There are many places to find collectible diecast models, one of the most obvious will be on auction sites such as eBay. Here you will find thousands of models from all over the world, some in mint boxed condition & some in a playworn condition.
Some collectors will only buy the best model they can find & the better the condition the more valuable the item. Mint boxed examples will always be more valuable & the box alone can fetch a very high price, another important point to remember is to find a model that is complete with any extras such as a driver or spare wheel, also any inner packaging or leaflets will make your model a sound investment, the more complete & original the more valuable your find.
As well as auction sites another great place to find collectible models are toy fairs, these are held throughout the year in the UK & details can be found in local newspapers. At toy fairs you will find collectors & traders selling new & old models, one of the advantages of buying at a fair is very often the sellers are open to offers so this can be a great place to pick up a bargain.
Specialists in antique toys such as Vectis Toy auctions also regularly hold auctions throughout the year & these are a great source of quality models that are well photographed & honestly described so you can be sure of getting a good quality investment. With Vectis you can place a bid by post or e-mail & also bid live online, always remember there is a commission to be paid on top of your winning bid as well as post & packing charges.
As with all antiques & collectibles there is always a risk of being sold a fake. This is no different when buying collectible diecast toys. Some repainted models are done very well & this can be a low cost way of adding another model to your collection that is perhaps out of your price range, of course a repainted model in a good repro box will never appreciate in value like an original but the difference in price will be considerable. So the rule with repaints is if the seller is honest it is a repaint model or repro box & you are happy to buy it to display it along with the rest of your collection then that’s fine, but it will never be as good as an investment as a mint boxed original model.
Obviously if you are buying at a Toy Fair or you can attend a pre auction viewing you will have the opportunity to study the model more carefully before buying or bidding, with online sites you will have to rely on good close up photos & accurate descriptions as well as always checking the sellers feedback ratings.
Remember that most toy sellers & diecast enthusiasts are honest people who will want to protect their good reputation, but always beware of the one rogue seller who is trying to pass off a repro as an original.
Spotting a repaint or repro box is really down to experience, so start off by buying your first model from a reputable dealer of diecast toys, once you have handled the real thing you will soon be able to tell the difference between an original model & a fake.
With boxes these are usually scanned copies on low grade card & tend to look a bit too brightly coloured or even washed out than a printed box from the corgi factory.
Cars have usually been taken apart by drilling out the original rivets & then stripping down the parts to the bare metal, priming & repainting the model to as near as possible to the original colour. Once painted the model will then be put back together with new rivets that tend to be new shiny aluminum ones, this is one of the tell tale signs the model has been repainted. The shade of the paint or even a colour that was never used in the Corgi factory is another clue, also look out for missing parts such as the plastic windows or car interiors.