Collecting Model Cars: A Hobby For All

 

The Diecast collector’s world, albeit a very niche category, certainly has a cult following all over the world. There is a certain something about collecting miniature versions of your dream cars, perhaps even your actual car. Some hobbies are quite challenging to elaborate on, for example it’s hard to come up with an answer when you’re asked why you collect toy cars even though you are well above “toy car age.” This interesting hobby has now found its way into the minds of the enthusiasts of Bangladesh, and in the past decade has grown exponentially thanks to certain diecast clubs and annual as well as annual diecast exhibitions. Globally, and nationally, there is no hard and fast rule about how old one must be to call themselves a diecast enthusiast. Everyone who shares the love of collecting miniature automobiles can be classified as one.

Diecast Basics

To look inside and understand the network of diecast collectors, there are certain ideas, concepts and jargons one needs to know the basics of.

To start off, the most basic and standard measurement used to classify certain diecasts are scales. Scale is an indication of the relative sizes of the vehicles. For example, a popular scale, 1/18 would mean that the diecast vehicle is one 18th of the size of the real vehicle. Written another way, the real car is 18 times larger. Accordingly, a 1/43 scale car would be smaller because the diecast is one section of the size of the real car, divided by 43.

Why all the different scales? It’s because different manufacturers make different scales, with varying levels of detail. Typically, the bigger scales, such as a 1/24 or a 1/18 will have more details such as a fully detailed steering wheel or dashboard, and thus will cost more money. A typical 1/64 scale car won’t have that many details as doing so requires very intricate attention to detail. There are exceptions however, such as bigger scale cars that are not particularly well detailed and don’t cost that much, and there are hyper realistic 1/64 cars that cost as much as modern android phones.

Popular scales

Here are the most popular scales that collectors of Bangladesh tend to go for

1/87 scale cars – These are mostly preferred by people who build dioramas and miniature model sceneries, as they best go with the most popularly made architectural models such as buildings trees and houses

1/64 scale cars – Arguably the most popular scale amongst both beginner and veteran collectors. Hotwheels and matchbox are by far the most common and affordable cars available, followed by Greenlight, Tomica and on the premium side of the spectrum, AutoArt and Kyosho

1/43 scale cars – This scale is very popular amongst collectors, as it finds itself in the perfect balance of being big enough to have adequate details but not too big to be very expensive or posing an issue regarding storage. Popular brands are Ebbro, Kyosho, Bburago, Minichamps and much more.

1/24 scale – This scale is popular both amongst model car collectors and toy car (RC) manufacturers. Popular brands include Motormax, Ebbro, Maisto and RAStar among others

1/18 scale – This scale is dominated mostly by the premium brand AutoArt in our country, and is considered to be quite a prestigious scale as they are priced on the premium side. More affordable brands include Maisto and Bburago, and more exotic brands such as FrontiArt are rare but a few still have found its way into our country.

Diecast in Bangladesh

Diecast as a hobby has grown very much in the past few years, thanks to Facebook groups. Its members and admins, developed a close knit community of people passionate about diecasts. There are groups dedicated to buying and selling, and enthusiasts dedicated to posting photos of their model cars, discuss about new releases and many other topics, all concerning diecast. They host exhibitions and diecast meets every year, which is a fantastic way for enthusiasts to come together and display their scale modes, talk to other collectors and enjoy an event dedicated to their hobby. Here’s a few words from one of the founders of DCCCB, a very popular diecast group in Bangladesh:

“I would like to remind all the new and young collectors, that collection is never a competition or a race. Take your time. I know it’s tough to control oneself when a new model arrives at the store but do try to wait for a few weeks/months to simmer down the hype. Trust me it will put a smart grin on your face when you realize you patiently waited and paid for a car 150tk while others got it for 450tk or more.

Do not be intimidated by other’s collections. Don’t go around copying or following other’s collection. Be focused! Make a wish list of what model & scale you love and you want! Never be embarrassed or feel shy about what you have & try to participate in meets displaying your collection even if it’s a very regular car. Remember it’s not the number, the price or value or the quality. It’s the passion that matters most.”

-Rubab Momen

The diecast clubs of Bangladesh are very welcoming, and new members are always welcome. Many veterans come forward to help people looking for advice on their first premium models, where to source them and everything in between. Diecasts aren’t just “toys” or just model cars, they are a source of passion for many, and a fantastic hobby to take on if you choose to fancy having your own personal collection of these gems.