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Diecast Toy Collecting Guide

Updated on December 25, 2014

Toys are also for adults

Toys are for kids – this is the generally accepted notion or idea that comes to mind when a person hears the word toy. Unfortunately, many fail to realize that toys are not “solely” for kids. Some adults or young adults enjoys collecting miniature replicas too.

In fact, this mere toys has the potential to become collectibles that can be seen as treasures or investment vehicles from business minded individuals.

Before we continue, let here are some ground rules and summary of what can be expected from this diecast and toy collecting guide:

  • What are diecasts and its difference from a common toy
  • Why do people collect such items
  • How can toy collecting be considered as an investment vehicle

Difference between a diecast and a toy

For those who are not aware, diecast is a special type of metal that has a variety of purposes. One such application is toys.

Not all toys are made up of plastic, some are made up of diecast material. Common examples would have to be Hotwheels and Matchbox. This is the reason why these small toy vehicles are relatively heavy and durable.

Currently, diecast toy collecting has been gradually increasing because of the product’s tendency to last longer. Compared to resin (which is breakable), collectors would obviously prefer sturdy collectibles. But of course, there are still some collectors who would collect plastic toys like Transformers, GI Joes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, etc…

Example of a diecast toy vehicle
Example of a diecast toy vehicle | Source
Example of a plastic toy
Example of a plastic toy

Why collect toys?

There is no singular answer to this question as this one depends on the individual collector. Listed below are some of the usual responses that I got when asking fellow toy collectors this question:

  • It reminds them of their childhood or brings back fond memories
  • It makes great wall displays or house décor
  • Can ignite great conversational pieces
  • Some consider it as treasures to pass on to their kids
  • It is the next big thing if you couldn’t afford the real thing
  • It gives a different kind of connection to the theme it represents


The last two bullets are actually my main reasons for collecting so let us expand on that.

I am what you call a movie car collector. I enjoy watching movies and loves car. It only makes sense that I collect movie car replicas of vehicles used prominently in movies that I had fun watching.

It all started after watching the first “The Fast and The Furious” movie and discovering that the cars used on that film are manufactured by Racing Champions.

I bought the cars used by the main characters (Dom, Brian, Letty, etc…) and from there onwards, my diecast toy collecting journey began.

Toys as investment vehicles

Now on to the juicy part – how can toys can be considered as treasures. One has to remember that a potential for profit exists when the conditions are met:

  • You own something that other people desires
  • You own items that is considered as rare because it is no longer produced (making it truly hard to find)

There has always been a small market for toy collectors – and as mentioned, this market has been gradually increasing because of the emergence of the internet.

Nowadays, online toy forums, hobby shops, and auctions are popping up that connects collectors all over the globe. It made them aware that there are others like them on other parts of the world. It made them realize that what is not available locally in their area is now achievable if other collectors are willing to sell.

Chrome Speed Racer
Chrome Speed Racer | Source
5 stars for Chrome Speed Racer Target Exclusive

A good example would be the photo on the right. I reside in the Philippines but was able to secure the elusive chrome Speed Racer item that was supposed to be exclusive only at Target. A fellow collector informed me that he will visit the Philippines and could grab me one if I wanted to.

How to spot a rare diecast or toy?

At this point, am sure that many readers are wondering how to know if a toy is (or would be) rare. Unfortunately, there is no definite answer to this one – but below are some points to look for:

How rare is the item versus how many people want them –

Many people would obviously buy a highly sought popular item especially if it is mass produced. What some collectors do is to buy two in the hopes that the particular product will still have its appealing value when it is no longer produced (a good example would be HW batmobiles – particularly the 1989 1:64 produced by Hotwheels)

Profit in Passion –

Sometimes it is hard to determine what toys will become treasures. At this point, my best advise would be to just collect what your heart desires and then hope that others have the same passion as yours.

For instance, I am a big fan of the Ghostbusters so I purchased a diecast replica of Ecto1 shown on the earlier portion of this post.

It turns out that a lot of people are great fans too and desire the particular diecast model. If you would look at Ecto1 diecast prices in both Amazon and Ebay, it is auctioned at a high price.

That’s just about it. Let me finish this hub with the list below. These items are just some examples of what is considered to be rare and are pegged at a very high price in both Ebay and Amazon. I have discussed expensive diecast collectibles at Expensive Movie Car Diecast Toys.Please do read it if you have time as it is a good reference and follow through of this post.

  • Wonder Woman’s Invisible Jet by Hotwheels (shown on Ebay listing)
  • Johhny Lighting’s Racing Dreams featuring Mario (Super Mario Bros – photo on the right)
  • Racing Champion’s Fast and Furious product (shown on Amazon listing)

Would you consider becoming a diecast toy collector?

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