Ford Truck Giveaway – For years, collecting sports items was limited to cards, shirts, signatures, and items directly related to sports. Die cast sports goods are available with most of which are related to car racing. They are naturally very suitable for the die cast market which was originally a car. Of course, the Matchbox, Hot Wheels, and Corgi collections have gone smoothly with many product choices and availability, but die cast collections in other major sports such as baseball and soccer are hard to come by. This is easy to understand because there is no right connection between sports cars and motorized vehicles, right? Wrong !!!
The beginning of the movement for printed goods from racing to other major sports began in 1989. The Baltimore Orioles wanted to have a unique promotional gift for their fans in one of their matches. They contact and do business with small companies in York, PA that many of us know as White Rose Collectibles. White Rose really “stepped onto the plate” and gave the existing Matchbox Model A Ford with the Orioles Logo and the year printed on its side to give to fans. This Oriole item, because it’s so unique, is very popular among fans of all ages. Die cast is now starting to become a sports collection.
Starting in 1990, White Rose began producing collectible Model A Ford trucks for all the Major League and NFL Baseball teams. Popularity is still a little unknown so production of around 10,000 per team is limited to hobby shops, toys, cards and gifts and is not available to most major retailers. All of these folds are officially licensed and are available in the appropriate team colors and logos. Model year, 1990 in this case, also printed on the door panel. Printing years on vehicles is what makes this truck a true collector’s item.
Every year the color scheme will change a little so that the item stays fresh. Then the vehicle itself begins to change to really increase the collectability of the product. Again, all models still have years printed on them and production is still limited. Because this is still a Matchbox model, it is also a “cross” collection that can be billed to the main stream Matchbox collector. In the mid-1990s, the addition of some of the most popular NBA teams was, but there was still something for hockey collectors to this point.
That all changed when White Rose got a license to produce mini Zamboni, a machine that cleans the ice surface in all ice rinks and machines that have unusual popularity with hockey fans in general. All NHL collectors now have their goods! Even though it’s not an official Matchbox item, Zamboni is directly related to sports and is a huge success with fans. As with previous items, official colors and logos are used in the design and also the year of production.
Die cast now has a much greater presence in the sports collection market. As time goes by, other models and styles are added to the line that includes tractor trailers, tandem trailers and helicopters. As popularity increased, so did the attention of larger sports companies and White Rose eventually bought by Fleer, Inc. Fleer continued to add lines to also include muscle cars, fighter planes and more classic vehicles. A year ago, Fleer was bought by Upper Deck, Inc. which continues to improve the die cast product line. Even though the company changed, the quality of vehicles and production continued to increase. All vehicle designs keep changing from year to year but many still have years printed on them. They all still have limited production to better protect their collectibility.
Racing fans will always be the biggest die cast sports collector. For this reason, they also have the widest variety of products ranging in price from a few dollars to limited production vehicles that cost only a few hundred dollars. Also, as in other sports, scale models in all sizes are available to meet the needs of all collectors. Manufacturers like Winner’s Circle, Revell, and Action (now Authentic Motorsports) make collectors of all ages and happy. Race cars are constantly updated to reflect changes in sponsors, drivers, color designs and various promotions, such as films, which keep the collection of die cast races fresh.
Overall, it’s not what sports issues you like or what drivers you follow. The die cast collection is a fun and unique way to showcase your support. Running limited production, a variety of vehicles, and ever-changing designs help protect the value of your collection but offer choices that make every collector happy. I have no problem if you are in the circle of winners or lifting the World Series trophy, the die cast collection is very fun !!!
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