Open or Closed? THAT is the question….

Mar 29, 2012 8 Comments by

“Mint in Box” has a nice ring to it, and for a generation of collectors the phrase has signified a perfect example of a desirable model, fresh as the day it was brought home. But for an equal amount of collectors, the thought of leaving a new diecast, slot, or resincast model in its box is too much to bear, and begs the question: “what fun is having a model if you can’t enjoy it in hand?”
 It’s a tough call. Keeping a model in its original box can certainly add to the value when it’s time to sell or trade, but if you like opening features, under-the-skin detail, or the plain and simple joy of holding a well-done model in the palm of your hand, leaving your acquisitions under wraps just doesn’t make sense, no matter what the financial rewards might be down the road. It’s a debate as old as the hobby – and we’d like to hear from you which you prefer. Do you keep those new purchases strapped and screwed down in the original packaging, or do you take those beauties out and start having fun as soon as they arrive? Join us on our Facebook page and chime in – we’d like to know.

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About the author

I have been a car guy since my early teens. From managing a performance center on Long Island NY to being a partner of the world’s largest traveling global car show series; my career path has taken me on an exciting journey. I have consulted for MTV, McDonalds, Turtle Wax, Dodge and other high profile companies and have been published in multiple automotive journals. Alpha Penguin Publishing recruited me to co-author “The Complete Idiots Guide to Customizing Your Ride” for which one of my cars graces the cover. My diecast addiction began about 12 years back. My girlfriend at the time knew I was saving for a Mustang Cobra. She thought it would be humorous and purchased a diecast version to hold me over for a while. What was an initial joke struck a chord because I was fascinated with how Hot Wheels could make such a cool replica for a buck. The next time we went shopping I stopped in the toy aisle and ended up purchasing additional Hot Wheels and a few Jada vehicles. Well you all know the story from here; one shelf led to a book case. The book case quickly became an apartment filled with hundreds of HotWheels, Jada and other 1:64th scale replicas. Next came my introduction to 1:24th and 1:18th scale die cast and twelve years later I am the proud owner of a collection that is displayed in a 2000sq foot facility with a current count of over 12 thousand unique pieces. My then girlfriend, now wife, has a lot of patience for my hobby and my two little girls enjoy it with us too. Today I find myself fascinated with all scales and all models of customized vehicles. From tuners to rat rods, lead sleds to pro street drag. I do have an appreciation for the well delivered OEM vehicles as well. Most of all I enjoy the hunt to complete a set or series of vehicles. I look forward to being a part of DieCast X Magazine and helping to strengthen, grow and deliver our hobby to people who do not know how rewarding it is to an individual and a family.

8 Responses to “Open or Closed? THAT is the question….”

  1. Greg Anderson says:

    I have over 300 1/18 scale diecast and all are displayed in crystal clear plastic cases hanging on the wallas of my “Toy Room”. How could I and others enjoy them locked in a box?

  2. doodad says:

    Been a collector since 1996 starting with 1:24 Nascar and 1:18 Ertl AM. Around 1997 I got a dealers license so my personal collection and inventory are sometimes interchangeable if you know what I mean. I have always saved boxes just because of the selling end but so often I have seen collectors who SWORE they would never sell do an about face for one reason or another. Without boxes you might as well figure your collectible is worth half as much as it would be with the box.

    As per your comments I would like to add that in the old days collectors do wanted MIB or NRFB (Never Removed From Box) but these days many collectors want their cars checked out before shipping. With the numerous problems nowadays with damage or missing parts it gets aweful expensive refunding or reshipping replacements, especially overseas. Best to check out a model before shipping.

    • Joe Kelly Jr. says:

      Hey, Mike –

      You’re absolutely right – and you raise a good point about retailers and collectors having to check models out. Thanks for chiming in!

      - Joe

  3. Ryan C. says:

    I have over 200 1/18ths on display in glass cases. I been a collector and opener since my first diecast, a 1/18th Dale Earnhardt Lumina in 1991. I have many of the boxes from recent buys, but not all of them. The market for diecast varies so much I can’t worry about the “value”. I like them so I buy them, atleast until I run out of room.

  4. John F. says:

    I have been a diecast collector for over 40 years and have a collection of over 7,000 cars in all scales. I currently have approx 350 cars on display in display cases. I have kept all the boxes and packing as I periodically rotate the cars that are on display at which time they are put back into the boxes just as they came. I do not worry much about market value too much because not all will increase in value but they are cars i like to have in my collection. I am a collector not a seller with a life long love of all cars both real and diecast. Everyone who sees the cars on display even if they are not car people are totally amazed when they see my collection on display.

  5. Gary Jacobson says:

    For about ten years I have collected diecast cars in all scales, (and) up until this past year I thought that keeping them in boxes would hold their value. But I’ve learned that THREE KEY THINGS WILL COMBINE TO RUIN YOUR MODEL. If you display your model in a room where there’s a lot of sunlight, the display box and the model will get bleached out. If you display in a basement, the box can become damp and brittle. If you have children who are curious, they can rip open the blister packs. THAT GETS ME MAD. So, I just started displaying them in my office and my shop. I will always try to keep my cars in the original package(s), but I will be flexible in the future.

  6. RON GRAY says:


  7. Bob Mosher says:

    Just now getting into collecting die cast. I have a theme that I am trying to follow and this little piece of info has been quite helpful.

    I am going to open my models and probably display them in custom cases as I accumulate sufficient numbers to put in cases.

    I have collected other items before and I never had much luck when reselling. Never have been able to get more than half value for anything so if that’s case, I’ll definitely be opening my die cast.

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