Rare is a big deal in the world of collecting.

A rare stamp, which originally cost 24 cents, exceeded the expectations of experts yesterday by selling for £184,000 at auction.” It was a stamp with an aeroplane accidentally inverted, there were only 100 of these stamps printed in 1918. Here is the link: rare stamp

In diecast collecting, collectors are keen to find rare models. Some manufacturers tap into this and issue limited editions of various models. Hot Wheels has a series of “Treasure Hunts“, models which are supposedly harder to find than the mainstream models.

treasure hunts

Ferrari Scudeira (2012 Treasure Hunt model)

Variations and errors are much sought after. The unwary collector should be careful as some errors are easy to fake, the blister of a Hot Wheels card can be taken off with acetone, the model altered in some way and then returned to the blister and sold by an unscrupulous trader as a rarity.

I thought I’d found a rare colour variation of a Matchbox Yesteryear Model in Drybridge Market.

Pale lemon is not a colour I was familiar with on the Maxwell Roadster. It is usually found in a turquoise/jade colour but a later version was available in a creamy colour with green base. Examining the base of the model I bought, I saw 4 screws where the original would have rivets, the car has clearly been disassembled at some point, presumably for painting in this bespoke colour.

Maxwell Roadster

Maxwell Roadster in its usual colour.

1911 Maxwell Roadster in yellow

Often looking through the internet at diecasts advertised, I come across models billed as rare: “This is a very rare version of the Oldsmobile Toronado from Corgi. This is the elusive Blue Toronado from the Corgi 36-A gift set, released in 1967. “

Early pink Hot Wheels models command higher prices than other colours because little boys at the time were reluctant to buy models in “girly” pink, so they are rarer.

Maybe seeking rarity is in our genes, our ancient ancestors who managed to accumulate scarce objects may have been more prone to survive long enough to bear offspring. Even today, wealth correlates to longer life expectancy – and could any form of wealth be more basic than rare, scarce, tangible objects? Think of all the gold rushes in California, Australia and Klondike, seeking a rare shiny metal.

When, as a child, I collected and traded Soccer Stars in the 75/76 season (equivalent to Americans collecting baseball cards, I guess)…and almost filled up an album. I think I learnt more about economics and the laws of supply and demand than I did about football from this…a rare John Duncan was worth at least 10 Emlyn Hugheses.


3 thoughts on “Rare

  1. Pingback: Rare (Antiques) | What's (in) the picture?

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