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I Want to Start a Collection

Updated on December 8, 2010

Icons listed under Johnny Lightening Cars for Auction Purposes

I Want to Collect Something That Will Be Worth Cash

I want to start a collection that will someday be worth some money.  Something that will grow in value as it grows in age.  So many people collect to many different things, how does one know what will be valuable in the future?

What makes an object valuable to collect?  When I approached an old timer about it he told me this.  "Something that has been widely distributed as a low valued object, but is easily destroyed.  Something like the toys that comes in cereal, or little cars the kids get for Christmas in their stockings, comic books, or just toys in general."

When I asked him why, he explained further.  "What makes an object highly collectible is this.  It is something that you can get easily, something they have made millions of, but that don't easily last long through the years.  Think about what happens to a toy that comes in cereal, or a comic book.  The kids get them in their possession, and after playing with them for a short time, become bored, or have to share and they get passed along to another or several more children.  By the time three or four kids become bored with a toy, generally speaking, they are not worth much at all.  They are usually broken or get discarded as unwanted.  Therefore, if you can save one of these objects, unscathed and in it's original package, it will be so rare that it will be worth a mint.  Any object that they mass produced and was easily obtainable and was widely used.  This is why comic books, stamps, post cards, are all collected."

It made sense to me and so this is how I began my Hot Wheels, Matchbox Cars, Johnny Lightening die cast car collection.  They come in various sizes  1/64, 1/43, 1/18, being the main ones, and these numbers represent a fraction of the size of a real car.  For example the average sized die cast cars that the kids play with on the plastic track, are the 1/64, which means that it is one sixty-fourth the size of a real car.  In order for them to maintain their worth, they have to remain in the original package they came in, and they have to remain undamaged.  This means that the kids cannot at any time play with them.  Sorry kids, these are my cars, get away, back, back, back, and keep your sticky grimy little fingers off....!!!  (Just kidding, but not really!!)

Can Make Good Christmas Gifts from Amazon

More about the collecting

These die cast cars can usually be found in toy stores for anywhere from $.99 to $4.99  for this size, and it's worth at the time of purchase will be anywhere from the price you paid to upwards of $50.00 or more.  Some of the things to look for on the packages are how many were made.  This will look like this on the box--   1 of 200, or  1 of 5,000  or 47  of  50.  Obviously the one to buy in this case of comparison would be the 47 of 50, then next would be the 1 of 200.  The less made the more valuable they will be. 

I once bought a yellow kodak car with a number 4 on the door, that cost me $1.49 at the toy outlet store and when I got it home and looked it up it was immediately valued at $64.00.  There was no way of knowing this by looking at it at the toy store, but the reason it was valuable was because during the race the real yellow kodak car had crashed and was unable to finish the race.  There was never another one of them made, therefore this replica was valuable.

These cars are fun to collect, and inexpensive to start collecting.  The price guides are a bit pricey, but once you have one, they are good for years.  You can also find out prices online, or from dealers, and you can always find one at your local library to check out for a while.

My husband gave up buying lotto scratchers to start his collection about 7 years ago, and believe it or not, now he has somewhere in the area of 10,000 of them, enough to start our own toy store if he wanted to.  It is also something kids can do if you can get them to understand from the start that they are not something to play with but something that you buy only for the collection. Good luck with that one...


Submit a Comment

  • ddsurfsca profile imageAUTHOR

    deb douglas 

    7 years ago from Oxnard

    I think not opening them and handling them and playing with them is the hard part of collecting these cars

  • Rosie2010 profile image

    Rosie Rose 

    7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Wow, such a great idea! Now if only I had saved all those little cars I bought my son years ago.. oh they were not supposed to have been played with huh? Your husband got about 10,000 little cars now? Amazing!

    Have a nice day,



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