Model car collecting: is it the right hobby for you?

January 8, 2015

Entering the model car collecting community means joining up with fellow enthusiasts from around the world. Is it the right hobby for you? Read on to find out.

Model car collecting: is it the right hobby for you?

A collectors’ world

Fans of model cars have grown into a vast community, which includes specialty stores, websites and forums, auctions, exhibits, annual trade shows and conferences, etc. Collectors have been known to turn a handsome profit by acquiring and reselling vintage toys, but what genuinely drives them is a sense of fun. One thing all model car collectors have in common is a love of cars, in all their forms.

Why collect model cars?

Collections often begin during childhood, usually by accumulating small Hot Wheels and Corgi type cars. Over time, the collection grows and becomes more and more valuable.

While the goal is seldom driven by money and profit, some rare cars can be priceless. While it starts out as a hobby, it quickly turns into a passion. Collectors glean enormous pleasure maintaining and expanding their collection by acquiring highly sought-after models.

Where to find model cars?

You can buy miniature cars at most big box retailers, toy stores and hobby shops, but the inventory is pretty standard. There are literally hundreds of brands and manufacturers of model cars, but the most widely sold is Hot Wheels. The Internet connects collectors from all over the world, and is the best resource when trying to locate rare toys.

To up the ante and find more interesting models, you'll need to get creative and branch out. As your collection grows, gems are harder to come by. When this becomes the case, you’ll need to seek out websites and online communities to find collectors you can trade with and buy from.

Tradeshows and conventions are a terrific place find unusual and limited edition model cars; but moreover they can be entry into relationships with like-minded aficionados who can turn you on to other resources.

What are the most sought after models?

Miniature muscle cars and luxury cars are among the most popular, but like all valuable collectables, a lot depends on the experience of the collector and their personal viewpoint. The rarest gems are not necessarily the most popular, but they are the most expensive.

How to start a model car collection?

Like most private collectors, you’ll have to start at the bottom and work your way up. You need to learn everything you can about models, including how to distinguish authentic collectables from reproductions, scale ranges, as well as demystifying different avenues and resources (i.e., online communities, conferences, exhibits, auctions, swap meets etc.)

Build your collection slowly. Collecting model cars requires patience, seed money, display space and an ample amount passion. If you’re not already a car lover, there’s a chance you’ll get bored before your collection really starts to take shape. Avoid investing too much money on your first model cars until you know how much you’ll truly enjoy it.

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