Hunting Grounds

In Tbilisi, there are a number of outlets for diecast models. Kinsmart are the easiest to find as they are sold in so many places: grocery stores, markets etc… When I was first in Tbilisi I bought many Kinsmart, they are nice reproductions, made in China for a reasonable price (around 6 or 7 lari), what I don’t like about them is their pull back motor…but then I’m no longer a kid, so I won’t be racing my collection with my friends.

A typical display of Kinsmart vehicles, this is in a fast food outlet.

A typical display of Kinsmart vehicles

There are various Toy Shops around, some just sell cheap Chinese Diecasts like Speed Wheels and fake Hot Wheel (sic). One of the better chains is Pepela, which stocks Majorette, Hot Wheels, Bburago and Siku.

Siku Display in Pepela

Siku Display in Pepela (this has now disappeared)

One of the biggest toy shops is XS in Tbilisi Mall, but this is a long way from home.

XS, Tbilisi Mall

XS, Tbilisi Mall


I totted up where I found my 207 models in 2015:

Drybridge Market came top with  33, this is where I tend to find older models and a lot of the Soviet made models, I have.

  1. Drybridge Market 33 Drybridge Market (video)
  2. Carrefour             31… there are now 2 Hypermarkets and 3 Supermarkets…one of the best places for new Matchbox Carrefour Off The Pegs
  3. Vagzlis Basroba   31…This is a sprawling market around the Central station. Isaak has many of the cars with magazines (Deagostini), Nana has cheap Hot Wheels, Matchbox and Siku from time to time, there are other stalls too where I look and occasionally find something
  4. Pepela                19   ..a toy shop with several branches around the city


    A typical display of Kinsmart vehicles

  5. Wigginton Boot Sale (UK)  15 ..I usually visit the UK, once a year, my mother lives in York and the Wigginton Boot Sale is a rich  source of cheap diecasts, found some rough old Matchboxes, this year and a lot of very cheap Hot Wheels


    4 for £1 at Wigginton Boot Sale

  6. Metro Mart          13…I went here looking for a computer and found they had a toy department. Bought a few 1:64 Bburagos here and they had Hot Wheels at 4.90 lari, long after the other shops were selling them at over 6 lari.

    Metro Mart Hot Wheels bin

    Metro Mart Hot Wheels bin

  7. XS Toys              13   I have seen branches in Tbilisi Mall and Rustaveli. Their pricing for Bburago classics is odd.

    big price difference in XS Toys

    Big price difference in XS Toys

  8. Varketili Market and Metro 10   Varketili is where I live, there isn’t much by way of diecast except Kinsmart and other cheap Chinese brands, although I have found a few black Soviet made Lada 2107s for just 7 lari (in Drybridge they could fetch 30 lari)
  9. Goodwill                7       An upmarket supermarket
  10. Ferenc                  6     Ferenc is a former student of mine, who lives in England. I sent him a model of an Alfetta and he sent me back 6 Hot Wheels I was searching for. The post here is expensive and unreliable so i don’t use it much for collecting.
  11. Smart                    6     A supermarket that occasionally has Hot Wheels at a sale price
  12. Sabiha Gokcen International Airport 5 We usually fly with Pegasus and have to transfer at Istanbul , this gives me time to search for some Hot Wheels models, I usually find one or two, which I haven’t been able to find in Tbilisi.
  13. The Antiques Centre, 41 Stonegate, York (UK) 4 This is where I paid the most for a model: £20 for a Matchbox Ford GT Racer with box from the late sixties. I bought three other models more cheaply.

    Antiques Centre, York one of many cabinets…

    Two Matchbox Cars with boxes. From York Antiques Centre.

    Two Matchbox Cars with boxes. From York Antiques Centre.

  14. Super                  3          Above Smart in Chavchavadze Street, there is a Super Toys shop I have found some Hot Wheels there.
  15. Biblus        2         I usually go into Biblus for books but they do have some Kinsmart and other Chinese made model cars.
  16. Poundland (UK) 2   In past years I have found some interesting 1:43 models like the DeAgostini Auto Legends, this year I just bought one Matchbox and one Hot Wheels car for a pound each (evidently).
  17. Banana            1    I found a spacecraft gift pack here but I usually leave disappointed.
  18. Hobby Shop  1       This is at the top end of Pekini Street near Gargarin Square. If I’m in the area (rarely) I pop in. They have had a Schuco Renault 5 for at least 4 years, and at 39 lari it may stay another 4….it is tempting but the price puts me off.

There were also 5 models from other places that I didn’t consider worth mentioning.


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