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Discover what model cars are: Learn about quality and the hobby!

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Model cars are great to look at and own. But what are they actually?

Model cars are small cars based on real cars. Most are made of plastic and metal and are scaled from 1:18 to 1:64. Some are even smaller, such as 1:87, 1:160 and 1:220.

In this article I discuss the history, quality, brands, models and where to buy them.

What are model cars

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The world of model cars

Model cars are scaled down representations of real cars, made of different materials such as plastic, metal or alloy. They are often used as collectibles, but sometimes also as toys. Model cars are divided into scales, indicating the ratio between the size of the model car and the real car.

History of model cars

Model cars have been on the market since the 20s and have since become a popular hobby for both professional and leisure hobbyists. The most famous manufacturers of model cars include Autoart, Bburago, Brekina, Dinky, Hot Wheels, Kyosho, Matchbox, Maisto, Revell, Schuco, Solido, Wiking and many others. Some of these brands have been taken over by other brands or have become less active in the model car market.

Models and scales

There are model cars of almost every major make and model of car, from sportscars to army cars and rally cars. Model cars are classified in certain scales, such as 1:18, 1:24, 1:43 and 1:64. Smaller scales, such as 1:87 and 1:160, are often used in model railway scales. In addition to the well-known brands, there are also lesser-known brands that make model cars, such as Ahc, Doorkey, Edocar, Efsi, Holland Oto, Lion, Portegies, Replicars, Tekno and Sablon.

Quality and material

The quality of a model car depends on the material it is made of and the attention to detail. Metal or alloy model cars are often more expensive and of higher quality than plastic models. The best model cars have accurate representations of the details of the real car, such as the color, interior and wheels.


Model cars are often collectibles and are sometimes sold in a box containing multiple models of a particular make or model. There are also special edition model cars, such as rally cars or sports cars, that are popular among collectors. Some model cars are so rare that they sell for high prices at auctions.

The importance of brand names in the model car market

Brand names are very important in the world of model cars. The make of a model car can say a lot about the quality and level of detail of the model. In addition, some brands specialize in certain models, scales or series, so collectors know where to look if they are looking for a specific model.

Well-known brands in the model car market

There are many brands that produce model cars, but some are more famous than others. Here are some examples of well-known brands:

  • Spark: This brand mainly produces miniature versions of racing cars and has been a well-known name in the model car market since the 90s.
  • Minichamps: This brand produces model cars in various scales and is best known for its old-timers and racing cars.
  • Bburago: This brand produces model cars in various scales and is best known for its economy and exclusive series.
  • CMC: This brand mainly produces coachbuild and old-timer models in scale 1:18 and is known for its high quality and level of detail.

Brands from other parts of the world

Of course there are also brands from other parts of the world that produce model cars. Here are some examples:

  • Autoart (China): This brand produces model cars in different scales and is known for its XXL and XL models.
  • Kyosho (Japan): This brand mainly produces racing cars and is known for its high quality and level of detail.
  • Tarmac Works (Hong Kong): This brand mainly produces racing cars and is known for its exclusive models, such as the Taipa Island racing cars.

At what age can you start making model cars?

Making model cars is a hobby suitable for all ages. However, it is important to know that some models are more suitable for older children and adults due to the level of difficulty. In general, the larger the scale of the model car, the more detail it contains and the more difficult it is to make.

Assortment and offer

There are many types of model cars available, divided over different scales. The range of model cars is very large and there are many brands that offer beautiful models. In addition to model cars, model trains and other miniature models are also available.

Quality and features

The quality of a model car depends on the features it has. There are models that are made of strong materials and models that have more detail. It is important to look at the ratio between price and quality when choosing a model car.

Collectors and buyers

For collectors it is important to look for recognized manufacturers and the latest models. For buyers who want to make a model car, it is important to look at the desired scale and model. A Porsche or Volkswagen Beetle at the top of the list of popular models.

What makes a good quality model car?

Material and details

A good quality model car should look nice and be detailed. The material from which the car is made can play a major role in the quality of the model. Some models are made of plastic, while others are made of metal. In general, metal models are more expensive, but they are also often more detailed and of higher quality.

In addition, the details of the car are also important. A good model car should be accurate in the details, such as the shape of the body, the color of the paint and the wheels on it. Some models also have moving parts, such as opening doors or a hood that can be raised.

Price and Comparison

A good model car doesn't necessarily have to be expensive, but it's important to remember that you often get what you pay for. If you are looking for a good quality model car, you should be prepared to pay a reasonable price. It's also important to compare different makes and models before making a purchase. This way you can see which models best suit your wishes and budget.

Experience and opinion

Finally, it is important to remember that everyone has their own opinion about what makes a good model car. Some people find it important that the car looks as realistic as possible, while others value the details and the quality of the material more. It is therefore always a good idea to read the experiences and opinions of other collectors before making a purchase. This can help you get a better idea of ​​which makes and models are the most popular and what other people think of the quality.

Model car vs toy car: What's the difference?

Model cars have become a popular hobby and collector's item since the 1950s. There are many different models and makes available, from small scale models to professional racing sets. There are also different materials from which model cars are made, such as plastic, metal and white metal.

Model cars vs toy cars

Although model cars are sometimes sold as toys, they are not the same as toy cars. The main difference between the two is the quality and detail of the model. Model cars are designed to be a scaled-down representation of a particular vehicle, while toy cars are often less detailed and more focused on children's free play.

Scales and models

Model cars are classified into different scales, where the scale indicates the relationship between the size of the model and the real vehicle. The best known scales are 1:18, 1:24, 1:43 and 1:64. Smaller scales are also available, such as 1:87 and 1:160.

There are many different models available, from classic cars to modern sports cars. Some examples are the Lamborghini Huracan, Porsche 911, Bugatti Chiron and Audi R8. Special sets are also available, such as police and rally cars.

What are model cars used for?

Model cars are often used as collectibles and decorative items. They can also be used as an educational tool to teach children about different vehicles and their history. In addition, there are many people who use model cars to race and compete with other model car enthusiasts.


It is a fun hobby for both professional hobbyists and leisure. It is one of the oldest hobbies in the world and there are many different types of models.

I hope you now know how to get started with model cars and where to start.

Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child he came into contact with everything related to games when his mother started the Tinnen Soldaat in Ede. Now he and his team create helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.