People collect things that capture their interest such as makeup, jewelry, action figures, and even family heirlooms. One of the most popular collectibles among car enthusiasts is diecast models. Diecast models have been selling like hotcakes since the mid-19th century. But what exactly are diecast models? And how do you know which diecast brand is best if you plan on starting your own diecast collection?
Generally, the most popular form of diecast models is diecast cars. But many collectors buy model planes, trains, and even tanks.
What is a Diecast?
A diecast is a general term for metal products that result from diecasting—a manufacturing process that involves pouring liquid metal alloy in a mold or die. In the modern world, the word “diecast” is associated with toys—especially metal car models—more than anything.
Diecast models are safe toys because they don’t have sharp edges nor small parts that can be choking hazards to kids. They also don’t contain lead. Diecasts are popular among collectors because of their fine detail and smooth finish without being overly expensive. This is because the diecasting process allows a great deal of detail even in cheap metals like zinc.
Now that you know all about diecasts, you’re probably more excited than ever to start your own collection. But the question “which diecast brand is best” remains. Here’s how to know which diecast brand is best.
What to Consider When Choosing a Diecast Brand
Diecasts are the perfect collector’s item for people who love automotive but just don’t have the budget (or space) to buy real ones. Because diecasts have been produced since the late 1900s, to say that there are many diecast brands is an understatement. Both new and old diecast collectors have a hard time settling on which diecast brand is best.
So, here’s what to ponder on when choosing a diecast brand:
- Scale of the diecasts they produce. Like real cars, diecasts come in all sizes—called scales—ranging from 1/8 to 1/64. These numbers represent the ratio or proportion of the model in comparison to the real thing. The bigger the denominator is, the smaller the diecast. Some brands offer a full range of diecast scales while others are limited. So, make sure the brand you choose offers the diecast scale you prefer.
- The number of years they’ve been in business. Diecasting is an intricate process that can only be honed through years of repetition and innovation. Brands that have been around for a long time are guaranteed to have the expertise in perfecting each diecast they produce. Some of the most popular brands in the industry are Bburago, Maisto, Greenlight Collectibles, Revell, and Tamiya.
- The price range of their models. Before going on a diecast shopping spree, make sure that the models you want, fit your budget. If you’re planning to collect rarer models, expect to pay higher. Some brands offer mass-produced diecasts which are cheaper while others only sell rare ones that can cost a fortune.
- Their diecasting process. Not all diecast brands share information on their diecasting process with the public, but most brands do. Make sure to do your research by checking their website, reading blogs, and looking for answers in forums. Knowing the diecasting process of your chosen brand will give you an idea of the quality of their products.
Now that we’ve discussed the important factors to consider when choosing a diecast, the next question to answer then is…
Which Diecast Brand is Best?
Every collector has his own preferences on the scale, composition, and diecasting process of each model that varies per brand. But if you ask us, our top trusted diecast brands include:
Can’t decide which diecast brand is best yet? Don’t fret! We have curated a list of some of the best diecasts you can easily purchase online.
Best Diecasts to Buy Online
1. Tamiya F-14A Tomcat Black Knights Aircraft 1/32
Although cars are the most popular diecast models in the market, some renowned brands like Tamiya produce rare aircraft diecast models like this F-14A Tomcat Black Knight. Its scale is 1/32 which is smaller than most diecast models. If you’re still figuring out which diecast brand is best, Tamiya might just put an end to your question. It is one of the most reputable diecast brands in the industry.
2. Bburago Ferrari Signature Series Car Red 18-16901RD 1/18
Bburago is another well-known brand in the diecast market that will satisfy your quest for which diecast brand is best. Their products, like this red Laferrari model, are guaranteed to be made only from premium metals. This diecast model is scaled at 1/18 and features a red transformable race car. It’s a staple in every diecast collection.
3. Tamiya M109A6 Paladin US Self-Propelled Howitzer 1/35
Most diecasts are inspired by race cars, sedans, and SUVs, but the M109A6 Paladin US Howitzer is unique because it is one of the rare military tank diecasts produced by Tamiya. It has an iconic khaki color with intricate details of the tank’s wheels, armor, and even driver, which make it look very realistic. The size of this diecast is 1/35 which is relatively smaller than most models.
4. Maisto 1971 Chevrolet Camero Special Edition 1/18
Maisto is another top company that can satisfy the most asked question in the diecast industry “which diecast brand is best?” This particular model is perfect for collectors who have an interest in retro cars. It is inspired by Chevrolet Camero which was a popular automotive in the 1970s. It has a full-metal body with plastic details plus doors and a hood that opens. The front wheels are even steerable.
5. Maisto 2017 Ford GT Special Edition 1/18
Very few diecast collectors have the Maisto 2017 Ford in their collection because it is one of the hard-to-find ones being a special edition model. This is based on a newer car model, the 2017 Ford GT. It might not appeal as much to collectors looking for vintage cars. It is still a must-have though, as it has special features like openable doors and a fully functional steering wheel.
6. Bburago WB 1954 Mercedes Benz 300SL Silver 1/24
Still can’t settle on which diecast brand is best for you? Bburago might just be the answer to that when you experience the quality of their diecasts through this model. The 1954 Mercedes Benz Bburago diecast is simply a must-have for vintage car lovers. It sports a stunning silver color that can rarely be found in diecasts based on newer car models. It is also fully made of metal and has a 1/24 scale.
7. GreenLight Bullitt 1968 Ford Mustang GT Fastback 1/24
No diecast collection is complete without the iconic Mustang by Ford. This 1/24 scale model by another reputable diecast brand, Greenlight Collectibles, is a hot item in the market. It is sought-after by collectors for its sleek black color and because it is based on a rare retro car. It is also a limited edition making it among the hard-to-find diecast models. Simply put, not everyone can get their hands on it.
8. Revell SR-71A Blackbird 1/72
Most diecasts have a scale of 1/8 to 1/64 but this one is 1/72, So, expect it to be much smaller than standard diecasts. It is unique though, as instead of the typical car model, the SR-71A Blackbird is based on a special aircraft. It is highly detailed, so it is almost a replica of the real thing. Figures of a seated pilot and observer are included along with a D-21 reconnaissance drone with a ground trolley. There are even waterslide decals with USAF markings on the side.
9. Motormax 1948 Chevy Aerosedan Fleetline, Red 1/24
This diecast collector piece will surely make heads turn with its hot cherry red color and iconic Chevy Aerosedan look. No vintage car diecast collection will be complete without this 19480-based diecast model by Motormax, a reputable diecast brand. The scale is 1/24 which is considerably large so make sure to have enough room for it in your collection.
10. Greenlight 18220 Eleanor 1967 Custom Shelby GT500 1/24
This Custom Shelby GT500 is another model inspired by famous car models in the late 19th century. It is a top seller in Greenlight Collectibles’ diecast line. Collectors who play with their diecast toys will find the model’s steerable wheels and rubber tires truly interactive. Its interior, exterior, and even its engine compartment are intricately detailed to look like the real thing.