Antiques, Collectibles, & Memorabilia – Do You Know the Difference?

The world of antiques can be confusing. What’s the difference between an antique and collectible? Aren’t collectibles and memorabilia really the same thing? In this month’s column, I’ll de-mystify these terms, so that you’ll be appropriately armed for your next antique adventure.

Antique

Basically, an antique is something old that has value because of aesthetic or historical reasons. Generally, if a piece is over 100 years old, it is considered an antique. Although, I do know that some people use the 50-year mark for Canadian pieces; the rationale being that Canada is a young country relative to places such as Europe and Asia. However, I’m old fashioned and apply the 100-year definition to Canadian pieces.

Collectible

A collectible is something that is less than 100 years old that has value because of aesthetic or historical reasons. This term fills the gap for valuables that aren’t quite old enough to be an antique.

One category of collectible is items with intrinsic artistic merit. A stunning Art Deco table fits into this category. It was beautiful when it was made in the 1930s, is beautiful today and will still be beautiful when it hits the 100-year old mark.

A second category is mass-produced collectibles. Beanie Babies, trading cards and Hummel figurines fit into this category. They don’t necessarily have a lot of artistic merit. But manufacturers have created desirability by producing limited editions.

Another category is items associated with particular people. For example, anything worn by the Beatles or Elvis Presley is collectible.

Memorabilia

There is a difference between collectibles and memorabilia. Collectibles are things that are ornamental. They never served an utilitarian purpose. A piece of memorabilia served a particular purpose. Movie posters, sports programs, cameras, television sets and musical instruments are all examples of items that fall into this category. Movie posters were used to sell movies. Sports programs were used to communicate information. And, cameras, television sets and musical instruments all serve a function.

hot wheels guide

Hot Wheels Guide for Newbie Collectors

Hot Wheels Guide for Newbie Collectors

When it comes to toy cars and collectibles, there is no other greater name than Hot Wheels. As a matter of fact, the brand is an American icon and a legend in the entire toy industry. This classic die cast toy is widely considered as the most popular and preferred collectible toy in the entire history. While that premise could be debatable, it’s no secret that it is a legend on its own.

One of the best things about this car toy collection is that they aren’t just intended and popular for children and kids, they are also quite interesting for adults, especially when it comes to collecting the same. There are so many adult individuals who boast collecting more than ten thousand of these toy cars and they are classified into three important categories.

This Hot Wheels guide will tell you that when you’re planning to collect the brand’s toy cars, you will be presented with three categorical options and these are vintage, modern, and contemporary. Vintage Hot Wheels are the very first ones to be unveiled and introduced to the consumer market. There is a consensus that any car produced before the 1980s will be considered vintage. Hence, those that were made during the 1980 to 1989 are labeled as modern and the newest, from 1990 up to the present, are referred to as the contemporary collection.

With that in mind, one of the basic things any Hot Wheels guide will give you is proper organization. You must therefore ideally choose a category based on the period of production in order to concentrate on collecting the cars belonging to the mentioned period before going to another one.

How to Begin a Hot Wheels Collection

It’s no secret that collecting this hot toy car line corresponds to maximum fun and entertainment. One of the best things in owning them is that you really don’t have to spend that much since they’re not that expensive. Hence, you get to collect a couple right away.

One of the first things you have to keep in mind is what kind of Hot Wheels do you fancy the most. Think of yourself as a separate and distinctive collector and ask: are you planning to have those toy cars as merely for display and collection or will you play with them in actuality? Remember that when you opt for playing with them, you can always prefer the loose hot wheels type since they are easier to obtain and less expensive in general.

But if you are someone looking for the rarest versions and models, majority of Hot Wheels guide and reviews online will tell you that you need to allot more money than usual. This is because there is a trend wherein the earliest models of these little cars are also the most likely to be expensive, and that’s because they’re so rare. Hence, you will normally fetch one over a $100 or even more.

In the end, having to choose Hot Wheels for collection is a very nice hobby for anyone. Just make sure you do get authentic ones without damages or deterioration.

Hot Wheels Guide for Newbie Collectors

matchbox cars

Matchbox Cars & Hot Wheels As Collectibles

Matchbox cars and Hot Wheels cars flourished as popular toys for decades, and continue to do so. However, in recent years, these die-cast cars have also spurred on a new realm of collecting. Toy collecting has been around for some time and those individuals naturally started to collect toy cars as well. However, there have been many individuals that got their start in, and stayed exclusively in, die-cast toy cars.

Collecting Matchbox cars and Hot Wheels is something that wide varieties of people have come to enjoy. One of the reasons for this is that most people, especially men, enjoy cars. In fact, some are ecstatic about cars. People’s love for cars naturally draws them to toy cars. People also dream of owning cars well beyond their reach, and while a die-cast car cannot be enjoyed the same way, they allow people to own their dream car. In fact, they could own dozens of dream cars.

One of the major reasons that collecting Matchbox cars and Hot Wheels became so big is because of the multiple variations of models. This is especially true of older Matchbox cars. In the process of painting a line of cars, if they ran out of paint, they would simply use extra paint left over from another run, often of a different color. This usually meant that only a small portion of that particular model was the second color, and therefore much rarer. As every collector knows, the rarer an item, the more its value goes up. Matchbox was also known, especially early on, to make other slight variations within one run similar to this. These were often due to manufacturing adjustments. There are also cases where factory workers would accidentally apply incorrect elements to the wrong model. These two facts created multiple variations of cars and are often not discovered until years later when someone realizes that their car is different.
Other variations also create rarity. Another very common one is the fact that the same model would be reissued multiple times over the years, usually with changes or improvements. These variations included graphics/paint schemes, wheels (rim style), door & hood lines and even opening parts like hoods and doors. Obviously, the older cars are worth more but occasionally flawed cars are not caught until after some make it to the stores. The numbers of these incorrect cars that make it out, depend on how fast the company catches the mistake.

Die-cast toy car companies are now also catering to the collectors with special releases and lines of cars. This is especially true of Hot Wheels. They have begun to release a ‘Treasure Hunt’ series that highlights popular past models with new paint jobs, usually chrome in color. This series releases twelve cars per year and occasionally a thirteenth that can only be received through a mail offer and proof of purchasing the other twelve Treasure Hunt models for that year. Hot Wheels also releases cars enclosed in a black blister pack, concealing the car from the buyer. These ‘Mystery Cars’ are often black themselves. One last thing that contributes to collector’s interest is the special edition cats that companies make for their employees as holiday, anniversary or special occasion gifts. It is also important to mention that some collectors are interested in models designed to replicate vehicles from other companies, race cars, farm machinery and many others.

Get Collectibles And Gifts For Less

Being able to get all the collectibles and gifts you want for a lower price is exciting. You can stretch the money you have to buy items for your home further. You can get more value when you buy a gift for someone special. They will enjoy the gift and you can smile knowing you got it for a great savings due to sale.

Items are often discounted to make room for new items they are introducing. This means anything you buy from sale is well made, looks great, and it is still trendy and perfect for decorating or gift giving. Yet you don’t have to pay the full retail price for it as it isn’t new anymore.

Pillows

You can add some colour and flare to your bedroom or living room with pillows from this brand. They have plenty of styles, colours, and designs for you to create the look you want. It won’t be hard to get it to all blend in nicely with your décor. You can get them for less with sale. Now is the time to look for them and get what you want ordered!

Bedding

You can add a splash of colour and fun to your bedroom with items from sale. This includes pillows, comforters, and sheets. There are even pajamas if you would like to complete the look and be cosy at the same time. Being able to sleep in comfort and also having a stylish look in that part of your home is a great concept. It doesn’t have to be expensive!

For the Kitchen

In any household, a great deal of time is spent in the kitchen. You can add some lovely tea cups complete with saucers. Decorative bowls are a wonderful addition that will get everyone relaxed and happy in the morning during the usual rushing around to get out there door. There are full-sized dinner plates and smaller dessert plates also available.

You can buy a few of them for special occasions or you can buy a complete set and use them regularly in your kitchen for meals. You may decide to host a dinner party once you get them due to how nice they look. A dinner party is a very nice way to show them off to your guests!

Writing Materials and Calendars

Everyone can benefit from writing materials including pens, envelopes, and stationery sets. A calendar can be used all year-long too. These are common items you will find offered with sale. They are typical items you would buy anyway, but there is no reason for you to pay full price for them. These make wonderful gifts for people of any age and relationship to you.

Check Often

There are new offers all the time so don’t overlook any sale. This is a great way for you to save money and love the way you have your home decorated. You will also be considered one of the best gift gives out there! Check often to take advantage of what is offered. Don’t wait either when you see something you want as it won’t be there for long.

Such items will quickly be sold to others and you will miss out. It can be fun to do your holiday shopping all year long too when you find such a sale. You can put those items away until you need them. When others are stressing over holiday shopping, you can just relax.

How Can I Display My Antique Diecast Model Cars at Home?

Collections are a great pastime; however, if you’ve been at it for awhile, you’ll start to realize that you lose the space in your home to boxes and boxes of antique collectibles. If you’ve found that you have no space for your collection it may be time to find a nice way to display it in your home. Below you will find a few great ideas that can take your collection of diecast model cars from a boxed nuisance to a fun treasure for everyone to see.

Dust Be Gone

One of the most common problems that collectors have when trying to display their Diecast Model Cars is the collection of dust. Dust easily gets in and on their collectibles making displaying them more of a chore than a fun experience. If this is a problem for you, there are solutions that will easily remedy the problem.

Display Cases

There are some places you can go and purchase display cases that are designed for collectible toys. You can often see these displays in toy stores in the Barbie section where the most popular items are. Ordering these display cases allows you to put your collection wherever you’d like. The cases are clear all around making it visible to all however it is completely enclosed warding off that dust.

Glass Cases with Lighting

Another great way to display your Diecast Model Cars in your home is to invest in a glass case. They are sold in different sizes and some of them are equipped with lighting that makes it easier to see your toys.

China Cabinets

Your grandma’s china cabinet idea for displaying her fine china is another great solution that collectors of Diecast Model Cars can try. If you have a decent china cabinet you can place your toys on the shelves. Since the cabinet doors are glass, they can make a great focal point in your living or dining room area.

Book Shelves

If you don’t mind the dust too much, there is always the option to display your Diecast Model Cars on a bookshelf. There are plenty of shelving arrangements now that have different sized shelves making it easy for you to customize your display the way you want to. Book shelves are already great display pieces and can be stored in any room in your house.

Designate a Room

If your Diecast Model Cars are still in their original packaging and you intend to resell them at a later date than you will need to preserve them appropriately. Instead of taking them out of the boxes, you might consider designating a room or area where you can easily display the toys. For instance, if you have an attic or basement, add a few shelves that can mount to the wall. Place your toy boxes on the shelves for an easy display area.

When displaying your Diecast Model Cars please keep in mind that they must maintain their quality in order to maintain its value. Therefore you should not store your items anywhere that there is intense heat, moisture, or cold. Keep the toys away from younger children who might play with them or open the packages, and more importantly store them out of the reach of your pets. Other than that, get creative in making your collectibles mesh with your living space for everyone to enjoy.

Buying Nascar Diecast Cars in Bulk

If you’re hoping to collect a “full set” of Nascar diecast cars, you’re probably expecting it to cost you somewhere in the area of an arm and a leg, and probably take you somewhere around the rest of your life to complete the collection.

Well, that could be what happens, unless you want to be realistic about it.

A “full set” of Nascar diecast cars is really for you to define. What would you consider a complete collection? Every single Nascar diecast ever produced? Ha, forget it! On the other hand, maybe you’re just after every winner of the Daytona 500, or maybe you want the full line of every Dale Earnhardt diecast ever produced. That’s a little more like it.

The trick to getting such a collection is pretty simple: Buy a lot of cars. Well, yeah, of course, but what we mean by this is that you should look for any opportunity to buy full sets of cars at a time.

Say you’re browsing eBay and you find someone selling that rare piece you’ve been looking for, but they’re selling it in a lot with about five or six other cars. Go ahead and bid on it. When your package arrives, take the Nascar diecast cars you’re not interested in keeping, and resell them. Simple as that.

If you’re something of an economic genius, you can even turn your collection into a financially self-sustaining hobby with the inexpensive investment of a single purchase. Say you buy a lot of cars at a discount, resell each one you don’t want individual, and there you go, you’ve made enough cash to buy another lot. Keep doing that every time you see a lot with a piece you’re missing, and sooner or later you’ve got a full set at little to no actual cost to yourself. Heck you might even make a profit.

In fact, that’s how a lot of collectors get started: In retail. Comic books, for instance. Someone who runs a bookstore or a comic shop has their pick of the litter, so they keep a copy of anything that might be valuable someday, and before long, they’ve got an impressive collection as a by-product of running a successful business.

Of course, this is just one method of collecting. The fun of being a collector is in doing it your own way. Maybe you’d rather just buy each car individually, or maybe you’d prefer to just browse hobby shops and flea markets and see what catches your eye. It’s your collection and it’s your dime, so collect however you like.

Car Lovers: Find Diecast Models of All Your Favorites

Die-cast toys are created using a popular industrial production method. Molten metal is forced into mold cavities, which are then turned into die castings. Most castings use non-ferrous metals like lead, pewter, copper, magnesium, zinc, aluminum, and tin. The method is prized for its accuracy and quality, specifically with regard to small parts. Though it is known for numerous applications, die-casting is famous for its contribution to the collectible model and toy markets.

Because of its incredible accuracy, die-casting is able to produce model toys that maintain dimensional consistency. That is, they are highly-detailed, much smaller scale replicas of the original vehicles, often a car, truck, train, plane, or motor cycle. Models are typically made from one of the aforementioned metals along with rubber, plastic, and sometimes glass.

Die-cast models first became popular in the early 20th century. Companies like Dinky Toys (UK) and Tootsies Toys (US) produced simple miniatures of popular vehicles types like the van and the bus. Many of these toys were made with cheap alloys that would crack after only a few years, which is why die-cast models made before the Second World War are hard to find. The problem was addressed with the introduction of a new, purer alloy called Zamak (mostly Zinc).

When the war ended, a British manufacturing company named Lesney began distributing die-cast toys on a large scale. One of their first lines of miniature vehicles became an instant hit. They called the set Matchbox and sold them in different series. For example, the Matchbox 1-75 line had 75 different vehicles in the series. The point was to try to collect them all. They were called “matchbox cars” because they were sold in small boxes that resembled matchboxes.

The Matchbox line of cars and vehicles was largely responsible for the popularity of die-cast toys and collectibles during the 1950s. Though they were a worldwide hit, most die-cast companies were located in either the U.K. or the U.S. By the end of the Fifties, die-cast companies were competing in a crowded marketplace.

The popularity of the die-cast miniatures showed no signs of waning through the 1960s. In fact, a new line of model vehicles from toy maker Mattel challenged Matchbox as the world’s top die-cast toys. They were called Hot Wheels and they were a sleeker, more stylish alternative to the twenty-year-old Matchbox line.

At the same time, companies began to produce new die-cast vehicles to give away to clients as promotional items. A major shift in the target audience occurred when industry insiders reported that some adults were purchasing these models as collectibles. Many of them had played with miniature models as children and they were willing to spend considerable sums of money on replicas.

Scale

Unlike plastic model kits, most die-cast vehicles come preassembled. Their price is often based on their size or scale. For example, the typical Matchbox or Hot Wheels car is 1:64 scale and quite affordable. By comparison, a larger model like the 1:12 scale is not intended for children. Often about 14 or 15 inches long, their level of detail is unparalleled in the die-cast model market. This typically means real glass in the windows, rubber in the tires, and an incredibly realistic interior. Let us take a moment to review our favorite American models.
Since die-cast toys reached the height of their popularity during the 1950s, many of the most famous models are based on classic cars from the Fifties.

Elvis Presley’s 1955 Cadillac Fleetwood Pink

Few vehicles have had as much of an influence on music history as the 1955 Pink Cadillac owned by the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Not only did Elvis sing about the car in his own songs, but legendary vocalists like Aretha Franklin and Bruce Springsteen have taken a turn. The car was famously painted pink (Cadillac did not offer the car in that color) and was given from Elvis to his mother Gladys as a gift shortly before she died. It is the only one of Elvis’s many cars on permanent display at his former home, Graceland.

When it comes to die-cast models, the Franklin Mint released a gorgeous replica with steerable wheels, rubber tires, and a detailed interior and engine compartment. The model is 1:24 scale and is comes with a miniature guitar. It can be found online for around one hundred dollars.

1957 Chevy Corvette Convertible

In addition to being one of the most eye-catching automobiles of the decade, the ’57 Chevrolet Corvette was also one of the fastest cars on the road. It was the premier sports car of its day with two-seats, a four-speed transmission, and an enormous 283 cubic inch fuel-injected engine. The Corvette was available in both hardtop and folding soft top versions. Most surprising of all, perhaps, was the incredible influence the model had considering its scarcity. Fewer than 6400 until were manufactured. The car remains one of the most sought after die-cast models on the market.

1959 Chevy Impala

With its gull-wing rear-fender, tear drop tail lights, white-wall tires, and distinctive tailfins, few cars say 1950s America like the ’59 Chevy Impala. Not only was it Chevrolet’s most expensive model, but it was also the bestselling automobile in the U.S. It is no wonder then that Impala is one of the most popular die-cast models in history. The 1:18 scale version is easy enough to find online and only costs thirty or forty dollar. The larger and more detailed 1:12 scale model, on the other hand, is much pricier and harder to find.

Getting Started With Antiques and Collectibles

Collecting antiques is an incredibly hobby no matter what the person is. First off, let’s decide what exactly an antique is. Someone might say well an antique is anything that is old. Well that is not entirely true. An antique is defined as anything over a hundred years old. That is what makes these so valuable and difficult to find.

So when it comes to finding antiques what kind of options are there? Well, the first way, and possibly the most obvious, is going to an antique store. This are good options, but they are limited in a few different ways. For one, they usually do not have a wide range of selections unless it is an extremely large antique store. Another option is going online and buying stuff. Understandably, some people are not comfortable with this technique as they like to see what they are buying in person before paying for it. If someone is open to purchasing things online, eBay and Amazon open up a world of possibilities as far as finding antiques and collectibles.

So what all types of antiques are out there? Lots of people like to collect antique home furnishings. One example would be antique chandeliers. Something else that people go for is antique furniture. Others love to collect all of these things and use them to decorate their home. After all, an antique chandelier wouldn’t go well in a very modernly decorated home.

Another very common thing that people like to collect is antique dolls. A lot of these were made way back in the mid 1800’s. That is why they are so difficult to find. One thing to keep in mind is the condition of the dolls. If there is a doll from 1850 that is in mint condition, that really enhances the value of it.

Speaking of value, how does one know how much an antique is worth? Well, there are people called antique appraisals that have the job of setting an approximate value for antiques they are shown. If someone is going to collect antiques it is good to know an antique appraiser to help them when making a purchase. Be careful not to get an appraiser that is also looking to buy the antique from you, as they may not give a fair estimate of the price.

No matter what type of antique someone decides to collect, there are tons of options out there. Whether someone wants to collect antiques as a profession or is just into collecting antique figurines just for fun, there is something out there for everyone.

Hot Wheels Collecting Tips

Collecting Hot Wheels cars is an easy and fairly inexpensive hobby. Here are some collecting tips to get you on your way with this ever growing hobby of die-cast cars.

* Keep abreast of upcoming special collector days at your neighborhood K-Mart or Wal-Mart stores in your area.

* Search the online auctions or collector’s web sites for cars you may be missing from your current collection.

* Purchase trade books and magazines to stay on top of the value of each car.

* Begin with the latest releases if you are just starting out. Most newer Hot Wheels will not be too difficult to find and you can keep track of your collection with a Mattel Hot Wheels checklist.

* Find all the cars released in the latest years First Editions Series or Treasure Hunt Series limited editions. There are also 12 Final Run retiring models each year; these may be a little harder to find.

* Look for Planet Micro vehicles. There are six different series of these tiny car sets.

* If at all possible do not open the packages that your hot wheels come in. They hold their highest value if they are in their original package.

* When buying cars from eBay, make sure to check out the seller and their selling history. This will give you a great idea of the type seller you are dealing with.

* All ways be on the look out for neighborhood garage sales and estate sales you might visit.

* The biggest collecting tip is to just have fun and do not spend more than you can afford.

Happy Hunting!

Vintage Hot Wheels Series – The Sweet Sixteen

Are you thinking of starting a vintage Hot Wheels collection? The bad news is that you will not find this as easy as collecting more recent models. As a matter of fact, if you’re looking to complete your own Sweet Sixteen collection, you should gear up for some work. Those models will not fall into your lap from sheer luck. Why not?

The Sweet Sixteen are the first 16 cars in the Hot Wheels series. They came in different makes and colors and had a very distinctive mark on them – a red line on each tire. The red line is also found in all Hot Wheels produced from 1968 to 1972. And, because of their red lines, these models were affectionately called Redlines. Thus was born the Redline era.

But think about this – if owning a Redline is difficult enough, imagine how much more difficult it is to get your hands on a Redline that is part of the Sweet Sixteen? Yes, the Redline is rare. Yes, a Sweet Sixteen Redline is even rarer. But take note, it’s only difficult – not impossible – to find. You can always try your luck on eBay, but be careful who you deal with. Scams concerning vintage hot wheels have been reported. Or, you can check out garage sales. Or, ask fellow diecast enthusiasts.

Of course, your best bet will always be checking out specialty shops that carry a huge like of collectible cars. Not only do these shops have access to the most recent units, they also have one of the most extensive horde of old school rides. This fact is important because if there’s any place you will have better hopes of finding a Sweet Sixteen in, that place is a specialty shop like IdCow and the others of its kind.

Good luck!