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Diecast brings fun and realism to model car collecting!

What are diecast toys and models?

Diecast toys and models are highly detailed and realistic vehicles that come in a variety of different styles (cars, trucks, planes, tanks, etc.), often representing real-life (licensed) vehicles from actual automobile manufacturers, though sometimes they are just close approximations. Diecast toys are made by injecting molten lead or zinc alloy into a pre-existing mold to produce the desired shape of the model (this serves as the main body of the vehicle). Other parts of the vehicle may consist of different materials, such as having glass (or clear plastic) windshields and real rubber tires. Together these materials combine to create a solid and realistic model that has heft and feels of very high quality.

Scale is also frequently important, with sizes like 1:18 being popular for larger models, and sizes like 1:24 or 1:32 taking up the more mid-range size tiers. Scales of 1:43, 1:64, and 1:87 are also popular, with the 1:64 scale being very close to the size of Hot Wheels cars and trucks (though Hot Wheels vehicles aren’t generally concerned with achieving perfect scale). Diecast toys usually feature a shiny paint finish that’s super smooth and realistic looking, just like a real-life automobile. This makes them extremely impressive to look at and play with, as well as highly collectible to toy and model enthusiasts.

How do diecast toys compare to their plastic counterparts?

Diecast toys are both weightier and more realistic in terms of their appearance than their plastic counterparts. Diecast is real metal, so models feel of higher quality than plastic due to their weighty nature, though this can be troublesome if you drop them on the ground. Diecast can be susceptible to paint scratches if not handled carefully, but in general is of higher quality than plastic. Its weight also makes it harder for your pet to knock off the shelf.

Starting a diecast collection

If you’re thinking of starting a diecast toy or model collection, the possibilities are truly endless. You can collect according to vehicle type (i.e., planes only, or old-fashioned cars and trucks, etc.), you can collect according to scale (some people like for each piece in their collection to scale perfectly with every other piece), or according to a particular brand or subset of a brand (i.e., some people exclusively collect Hot Wheels vehicles, which are themselves diecast toys). Then again, you may wish to take an entirely more eclectic approach and collect across all scales and genres provided you like each model you’re buying.

In any case, diecast toys are highly collectible, great for trading, and perfect for display. In fact, collecting diecast models is more popular now than ever before. This is owing to a number of different factors, from their relative high quality to the variety of options available. You can even collect models from different eras (diecast has a long and rich history of use in toys and models). Some older (antique) diecast models may even be rare and valuable, though currently available models are likely a long way from that. In any case, no matter your approach to the diecast hobby or your reasons for getting into it, you’re sure to enjoy collecting!