At the time of this writing, I have purchased my 535th car to my ever growing collection which I have amassed since I was probably about 2 years old. And if you have not seen the image, the cars I’m referring to are toy model cars. Growing up, I have my fair share of memories with Hot Wheels, Matchboxes, Tomicas, Maistos, Bburagos, and an odd Majorette. A collection which I have amassed ever since I got my first car for my collection, which was a 1/18th scale Ferrari F50 by Maisto. I still have it but it has a few missing parts. Guess giving what is probably now a collector’s item to a 2 year old is not really a viable thing to do but whatever right? It’s my car and I do whatever the heck I want with it.
But times have changed 20 years since. As a kid, one Hot Wheels car would cost me about RM3 or RM4. That was 10 years ago, prices have shot up since then what with a currency that has already drop badly last year. These cars are considered luxuries to most kids and in fact, most buyers are adults who would actually pay top dollar for rare Treasure Hunt models. Or in Malaysia’s case, they would buy whatever that isn’t a) a generic muscle car or b) one of those weird HW designs. Finding one is difficult as most shops display the same old unique (ie. weird) designed ones.
Let’s just skip the economics here, I’m not a business major and anything that has to do with numbers just mush my brain into a fine gelatin. The fact is, there is a trend among these collectors. Some of whom would buy trolley loads of model cars and resell them at ridiculously high prices. I fucking hate these “collectors” if you can call them that. They would just grab the top HW models and sell them off online at triple or quadruple the original price. And it is not just online either. I went to this one hobby shop in a small shopping mall in Petaling Jaya, and I came across this immaculate looking Honda Civic EF hatchback Hot Wheels in metallic blue. Really freaking gorgeous. Then, I saw the price and quickly left the shop. RM50 for a piece of plastic with inconsistent paint finishes? Fuhgettaboutit!
What has the world come to? We become so materialistic and so enamored with business that we would sell something as trivial as selling model cars. Yes. Times have change and even Hot Wheels acknowledge that by releasing some collectors models that cost a little more than the standard ones. But these are not Yeezys or Hublots. They aren’t limited and they are in essence, toys that are meant to be played. I have a few friends who buy cars like these and actually leave it unopened; saying that it will increase in value. Fuck that. Open it up, play with it. It’s much nicer to hold it and admire the detail of these cars. You want to resell it off at a higher price? Fine then. Buy 2. One to play with and the other to do whatever you want with the money you earn when you sell it off at double the price.
At the end of it all, what it comes to is this. I’m not ranting about the collectors who just keep them box fresh unopened. I don’t even know if there is a gold mine with these toy cars but growing up and amassing my collection of these cars, some are battered, some are well maintained, I find it sad that this generation rather feel more profitable than nostalgic when it comes to collecting cars. For me it’s just nostalgia that keeps me to buy one and open it up. The quality may be lower but still they invoke memories. Oh, and my 535th car? It’s a HW BMW M1. And I haven’t open it.