Diecast construction toys have introduced more than trucks and tractors, and include well-known replicas from equipment manufacturers like Caterpillar, Bobcat and John Deere.
Diecast Construction Toys of Different Sizes
Durable diecast toys have come in different sizes over the years. A couple of the most popular include Tonka and Matchbox.
Tonka is probably one of the most well-known toy brands when it comes to diecast construction toys. These popular construction vehicle replicas were first created by a company that made garden tools in the basement of a schoolhouse near Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota. In 1947 they manufactured 37,000 diecast trucks in two designs: a crane and a steam shovel. In 1964 they introduced their most popular truck, the Mighty Dump. From 1965 to 1972 this line grew into a series of construction vehicle toys including the:
- Hydraulic Dump
- Bottom Dump
Since those early days, they have expanded their product line and in 1991 joined the Hasbro family of toys. In 2004 they introduced the Toughest Mighty Dump Truck, followed by the Toughest Mighty Loader and Toughest Mighty Crane in 2006. Along with their Mighty-size trucks they offer a junior-size line, too.
While most people tend to think of cars when it comes to the Matchbox series, the very first matchbox toy was a shiny red and green stream roller made of brass. This particular toy was created in 1952 by Jack Odell for his daughter Annie to bring for show and tell. The school's rule was that whatever a child brought had to fit into a matchbox. The steamroller was a hit with the kids. They were small and easy for children to handle. In 1953 Odell opened a small factory with a couple of partners to keep up with demand. Along with the steamroller they added the following vehicles:
- Land Rover
- London bus
- Fire engine
It wasn't until 1954 that they introduced the first Matchbox car, an MG TD roadster, a rare Matchbox coveted by collectors.
Collectible Diecast Models
The construction toy niche in the collectibles market for diecast toys is big. Among them, some names stand out more than others, but if you are in the market to start collecting, be sure to look around at what is available. Part of the fun is to buy toys you really like or always wanted as a kid. Collectors have enjoyed John Deere diecast toys for decades. Spec Cast Collectibles offers a downloadable catalog listing John Deere and other diecast collectibles complete with color images. It includes an assortment of tractor equipment as well as the John Deere MC Industrial Crawler with Blade.
Toys for Today
For those who are looking for construction toys their kids can enjoy now, the John Deere 5-piece diecast construction set offers:
- Loader Backhoe
- Large Loader
- Small Loader
- Truck with Black Trailer Bed
While Caterpillar diecast toys are also highly collectible, they continue to release newer construction toys into the market each year. Along with their popular diecast line, they added some bells and whistles to some of their toys. Here are a few:
- Caterpillar Wheel Loader
- Caterpillar Track-Type Tractor
- Caterpillar 15" Lights and Sounds Motorized Wheel Loader
- Bruder Toys Caterpillar Excavator
- Caterpillar L Series Ii Hydraulic Excavator
Benefits of Owning Diecast Toys
Aside from the hours of fun they provide, diecast toys have distinct advantages over most other toys. First of all, they are durable. Not only will they stand the wear and tear of your first child, but chances are they will last through all your kids and be passed on to your grandkids, if you don't sell them.
Along with durability, another advantage to owning diecast toys is that, if you take care of them, they actually can increase in value with today's collectors looking for toys. In most cases, larger diecast toys are worth more than their smaller counterparts, but owning a toy you really like is priceless.