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The Art of Diecast Collecting
Collecting diecast vehicles consists of acquiring specific items based on your particular interests, such as airplanes, cars, trains, ship models, etc. Although some people just accumulate them, this is a passionate hobby for most folks, in which the genuine collector organizes carefully those items to catalog them and proudly display them. The depth and breadth of every collection is as unique as every collector is, and they are the ones that determine if a collection will focus on a specific subtopic within their area of general interests or if they only want to accumulate determined items. As an example, a collector may collect diecast vehicles trying to accumulate any or all of them, while another individual could prefer collecting only a model, brand or marquee.
Diecast vehicles and toys are an example of a collection that is never-ending. When you start collecting these vehicles it is like traveling back in time until the early decades of the 20th century when manufacturers such as Tootsie Toys in the United States, or Dinky Toys in the United Kingdom first produced the first diecast toys. Because the term "diecast" refers to any product produced using the casting method, the first models on the market were small cars or vans without plastic windows.
Over time, the vehicles were made of plastic and metal, more commonly an alloy of zinc and aluminum, including not only cars but also scale models of airplanes and trains, although automobiles are still the favorites among all of them. With more than 50 popular brands including Altaya, Bandai, Brooklin, CMC, Dragon Wings, Exoto, Guisval, Ixo, Jada, Johnny Ligntning, Kyosho, Lledo, Matchbox, Minichamps, Norev, Plasticos Argentinos, Racing Champions, RCCA, Revell, Tekno, Tomica, UT Models, Vitesse, and the popular Hot Wheels introduced by Mattel, among others.
Like with other popular collecting fields, diecast collecting has specialized commercial dealers that trade vehicles and related accessories. In fact, many individuals start collecting cars as a hobby to become dealers at a later date, either turning this hobby into a profession, or as a means to get extremely rare vehicles for their own collections, while they help other collectors in their pursuit of showcase-model cars. In the United Kingdom, there are teams specialized in visiting small and larger toy fairs to acquire incredible cars, in good conditions from Dinky Toys and Corgi, the main British collectibles companies. Dinky Toys was first introduced in early 1934 by Meccano Ltd of Liverpool, England, presenting a new line of modeled miniatures, as diecast vehicles were first known.
Corgi Toys began producing scale model cars until July 1956 under the supervision of Mettoy Playcraft Ltd. in Swansea, Wales, along with Dinky Toys, and the American Tootsie Toys, which is one of the most wanted brands of collectors worldwide. However, there are many other popular manufacturers from the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, etc.
Rarely a diecast collector completes a collection because new models of cars are always available, and collecting never stops, you can always expand or start an entirely new collection in a subtopic, such as cars, then sport cars, vans, etc. From Hot Wheels to Matchbox and from Bandai to Tomica, including all the other brands, diecasts models include popular automobile marques. Packard, MG, Morris, Hillman, Austin, Alfa Romeo, Bentley, Citroen, Opel, Triumph, Talbot, Gwynne, Vauxhall, Reliant, Singer, Bristol, Wolseley, Innocenti, Healey, Siddeley, BSA, Darracq, Crossley, Jowett, Frazer Nash, Northern, Renault, Ford, Chrysler, and the classics Jaguar, Mercedes Benz and Rolls Royce, just to name a few.
Broadening a collection is not that hard, even when focusing on a single marquee, because there are different models from the twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, sixties, seventies, etc. Hence, every diecast Collector has a world of possibilities when gathering diecast models from almost any period of time as early as models from 1885, when the first automobile driven by internal combustion was introduced by German inventor Karl Friedrich Benz, to actual models in modern car showcases.
Diecast vehicles come in various scales, the most popular ranging from 1:28 to 1:64 scale, although many collectors prefer focusing their collections on the 1:43 and 1:50 scales. Diecast toys were originally designed for children, but the collecting boom started during the 1950's when grown children stated to keep their cars instead of throwing them away and adults discovered them as valuable collectible items.
There is computer software that is made just for collecting diecast vehicles. Anyone who has a small or large diecast vehicle collection can easily keep track of what vehicle they have, the color, condition, cost, value, scale and lots of other info for each record (vehicle). This is the most easiest to use software of it's kind, and it is made 100% for diecast collecting. The software is described in detail and you can download a free demo version of it at this website address:
By Robert W. Benjamin
Copyright © 2006
You may publish this article in your ezine, newsletter or on your website as long as it is reprinted in its entirety and without modification except for formatting needs or grammar corrections.
About the Author: Robert W. Benjamin has been in the software business on the internet for over 5 years, and has been producing low-cost software for the past 25+ years. He first released software on the AMIGA and C64 computer systems in the late 1970's-80's.