Small cars, great Depression

The car mania is Germany’s largest stock exchange for toy cars. The offer at the Meetings has been increasing for years, but the prices, noise in the basement. A visit with frustrated dealers and collectors.


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Roland Löwisch

By Roland Löwisch

Wednesday, 01.10.2014
At 09:43

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As Hans-Werner Diener based his Stand on the car mania, he knows He needs a Star. Finally, there is strong competition on the collector’s forum for model cars in Hannover: More than 100,000 copies will be issued.

The car mania is one of the largest events of this kind in Europe and the largest in Germany, this year it takes place in the framework of the trade fair for commercial vehicles IAA. And, of course, Hans-Werner servant, a toy dealer from Gummersbach, Germany, has a Star.

He weighs only a few grams, black-red, shorter than a child’s hand and place it on a black Base screwed. A plastic lid protects it from strangers fingers. It is the miniature version of a Mercedes-Benz Actros 3243, a concrete mixer. Only 100 copies were made of it, the Actros, a servant has the number 31. “The costs, paid by a collector for it,” he says.

1,50 Euro instead of 150 Mark

Get the current model car market as a base, can’t be that much: The majority of the many Mini-vehicles at the auto mania is selling for one to two euros. “The market depends on the collectors between 50 and 75 years ago,” says Kai lumpfish, organizer of the stock exchange. “But the are getting older. Eventually, do not go more to such Gatherings, but into assisted Living,” says the 68-Year-old.

The stock market is visited on this Saturday in September is still good. There are mainly truckers, the romp on the many stalls. Some of the models are taken in Hand, examined, rotated – but little is bought. “People simply have no money for something like this,” says servant. “Anyone who has spent up to 150 Mark for a Wiking car, gets today for just 1,50 Euro.” Lumpfish adds: “Who throws now a complete collection on the market, achieved a maximum of half of the sum he has put in.”

The Internet makes the exchanges no competition

The price decline does not stop the 50 or so dealers with over 100 tables, however, on an area of 1500 square meters model cars, kits and accessories to offer. According to information from the German Association of the automotive industry, has doubled the offer in such exchanges since the year 2006.

Lumpfish can gain from this Trend is nothing Good: “It is simply too much product on the market,” he says. This is not only because of the disinterested heirs sell off the collections of their fathers, but also to the mass production in Asia. The Internet is not a competitor. Lumpfish: “the Really expensive cars to switch among connoisseurs only personally to the owner.”

Some dealers in Hanover can be sensitive, when you approach their booths with a camera. “No pictures,” it says, “in times of Facebook.” Templates for counterfeiters must be avoided at any price.

Blame for the downturn, car manufacturers are – to say the collectors

On the stock exchange an old Bus with 400 Euro is one of the most expensive exhibits, but sometimes rare models go for 1500 or 2000 Euro over the counter. “Schuco-Truck, a günther man-fire, a real Distler-Porsche, or old märklin cars are highly traded,” says Seehase. In the “new cars” are mainly detail the precise print models casting, such as, for example, by Minichamps in the course. They are developed in Germany and produced in China. As a toy, you are no good, they’re too fragile.

The same is true for the servant of a concrete mixer. Such a limited series with bring the manufacturer’s “large” cars extra for certain events, to offer them to your customers or to sell them at the counter of the audience. According to the lumpfish once a profitable business: “Previously funded Truck manufacturer to have its entire booth,” says the scene’s connoisseurs. “In the nineties I should have been at Renault for around 1200 Mark for a series of 20-model trucks have a lie down.”

However, according to the view of a servant of the manufacturers have over-stimulated the business: “There were eventually too many different special models, and it made us collectors mad.” Nevertheless, these models are still sought after. Traders like servants need good contacts to get hold of a copy: “This is only possible with ‘Vitamin B’, if you visited before the exchange, his friends, the car manufacturers.”

Servant Star, the small concrete mixer, the auto-mania. 36 hours after the end of the exchange, the copies of number 89 and number 7 on Ebay on the Internet: Zero bids for a fixed price of 83 Euro and twelve commandments for 37,50 Euro. The toy dealer is not going to be with his number 31 Empire.

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