A Scaleback in Die-Cast Cars – The New York Times

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The decision by the Danbury Mint last month to stop selling die-cast model cars was symptomatic of a more serious shrinkage in a market where the vehicles are already pretty small.
The Connecticut company, which still produces jewelry and collectible plaques and figurines, left the market when its last die-cast car factory in China closed down; another of its Chinese factories closed two years earlier.
According to Mark Fothergill, who owns Replicarz, a die-cast-model seller in Rutland, Vt., the Danbury Mint wasn’t the only one to get out of the field in the last few years.
“The Franklin Mint is another one,” Mr. Fothergill said, referring to the collectibles company that continues to produce coin sets and ceramics, among other items. “There’s been quite a few in the last five to seven years that have been mainstays in the industry that are gone.”
The models made by Danbury Mint and Franklin Mint are distinguished from the offerings of Matchbox and Hot Wheels by their finer details (doors, trunks and hoods that open, for example) and bigger size, typically 1/18 scale, although there are some well-detailed model cars produced in 1/43 scale. Danbury’s fleet was in 1/24 scale, a size typical of most build-it-yourself car-model kits.
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