If you’re getting into diecast car models and aren’t really sure where to start, first of all, don’t pull our hair out.

It’s not that you’re trying to learn trigonometry here, you’re just collecting a few toy cars, so here’s the main thing you want to know, make it your motto: Collect what you like.

When you walk into a hobby shop, most of them sell price guides so you can keep track of how much your collection is worth. Look, forget that there are also those price guides. Trying to study them, find patterns and understand what will make you a millionaire when you retire is a fruitless quest.

You have to consider collecting model cars for what it is: a hobby, not a second job. Listen to your inner child, not your inner responsible adult.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here’s the second most important thing to keep in mind about collecting diecast cars: take them out and play with them every now and then.

Don’t be a bungler old man, don’t be one of those kids who buy toys and then put them behind glass to make sure no one ever has fun with them, take them out, run to the coffee table next time you watch racing on TV and, once again, obey the inner child.

Because let’s be honest, they’re toys. You are collecting toys here. Collecting toys and never playing with them is like collecting real cars and never driving them.

The result is that you should only really collect diecast models if you are into motorsport or classic cars or whatever. You should only collect them if you have a true appreciation for automotive excellence, scale model perfection, and attention to detail.

If you plan to get rich by turning your diecast collection into a retirement fund, go invest in something safe instead. If you think you’re going to display them on a shelf and impress people with rare toy cars, forget it, we’re not that impressed. But if you’re going to put those toy cars to good use, start collecting today.

Collecting is a hobby and a hobby should be fun. If you turn it into a chore you have no one to blame but yourself. So do yourself a favor and start enjoying life for what it is, grab your toy cars and play with them. Planning for the future is great and all, but you don’t want to spend all your years as an adult thinking “Guys, I can’t wait to retire when I’ll really let myself have fun from time to time, for a change!” The true collectors they collect because they like it, not because they try to get rich.

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