagens (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Die casting is a manufacturing process that allows for exact proportions and delicate detailing, all of which are important to car fanciers, whether the cars are three inches long or actual Detroit models. When molten metal is forced in to a closed mold, with the high pressure used to fill the mold being sustained until the metal is firmly solidified, precision is maintained in every detail. Die casting can be used for plastic as well, but the collectibles seem to be all die cast metal. One day the plastic cars may attain collectible status as well, especially if fossil fuels go the way of the dinosaurs. Anything is possible. Who would have thought that old cigar boxes would be collectibles? Or fountain pens?

Dinky cars were all one piece, but now model cars have doors that open, real windows, trunks with storage space, and hoods that come up to reveal a Hemi inside. People may collect the cars they used to drive over the years, or the ones they hanker after (Jaguars and Bentleys and Thunderbirds with those little porthole windows). New editions may have details missed in an earlier run, or the exact model that was modified halfway through the year, or some other reason it is the one you want above all others.

Dinky Car Miniatures
By Retromobile (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
You may start your collection yourself, because you’ve always wanted a General Lee and this is the only chance of having one, or you may get a car you’ve longed for in a package from your wife, wrapped and placed under the Christmas tree. It may be the start of a “better than a tie” tradition, or you may find the fun of it all turns you into an avid collector.

It is fun to find your modus operandi, like getting one of every muscle car that has achieved icon status, or having a scale model of the cars that zoomed through your childhood in your favorite TV shows. Maybe you like Funny Cars, or Models A through T, or Camaros. One day you, too, may be searching for the last car you need to fill out that display case. There are fun ways to display a collection, too. Miniature, authentic gas pumps, or little people just the right size, can fill out a diorama in a showcase or on the table in the hall.

Dinky Toys Die Cast Thunderbolt Racing Car
By Andy Dingley (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Model cars are valuable collectors items, whether you are thinking in terms of personal enjoyment and life enrichment, or you are thinking with your wallet. Anyway, it is more fun and probably less risky than stocks and bonds.

About the Author
Check out Diecast models cars Magazine for up to date assessments of Diecast model carsvalues. You may find this is better than buying gold.
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