What is my toy car collection worth?
What is my toy car collection worth? This is a question that as a collector you get asked a lot and of course plenty of people who come into a collection of cars wants to know and the one question where the honest answer usually is not what the person asking wants to hear. The problem is that correctly valuing any diecast toy would have to be one of the most subjective tasks you could ever undertake. You need to balance the popularity of the chosen model with any damage and of course whether it has its original packaging and what condition that is in as well.
Corgi, Matchbox & Dinky made prior to 1970 are generally considered to be more valuable than their modern day counterparts, however any diecast model is generally worth a lot more when found in its original packaging, in fact the little bit of plastic or cardboard it came in all those years ago can almost double the value in certain cases. Where people can get upset is when they have a collection that they feel is worth a lot of money than it actually is, a prime example of this is any of the Matchbox Models of Yesteryears produced in the 1980s, particularly those where the packaging and in some cases the model itself was clearly marked as a limited edition, these particular models were produced in such large quantities and just about everyone who bought one has kept it in mint, untouched condition so simple supply and demand rules apply and most of the 1980s Matchbox Models of Yesteryear are worth no more than a couple of dollars and this can upset some people who think they are sitting on a fortune.
This of course can be contrast directly with a more modern Matchbox vehicle like the Go-Rolla from 2004, this particular model was limited in its production and not very popular when released. The Go-Rolla was cancelled in the middle of its production as the Matchbox Hero City range was to be killed off due to its unpopularity. Fast forward to today, and this simple £1 vehicle now attracts figures closer to £20, that’s a 900% increase in a very short time but again it is simply supply and demand, very few models were produced and collectors worldwide are willing to pay a premium just to have it in their collection, of course all of the figures quoted here are based on an absolute mint condition vehicle in its original packaging.
There have been plenty of books published as well over the years to cover just about every brand of diecast vehicle as well to help you out, and while I think these books are a must have for every collector, they are really only good as a list of variations made, the price guide within them should only be used as a very rough guide as they all seem to be very much out of date by the time they are even published. This in my opinion is because they fail to take into account various factors that will affect the price, things that a book just simply cannot include. What I am talking about is local factors, the example above the Matchbox Go-Rolla is a prime one, when it was pulled from production it had already made general release in Australia and New Zealand, but had not been released elsewhere in the world, this means that it will attract a much higher price in the USA or Europe than it will in Australia or New Zealand and these local factors don’t just effect the Matchbox Go-Rolla, the same issues effect Hot Wheels, Siku, Majorette and Jada Toys in fact any other manufacturer of diecast vehicles that you can think of will also be effected by local factors like this. To further add to this you get models from manufacturers like Siku or Majorette that deliberately release localised vehicles like the Greek Police car from Siku that was of course only released in Greece, this means collectors elsewhere in the world will pay a premium just to get a copy of it into their collection.
So no matter what you collect, Matchbox, Majorette, Siku or others to correctly value your collection you need to take into account model condition, model age, packaging condition (if it exists), rarity, supply, that is to say how many of your chosen model come to market and how often and of course demand, how many collectors will want to buy your chosen vehicle. The other tool that is good to use is eBay, from here you can see just what people are willing to pay for similar models.