Author by: Ken Wilson
A diecast toy is a toy made of plastic and a special metal called Zamak which is a mix of zinc and aluminum. Most of the usual toys made through the die-casting method are the scale models of cars, trains, plains and construction equipment. Most of these toys are usually collectible toys like for example the very famous Mach 5 from the Speed racer animated series. Nowadays most of the real means of transportations as well as some fictional ones are made through this method.
The good thing about the diecast toys is that they can be identical with the real size original. They can have all kind of features to describe the real thing. These kinds of toys became popular as collectibles during the 50s when the detail and quality of the toys rose. In the beginning the most popular diecast toys were the Matchbox series and the Hot Wheels series. In fact Matchbox was so successful that when people referred to a toy as a Matchbox toy they meant any toy made of plastic and Zamak. Since these toys are exact copies of the real thing at a smaller scale a lot of companies realized that by reproducing a vehicle or piece of equipment at a smaller scale, as a toy, could mean good advertising for them. Thus nowadays you can find different airline plains at different scales, cars, trucks, helicopters, buses and even construction equipment and agricultural machinery.
All the car producers have their models reduced at different scales. This 100% reproduction at a smaller scale became a very successful part of the toy manufacturing industry. People who own a nice car or have a dream car most of the times want to have it at least at a smaller scale. The usual scales are 1:12, 1:18, 1:24 and 1:64. The 1:12 is a large model that is usually intended for collectors. The 1:24 is the most common scale for the models intended for children for playing. Also pretty popular are the 1:64 scaled toys though these are not intended for small children because of the tiny pieces that they are made from. Famous cars like the cars from Need for Speed or the animated movie Cars or the animated series Speed Racer - Mach 5 are usually available in most of the existing scales. Of course the price varies from a scale to another. Also if a toy was produced in a limited edition its price is going to rise over the advertised price especially amongst collectors.
You find pretty much any car you can think of at a smaller scale than the real one. All the car producers have their old and new models scaled down. Also military vehicles are more and more popular both as toys and as collectibles. You can even get cars and other vehicles at the 1:87 scale so that you can have them as a key chain. If you like these kinds of toys you have to be careful not to become dependent. This hobby can be a very expensive one and you might need a lot of space for your cars and such. There are several websites apart from the toy stores that sell different models and scales of cars. Collectors’ sites offer information and photos of their collections and most of the times the models they buy are still in the original packaging.