A Guide To Collecting Diecast Toy Cars: Preservation, Finding And Other Tips

Here is some things you will need to know before beginning your own hobby of collecting and preserving diecast toy cars.

For decades, diecast model cars have been a favorite collectible for children and adults. Also known as matchbox cars, these little metal vehicles, mini replicas of the real thing have fascinated many generations. Diecast models of certain car types have been on the market, and after some years, many of these have soared in worth. Particularly ones which have been kept in perfect condition, including the original box and any price tags or other special markings. Although some models are not worth much more now than they were when purchased, other models have become extremely valuable. Special events, store openings and the launching of new products marked some of the occasions that these cars were released. They could be purchased at many stores, won in promotions and ordered through catalogs, which offered single selections or sets of the diecast cars.

Although initially only a few different models were manufactured, over many years, this has extended to include major race events, brand name cereals, popular soft drinks, trendy cartoons, and even to announce the release of a new car line. Common everyday vehicles, such as ambulances, army tanks, police cars and farm vehicles were represented by a diecast. Plastic cases could be purchased to store the cars, often in sets. Sets could include makes, models, limited editions, special editions or wheel type. Wheel types include regular, superfast, universal, and other categories. Usually the diecast cars come in their own little box, or display case, stating the make and model and sometimes a short history. Often times the boxes are as prized as the diecast car itself. Since these are normally made from thin cardboard or plastic, it's important to preserve the car and the case. The cars remain intact so long as they stay in their original packages, but preserving the package is the challenge.

Dirt, lint, sunlight and moisture are a threat, damaging the box beyond repair. This lowers the value of the car or the collection. Display cases are a popular method of showcasing the cars, but they can also be placed in storage boxes or contained in zipper lock plastic bags. This is a good method for storing, if not for displaying your cars, since the bags help prevent soiling. Cars which are displayed out in the open must be dusted regularly with a dry cloth. Even a slightly damp cloth can wrinkle the box or fade the ink. Also, keeping the cars in a dry area with no direct sunlight will help preserve the cars in their original condition. If the car has been damaged, certain touch ups can be done, but if not performed correctly, can cause depreciation. When wearing or tearing of the box has occurred, little can be done to restore it.

If you've saved some of these cars from your childhood, but they're not in ace condition, they might still be worth collecting, depending upon the rarity of the model. You can get information from specialty catalogs, collector's magazines, online diecast historians, and your local library on rare cars, current values and replacement parts. If you're looking for the missing car in your collection, many diecasts can be found at online auction or hobby sites. There are even collector conventions and clubs where you can buy, sell and trade these cars.

If the car was originally diecast to represent a particular product which has now become obsolete, the car would generally be more valuable. Likewise, if a car was cast to represent the sponsor of a sports personality, and the celebrity retires or becomes deceased, the car can also increase significantly in value. Other qualities increase or decrease the demand of certain diecast cars, like its age and how well preserved it is. Learn more about the hobby before getting involved in purchasing pieces or selling your own collection.

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