The count is finished! I believe I have 1561 model cars scattered around 50 locations around the house. Most are in the bedroom, where I have the shelves, but some are in the living room and some are in the hall. I don’t have a loft, a cellar, a shed or a garage, if I did I’m sure they’d have some of the collection, too.
By brand 38% of my collection is Hot Wheels, this hasn’t changed since November 2017, Matchbox accounts for 27% (up from 22%), Majorette accounts for 5% and Corgi 4%.
Totals by brand (November 2017’s totals in brackets)
Hot Wheels 588 (407)
Matchbox 406 (244)
Majorette 70 (42)
Corgi 68 (44)
Bburago 48 (37)
Kinsmart 36 (38)
Siku 35 (?)
Made in USSR 31 (29)
Welly 28 (27)
Maisto 22 (14)
Norev 10 (6)
Tomica 6 (5)
Dinky 6 (?)
Other * 160 (144)
Total 1561 (1083)
*other includes Johnny Lightning, ERTL, Schuco, RMZ etc…
I want to focus on collecting Matchbox, Majorette and Corgi. I’m sure I will continue adding more Hot Wheels because they are readily available and have a lot of attractive models. I don’t want any more Kinsmart or DeAgostini, I prefer to collect the Matchbox 3 inch size (approx 1:64 scale), not larger scales (with the exception of older Corgi, Dinky and Matchbox King Size models made in the late sixties and early seventies).
My favourite shelf is the shelf for older Matchbox models (location 8). Only 4 of the 63 models in the picture are not made in England, can you tell me which ones?
Some locations had only a few models others had a lot. Location 15, a big plastic box held 128 cars.
Location 15 plastic box
Location 15 contents
I have been taking the contents of one shelf down at a time, counting them, dusting them, photographing them and adding the details to an Excel document. Checking through the photos, I realise I will have to retake photos of location 5 and 34 for my records, that can wait until tomorrow.
I have significantly increased my Majorette collection since the last count, currently I have a shelf for Majorette and Norev but it is overcapacity. I should separate the two brands.
I didn’t take all the cars down to photograph on the table. Some I counted in situ, particularly those in the living room.
I didn’t count any small plastic cars of the type that might have come from a Kinder Surprise egg, nor did I count the model cars in the children’s bedroom, I have relinquished those from my collection. I hope the next time I count the collection the number will be similar or even less, I can comfortably accommodate a thousand but I don’t really have the space for the number that I have. This COVID-19 lockdown has helped slow down my acquisitions, last month I only added a couple of models, which I picked up on my grocery shop, this month I haven’t added any yet and I’ve even given a few away to my grandson.
This time of being forced to stay at home gives us the opportunity to enjoy our diecast collections. Below a few Corgi cars I pulled off the shelf.
I was reading about the Porsche P-911 that Marc of The Race Case had found on the Facebook Marketplace, Hot Ones P-911. This inspired me to find my own P-911, then I found myself pulling off the shelves some other favourite Hot Wheels, old and new, for a photoshoot. These aren’t all my favourites, some favourites like the Mystery MachineSuper Treasure Hunt are still in their blisters.
In the picture are some recent models like the Lamborghini Countach Pace Car, ’70 Ford Escort RS1600, BMW 3.0CSL, VW Kafer Racer, Lamborghini Aventador and TV Series Batmobile. Also a few older models like the P-911, Mercedes 280 SL, Rodger Dodger, Z-Whiz (Datsun 240Z) and my only “sweet sixteen” a Custom Firebird.
This period of quarantine won’t be ending anytime soon, so I’ll have plenty of time to explore my collection further in the coming weeks.
Chevrolet or “Chevy” is a division of GM. Producers of the fantastic Corvette.
I have a lot of Chevrolets in my collection of diecasts, Chevrolet is second only numerically to Ford.
I have at least 104 Chevrolets in my collection, I don’t buy into the Ford v Chevy rivalry as I love both brands, the second and third generations of the Chevrolet Corvette look amazing to me.
As an iconic American brand, it is unsurprising that most of my Chevrolets are Hot Wheels (65 of them).
Hot Wheels put out several new Chevys each year. Aside from the Corvettes, I love collecting the Wagons and Gassers.
The”Gasser” looks ready for a drag race. The ‘55 Chevy Bel Air Gasser casting hearkens back to the old school style of Gasser Drag Race cars. With an exposed big block engine, fender well headers, ladder bars, aluminum fuel tank, this 2 lane blacktop brawler can take them all on.
I also like convertibles.
I have 40 Corvettes, a car that has been in production since 1953, named after a small manoeuvrable warship, there have been eight generations of Corvette to date, my favourites being the second (1963-1967) and third (1968-1982) generations. Designed to interest returned American servicemen who had fallen under the spell of Jaguars, MGs and Triumphs during their World War II service in Europe, the Chevrolet Corvette was the first proper American sports car.
For a long time the 1:24 scale Maisto1970 Chevrolet Corvettewas the largest model in my collection, it is still my biggest Chevrolet but now a 1:18 ScaleMercedes 300SL is my biggest model.
Whilst most of my Chevys are standard Hot Wheels (3 inch) size, I do have a few larger models, including two rather beat up CorgiChevrolet Stingrays.
Matchbox has put out far fewer Chevrolets than Hot Wheels, but I still have 21 in my collection.
Other brands include Maisto, Jada, Bburago, Corgi, Lledo, Kinsmart, TootsieToys and Welly.
At the end of the year, I like to indulge myself looking back on some of my favourite diecast finds throughout the year. Previous highlights : Highlights 2018 and Highlights 2017
Some months’ finds were better than others.
January, not a great month, a ’64 Chevrolet Impalafrom the Hot Wheels Black and Gold 50th Anniversary series was my favourite find.
February was a far better month, making the choice difficult, I choose the Porsche 924 from Majorette, because as a kid my favourite cars were the Maserati Bora and Porsche 924. Made in France.
March, Euclid Dump Truck. An older Matchbox from the mid sixties. I found this at Dry Bridge Market for 10 lari from Karo, who I was expecting to ask more. It is in better condition than the Euclid I had before. Made in England.
April, I found three old Corgis, which pushed me way over budget, my favourite of the three was a Datsun 240Z.
May Highlight of the month was the Chrysler 180 and Caravanby Majorette with its box. When I was a nine year old visiting Paris for the first time I brought home 3 Majorettes: a BMW 3.0 CSL, a Datsun 280Z and a Chrysler 180. I have no idea where those models are now but finding the Chrysler again gave me an insane nostalgia buzz the caravan was an added bonus.
June This was a disappointing month. Highlight was a MatchboxMercedes E430 Wagon“Police”…from 2002, 1:62 scale. Made in China.
July There were 30 models added to the collection, highlight of which was a Custom Firebird. This is one of the original “sweet sixteen” Hot Wheels launched in 1968, made in Hong Kong. The only one of the sweet sixteen in my collection.
August Highlight was a CorgiMGC GT
September Mercury Commuter Police Car. MatchboxSpeed Kings. This was the highlight of the month, coming from Gocha at Dry Bridge market. A previous owner had decided to redecorate the police car as an ambulance, it makes for an interesting Code 3 model.
October’71 Nissan Skyline GTX. Although it is a recent casting, I was very happy to find it.
November The Austin A40 Van (Dinky) I looked at in a previous post (Dinky Austin A40 Van from the late fifties.) It is the oldest model in my collection. It cost 40 lari ($13.47) also from Gocha at Dry Bridge Market, source of many of my favourite finds.
DecemberMatchboxSuper Kings K-63 Mercedes Benz “Binz” Ambulance. There is a lot of nostalgia with this one.
5 Matchbox, 2 Hot Wheels, 2 Corgi, 2 Majorette and 1 Dinky a reasonable reflection of the brands I like to collect.
Over the whole year my highlight would be the Datsun 240Z by Corgi, I had wanted to find one of these for a long time and finding one here in Tbilisi in such good condition with its box was great.
I was very surprised today to find this old Dinky van at Dry Bridge Market here in Tbilisi, Georgia.
This model was produced in England between 1956 and 1960, it was from an era before Dinkys had windows. In 1956 Corgi had just entered the market in direct competition with Dinky and their cars were being advertised as “the ones with the windows”. The model is playworn and the front tyre is cracked but, considering it is around 60 years old, it is not in bad shape. It is one of the few models in my collection older than me.
I don’t have many Dinky Toys, they don’t have the same Nostalgia Buzz as Corgi and Matchbox. This model predates my birth (1964 ) and is unlike the models I remember playing with as a child. I can relate better to the slightly later Triumph Herald (#189) (1960-1964) as this has windows, independent suspension and is closer to the cars I played with as a child.
Concept cars are made to showcase new styling or technology and to gauge the public’s reaction. Concept cars never go into production directly. In modern times all would have to undergo many changes before the design is finalized for the sake of practicality, safety, cost etc…
Die-cast companies have included many such cars in their ranges hoping the exciting designs will entice their target market to part with their pocket money.
The Lamborghini Marzal was produced for the Geneva Motor Show of 1967. It was designed by Bertone to provide Lamborghiniwith a true four seater, the design was a one-off but many of the ideas were later used in the Lamborghini Espada.
The Marzaldesign probably found wider recognition as a die-cast model, with both Matchbox and Dinky making scale models, albeit in other colours such as dark red, despite the original show car being painted silver.The MatchboxLamborghini Marzal was one of the first cars created for the new Superfast wheels introduced at the end of 1969.
Another concept car popular with die-cast manufacturers is the Mercedes C111; Norev, Corgi, Matchbox and Hot Wheels all produced models.
The C111 had the gull wing doors, a feature of Mercedes sports cars going back to the classic 300SL of the fifties. In the sixties and seventies, Mercedeswas experimenting with different types of engine: Wankel rotary engines, diesel engines and turbochargers and they would use the C111 platform as a testbed.
Nowadays a lot of research is being made into greener technologies, autonomous vehicles and suchlike. One car that looks interesting is the Toyota FV2(video clip). The FV2 doesn’t have a steering wheel. Instead, the car is operated by the driver shifting his or her body to move the vehicle forwards, backwards, left or right. It mirrors or responds instantly. It also uses intelligent transport system technology to connect the driver with a variety of local safety information. I hope some company will put it out as a die-cast model.
Another month of collecting saw 16 models added to my collection and a couple leaving (both Hot Wheels: Ferrari F40 and Dodge Dart Demon ).
Of the 16 models only two were bought new, the others were all secondhand.
9 were Hot Wheels.
Nissan Skyline 2000 GT/X. I love this casting, designed by Jun Imai, whose name appears on the roof. I have several of the casting in black this is the first white one I have found.
‘65 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible. I find C2Corvettes difficult to resist.
Lamborghini Countach “Pace Car”. This I bought new, Pepela were having a -30% sale. I already have the model in red, but the Countach is such an iconic seventies car, another one is more than welcome.
Mercedes 380SEL. A regular Mercedes sedan is more the realm of Matchbox than Hot Wheels. The model dates from the late nineties.
Fish’d & Chip’d. This is based on the Jaguar Mk X, my father’s dream car. The Mk X was never available as a two door. This was a trade for a Dodge Demon, I found a seller parked near Vake park, Kakha, a specialist in retro gaming but who had quite a few diecasts for sale. I had bought a MaistoBoss Mustang from him earlier in the month and he told me he liked Dodges.
Porsche Carrera. This is a Hot Wheels model produced from a Corgi casting. Corgi – Hot Wheels
Drivin’ Wild. This is a Hot Wheels transporter, it would have been sold in a Super Rigs pack with a fantasy car (Nitro Doorslammer). It is a fantasy model but not as outlandish as some of the Hot Wheels haulers.
Ford GT Race. In one of the secondhand shops I frequent, the assistant knows me well, she apologised for not having many small cars. She did rummage out the back and found this and the Nissan Skyline, if I were interested, I could have both for the princely sum of 5 lari. I was interested 🙂
’68 Chevy Nova. The 3rd September was my birthday and I treated myself (as no-one else was going to…) to a new Hot Wheels from the pegs of my local Pepela store. The choice was limited, but the Nova in Gulf livery looks sweet.
Austin Mini Cooper 1275S (1964) I used this to make a comparison between Hot Wheels and Matchbox in an earlier post. What is the difference between Hot Wheels and Matchbox? Scale 1:51. This would have been more appropriate than the Nova as a birthday present, as I was born in Britain in 1964. I found this at the Clothing Market, where I hadn’t found anything interesting for quite a while.
Volvo C30. I realised when I got it home, I already had one. My collection is getting too big for me to remember every model I own. I would have been happier finding another P1800S. 1:61 scale.
BMW 328ifrom the 2000 Car Wash 5 Pack.1:59 scale.
‘70 Boss Mustang 302. From 1998. 1:62 scale. Made in China.
Mercury Commuter Police Car. Speed Kings. This was the highlight of the month, coming from Gocha at Dry Bridge market. A previous owner had decided to redecorate the police car as an ambulance, it makes an interesting Group 3 model.
Aside from Matchbox and Hot Wheels, I only picked up two Chinese made models, a ’70 Boss Mustangby Maisto and an Audi Coupe in “Delta Airlines” livery with no diecast brand marked on the base.
Totals: 16 Models: 9 Hot Wheels, 5 Matchbox, 1 Maisto and 1 unidentified Chinese made model
2 bought new, 13 bought secondhand, 1 traded
Outlets: 10 Secondhand Toy Stores, 1 Dry Bridge Market, 2 Pepela, 1 Kakha and 1 Clothing Market
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
I have one particularly vivid memory from childhood, in the classroom, when I was just seven, my friend Carl showed me his model of theMatchbox 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.
The first petrol-engined car was a Benz in 1885, Mercedes has a long and prestigious history. Here in Tbilisi there are more Mercedes on the road than any other make, many have been imported secondhand from Europe. Georgians like brands and Mercedes is an esteemed brand. For a long time the only model from the MajorettePremium Cars series, we could see on the pegs in XS Toys was the Mercedes G63, a nice casting with slightly opening bonnet but, personally, I prefer more variety.
As a child collecting diecast cars, I went through a phase of collecting just Mercedes, I don’t remember how long it lasted maybe 3 or 4 months, I even bought a vinyl one, an unusual purchase to put amongst my diecasts. I don’t have any of my childhood collection but have picked up a few in the past ten years, around 40 in total.
A few Mercedes I find difficult to resist: the gull wing 300SL from 1955, the C-111experimental car with a rotary engine and the 280SL “Pagoda”. I’m still looking for other examples, I’d love to find the Corgi Rockets280SL “Pagoda” from around 1970 and the MatchboxSpeed Kings C-111, to line up next to my Norev and Corgi models.
Mercedes is a popular choice for emergency vehicles. The Mercedes “Binz” ambulance by Matchbox brings back many childhood memories.
…collecting diecast cars, like the 3" Matchbox cars I had as a kid