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Old 05-19-2019, 01:44 PM   #1
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Default Diecast Psychology 101

I'm starting this tread because we rarely see discussions on the psychology of model collecting. We're adept at discussing newly or soon-to-be released models, their pros and cons, their assets and liabilities. We're virtuosos at comparing old models to new, what modifications we'd make, how Hobby Master botched a color scheme or Corgi bollixed a weapons load-out. Which is all fine and welcome; but seldom do we examine what makes us tick as collectors, our personal tenets, thoughts, behaviors, doctrines, and beliefs about the hobby, our approach to it.

So I'd like to see us address the psychological side of diecast collecting, why we buy what we buy, at what point we'll stop buying and why, addiction to the hobby, guilt, conflicts with family members over collecting—the topics are endless. The only guiding principle being we discuss our hearts and minds and attitudes.

To kick this off, then, I ask the following questions: How large must you grow your collection before you're satisfied with it? At what point are enough models enough? Will you ever be satisfied? What would make you quit?

This is an especially relevant topic for older collectors who started collecting years and years ago and amassed considerable collections. According to one widely known, respected vendor whom I spoke to recently, many of these hobbyists have or are presently running out of space to display and/or store more models, are getting ever more short on cash to finance their pastime, and are generally burning out emotionally and/or physically, which saps their passion for the hobby. It's a disturbing dilemma that makes you wonder if they should quit collecting altogether. If you were in their shoes, would you?

Younger collectors face their own challenges. Are they willing to spend ever more money in on their growing collections, perhaps at the expense of necessities or other prudent purchases? Should they? Is going into debt advisable? When are enough models are enough?

Personally, I'm nearing the end of my collecting career. I own an enormous collection, much of it squirreled away in storage units. I'm getting close to just enjoying what I own and letting everybody else spend themselves silly. Truly, I've got enough models.

Any thoughts?
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Old 05-19-2019, 03:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: Diecast Psychology 101

Interesting topic/questions!

My love for aviation started very young as I traveled around the world mainly by plane, some by steam ship. I would always have my folks drop me off at the many observation decks, one of my favorite being Taipei International in the early 70s.

I bought my first airplane to play with in the late 60's at a gift shop at Washington National/DCA. The plane was an Aero Mini United 737. My brother and I used to get to order one Aero Mini from their one page order sheet for Christmas.

As I got into my teens I put this hobby aside as I was racing motocross in the AMA 125cc class until my early 20's and into muscle cars. I then got into my passion for street bikes. As I survived those hobbies intact, I began a family and wanted something I could enjoy without being away from family and safer. In the early 90's I began getting back into aviation collecting. I visited the Airplane Super Store at IAD (no longer brick and mortar), not to far from where I live. I began buying some Herpa Wings 1:500 airliners. After a couple of visits I found Gemini Jets and was hooked on the larger scale of 1:400 over the smaller 1:500 herpa, also liking the detail of GJs. Early on I was buying 2 of every release.

I also began my quest to put together a full collection of Aero Minis, both original and new company offerings. I checked that list and had full collections as of 2015, having met the creator and befriending the man himself, Dr. Metchick. I was able to acquire rare company samples, company documentation, and company photos (some neat ones showing production in the Japanese Factory). I enjoyed them and the hunt was the best part of it. Over a couple years my health began declining as a result of responding to the terrorist attack of 9/11 and being exposed to the toxic brew at Ground Zero in NY. With my kids not being interested in my growing collection, I figured the time was right to start to reduce my collection and spread the profits to the kids for life events ie, college, buying house, having kids, etc. Also did not want to burden them down the road with moving these items. I carefully selected a few collectors like minded whose collections were not complete with regard to the Aero Minis so they would be enjoyed and appreciated.

My 5,000 plus 1:400 collection was sold over time on Ebay to the point I got to about 2,000 models and about 1,350 of these were sold as a lot to a retailer to offer to his customers. I found a few remaining 1:400 and sold a few on Ebay and kept about 100 or so to enjoy.

Before I decided to start moving my collection, I got into Tekno Airliners and a few military planes as a Tekno collector got me hooked on Aero Minis predecessor so to speak. I in return got him hooked on Aero Minis.

I also started to like the size, and ability to see the detail a little easier with 1:200.

So as it stands now, I have about 500 to 600 planes that range from 100 1:400, 40 Aero Mini duplicates I kept, 10 or so Teknos, about 10 larger scale models, and about 350 to 450 1:200 models.

I have seen some of the family members of collectors at shows trying to sell items. Some seem to enjoy it while others seem lost without a clue of value. At one show I sat with the collectors adult children and helped them price items they had a list of so they would get fair prices as they had stuff marked way too low initially!

So though I am not out of it totally, I am at a comfortable place with my collecting where I can enjoy it without it feeling burdensome, as it got that way about 5 years ago. I am at that point where I may sell some more over the next year or so keeping only those air frames and airlines I flew on during my life!

So that is my collecting story for all those into the psychology of collecting to analyze.

Last edited by jcahea; 05-19-2019 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 05-19-2019, 06:34 PM   #3
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Wow. This is really great to see there are collectors out there that wonder...

Im realtively young into collecting as a hobby. Id say that the seed was planted and nourished as a child through my father who would take me to airshows at Pope AFB now AAF and frequent visits to the local hobby stores for models of the latest plane we saw. I remember a few times that he would shell out "the big bucks" as he called it for the pre made plastic model all ready assembled and really not for play but for display. As a kid I was all about playing with them, and in the end those models ended up having broken props or missing wheels, bombs, etc. My father was also big on keeping the collectibles boxed for "my kids someday"

Then he bought me two diecast model airplane banks from Etrl. A P51 and a Stearman. I couldnt tell you how much I played with those and loved them. Then came a few others. I certainly grew out of it until my first visit to a Hobby Town in 2013. They has a Corgi Sea Kings and a various assortment of the Postage Stamp models and man was I excited. I felt so behind that there were all these varieties of aircraft models really well made out there and I had no idea.

Anywho then in 2016, I found Hobby Master. Long story long that let to finding out about CW, more Corgi models and am unexpected visit to the airplane store in Miami I knew I was in trouble.

To the psychology. One this that I dont think gets addressed at all is the psyche behind keeping models boxed and not opening them. My habit got so bad because I was finding all these great WW2 planes, helicopters, and long sold out models that I was paying premiums for because I had missed out the first go. There was one model that I was so happy about and wanted to preserve that New feeling of getting it in the mail that I kept it boxed and in my closet and would pull it out every so often to sneak a peek. Weird I know, but I feel like all collectors have those select models that give them that comfort of knowing you have one and it being a part of you, the history beauty and all.

The stacking continued and essentially everytime an interesting aviation subject both military and civil peaked my interest, finding the most well loved and accurate model became and obession to have as I learned about it. Then the craziest thing would happen; my interest faded and was replaced. Even before I had opened the model. When I did open one or two I found myself dissapointed that a wheel was bent, the ordnance did not fit correctly, there were gaps yadda yadda. Essentially my perfectionist attitue significantly affected my love for a hobby that I had just re discovered. Models I had fevereshly searched for went unopened and hidden in the corners of the house, maybe awaiting a day when that 75 purchase would get me $Ks. The fear of missing out on the better more accurate model was strong, and in some ways still is. Thay may still happen, but I decided for another approach.

As of 6 years later, I have gone through 100s and 100s of various models buying and selling. Today I only keep no more than 5. This sounds loony and may only work for me but I had to let go. Some people love having their homes stocked with wall to wall planes and thats OK, and then there is me. I hate the thought that I would have something being ignored and that I would have to get back to it another time. The eternal lure of the next model plauged me, but as you have said it is the driver thag makes this hobby fun. Ipso facto I think my true psyche behind my collecting is the chase and once Ive found what Im looking for, I move onto another interesting subject. Making peace with this has helped me understand why I buy and sell and helps me in my true love which is learning about the engineering behind these planes while I examine them like a science subject under a less critical microscope.

Just remember that although they may mean a whole lot to us, they are at the end of the day metal, plastic, and paint. Dont let the fear of resale value plummeting or the prestige of owning a rare model preclude you from opening the box, peeling back the plastic and getting that new smell and remembering that those people that designed and test flew and produced the actual thing did it with the love to see them flying through the sky.

I have purchased way too many a model from an estate sale or someone who had too many. You dont want to be the one that didnt do what felt right becuase your mind was holding you back.

Again, I am a younger collector and dont have very much money tied into this right now like some collectors do, so its easier for me to say let it go and enjoy yourself. For the fellow collectors that do that, I mean no disrespect. If I were placed in front of many ofnyour collections, I would be foaming at the mouth. If you are thinking about the future/your kids thats cool too, but also remember that modern collecting is different than it was just 10 years ago. These were my thoughts and thanks for reading.

Enjoy the hobby and happy hunting!
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Old 05-19-2019, 09:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: Diecast Psychology 101

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Originally Posted by SPANKYPOOCH View Post
Wow. This is really great to see there are collectors out there that wonder...

Im realtively young into collecting as a hobby. Id say that the seed was planted and nourished as a child through my father who would take me to airshows at Pope AFB now AAF and frequent visits to the local hobby stores for models of the latest plane we saw. I remember a few times that he would shell out "the big bucks" as he called it for the pre made plastic model all ready assembled and really not for play but for display. As a kid I was all about playing with them, and in the end those models ended up having broken props or missing wheels, bombs, etc. My father was also big on keeping the collectibles boxed for "my kids someday"

Then he bought me two diecast model airplane banks from Etrl. A P51 and a Stearman. I couldnt tell you how much I played with those and loved them. Then came a few others. I certainly grew out of it until my first visit to a Hobby Town in 2013. They has a Corgi Sea Kings and a various assortment of the Postage Stamp models and man was I excited. I felt so behind that there were all these varieties of aircraft models really well made out there and I had no idea.

Anywho then in 2016, I found Hobby Master. Long story long that let to finding out about CW, more Corgi models and am unexpected visit to the airplane store in Miami I knew I was in trouble.

To the psychology. One this that I dont think gets addressed at all is the psyche behind keeping models boxed and not opening them. My habit got so bad because I was finding all these great WW2 planes, helicopters, and long sold out models that I was paying premiums for because I had missed out the first go. There was one model that I was so happy about and wanted to preserve that New feeling of getting it in the mail that I kept it boxed and in my closet and would pull it out every so often to sneak a peek. Weird I know, but I feel like all collectors have those select models that give them that comfort of knowing you have one and it being a part of you, the history beauty and all.

The stacking continued and essentially everytime an interesting aviation subject both military and civil peaked my interest, finding the most well loved and accurate model became and obession to have as I learned about it. Then the craziest thing would happen; my interest faded and was replaced. Even before I had opened the model. When I did open one or two I found myself dissapointed that a wheel was bent, the ordnance did not fit correctly, there were gaps yadda yadda. Essentially my perfectionist attitue significantly affected my love for a hobby that I had just re discovered. Models I had fevereshly searched for went unopened and hidden in the corners of the house, maybe awaiting a day when that 75 purchase would get me $Ks. The fear of missing out on the better more accurate model was strong, and in some ways still is. Thay may still happen, but I decided for another approach.

As of 6 years later, I have gone through 100s and 100s of various models buying and selling. Today I only keep no more than 5. This sounds loony and may only work for me but I had to let go. Some people love having their homes stocked with wall to wall planes and thats OK, and then there is me. I hate the thought that I would have something being ignored and that I would have to get back to it another time. The eternal lure of the next model plauged me, but as you have said it is the driver thag makes this hobby fun. Ipso facto I think my true psyche behind my collecting is the chase and once Ive found what Im looking for, I move onto another interesting subject. Making peace with this has helped me understand why I buy and sell and helps me in my true love which is learning about the engineering behind these planes while I examine them like a science subject under a less critical microscope.

Just remember that although they may mean a whole lot to us, they are at the end of the day metal, plastic, and paint. Dont let the fear of resale value plummeting or the prestige of owning a rare model preclude you from opening the box, peeling back the plastic and getting that new smell and remembering that those people that designed and test flew and produced the actual thing did it with the love to see them flying through the sky.

I have purchased way too many a model from an estate sale or someone who had too many. You dont want to be the one that didnt do what felt right becuase your mind was holding you back.

Again, I am a younger collector and dont have very much money tied into this right now like some collectors do, so its easier for me to say let it go and enjoy yourself. For the fellow collectors that do that, I mean no disrespect. If I were placed in front of many ofnyour collections, I would be foaming at the mouth. If you are thinking about the future/your kids thats cool too, but also remember that modern collecting is different than it was just 10 years ago. These were my thoughts and thanks for reading.

Enjoy the hobby and happy hunting!
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Old 05-19-2019, 10:11 PM   #5
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Fascinating topic, I wonder about this, too. Everyone probably gets into diecast collecting for various reasons but we all love our planes! Why we stay in it, how we stay in it, and how we leave it are all great questions.

For me it was a visit to the USAF Museum as a school kid. The planes were awesome! For a souvenir I bought a Bachmann plastic mini-model. Collected a few of those until I was old enough to start building plastic model kits. Loved that hobby up until I finished college. Never was really that skilled or proficient but loved having the planes. I kept most of them thru the years until finally I disposed of the rest this winter. Except I did keep a few which I thought will never see the light of day in diecast.

Without model building as a hobby, I began to see some Franklin Mint models in stores and thought they would be nice to have. But I also thought the price was a little ridiculous at the time. Boy, that barrier was crashed thru eventually and a long time ago! So I started collecting postage stamp models as an alternative. Inexpensive and decent, they only satisified for a little while. Then I broke down and bought a Franklin Mint, then a few more until they stopped making them. By then I'm hooked and start buying Hobby Master and Corgi. And haven't stopped.

My collection is not an obscene number by any means. I don't plan on collecting hundreds or even thousands. I know some of you are snickering right now but there is a realistic limit for me. When I hit it in the near future, then I will start selling and replacement buying for examples I truly want.

My wife thinks I'm a little crazy, but I don't gamble, smoke or drink which makes it all OK, right?! But there are probably a few OCD collectors among us and a few hoarders, too. I'm not a psychologist so I won't discuss the connection between those and our hobby. My own personal fear is that it becomes a form of idol worship and I don't want that to happen. It's not a hobby that will necessarily put me in financial hardship but I wonder at times if it would be money better spent helping others. Maybe someday when I decide to liquidate the collection, that will be the hobby's ultimate purpose.

Last edited by Fusion Monkey; 05-19-2019 at 10:13 PM. Reason: word change
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Old 05-20-2019, 03:10 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Richtofen888 View Post
To kick this off, then, I ask the following questions: How large must you grow your collection before you're satisfied with it? At what point are enough models enough? Will you ever be satisfied? What would make you quit?
I don't think there is ever too many models although I am at the stage where I either get one more cab or rotate models around, having some boxed up while not on display, personality I don't like the latter and neither do I want to sell off any, not even the models I start to think are not needed.

And I don't think I'd ever liquidate my collection either, I've seen how bad it can be to list models which are expected to go up in value only to have no one interested because the price is too steep for most people. Also whenever I've seen collections listed on eBay, the good stuff is usually picked off immediately and the rest left unsold and eventually severely discounted below what they were bought for. The other week I was watching a few decent models from one seller on eBay, there was an old spook, a recent Viper and a Foxbat, each one of the newer releases went for below the cost price and the old spook barely made it to what was probably paid for it back in the day, all were used but in good condition.

In terms of what will satisfy me, I'd like to try to complete a few more themes, there are models which I really want but have not seen the scheme I like or it's been done badly. Even after I complete those themes, I don't think I'd start any new ones but buy whatever random model takes my fancy but I'm pretty sure this hobby is gonna quit before I do.

To be honest, the day HM ceases to make models, that's when I'll stop taking a constant interest in this hobby, nobody else is making enough models to make it a full time hobby at that point. With other manus releasing quarterly or half yearly, you could quiet easily get a new release update from your vendor, PO it and one day a model turns up that you forgot you ordered.
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Old 05-20-2019, 02:48 PM   #7
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Interesting thread. If I think too much about what we do isn’t very rational, I compare it to buying a sports car of which I’ve had several, not practical, won’t carry much at all, usually get poor mileage, models? There is no doubt a thrill in opening a new model, and a thrill that they have finally released that one you waited so long for them to make, of course there is the dilemma of what to do with that new model. I have found the rotation method works the best so they don’t spend their lives in boxes. Have five Halifaxes? Show 2 at a time and once every 6 months move them in to display and/or back to boxes. I’ve been an airplane nut since I was five years old, was away doing early adult things but now back to collecting models of all kinds. Maybe I should be spending this disposable income on trips and vacations? Yea maybe, but there is something about the model collecting that is hard to define, it’s just part of who I am, the history certainly is a big deal for me.
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