Collecting Vintage Slot Cars: An Informative Guide for Hobbyists

Slot car racing and collecting are very lucrative hobbies today. A vintage slot car can be very valuable, although collectors now say that eBay significantly lowered the value of these classic toys. As with a lot of collectibles, the more difficult the item is to find, the higher the price tag gets. With eBay, the rarer items in the 90s suddenly seem so common. If you’re starting your own collection, though, these are items you’d like to have in your shelf. For the rare, frugal collector, you’ll be happy to note that the $1,000 collectibles in the 90s now cost $40 at most. That’s the same price as a brand new slot car.

K&B’s Ferrari 250 kit

The K&B’s Ferrari 250 kit is probably one of the most beautiful slot cars ever released. The reason why people collect these classic toys is because they’re better crafted than the mass-produced models of today. Try to purchase unused kits and don’t open the kit if it has a good history. eBay might have ruined its chances of becoming a truly rare purchase, but you never know what it’s going to be worth in a few years.

BZ Banshee

The BZ Banshee was designed by John Power and didn’t sell as well as its successor the Manta Ray. However, the Manta Ray was largely influenced by this car and if you’re able to find an unopened kit of this car, you’re looking at a great deal of history. This is a good slot car kit to have with a line of Manta Rays as well.

K&B Chaparral

If you’re looking for a slot car that’s extremely marketable, you might want to invest in a K&B Chaparral. This model is made from steel, is powered by a Mabuchi FT26 motor, and is one of the most renowned 2D cars. The red metallic paint of the model is simply divine.

Dugan Oldmobile Toronado

The Dugan Oldsmobile Toronado is extremely rare, especially if it’s still in the original box. Whether the item is used or not used, this is an item you’d want to have in your collection if only because of its value. Even with eBay, looking for this slot car can be very challenging. You probably won’t even come across it unless a good collector out there needs cash and you just happen to have more of it than s/he does. This is an item that very few would be willing to let go.

Classic’s Ready-to-Race ASP

Vintage slot car collecting is all about getting the most significant iconic models of slot cars out of the market and into your home. Nothing can be more iconic than the Classic’s Ready-to-Race ASP. These come in 1:24 and 1:32 models. They’re not exactly very rare, but are the first ready-to-race slot cars released into the market. In terms of historical significance, this model tops the list. Because of eBay’s existence, the price of the Classic has dropped. You might want to take advantage of the price drop right now because the value could rise later on.

Save For A Home – Vintage Collectible House Banks

I wanted a house for so many years before I could afford one it’s no surprise that I began to collect small, affordable houses. Vintage banks shaped like houses that is.

One year, at an antiques show in Boston, I found a small house-shaped bank marked “Save For A Home.” Since that’s precisely what I was doing it was a must have. Several months later I found another vintage house bank at a garage sale marked “Save For A Purpose.” Voila! A collection in the making.

Trouble was, it turned out to be a fluke that those two vintage collectibles had turned up so easily. For the life of me I couldn’t find another. Obsession set in. Every time I cruised the aisles in an antique shop I was really looking for just one thing. Soon half a dozen of my friends and family were enlisted in the search. My collection grew at the rate of about one house bank per year — with a lot of hunting in between each discovery.

And then they created eBay. My collection doubled in size within three weeks and the obsession was lifted.

The focus of my obsession is small — about 3.5″ wide and 2.5″ high at the peak of the roof. These banks were give-aways — usually by banks or credit unions, sometimes by insurance companies. They are made of an early plastic with a metal bottom that is opened with a key. If you’re lucky the key will still accompany the bank. There’s a metal plate affixed across the front of the base that reads “Save For A Home,” “Save For A Purpose,” or “Save And Have” and a metal plate on the other side that has the bank or company’s name and address. The body is off-white and the color of the metal plate matches the color of the roof — red, green, or blue. Earlier versions were made of cast iron or tin.

Shaped like a quintessential Cape Cod style house the banks are charming and remarkably detailed. The Cape is complete with dormer windows, shutters with cut-outs, and a fanlight over the door. There are miniature details like a door knocker and a pair of lantern-style lights that flank the door.

The best way to track down house banks is to search on eBay. Do a search that includes the item description field for the term “save for a home” in quotations and you’ll find them.

My grandfather built a Cape in the 1960s financing the construction in large part with the coins he’d been collecting. It’s probably no longer feasible to finance a home purchase with change but I still think these house banks are a great inspiration for somebody who’s trying to amass a down payment or who’s dreaming of their first home. “Save and Have” is certainly a better plan than “Borrow and Spend.”

As for me I just like houses – in any size – so my vintage house bank collection lines a shelf above my desk

Different Kinds of Anime Collectible Figures

You’ve finally found yourself interested in collecting anime statues! Maybe because you enjoy reading manga or watching anime. Or, perhaps you saw some cute, colorful, attractive toys in a store’s window or on a Japanese website. Whatever the reason, one thing is certain: you’re ready to start collecting! It’s a very fun and popular hobby, so you are not alone! Unfortunately, however, many people foreign to Japan find it difficult to find these statues, since they’re primarily produced in Japan. Maybe you, yourself, have attempted to find out more information? For that purpose, I’ve complied a list of popular models of anime figures that exist, and how you can find more information on the newest released statues!

Because these statues are so popular, many manufacturers have designed different types of statues. The most popular type to date, and likely the first created, is known as a scaled PVC statue. They’re named this because they’re produced with a material called Polyvinyl Chloride, shortened as PVC. Typically, the parts of the statues are mass-produced by machines, and are put together by hand. They are designed to be scaled to a specific size, usually directly proportional to an actual size character. Most of these statues are scaled between 1/8th to 1/5th, but not all. I’ve seen statues scaled at 1/1 (full scale!), or more commonly 1/4th. I’ve also seen statues scaled at 1/10th. The detail to these statues are also typically high, depending on the manufacturer. The prices range based on the size and detail, anywhere from $70 up to $300. There are special occasions in which the prices may be higher or lower, however.

The second most popular style of statues is called a cast-off. As implied by the name, these figures have parts that are removable. They’re typically made of the same PVC as regular scaled statues. Although, lately ‘candy-resin’, a material that is known to simulate the feeling of skin better than PVC, has been used. These statues are mostly designed as hentai (perverted) statues, where the clothing can be completely removed to reveal a naked statue. That being said, however, this is not always the case. Sometimes clothing can be removed just to reveal undergarments, or a character in a swimsuit. In both cases, cast-off figures give the owner a slightly varied way to display the character. These statues usually price about the same as the previous ones, depending on scale and detail, but may cost a little more due to extra parts.

A strange, yet popular, style of anime statues that has been becoming increasingly popular is known as a nendoroid. This statue line was created by Good Smile Company, a well-known and reliable figure distributor. These statues are very small in height, usually measuring in at 4 inches. They’re made in a chibi style, with their heads about one-third the size of the entire statue. What’s made them so popular lately is that they have many parts that are interchangeable. They come in sets, including items such as additional faces, body parts, clothing, props, etc. These pieces easily snap on and off to the statue. The parts included typically come from the anime series that the character is featured from, and usually tie into the storyline somehow. Also, they have movable joints, a feature not seen in regular PVC statues. This makes them movable, so that you may place them in any pose you like! These small toys are much cheaper than the previously mentioned statues, and usually cost as little as $25. It’s rare to see a nendoroid go over $60.

Another popular type of statue that is being produced is known as a figma. Also created by a popular and well-known figure distributor known as Max Factory, figmas are similar to nendoroids in that they also have movable joints. However, these statues are much larger. They are similar in height to scaled PVC statues, about 6 inches tall. These toys also come with many parts featured from the statue’s anime, making it easy to portray a scene as if it’s actually happening! Many collectors find this enjoyable, since it adds to the collecting experience. Instead of just owning a character, you also own a scene from a show! Since these statues are a big bigger than nendoroids, they often cost more, but are less expensive than scaled PVC or cast-off statues. They usually cost between $35 and $70.

The last type of popular statues are model kits. These were always my favorite as a kid! The most popular type are Gundam models. These ones are made of plastic, and require assembly. Gundam kits are usually pretty easy to assemble, as the parts simply snap in. However, there are other, more collectible (and expensive) sets that require more labor. These may need you to glue and paint the pieces, which requires accuracy and talent. These sets are typically rare, harder to obtain, or are exclusive. The price may range greatly, depending on the kit. However, it’s easier and cheaper to obtain the cheaper Gundam models, and can range anywhere from $10 to $50.