Sunday,20 August, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1327, (12 - 18 January 2017)
Sunday,20 August, 2017
Issue 1327, (12 - 18 January 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Think small

If you fall in love with every beautiful car you bump into, then you have a big problem unless you have enough money to fund your expensive desire. If not, then scale models are the perfect cure, writes Mohamed Abdel-Razek

Diecast model collection sitting in a model auction waiting for collectors

It is said boys never get older, only their toys get bigger. That maybe right, but in the case of scale models, part of the saying has to be modified: Toys stay small.


1/24 CMC Ferrari 250 Testaroassa

Diecast model cars are not toys by any means. They are pieces of art that come in different scale sizes and quality of details. The value of each diecast model is measured by its quality in details and material used as well as the number of parts that were put together to make the model. Exclusivity also plays a big role in the model’s price and value, meaning if it is widely produced then it probably won’t be an expensive model but if it’s a limited edition, it will be expensive and it will get even more expensive with time. The size of scale model cars is also very important. They start from as tiny as 1:100 all the way up to 1:8 or even 1:2.  

After getting the first model, you will probably look for another one and another until you earn the title of “collector”. Then the real fun starts. Model and toy collectors usually run after rare pieces or limited editions that will be hard to find in the future. Some limited edition models reach massive prices after years and sometimes decades of their production with prices high enough to buy you a new real car.


1/18 CMC Ferrari race car transporter Fiat Bartoletti, 1957

For example, take the gorgeous limited edition Ferrari Transporter by model manufacturer CMC (classic car models), a quality German model manufacturer. The model was launched in 2013 with a price tag of around 500-700 euros. In 2017 the original owners are selling it online with prices up to ₤2,000 with many people rushing with bids to own the model. Two decades from now it might easily reach an eye boggling 6,000. Of course, not all models are that expensive although a model worth 1 could still become expensive. Starting in the models hobby business is, like many other hobbies, gaining experience with the not so expensive pieces so that you can know the difference in craftsmanship when you buy handmade expensive models afterwards.


CMC 1954 Mercedes-Benz W 196

Some collectors are interested in models produced before or during WWII, for example, and they can dig up the world looking for a simple Dinky or Corgi model. A case in point is the simple Salmson 4-seater Dinky model which massively increased in price because it was produced pre-WWII, in 1938, reaching 50 in auctions today.

Can model cars get you the same satisfaction like the real ones? Of course not, but no doubt they are probably the second best option you have. Jay Leno, the famous American comedian and former host of The Tonight Show, is one of a few who managed to make a real car collection. Leno’s garage contains 169 cars classic plus modern as well as 117 motorcycles. Leno still admires fine model cars so he asked the famous English model company Amalgam to make him a 1:8 scale model for one of his real cars. The model cost him a whopping 15,000.    


Salmson 4-seater Dinky model

Compared to Europe and the US, the community of scale car models in Egypt is not big enough to reach hobby status because it is rare or even nearly impossible to find shops that sell a wide range of scale model cars from different grades. You can start with Burago which is available in some popular toy shops in Egypt. But if you want to go for more expensive, well-made models, you need to shop online or buy it when you travel abroad.


Jay Leno

Another thing not found in Egypt are owners who can offer their models for sale and buy new ones, very important transactions in such a hobby because it gives you the chance to share the beauty and joy of scale model cars with other members of the community. But there are always lots of friends waiting to share the fun online.

 

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