What are your toy automobiles price now? Uncommon diecast fashions and iconic classic collectables valued

What are your toy cars worth now? Rare diecast models and iconic vintage collectables valued


There’s no time of the yr that evokes reminiscences fairly like Christmas. Few of us will ever overlook, for instance, cherished presents from childhood. And in case you’re something like me, many of those could have been automotive-related. The gifting of diecast fashions and toy automobiles, particularly, sparked a ardour for motoring that has endured for many years.

The loft at my mum’s home incorporates a number of circumstances of mannequin automobiles that, frankly, I can’t bear to do away with. I’m positive a few of you might be accustomed to that predicament.

However perhaps I ought to look extra carefully at what’s in these circumstances. As a result of enterprise for used diecast fashions within the UK continues to thrive. One of many main merchants within the nation is Little Wheels, a family-owned on-line operation based mostly in Kingston Bagpuize, Oxfordshire. 

Run by Andrew Wooden, ably assisted by son Phil, it has established itself as a significant participant by eschewing the toyfairs that had been as soon as a staple for mannequin automobile sellers and as a substitute creating knowledgeable, process-driven enterprise that’s centered on on-line gross sales through its little-wheels.web web site. A sister web site, chezbois.com, acts as a web-based museum for celebrated fashions.

The corporate’s inventory, which includes used fashions solely, comes from throughout the nation: from households of collectors who’ve handed on; collectors who’ve run out of house; even those that have exhausted a gathering theme and need to embark on a brand new one.

Nevertheless it all finally ends up on the location, which is up to date each day, with an E-mail going out each 24 hours to a world database of greater than 10,000 potential clients.

For the (comparatively) uninitiated like me – and presumably you, too – the diecast mannequin world may be daunting. There are completely different scales obtainable, completely different manufacturers – some extra revered than others – and values can fluctuate wildly. Andrew has bought fashions starting from a few quid to greater than £1,000. 

However finally, nostalgia is on the coronary heart of all of it: we’re captivated with reminiscences of automobiles we performed with when younger, or recognise from the roads and even tv programmes. Andrew and Phil get that fully, which is why Little Wheels does so effectively.

Beneath, they discuss us by way of some fascinating fashions that you simply may effectively recognise and that may improve any assortment. When you fancy one, try the corporate’s web site to see if it’s nonetheless obtainable. Don’t be shocked if it’s not, although – the great things tends to get snapped up quick!

How a lot are your previous Christmas presents price now?

Basic RS Fords

Produced by Corgi as a part of its Vanguards collection, this pristine set options three iconic RS Fords from the seventies and eighties in 1:43 scale: an Olympic Blue Mk1 Escort RS2000 from 1974, a Mk1 Capri RS3100 in Diamond White, additionally from 1974, and an Escort Mk2 RS2000 in Java Inexperienced from 1980. This set was produced in a restricted version of 1,400 examples and has confirmed to be extraordinarily well-liked. “They’re getting quite a lot of traction. Folks love them. They’re superbly offered,” says Andrew. When you fancy getting your palms on these, count on to pay round £100 – less expensive than the true factor!

Ford Zephyr

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Launched by Dinky in 1956, this Mk1 model of the blue oval’s Zephyr government automobile has aged effectively.  “It’s uncommon to return throughout one which’s been performed with, however is in such good situation,” says Andrew. “It could have price perhaps two shillings and 6 pence when new – the equal of 10 or 20 pence nowadays. However, after all, it now has a worth; it can in all probability promote for round £30 to £40.” It’s noticeable that there are some gentle scratches on the light-blue/mid-blue paintwork, however this isn’t a significant concern. “There are some collectors who don’t thoughts a little bit bit of sunshine play work as a result of it exhibits it’s had a life,” Andrew provides. “In the event that they’re too excellent, you possibly can usually suppose they’ve been restored.”

Hillman Minx

Typically the attraction of a mannequin is dictated by purely private causes, as is the case for Andrew with this Hillman Minx. “I fairly like this as a result of my grandad used to drive one,” he tells us. One other Dinky manufacturing from the fifties, this darkish tan Minx 1:43 mannequin incorporates a bodyshell that was solely in manufacturing on the precise automobile for a short while, with the grille swiftly changed by Hillman. “It’s pretty typical of Dinky toys that they’d go and get the early manufacturing mannequin, after which the producer would change it, Andrew explains. “However Dinky would persist with the previous one.” Values are decrease than for the Zephyr, at £10-£15, as a result of “no one is aware of what a Hillman is anymore”. 

Inexperienced Hornet Black Magnificence 

A little bit of an oddity, this one. The Inexperienced Hornet was a TV motion collection that premiered within the US in 1966, however was by no means really broadcast within the UK. Undeterred, Corgi launched this 1:43 mannequin of the collection’ Black Magnificence automobile, which was a modified Chrysler Imperial, and it really bought fairly effectively regardless of the shortage of UK airtime. Children cherished the truth that it offered the identical kind of enjoyable because the vastly well-liked Batmobile of the identical period, significantly the power to fireplace ‘missiles’ from the entrance or again. A very good-condition Black Magnificence can now command £70 or £80.

James Bond Lotus Esprit

James Bond is at all times well-liked with collectors, and this 1:43 Lotus Esprit, made by Common Hobbies and launched in 2007, hails from a part-work collection of 007 automobiles that had been bought on a month-to-month foundation accompanied by {a magazine}. The collection stretched to a barely plausible 135 automobiles, with the Jamaican Austin A55 taxi from Dr No and the baddie’s Lada Niva pushed fleetingly in The World Is Not Sufficient by some means qualifying as ‘Bond automobiles’ to maintain collectors shopping for. These obscure automobiles now are typically extra coveted as a result of they had been so hardly ever modelled! This much-more-recognizable Esprit, which went underwater in The Spy Who Cherished Me, was quantity 16 within the collection and is price round a tenner.

Knight Rider

No, your eyes will not be deceiving you. That basically is a figurine of David Hasselhoff. “One of many higher Corgi renderings of  a human,” observes Phil; Marilyn Monroe and the Ford Thunderbird from Some Like It Sizzling, and cops Starsky and Hutch with their Ford Gran Torino, are amongst Corgi’s different TV and movie creations. Alongside the Hoff is, after all, KITT, the modified Pontiac Firebird TransAm from Knight Rider. The 1:36 mannequin was launched within the early noughties, and goes for round £30. “There’s quite a lot of them round, in order that drives the worth down a bit,” says Andrew.

Volkswagen Golf

This cute 1:43 VW Golf Mk1, produced by French model Solido in 1984, is classed as a “toy” within the collectors’ world somewhat than a “mannequin”, as is the case with the Corgi Ford RS assortment. There’s an vital distinction, says Andrew. The place the RS automobiles are “fragile and extremely detailed,” the Golf is “extra sturdy and designed to be performed with”. This Solido automobile is a uncommon survivor in such good situation, however you possibly can choose one up for round £15.

Lotus 49B

This 1:18 mannequin of the Lotus 49B raced within the 1968 US Grand Prix by Mario Andretti is especially fascinating, as a result of it options tobacco sponsorship – particularly the ‘Gold Leaf’ model. With cigarette promoting now banned in F1, it’s additionally been faraway from new fashions of previous automobiles. However based on Andrew: “Collectors need the tobacco sponsors. And there are actually individuals who present aftermarket transfers to stay the likes of Rothmans on their fashions.” Authenticity is all-important on this world, mirrored within the £56.99 asking value for the Lotus. The 1968 US GP marked Andretti’s F1 debut, however the future world champion didn’t end the race.

Austin Healey 3000

Austin-Healey automobiles had been made in Abingdon, so have an area connection to Little Wheels. And as Andrew factors out, the agency represents “every little thing a British sports activities automobile must be: bushy, quick, harmful and unsophisticated!” The high-end 1:18 mannequin is made by Chinese language firm AUTOart, and comes within the basic mix of Healey blue and Previous English White. Some slight cracking within the paint was nearly indiscernible to us, however can be picked up by collectors, lowering the worth to round £100. “If it wasn’t in that situation, it could be price way more,” says Andrew.

Chevrolet El Camino

As you may count on, there’s an enormous UK following for North American fashions – and this 1968 Chevrolet El Camino SS-396 is a superb instance of why. “The El Camino is so unique; a utility automobile that’s so handsome and properly completed, too,” says Andrew. “Within the UK, we had Austin A40s.” Not fairly the identical, is it? This 1:24 mannequin was made for the Danbury Mint and has a certificates of authentication; it’s on provide for just below £160 on the Little Wheels web site. If it appears to be like acquainted, you could have seen a extra fashionable model of the Chevy within the Breaking Unhealthy film El Camino. 

Volkswagen Camper

The VW bus is a hardy perennial within the model-collecting world. “The costs of the true factor simply by no means come down and folks need to accumulate them on a regular basis,” says Phil. This model is a 2020 1:43 ‘rat-look’ mannequin, designed to look previous, with rust and lowered suspension complementing its Mango Inexperienced and Seagull Gray end. One other product of the Corgi Vanguards collection, it was joined by flower energy and surfer-themed Campers as testomony to the mannequin’s enduring recognition. This normally shifts for £30 or so.

Del Boy’s Reliant

Beautiful jubbly! Followers of Del Boy from TV’s Solely Fools and Horses will probably be delighted to know his iconic Reliant Regal Tremendous Van III has been lovingly preserved in 1:43 scale within the Corgi Vanguards collection (a bigger 1:36 mannequin, with a gap door and suitcase within the again, was additionally obtainable, as was a twin pack with Boycie’s Ford Capri). Regardless of the programme being first broadcast again in 1981, fashions of the three-wheeler “at all times promote”, says Andrew, who has shipped greater than 100 by way of Little Wheels. The ubiquity in all probability explains why costs are low, at round £15. 

Caffrey Int. Scania Truck

It’s not all about automobiles. “Truck gathering is superb,” says Andrew. “There are all kinds of fashions. The curtain-side trailer is principally the bathroom commonplace. Because the trailers get extra fascinating, the worth goes up. If the operators are excessive profile, and also you see them day-after-day on the highway, they are going to actually promote.” The widespread scale is 1:50 and this Scania Caffrey Worldwide truck, made by Common Hobbies, would promote for round £30. Extra detailed vehicles, comparable to these made by Dutch agency WSI, can command tons of.

Valentino Rossi bike

Two-wheeled machines even have a following. This 1:12 Yamaha YZR-M1 bike is made by German firm Minichamps and exhibits the bike raced by Valentino Rossi in MotoGP in 2004. It arrived at Little Wheels as a part of a wholesome Rossi-themed assortment. It’s superbly detailed, with facet panels that may be eliminated to indicate the engine. Values of Rossi bikes fluctuate relying on demand and shortage, stretching from £40 as much as £150. 

Toy Tales

It’s not simply diecast automobile fashions that collectors snap up…

Diecast fashions not your factor? There are loads extra automotive-themed toys and video games to evoke reminiscences of Christmases previous. These are among the many most interesting obtainable – and a few of them are actually even price just a few bob!


The basic slot-car sport continues to be an actual draw for wannabe racers, younger and previous alike. Since its launch in 1957, it’s spawned an unbelievable variety of automobiles and units, from timeless System One and Le Mans machines to TV favourites. There’s actual worth in effectively preserved previous units, too; this 1967 James Bond equipment that includes a particular ‘007 Aston Martin GT’ (with an ejector seat, naturally) and Mercedes 190SL went up for public sale at Bonhams in 2019 for £1,800.

Prime Trumps

It wouldn’t be the festive season and not using a Boxing Day session of Prime Trumps. This was the cardboard sport launched in 1978 that promoted one-upmanship by permitting you to brag in the truth that the 6,500cc of your Bentley Mulsanne Turbo made the 1,948cc of the Alfetta Turbodelta totally inconsequential. Whereas Prime Trumps continues to be going sturdy, masking an array of matters except for motoring, there are some great classic packs and even particular person playing cards obtainable on eBay, specializing in the likes of early eighties rally legends, classic racers and even Japanese automobiles (which incorporates an astonishing variety of Datsuns). Beginning at a few quid, they’re eminently reasonably priced, too.

Motion Man

Launched by Palitoy within the UK in 1966, following the success of the same GI Joe within the US, Motion Man – basically a soldier doll initially focused at younger boys – holds a particular place within the hearts of hundreds of thousands of British blokes. Over the course of 18 years, an enormous vary of equipment was made obtainable, together with many fascinating automobiles. Go to the web site eagleeyesactionstation.co.uk for a complete choice, the place one which caught our eye particularly was this blow-moulded German Workers Automobile, ideally suited to Motion Man’s Afrika Korps figures, and solely obtainable for a brief interval in 1978 and 1979. Now extraordinarily uncommon, it’s on provide to collectors for £595. 


There’s many an engineer within the auto trade whose curiosity in engaged on automobiles was first sparked by a Meccano set gifted to them over Christmas. The model has been round since 1898, when it was shaped by Frank Hornby (additionally answerable for Dinky automobiles and, after all, Hornby mannequin railways). The longevity of Meccano is maybe finest illustrated by the costs now fetched by older gadgets. This 21cm basic wind-up two-seater sports activities automobile (beneath), with a clockwork motor, was bought for a wholesome £500 by C&T Auctions, based mostly in Ramsgate, Kent, in 2021.

System One Motor Automobile Racing board sport

Getting slowed down in a marathon session of Monopoly with the household is a staple of Christmas for a lot of. Nevertheless, petrolheads are positive to favor this various board sport, additionally from Monopoly’s maker, Waddingtons. Arguably the best F1 technique sport ever, it challenged gamers to finish as many ‘laps’ as they’ll – circuits of the board – whereas using ‘Tactic’ playing cards and negotiating surprises thrown up by ‘Pit’ playing cards. If in case you have a replica of the sport gathering mud in a cabinet, you is perhaps shocked at how a lot it’s now price. We discovered a pristine first-edition sport from 1962 obtainable on curios web site tomsk3000.com for £120. 


A giant Lego development venture is at all times a great way to eat up the festive break, and this Batmobile set (code quantity 76139), launched in 2019, was a problem of epic proportions. Constructing the long-lasting automobile from Tim Burton’s 1989 film required negotiating a 404-page guide, and assembling 3,306 items. The outcome? A devoted Batmobile recreation that measured 60cm lengthy and was accompanied by Batman, Vicki Vale and Joker minifigures. Now discontinued, the equipment bought for £219.99 when new and is already being supplied for as much as £700 in unopened situation on some web sites. It was voted the fourth finest Lego equipment ever by a fan web site this yr.

Evel Knievel

The Montana-born daredevil was one of the recognisable figures of the seventies, and lent his identify to a spread of playthings that had been immensely well-liked, together with a System One dragster, a highway and path journey set and, most famously a stunt cycle which may carry out wheelies and leaps through a wind-up launcher. It was America’s best-selling toy for plenty of years, and continues to be obtainable for £34 from California Creations, which makes use of the unique moulds equipped by US toy trade legend Jay Horowitz. However if you’d like a very uncommon piece of Evel Knievel nostalgia, how about this improbable ‘CB’ van produced by Best Toys in 1977? We discovered one on provide from West Level Purchase Promote Commerce in Georgia for £1,330.

Tinplate toys

Okay, these had been earlier than your time. But when a grandparent has left one mendacity round in an attic, you could possibly be quids in. Light-weight tinplate toys or fashions turned vastly well-liked with producers at the beginning of the twentieth century, as a consequence of the truth that they might be shipped extra simply than their cast-iron predecessors, they usually rapidly discovered followers amongst Britain’s children. Lots of the fashions had been clockwork operated, and a number of the detailing on them is improbable – as seen on this uncommon Burnett B Sort London double-decker bus, which fetched a whopping £3,300 when it went below the hammer at Ramsgate’s C&T Auctions in early 2022.

Fancy some slot automobile races in your lounge? Listed below are the finest slot automobile racing units you should buy…


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