Category Archives: Psychology

That Nostalgia Buzz

I have written before about the nostalgia buzz on this blog. It is one of the drivers for my collecting. Reflections on Why I collect diecast cars?

1969 superfast
1969 second edition catalogue, showing new Superfast models

Some models come with a strong “nostalgia buzz“. I was 5 years old when Matchbox switched from regular wheels to Superfast, the models of that time evoke in me strong feelings of nostalgia. Particularly the Sports Cars like the Iso Grifo and Lamborghini Miura, these were my dream cars at the time. I pulled out a selection of cars from my collection that have the strongest nostalgia buzz for me…

nostalgia buzz group
These Matchbox cars evoke strong nostalgia in me

Nostalgia relates to our sense of identity, it kindles fondly remembered aspects of our past and helps to cool the anxieties of our present. Music and smells can also evoke the past, a tune or a smell like TCP (the antiseptic frequently applied to my childhood cuts) , will transport me in my mind back to my childhood.

Matchbox diecast catalogues 1969
1969 Catalogue

I don’t have any of the models I had as a child, but I have bought similar ones. I favour models of the late sixties and early seventies cars, and the Matchbox brand, largely because that is what I played with most as a child.

nostalgia buzz Lamborghini Marzal
Lamborghini Marzal

The Lamborghini Marzal was one of the very first Superfast cars, there is no regular wheels version. The dark red model was first and this has a more powerful nostalgia buzz for me than the pinker model that appeared a couple of years later.

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The first new cars with Superfast wheels: Lamborghini Marzal, BMC 1800 Pininfarina and Lotus Europa

Not all models of that era have the same buzz for me. The models below: the Porsche 910, Ford Group 6 , GMC Refrigerated truck and Dodge Tipper are from the same time but their buzz is weaker maybe because I desired them less at the time (1969, 1970). The older models in front: the Austin Cambridge and Ford Fairlaine Fire Chief Car also have a weaker buzz as they came from a time before I was conscious of Matchbox cars.

nostalgia buzz weaker
These models from the same era and a couple of older models have a weaker buzz for me

Matchbox Cars from the period 1968 to 1972,  resonate most strongly with me in a nostalgic sense. I was born in 1964, so these years were the peak of my toy car playing years. I probably stopped buying toy cars when I was around 12, and started buying music with my pocket money instead.

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Matchbox cars with a strong nostalgia buzz

The Citroen SM and Mazda RX500 are slightly newer than the other models, having been introduced in 1972. To my mind they are still new models even though looking back from 2019, there is little difference between a model 50 years old and one 47 years old.

The recoloured models have a more dilute buzz. In the seventies, unlike today, cars had the same colour for longer. I am still looking for the first colour of the BMC Pininfarina, which was a gold colour before it was changed to a milky orange.

nostalgia buzz iso bmc marzal
on the left the darker colours were first, the lighter colours were the recolours, I don’t have the first colour of the BMC

Aside from Matchbox the other British brands: Corgi and Dinky have some models with a nostalgia buzz, but fewer as they were more expensive and so I had fewer of them as a child. Also there are a few Majorette models that remind me of my first trip to Paris in 1974 (Chrysler 180, BMW 3.0CSL and Mercedes 350SL). I found 3 Majorette Cars at Dry Bridge Market today. Other brands Hot Wheels, Siku, Tomica etc… do not have this buzz for me as they were not part of my childhood.

nostalgia buzz corgi 2
Some Corgis with a nostalgia buzz

Nostalgia comes from two Greek words, nostos meaning homecoming and algos meaning longing or pain. My collecting of model cars really took off, when I moved to Tbilisi, Georgia (2009). Maybe I am trying to make a connection to home (England) or my past. The French writer Proust, describes how tasting a Madeleine cake, which he hadn’t tasted since childhood, triggered a cascade of warm and powerful sensory associations. Nostalgia can boost psychological well being.

Iso Grifo
Iso Grifo

I have one particularly vivid memory from childhood, in the classroom, when I was just seven, my friend Carl showed me his model of the Matchbox Mercury Cougar “Rat Rod Dragster”, this was like no model car I’d seen before. The car was bright lime green with an exposed engine. I was familiar with the earlier Mercury Cougar, which had opening doors and came in a metallic light green, but this was something new. Hot Wheels hadn’t made a direct impact on my childhood at that time (1971) in England the pocket money rivals of Matchbox were the Corgi Juniors and Corgi Rockets. Finding a model of the Rat Rod at a Boot Sale in 2012, transported me back forty years.

Rat Rod and Wild Cat
“Rat Rod” Mercury Cougar and “Wild Cat” Ford Mustang

 

 

The Inner Algorithm

Choosing a model, I weigh up a number of variables in my head. Now, I am trying to make a viable algorithm.

Desirability=size x brand x car make x age x condition x type x price x country of manufacture

Size : 3 inch x3            1:43 x1.5  Other scales  x1

Brand: Matchbox x3 Corgi x2 Majorette x 1.6 Other brands x1 unspecified brand x 0.5

Car Make: Maserati x 3 Citroen x2 Porsche (rear engined) x2 Lamborghini, Iso, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Jaguar x 1.5, BMW x 0.5 Ferrari x 0.5

Age: 1968-1974 x4  1960-1967 x 3 1975-1982 x2 other years x1

Condition: very good or better x 3 good x 2 playworn but wheels okay x1 buckled wheels x 0.5 missing parts x0.5

Type of vehicle: sports car or convertible x 3, estate x 2, other cars x 1, SUVs x 0.5, trucks/buses x 0.5, plane/boat/other x 0.3

Price: 1 lari or less x 5, 1-2 lari x4, 2-3 lari x 3, 3.01-10 lari x 2, over 10 lari x 1, over 100 lari x 0.2

Country of Manufacture: Great Britain x 5, France x 4, USSR x 3, other European x 2.5, USA or Japan x 2, Malaysia or Thailand x 1.5, China and other countries x 1

Iso Grifo
If the price were reasonable this would rate very highly in my calculations…Matchbox Iso Grifo from 1968

 

 

 

 

In the mind of this collector

Sometimes, I reflect on why I collect model cars (Reflections on Why I collect diecast cars?). Yesterday (4 March 2019), I was visiting the secondhand stores near Tbilisi Central Station, as I often do and found they had some new stock. There was nothing especially old, but I came away with five models from one store and three from another.

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Monday’s haul

There were 5 Hot Wheels and 3 Matchbox, the cost in total was 21 lari ($7.85) just under a dollar each. Here new Hot Wheels retail at 7.95 lari ($2.97), which I realise is three times as expensive as in the US. Looking more closely at my “haul”, there were 4 cars I was really pleased to have found and the other four, I could maybe have left.

dilemma of choice
those on the left I was really happy to find those on the right less so

Really pleased to find these:

’65 Ford Mustang (Hot Wheels) – it is difficult to resist, such an iconic car…I have many Mustangs already but this has the iconic colours, a white body and the twin blue lines across the body of the car.

62 VW Beetle (Matchbox) – another iconic car, I already had the same model but in poorer condition.

Ford Anglia 105E HW
Ford Anglia 105E (Hot Wheels)

Ford Anglia 105E (Hot Wheels) – my dad’s first car was an Anglia, this is the first Anglia I have found for my collection. I would have preferred a plainer decoration. My Dad’s Cars

Subaru Brat (Hot Wheels) – this was actually on my Wants’ List and had been for a long while, I thought I’d missed out.

I could have left these:

International Pumper (Matchbox) – probably the oldest model dating from 1999. I have plenty of Matchbox fire trucks, the only ones I really want are those from 1968 to 1972.

Honda Insight (Matchbox) – Matchbox is my favourite brand and Honda is my favourite Japanese car make but this car looks ugly to me like a Toyota Prius.

Mitubishi Lancer Evolution (Hot Wheels) – my friend Zurab has a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, this model has some damage to its wheels.

’70 Chevrolet Chevelle Wagon (Hot Wheels) – I already have this model in better condition, though I like the style, I didn’t really need a second.

If I were to create an algorithm to help choose new models for the collection there would be several factors weighting the choice. Diecast collectors all have their preferred niches.

  • Size… my preferred size is the Matchbox/Hot Wheels 1/64 or 3 inch size, this relates to the models I collected most as a child and the fact they are cheaper and easier to store than larger scales. All these models are my preferred size.
  • Diecast brandMatchbox is my favourite, they were the majority of cars I played with as a child, they were made in England by Lesney until 1982 when Lesney went bankrupt, since then they have been made in a number of locations: Bulgaria, Hungary, China, Macau and Thailand. Recent models being made in Thailand. After Matchbox would come Corgi, Majorette and Hot Wheels in that order. I have more Hot Wheels because they are more readily available.
  • Age … I particularly like the late sixties and early seventies. I was born in 1964, some of my first words related to the cars I saw in the street and some of my earliest memories were of interacting with diecast cars. In my very earliest memory, I was three years old and on a train and I had a model of the Matchbox Racing Car Transporter that I was playing with. From my first day of school all I remember was there was a Dinky Captain Scarlet Maximum Security Vehicle for us kids to play with. I don’t remember the teacher or the other kids….None of the cars, I found yesterday are especially old but the ’62 Beetle, ’65 Mustang and Anglia 105E represent cars from that era.
  • Condition … I like the cars to be in as good a condition as possible, I don’t mind them being a little playworn but I don’t like buckled wheels or missing parts.

    1962 VW Beetle MBX x 2
    The condition of the 1962 VW Beetle (Matchbox), which I picked up recently (right), is much better than the one I had found earlier (left)
  • Type of Vehicle … I particularly like model of sports cars, I also like estate cars (station wagons) but saloons (sedans) are less interesting. Most SUVs don’t interest me, although I do like older Range Rovers and Jeeps. I don’t collect trucks but I make exceptions for Matchbox and trucks from the early seventies.
  • Price … I try to limit myself to a budget of 100 lari a month ($37.38). Last month I went significantly over budget (Monthly Acquisitions: February 2019). The models yesterday were less than 3 lari a piece, which is fine. At Dry Bridge Market prices tend to be higher and I might go up to 25 lari for a Corgi or Matchbox model I want. Last month I paid 20 lari for a Majorette Simca 1100Ti from the seventies (Made in France) and 15 lari for a Majorette Porsche 924. I paid 40 lari for a Matchbox Car Transporter but that was an exceptional piece and I can use it for displaying other models. I also bought a 1955 Porsche 550A Spyder 1:18 Scale for 25 lari, which was rather out of character.
  • Country of Manufacture … I prefer models made in Western Europe (particularly Britain and France) to other places. Bburago was the last major diecast manufacturer in Europe, they moved production from Italy to China in 2005. Yesterday’s haul were made in China, Malaysia or Thailand.
  • Car Make … some makes I prefer to others. I particularly like Jaguar, Maserati, Lamborghini, Citroen, Simca, Honda, Moskvitch and Porsche. Although I have more Fords and Chevrolets than any of these makes.

I feel I have too many models, I don’t know the exact amount somewhere around 1 400. I do not have the space to display them all and probably like yesterday’s haul maybe half are models I don’t really want!

Nostalgia

This is not the first time, I’ve written about nostalgia in relation to collecting model cars.  I bought a Kinsmart 1967 VW Classic Beetle, a model made in China, my purchase was influenced by its dark blue colour, which reminded me of the Dinky model from the early seventies.

Kinsmart Beetle nostalgia
Dinky Catalogue (1974) and Kinsmart Beetle

Nostalgia relates to our sense of identity, it kindles fondly remembered aspects of our past and helps to cool the anxieties of our present. Music and smells can also evoke the past, a tune or a smell like TCP (the antiseptic frequently applied to my childhood cuts) , will transport me in my mind back to my childhood.

I have the Kinsmart Beetle in yellow, too. But the yellow model doesn’t give me the same nostalgic buzz.

I don’t have any of the models I had as a child, but I have bought similar ones and others like the Kinsmart Beetle that recall those models. I favour models of sixties and seventies cars, and the Matchbox brand, largely because that is what I played with most as a child.

The catalogues also kindle the nostalgia, like this 1970 Matchbox Catalogue (the year Matchbox went Superfast). Matchbox Superfast – 50 years

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Matchbox Superfast Catalogue and early Superfast models

Matchbox Cars from the period 1968 to 1972,  resonate most strongly with me in a nostalgic sense. I was born in 1964, so these years were the peak of my toy car playing years. I probably stopped buying toy cars when I was around 12, and started buying music with my pocket money instead. Corgi and Dinky, the other major UK diecast manufacturers, resonate less, because they were more expensive. As a child it was only around Christmas or when Dad’s friend Norman came for his annual visit, that there was a chance for a Corgi or Dinky car.

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Corgi Marcos Mantis, this evokes playground memories.

Nostalgia comes from two Greek words, nostos meaning homecoming and algos meaning longing or pain. My collecting of model cars really took off, when I moved to Tbilisi, Georgia. Maybe I am trying to make a connection to home (England) or my past. The French writer Proust, describes how tasting a Madeleine cake, which he hadn’t tasted since childhood, triggered a cascade of warm and powerful sensory associations. Nostalgia can boost psychological well being.

Sometimes it is not the models themselves that trigger nostalgia but their associations. I loved watching Hanna-Barbera cartoons as a kid, so models like the FlintstonesFlintmobile and Scooby Doo’s Mystery Machine also stoke the nostalgic fires within. I wish Hot Wheels would put out a model of Dick Dastardly’s Mean Machine from Wacky Races.

Scooby Doo models
Scooby Doo Merchandise

 

My Dad’s Cars

I bought a Hot Wheels three pack today for just one car, a Ford Escort. My dad had a Mark 1 Ford Escort back in the late sixties/ early seventies. SMO390G was the reg.

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Hot Wheels Three Pack with a Ford Escort

Before I came into the world my dad had a couple of Ford Anglias. When I was born my dad had a Ford Anglia Estate, this was replaced by the Ford Escort, it wasn’t an RS1600 Mexico like the Hot Wheels model but a base 1100 model, but the shape gives me that frisson of nostalgia.

Ford Anglia 105E HW
Ford Anglia 105E (Hot Wheels)

After the Escort there was a Moskvitch 427, briefly. Moskvitch was imported into the UK for a short time in the 1970s, before being withdrawn amidst safety concerns. We had our own safety concerns, whilst driving along as a family, my sister almost fell out of the rear door that had come open for no good reason, luckily she had a strong clamp like grip on the front seat, so didn’t fall out into the road. Now living in the former Soviet Union, I still occasionally see Moskvitches on the road and find Soviet made models of Moskvitches at Dry Bridge market in Tbilisi.

 

Moskvitch 427 Soviet Made
Moskvitch 427 (Made in USSR)

After the Moskvitch, there was a Ford Zephyr, which we kids liked because it was big and comfortable, but was difficult to fit into the garage and probably thirsty, too.

Ford Zodiac mk iv x 2
Ford Zodiac Mk IV (Matchbox), similarly shaped to the Zephyr

Then there was another Ford Escort but this time an estate. There followed an Opel Kadett estate (my first car incidentally was an Opel). My brother got a job selling Peugeots, so my father duly went through a succession of Peugeots, first a 305, then a 309 and finally a 306.

 

Peugeot 309
Peugeot 309 (Vanguards)

His final car was a surprise; a Mitsubishi Lancer Estate, his first and only Japanese car. I don’t have pictures of the actual cars, just the memories and the strongest are with the Ford Escort. I will usually get a Ford Escort if I see it, particularly the Mark 1s. Matchbox didn’t make a Mark 1, but Dinky and Corgi Juniors did at the time and recently Hot Wheels have put out a Mark 1 RS1600 Mexico, after it featured in Fast And Furious.

Fast and Furious 6 Escort
Fast and Furious 6, Ford Escort Mexico RS1600

My dad died in 2011, I miss him. My diecast car collecting increased dramatically from 2011, it may be related and I reflect on my psychology in another post (Reflections on Why I collect diecast cars?)

mum and dad 2008
Mum and Dad in 2008

The Cararama model of the Escort Mark 1 is closest to my memories, although my dad’s car wasn’t silver, more a duck egg blue.

Ford Escort Mark 1
Ford Escort Mk 1 (Cararama)

My dad dreamed of having a Jaguar Mark X, one Christmas, my mum bought him a model of one by Corgi, a story which became part of our family legend. I don’t know what happened to the model. He never realised this dream.

Jaguar Mk X Husky Outside
Jaguar Mk X (Husky)

 

 

 

A recent addition to my collection this battered Peugeot 305.

Peugeot 305 (Matchbox SuperKings

That Frisson of Nostalgia

I have mentioned in several posts, the frisson of nostalgia I feel for certain models. “Frisson” is a French term meaning “aesthetic chills,” the nostalgia connects us to something from our past. Frissons can come with music, with smells, with tastes and with images or objects. If I smell TCP, it reminds me of the school playground and the frequent applications of TCP on my various cuts and grazes from tumbling over.

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I feel a strong frisson with these models

With some models that frisson is stronger than with others. It is difficult to explain why. It is usually with the Matchbox and Corgi models from around 1968 to 1975. I don’t feel the same frisson with old Hot Wheels, they weren’t really a part of my childhood. Many are models I had as a child or desired as a child. It won’t be every model from say the Matchbox range of 1969; the Crane Truck exudes this frisson but the Refrigerator Truck does not.

frisson of nostalgia crane and refrigerator truck
Matchbox Eight Wheeled Crane and Refrigerator Truck

Older models that weren’t part of my childhood memories don’t generate the same reaction. The Matchbox Austin Cambridge (in production 1961 to 1966) might be the oldest model in my collection, but I didn’t have it as a child and it doesn’t have the frisson of nostalgia for me that the later Iso Grifo has.

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Ghia L6.4 (Corgi) and Austin Cambridge (Matchbox) from the early sixties

The redline Hot Wheels models are great but don’t excite me like Matchbox models of the same era. However, there are more recent Hot Wheels models that have that frisson of nostalgia for different reasons. The entertainment vehicles like Scooby Doo‘s Mystery Machine and The Love Bug‘s Herbie, bring to mind the cartoon and the film I loved as a child. The Love Bug may have been the film that got me really car crazy, I would have been 5 or 6 when I first saw it.

frisson of nostalgia Herbie and Mystery Machine
Herbie” from the Love Bug and The Mystery Machine from Scooby-Doo

Some toy cars link me with events of my childhood, I explored one such connection in a previous post about the Corgi Marcos Mantis: Therein lies a tale…

Looking at a picture of Dinky Toys from 1970, I see a few models that bring back distant childhood memories:

  • The Captain Scarlet Maximum Security Vehicle– all I remember of my first day of school was playing with this model, I don’t remember the lessons, the teacher or the other kids…
  • The Lotus Europa – this was the first thing I ever shoplifted (not something I’m proud of)-I still remember the fear
  • The Ford Capri – I remember in a fit of rage my brother throwing this at me, I ducked and it broke the window.
  • The Mercury Cougar – I bought in Hamley’s with all my Christmas money, I couldn’t quite afford the Cadillac Eldorado, now strangely I have the Cadillac but I’d prefer to have the Mercury.

dinky 1970myp

I particularly like the sports cars in the Matchbox range like the Iso Grifo, Lamborghini Miura and Ferrari Berlinetta.

 

frisson of nostalgia Italian sports cars
Matchbox Italian Sports cars

I love looking through old catalogues, I have a few and can see others online. I love the old Matchbox artwork.

Matchbox diecast catalogues 1969
Matchbox Catlalogue 1969

The frisson of nostalgia isn’t the only reason I collect. I have reflected about my reasons in a previous post: Reflections on Why I collect diecast cars?

I would be interested in the comments, if you have similar feelings with childhood toys.

Therein lies a tale…

I remember my 8 year old self in the school playground some 45 years ago. We would play a game of car “tag”, where we’d push our toy cars across the asphalt trying to tag (bump) our friends’ cars. I had a brand new Corgi Marcos Mantis, given to me by my Uncle Norman, a week earlier. Uncle Norman was Dad’s friend, who would visit once a year and bring a shiny new diecast for my brother and I. I remember pushing my car gently onto a drain cover, I thought it a sneaky move to win the game as the others wouldn’t dare chase me there.

DrainCover
drain cover (not the actual one but of a similar design)

Then I gave another slight push and to my horror the car slid and fell into the drain, with a loud plop. I don’t remember crying but my heart dropped. It was not possible to lift the drain cover, my car was gone.

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Gocha’s Stall, Dry Bridge Market

45 years later, a visit to Dry Bridge Market in Tbilisi, and to my great surprise, I find a Corgi Marcos Mantis on Gocha’s stall. A few chips and a grubby interior but otherwise in good condition. The asking price a mere 20 lari ($8). I sincerely doubt it is the one I dropped in the drain but it serves as an adequate replacement. I, alas, am unable to console my eight-year-old self, he has long passed into the ether of time, but it does have that frisson of nostalgia, which fuels my collecting.

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Corgi Marcos Mantis

One thing is for sure, this one is not going anywhere near a drain cover! There are some other diecast memories from my childhood, but those tales should wait until I find the relevant models: a Dinky Ford Capri, a Dinky Lotus Europa, a Matchbox Pickford’s Removal Van….

Reflections on Why I collect diecast cars?

I have never studied psychology, so I don’t know how psychologically valid my reflections are.

I came to Tbilisi (Georgia, the country not the state) in 2009 with just two suitcases of my worldly possessions, in which I had just five diecast cars. Before moving I had sold or given away most of my possessions (including a couple of dozen diecast vehicles). Since arriving in Tbilisi my collection has grown considerably to around 1500 vehicles with 15 to 20 being added each month.

cadillac Eldorado (2)
Cadillac Eldorado (Dinky) one of the few models I brought with me when I moved to Tbilisi

I have had small diecast* cars for as long as I can remember.  On my first birthday cake was a Matchbox racing car, so I’m told. Then there was a Matchbox Pickford’s Removal Van with sweets in the back, occasionally restocked by my mother. My earliest actual memory is being on a train holding a Matchbox Racing Car Transporter, I would have been three at the time. Collecting model cars…toy cars…is fine as a child but as an adult?

Collections allow people to relive their childhood, connect themselves to a period in history or time they feel strongly about, to ease insecurity and anxiety about losing a part of themselves, and to keep the past present.

Racing car transporter catalogue image
Racing Car Transporter depicted in the Matchbox Catalog

I don’t have any of the models I actually played with in my childhood. But I do have some of the same models picked up more recently at Car Boot Sales and markets. These can stimulate autobiographical memories.

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Marcos Mantis

This Marcos Mantis comes with a childhood  tale…

Some people like to collect just one model.

BP wreck trucks
Scott Miller’s collection of Dodge BP Wreck Trucks

The value of my collection is not monetary, but it is emotionally valuable—I’m not looking to profit from the sale of the cars. I usually take the cars out of their blister packs, which would reduce their value if I was looking to resell, but I want to hold the car to feel it in my hand and look at it from different angles. I do look for  bargains at boot sales also at Dry Bridge Market, I tend to know when something is way overpriced and when it is a good deal. One of the rules for investing in antiques is to stick to what you know.

Drybridge (14)
a selection of vehicles on Gocha’s stall at Drybridge Market

Collecting is not an exclusive trait of humans, pack rats and magpies are famous for their collecting habits, too. In early humans, collecting could well have given some of our distant ancestors an edge in the survival stakes, storing nuts and berries for a rainy day and holding on to primitive tools.

The Thrill of the Hunt

Collecting is much like a quest, a lifelong pursuit which can never be complete. Hot Wheels have cashed in on the hunting nature with special “Treasure Hunt” cars, which are supposedly harder to find than the regular Hot Wheels. There are regular and super treasure hunts, the latter being much harder to find but having a different paint job and rubber tyres. I have only one Super Treasure Hunt in my collection, the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine, which I found on the pegs in Smart.

Mystery Machine Super TH
Mystery Machine Super Treasure Hunt (on a short card)

Rummaging through the pegs of Matchbox and Hot Wheels in toy shops, there is always a thrill, when I spot a model that I’ve been looking for. I have a long wants’ list.

Collecting may provide psychological security by filling a part of the self one feels is missing or void of meaning. When one collects, one experiments with arranging, organizing, and presenting a part of the world which may serve to provide a safety zone, a place of refuge where fears are calmed and insecurity is managed. My father died in 2011, and part of my collecting might be a way of connecting to my childhood, when I still had my Dad.

Also, I came to live in Tbilisi because in this city I had found a wonderful wife. Now I no longer needed to search for a soul mate, there was maybe  a void to search for something else.  My wife tolerates my collecting but has no real understanding of my interest in diecast cars, she has given me a couple as gifts in the past a 1:32 Lamborghini Gallardo and a 1:32 BMW X5 (the first was fine but the latter is a car I loathe).

The amount of cars I have amassed here is like a kind of ballast holding me here. I’m not attached to every single model and have given a few away. I have three grandchildren, the two girls might occasionally race the cars across the floor, but have no real interest in toy cars. The youngest Lazare (aged 3) seems to like toy cars which he calls in his child language “pipi” (because of the noise of the car horn).

lazare road tester
Lazare road tests a couple of VWs

Social Media

Also fuelling my interest are the social media. On Facebook I am in quite a few (maybe too many) groups of like-minded enthusiasts, who collect diecast cars. Our brains are very social, talking about a hobby with others boosts our oxytocin levels when we connect…

    1. Pinoy Hot Wheels Collectors Club This is a Filipino group with over 1000 members dedicated to collecting Hot Wheels. I often post pictures of my new acquisitions, and am inspired to look for what other members post.
    2. Hot Wheels Club (Philippines) Very similar to Pinoy group.
    3. Race Grooves Community Administered by Mark Kasimoff who has over 500 000 subscribers for his Youtube channel devoted mainly to Hot Wheels Cars (unboxing, track time, off the pegs etc…) Racegrooves Youtube Channel
    4. Matchbox Collectors Forum
    5. VDTM – Vintage  Diecast Toys and Models A Romanian group of which I’m a moderator.
    6. Bir64 and Kafe64 Two Turkish groups specialising in 1:64 scale models.
    7. Matchbox e Majorette. Portuguese group for Matchbox and Majorette. Two of my favourite maunfacturers of diecast cars.
    8. MCCH Matchbox Collectors’ Community Hall A group for Matchbox collectors especially of old pre-Superfast (1970) Matchbox cars.
    9. Poppa’s Toyroom
    10. Peter’s Vintage Toys
    11. Matchbox Romania
    12. World Toy Vehicle Collectors Group for all toy car collectors
    13. Auto Gruppo International Diecast Collectors/Bloggers Association

I also use sites like Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Reddit in connection with my hobby. I have so far been unsuccessful finding fellow collectors here in Tbilisi, Georgia.

reasons to collect toys

Diecast toys are tough they are made with an alloy called Zamak or Mazak, 96% zinc and smaller amounts of aluminium, copper and magnesium. Diecast cars to me are like miniature works of art, even if they are mass produced.

“I’d sit on the large heavy carpets and invent a game to play on my own. Arranging the miniature cars that someone had brought me from Europe into an obsessively neat line, I would admit them one by one into my garage.” extract from Istanbul by Orhan Pamuk, Nobel Laureate

If you have any comments, I would love to hear from you.

Some further insights on adult toy collecting can be found here:  Why do grown men collect toys? and a bleaker look toy collecting like heroin addiction?

*A die-cast car is a car or a collectible model produced by using the die casting method of putting molten zinc alloy in a mold to produce a particular shape. Wikipedia explanation of process