Absolute Ratings vs Relative Ratings For Models

Like many things, when you buy model cars, you’ll notice that the quality of the model generally improves with the increase in price.

I think of the 1:18 diecast market split into four sections:

  • Economy – Bburago, Anson, Tonka, Maisto – £20 to £35
  • Mid range – Mattel Hot Wheels, Welly, UT – £50 to £75
  • High end – Autoart, Kyosho, Hot Wheels Super Elite – £100 to £250
  • Premium brands – BBR, CMC – £200+

Prices are lower second hand and can vary based on stock levels. You also need to watch out for VAT being added by HM Revenue & Customs if you’re importing from outside the European Union.

If you were to go through and mark each aspect of the model car in absolute terms, an Autoart model should consistently score much higher than a Bburago.

The question then becomes, is the improved quality worth the extra price?

Some collectors who aren’t constrained by money will usually say yes. They want the best model of a car they can find.

Other collectors are more pragmatic and will compare brands in great detail to decide which offers the best relative value for money.

You’ll know which category you fall into. I appreciate the improved quality but the more expensive models can be more fragile and I get queasy about spending much more than £100 on a model.

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For those who love classic cars and diecast models of them