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A Guide to Collecting Toy Cars by PartsGeek

Although you might think that toy cars are just for kids, this isn't the case. Many adults enjoy the hobby of collecting toy cars. Toy car enthusiasts might be people who love all cars, specific models, or specific design eras. Other toy car collectors enjoy the hobby because it enables them to reconnect with childhood memories of playing with toy cars. Collecting toy cars might involve searching for and acquiring expensive models and parts, and it's even possible to make money from toy collecting if you have a keen eye for value. Whether you collect toy cars for fun or profit, you're sure to enjoy the pursuit.

History of Toy Cars

Toy cars have existed for nearly as long as real cars have, and they've enjoyed popularity for about the same length of time. Car companies initially created metal die-cast cars as a way of promoting their new models. The car companies made scale models to get consumers excited about new releases, and people loved them. Soon, new kinds of toy cars were created and sold, including model kits with many different parts and radio-controlled cars. Over time, the die-cast cars became more accurate and realistic. Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars continue to be produced, and new ones are released regularly. Many of the original die-cast toy car brands are only available on the resale market today.

How to Begin a Toy Car Collection

Some collectors choose to focus their collections on a specific brand or type of car. Collecting Matchbox and Hot Wheel die-cast cars is a popular pursuit with many collectors. Other collectors prefer to collect interactive cars, such as radio-controlled cars and model kits. After choosing your collecting niche, narrow your focus to new or vintage models and specific models or brands. If you opt for vintage and rare toy cars, be ready to spend more time and effort searching for cars that match your criteria. If you choose newer car models, you will likely build your collection faster and less expensively, but your collection will have less value than vintage toy cars.

Look for toy cars in online auctions, at estate sales and garage sales, and in resale shops. Take the time to learn collecting terms and lingo, and study as much as you can to learn about the products. You'll need to be able to assess toy car condition and value so you know how much to spend on each one. After you have toy cars in your collection, know how to store and maintain them. You might want to invest in a display case. Always save the original packaging of any toy car you acquire, though, to preserve your investment.

Toy Car Museums and Exhibits

You can learn more about toy cars by visiting toy car museums and exhibits. General toy museums often have toy car displays and exhibits, too. Museums may exhibit rare toy cars that collectors would enjoy seeing. Exhibits could include models from the early days of toy cars up to the present. It's also common for these exhibits to include special-edition cars that are very rare. As you explore museums, you will be able to see how toy cars have changed and evolved over the years. Visit trade shows as well to see different types of toy cars. You'll learn about collecting toy cars as you visit with other collectors and vendors.

More Toy Car Resources

When you want to begin collecting toy cars, learn as much as possible about the hobby. Hot Wheels and Matchbox trivia can be fascinating to explore. There are also many clubs to join. Some clubs operate locally with in-person meetings and events, while other clubs operate nationally or internationally with members communicating electronically.

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