07 January 2014

The Die is Cast 2: Patrick in Pink

I got a pretty sweet die-cast car in the mail the other day. It is the 2012 Danica Patrick Elite Pink car, numbered # 084 / 150. Yup, these cars have serial numbers. There is even a website that is kind of like a die-cast DMV where you can enter the serial number and get a 'title' for your cars and see what you have in a virtual garage. It's a pretty slick car. I really need to get a display case for my cars. My kids got into the hobby room the other day and popped one of the windows off of a Dale Earnhardt Jr. car I have, so my brand new car collection is already down one window. I am trying to source a spare window for it, but it is proving difficult. I really need to get our digital camera up and running again. These cell phone photos just aren't cutting it.

I am still not all the way versed on the world of die-cast cars. In the current market Lionel appears to have a monopoly on the NASCAR die-cast license, sort of like Topps with Major League Baseball. There are several tiers of cars in production Generally the lower tiers have fewer parts, more plastic, and are produced in larger numbers. Higher tiers will have more parts, more metal pieces, greater detail, and lower production runs. Not every driver will get a car in every tier. There are also a lot of cars with special paint jobs that don't necessarily match a car that was actually driven by the racer in question. Usually it is kind of like a Refractor, with one color on the car being replaced by a shiny metallic finish of some kind. There are also raced-version cars and race-win cars, which feature the car as it looked at the end of the race, with scrapes on the door, covered in confetti, and whatever else they can add to the model to make it look like it does in pictures taken at the end of the race. They might even include a relic of some kind, like a baggie of the confetti used at the race. 

Here are my other cars so far. This is a special Gunmetal finish car based on the 2012 Godaddy.com car, numbered # 045 / 349.

This is the blacked-out Stealth version of the same car. This one is numbered # 126 / 300. I like this Stealth finish a lot. There is also an Ice finish that is all white with shiny accents.

This next car is a Dale Earnhardt Jr. Amp Energy in the Gunmetal finish. Until I got the Pink Elite car mentioned at the top of this post, it was the most rare car I had. It is also the car that my kids popped the window off of. It is numbered # 141 / 188.

I had to get at least one Dale Jr. National Guard car, as the Guard has been my employer part-time from 2000-2008 with an 18-month deployment thrown in there, and full-time thereafter. This is the Color Chrome paint variation, which is shinier than the standard finish, and is numbered # 462 / 512.

This last car was on sale for $8.00, and appears to be from the lowest tier of cars. The details are rougher, the window net is a solid piece of plastic instead of a mesh that can be raised and lowered, and the trunk does not open. It is a Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dark Knight Rises car, and is numbered # 0138 / 1500.

I am still not sure what direction to take with this collection. These cars are a lot of fun, but to keep up with them all is a bit too much. I will have to choose a couple of variations each year and stick to one or two drivers. I think my main goal right now is to get set up with a display case so that I have somewhere I can see the cars, but where they will also be safe from the little people who live in my house.


  1. I just run with the cars I think are the coolest myself. My Kyle Busch collection currently consists of three Christmas editions. I'd love to get his Indiana Jones edition, but they are impossible to find or cost a ton when you do find them. I even tried for an autographed photo of the car, but even that went for more than I was willing to pay.

    Other than Kyle I have some other M&M cars with the special paint schemes that we picked up for $5.00 each. I'm also doing the cartoon network cars from years ago. Not sure what year or how many I have left to get. Should research it sometimes.

    When you finally do start getting display cases be prepared for some serious sticker shock.

  2. My oldest son has developed quite an affinity for Kyle Busch and his M & M's cars. I've tracked down a few trading cards featuring the M & M's car for his budding collection, but I haven't yet ordered a die-cast of any kind for him. He is still a bit young for a collectible car, and I haven't found a toy version for him yet.

    I understand a little already about the cost of display cases. I ordered one a while back for my military coins, and when it comes to displaying pet reptiles, the enclosure and all the stuff that goes in it often costs more than the snake itself. I may wind up repurposing a small shelf unit from a Goodwill or something.