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Car enthusiasts love seeing the real thing in person. Auto shows, cars & coffee meets, car club conventions, and many other gatherings draw crowds of interested people and it appears that the interest in cars is still growing. Owning a variety of exciting real cars is limited for most of us, but there is an alternative that fits any budget, and offers you the opportunity to feel the shape of the car, inspects its details, admire its design, and build a custom collection that never loses its value, both from a monetary and a sentimental aspect: the hobby of collecting model cars.
My blog articles will familiarize collectors of all ages and levels with model car brands that exist today and brands that have disappeared into the memoirs of the hobby. We will look at the different collectible scales, the variety of materials used in the production of miniature cars, and what to look for when building your special collection. Features showcasing special collections and the growing trend of customizing model cars are also part of upcoming articles and I look forward to your feedback and suggestions for related topics!
Part 1: Introduction - Collector Scale 1:64
The scale of a model car refers to the size of the miniature car in relation to the actual car. A large range of scales exists and what scale to collect depends primarily on the collector's budget and available space for display and storage.
Most young collectors start out with cars in the 1:64 scale range. Cars in this scale by Hot Wheels and Matchbox, for example, are inexpensive, durable enough for play, and quite detailed. From a true size perspective a generic 1:64 scale car is about 3 inches in length (about 7 to 8 centimeters). When looking at a typical Matchbox car, bus, or truck, it can range in actual scale of 1:50 to 1:125, but due to its 3 inch size will be generally marketed as a 1:64 scale vehicle. Some brands will list the actual scale of the car on its chassis.
A large variety of manufacturers make vehicles in the 1:64 scale class. The before-mentioned Hot Wheels and Matchbox brands by Mattel dominate the market and provide a variety of different series to make collecting more interesting. Pricing can range from $1 for a basic model to upwards of $10 for a more limited edition and higher detailed model. Other brands active in this scale and worth looking for are GreenLight, M2 Machines, Auto World, Tomy (Tomica), Majorette, Maisto, and Johnny Lightning. Many other brands exist and I will feature a variety of these in upcoming articles.
Vintage 1:64 cars are still easy to find and can be a good investment for collectors of all ages. Original Matchbox Lesney vehicles are highly collectible and can date back to the early 1950s. Detail and quality were impressive for those years and in the 1960s cars were starting to offer opening features (doors, hoods, trunks in some case) and smooth rolling wheels with suspension. Mattel's Hot Wheels cars date back to 1968 and were released as a competitive brand to Lesney's very popular Matchbox brand. Hot Wheels also gained a loyal following and over the years has released thousands of different models, ranging from cars of their own design to models replicating real cars from many different car manufacturers.
Coming soon: Part 2 - Introduction: Collector Scale 1:43
- Image Credit: The Car Hobby Connection