A Guide to Collecting Toy Autos

Toy Firetruck.Toy cars aren't just for children. Collecting toy cars is time-honored hobby of adults everywhere. Some people collect cars because they are automotive enthusiasts with interest in a particular model of car or era of car design. Others find that collecting cars is a fun way to reconnect with their childhood. Some collectors use model car as investments as rare or special toy cars are often quite expensive, resulting in profits for collectors with a keen eye. Whether for fun or for profit, collecting toy cars is a rewarding activity for any enthusiast.

History of Toy Cars

Toy cars have been popular for just as long as real cars. Metal diecast cars were originally produced by car companies in the early days of the automotive industry. Scale models of their products were used as a way to promote their product and get a whole new generation excited about cars. As diecast cars proved incredibly popular, new types of toy cars were introduced to the market from plastic model kits to slot card and radio controlled cars. Diecast cars became increasingly realistic and accurate, often matching their real-life counterpart to perfection. While many original diecast metal toy car brands are discontinued and available only on the resale market, Matchbox cars and Hot Wheels are still going strong with many new toy cars released every year.

How to Begin a Collection

Many collectors enjoy focusing on a specific type and brand of toy cars. Popular cars include diecast toy cars like Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. You may prefer interactive toy cars like radio controlled cars or model car kits. Once you'd decided on a category, consider whether you're interested in vintage models, new models, or both. You can even target specific models or brands, like vintage Corgi brand cars or vintage Matchbox cars. One consideration is that older, rarer toy cars are more expensive and tracking them down through the resale market often takes effort. Beginning your collection with newer models is much cheaper and faster, but less immediately profitable. Online auctions, garage sales, and vintage stores are great places to look for popular collectible cars whereas toy shops and specialty online store will carry fun, new cars. However you decide to approach collecting toy cars, begin by learning more about the products and toy collecting terminology. This is particularly important if you're collecting older models, since you'll have to assess each car's condition and details. Once you begin your collection, maintain proper care and storage of your cars. Many collectors like to display their cars, but don't forget to save the original packaging if you're treating a car as an investment piece.

Toy Car Museums and Exhibits

Toy museums and exhibits are a great way to learn more about toy cars. These exhibits often have very rare and collectable toy cars that are a must-see for any toy car enthusiast. You'll see diecast metal promotional model cars from the earliest days of toy cars to cutting edge, special edition hot wheels. Visiting a toy car museum is a wonderful way to see how toy cars have evolved over the years. Toy car collections are generally exhibited at automotive museums, toy museums, and children's museums. Local expos and trade shows are another great way to view different types of toy cars. These shows let you see new models as well as what is currently available on the resale market. Visiting these exhibits also helps you learn more about collecting cars as you'll meet other collectors and enthusiasts. This is a fantastic opportunity to trade tips on managing and growing your collection.

More Toy Car Resources

If you're interested in starting a toy car collection, here are a few additional resources where you can learn more about different types of toy cars and the fun of collecting:

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