Detailed die-cast toys have been around since the 1940s when they were mostly produced as promotional items or children’s toys. It wasn’t long before the industry grew to cater for all the people wanting to collect miniature vehicles as a serious hobby.
Now all sorts of things are available in die-cast in varying sizes or “scale”. Some are suitable for kids as toys and others are designed more for serious collectors. The level of detail usually set the two types apart.
Thinking of collecting die-cast?
Die-cast models are immediately appealing. To be able to just open a box and have a pre-painted, miniature metal vehicle you can display is nice especially if you want to collect some of your favourite vehicles but plastic models aren’t your thing.
Unless you’re a casual die-cast collector with just a handful of different die-cast models on display, you should really decide what kind of vehicle you’re going to concentrate on collecting before considering starting a large die-cast collection.
You should keep in mind that there are thousands of different types of die-cast vehicles made and if you start collecting some broadly covered type of model like “racing cars” your collection will continue forever and there will be no room left in your house.
Instead of “racing cars”, narrow it down a bit further and concentrate on “F1 racing cars” for example. Then if you narrow it down even more to “Ferrari F1 cars” you’ve already made it a bit easier to get a nice looking collection going.
Even though there are still many, many different types of Ferrari F1 models.^_^
Another example would be “Ethiopian Airlines commercial aircraft”. There aren’t too many different types of this model so starting a collection of them would be quite challenging and when a new find is made it will be one to remember.
So I decided to open it and put it on my desk, do I chuck the box away?
Up to you. If you want to sell your collection in the future for whatever reason, you absolutely want to keep the box. As you can imagine, collectors want the box and any other material that came with the model. But then again, maybe you have no intention of selling your model and don’t care about the loss of a few bucks if you do happen to sell it, then by all means get rid of the packaging.
If you do decide to display the model outside of its box just make sure it’s not in the path of something that could easily break it (a ball thrown in the house for example, or low enough for a pet to knock it over). Some people might suggest using some wax to maintain your die-cast vehicle. While this won’t hurt, it’s probably a bit excessive and a light dusting from time to time should suffice.