When you know exactly what you want...

Got a model that’s been sitting at the top of your wish list for what seems like an eternity? Given up on ever seeing it released? Stephen Paul Hardy offers some top tips on how to get proactive…

Listen carefully at any auto jumble, swapmeet or toyfair and you are likely to hear the questions that must drive many retailers crazy: “Did they make a ...” or “Have you got a ...”; because despite the seemingly exponential number of new releases – and new manufacturers – in the scale model world, there will inevitably be that particular vehicle that has not been made yet.

News from the 2017 Nuremberg Toyfair and other future release announcements reported on in MC over the past few months have left me with conflicting feelings. On the one hand, there are some amazingly attractive (and tempting) issues on their way, yet on the other hand I feel waves of panic about the approaching surge. It’s the sort of feeling you get during a long hot summer when you all you yearn for is a refreshing rain shower and then weeks of torrential downpour are forecast!

Before I cause readers to reach for their pens or keyboards and deluge the editorial inbox with complaints about my apparent negativity, I shall hastily say that my concern is driven partly by empathy for the retailing stockists. Trying to decide what to stock and in what quantities can be a nightmare – especially for the small, independent, specialist dealers. I also have some degree of sympathy for manufacturers. The challenge in the industry to come up with previously unmodelled but sure to be popular subject choices or to satisfy those with niche interests must be getting more difficult by the month. Plus, there is the interesting question of whether a surge in new releases increases the total spend by collectors or just spreads it more thinly over various manufacturers’ products...

 


Archives, museums, brochures and other off icial publicity material, enthusiast clubs and meetings, specialist magazines and exhibitions are all rich resources for your research.

 

 

Why we want what we want…

 

This brings us to the subject of what motivates us as collectors when making a purchase: every one of MC’s readers will have his/her own individual motivation. This may be replacing long lost, or missed out on, childhood toys. It may the pursuit of completion and the sheer excitement in finding the items only available in restricted markets or in very limited numbers. Then, there are those of us who focus on a particular vehicle types. With the latter, there’s often a thin line between whether the models or the real vehicles prove the strongest motivation. I know quite a few people who are not model collectors per se but still eagerly seek miniatures of the cars they either own, have owned or aspire to own. I suspect that many of the enquiring conversations that I have overheard over the years at Beaulieu and other autojumble or marque specific events that open with that “Did they make a ...” usually come from those in this group.

There are another couple of aspects to this discussion: accuracy and scale. Scale naturally has a directly proportional relationship with how accurate in finite detailing a model can be, yet choice is very much driven by the display space available (or allowed!) to us. While many would probably love a showroom type display of high quality 1:18, 1:12 or even larger scale exhibits, domestic realities soon curb these aspirations. There is, of course, the much-discussed and somewhat contentious issue of ‘mixing’ scales in one’s display, so well-articulated by Dom in his column in March issue MC. My personal preference for consistency of scale, style of representation and display expediency led me, long ago, to be a big fan of 1:87, but that was in an era way before I could ever have imagined the larger scales and levels of quality that we are spoilt with today. So, I often wonder what direction I would be taking if I was new to the hobby today...

Read the full article in Model Collector June 2017

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