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What advice would you give to a newbie diecast collector?

This was a subject of great debate between me and Baz recently.

We were reminiscing over a brew (which was a strange occurrence as Baz hardly ever makes me a drink!)  about some of our great collecting moments and finds, when we were struck by a train of thought which had us pondering for quite a considerable time.

We wondered what it would be like for a new collector to our hobby in 2018.

For instance, knowing what we know about our hobby after all these years, what would we advise a new collector to collect?

This is a tough one.

Now I don’t want to start reminiscing or droning on about the “good old days”, but when I started diecast collecting, the market was very different to what it is today. Dinky where still in production; Corgi where in what I’d describe as their heyday; I only bought Britains on holiday as a treat; Matchbox had recently introduced Models of Yesteryear, and Hot Wheels were what I smashed against the wall when I was younger and not something I’d consider collecting! (Think how many Redlines I must have destroyed – send shivers down my spine!)

And as far as scale was concerned, it was 1/43, or 1/75 – anything bigger was either made of plastic or formed part of a display in a shop window!

There were no such thing as foreign manufacturers – we’d never even heard of Spanish or Italian diecasts apart from French Dinkys, and they were hard to get hold of and expensive! I only knew about Politoys / Polistil after my uncle and aunt bought me a Honda back from their holiday in Italy in 1976!

We used to frequent a toy shop in Bridlington during our holidays. We visited twice a year as we had relatives who lived on the East Coast. I remember when the shop started to stock Siku, Brumm, Rio and Solido. WOW! How continental we became when we added some of these to our growing collection! The fact that Solido tanks had metal tracks was big news in our household!

Nowadays, the new diecast collector is spoilt for choice. There is a plethora of brands available.

I did a count on eBay a few days ago and I found that you can choose from over 180 diecast model brands to list for auction!  That’s ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY – I can’t believe that, it’s astounding. Of course, this covers all scales – and again the new collector has a lot more choice as far as scale is concerned!

So, what would I advise a new diecast collector to collect?

After lots of deliberation and argument between the two of us I concluded that any new diecast collector should consider…

Matchbox…………Models of Yesteryear


I can already hear ardent diecast collectors shouting out and hurling all kinds of expletives in my direction as I type this post.

But, think about it for a moment and bear with me.

Matchbox Models of Yesteryear Y7-1 Leyland 8 Ton Van

MOYS are ideal for a new collector because:

  • They are vintage
  • The are lots of them about
  • They are decent models
  • There are lots of variants
  • There are different areas to specialise in e.g. cars; vans; code2, time periods
  • And above all they are inexpensive! Even the rarer variants won’t break the collectors bank account (there are exceptions of course – white Duesenberg comes to mind, and pre-production colours).

What more would a new collector want?

As mentioned previously, I don’t have many rules in my passion for toy and diecast collecting. However, I’ve tried to adhere to certain things which I suppose you could interpret as rules, which are:

  1. ALWAYS buy things that I like / interest me
  2. NEVER buy for an investment
  3. TRY and buy the best I can afford

And for these reasons I’d recommend someone new to the hobby to have rules or a “collecting code” and stick to them.

My advice – start slow, and with something easy then indulge more into what you may like.

The hobby may start out as a fad. You may lose interest and move on to something else.

But, once you get into diecast collecting, the passion soon engulfs; your knowledge expands; you’re always on the hunt for that next item; you constantly comb shops, fairs, car-boot sales; and before you know it the collection has taken over your house, and…………. well, welcome to the world of collecting!

Do you have any rules when it comes to collecting? If so, please use the box at the bottom of the page to let us know what they are – we’d love to hear from you! 


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