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Toy Car Price Guides
By Dana Johnson

Have you ever wondered if there's a price guide for the kind of model cars you collect? Chances are there probably is. Besides eight books each on Hot Wheels and Matchbox toys, there are over fifty other currently available books devoted to automotive toys and models of one kind or another. Some are general guides, others are specific to a certain brand or type.

Below is a comprehensive list, from A to Z by subject or brand, of published books on automotive toys, along with a summary of their contents. Most of the titles below are available from Dana Johnson Enterprises at www.toynutz.com/books.html:


Arcade Toys by Albert Aune, paperback, 1990, Robert F. Mannella, ISBN 096261100X, out of print

In their day, Arcade Toys were among the best and most popular cast iron toys produced in America. Although out of print, I mention this book since it is the only collector's guide published specifically on Arcade Toys. Within its covers are color photos, catalog illustrations and detailed historical text spanning 314 pages and 40 years of Arcade Toys, from 1902 to 1941. A price guide in the back complements the text.


Classic Miniature Vehicles Made In France by Dr. Edward Force, paperback, 1992, Schiffer, ISBN 0887403166, $16.95

Classic Miniature Vehicles Made In Germany by Dr. Edward Force, paperback, 1992, Schiffer, ISBN 0887402518, $16.95

Classic Miniature Vehicles Made In Italy by Dr. Edward Force, paperback, 1992, Schiffer, ISBN 0887404332, $16.95

This three-book series provides a look at the most popular 1:43 scale automotive models produced in France, Germany and Italy in the last century. Although over ten years old, these books still remain as the most informative books on the subject of European HO scale cars.

Collectors Guide to Diecast Toys and Scale Models, 2nd Edition by Dana Johnson, 1998, Collector Books, ISBN 1574320416, $19.95

This predecessor to the Toy Car Collector's Guide has over 600 color photos, 260 pages, and 580 brands of die-cast and related automotive toys and models represented.

Diecast Cars of the 1960sDiecast Cars of the 1960s by Mac Ragan, 2000, MBI Publishing, ISBN 0760307199, $13.95

Mac Ragan showcases his photographic talents in this survey of Sixties toys from Matchbox, Hot Wheels, Budgie, Husky, and many others.

Diecast Price Guide - Postwar: 1946-Present by Douglas R. Kelly, 1997, Antique Trader Books, ISBN 0930625277, $26.95

Doug Kelly showcases 125 brands of die-cast automotive toys in this 260-page guide with color illustrations.

Hot Cars by the staff of Beckett Publications, paperback, 1999, ISBN 1887432698, $24.95

This book, a guide to Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Topper's Johnny Lightnings, Aurora Cigar Box, has received mixed reviews, from "spectacular" to "a waste of money". (Did somebody say "spectacular waste of money"?) Nevertheless, the 256-page book combines Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Topper's Johnny Lightnings (1968-1970) and even a page of Aurora Cigar Box models from 1968. A die-cast tour de farce.. er, force, as only Beckett could pull off.

Today's Hottest Die-Cast Vehicles edited by Elizabeth Stephan, paperback, 2000, Krause, ISBN 0873419189, $24.95

Krause does Beckett one better. (See Hot Cars above.) From the back cover: Do you have a shoebox full of little cars in your closet? Or are you an active collector? With over 5,000 listings and 12,000 prices, Today's Hottest Die-Cast will assist you in appraising your collection. This comprehensive guide covers the hottest lines: Johnny Lightning, Matchbox, Racing Champions, Tootsietoys, Corgi, Dinky, Numbered Packs, plus the most comprehensive Hot Wheels list [136 pages] available. [...available to Krause?] Includes 500 photos and a 32-page color section.

Standard Catalog of Die-Cast Vehicles by Dan Stearns, 2002, Krause Publications, ISBN 0873494199, $29.95

Only the publisher could call this book the "standard" of die-cast vehicle price guides, since it only covers 16 of the nearly documented 800 brands of die-cast vehicles produced in the last century. What it does cover is comprehensive - 624 pages devoted to an extensive listing of automotive as well as aviation toys and models from Corgi, Dinky, Eagle, Ertl, Exact Detail, GMP, Hot Wheels, Husky, Johnny Lightning (Topper and Playing Mantis), Kyosho, Lledo, Maisto, Matchbox, Minichamps (Paul's Model Art), Racing Champions/NASCAR, and Tootsietoys.

Among the missing are such well-known diecast brands as Bburago, Majorette, Siku, Solido, Tomica, Vitesse and Yat Ming.

The Golden Age of Automotive ToysThe Golden Age of Automotive Toys 1925-1941 by Ken Hutchison and Greg Johnson, hardcover, 1997, Collector Books, ISBN 0891457275, $24.95

Hundreds of fabulous photos are coupled with descriptive text and values to showcase the most spectacular toy cars of the era.

O'Brien's Collecting Toy Cars & Trucks, Third Edition edited by Elizabeth Stephan, paperback, 2000, ISBN 0873415809, $27.95

In this 630-page third edition, Krause editor Elizabeth Stephan takes over where Richard O'Brien left off, resulting in a new, exciting, bigger-than-ever reference to thousands of automotive toys from the turn of the century to the present.

Toy Car Collector's Guide by Dana Johnson, paperback, 2002, Collector Books, ISBN 1574322478, $19.95

This remains the most comprehensive book ever written about die-cast and related automotive toys and models. The 336-page price guide catalogs over 800 brands and logs over 10,000 entries. The 281,000 word text is supported by 800 color photos. The book serves as the official price guide of the Toy Car Collectors Association.

Toy Cars of Japan and Hong Kong by Andrew G. Ralston, paperback, 2000, Schiffer, ISBN 0764311964, $39.95

Andrew Ralston of Glasgow, Scotland, has long been renowned for his expertise on a variety of antique and collectible toy cars. This hardcover price guide showcases some of the rarest plastic, tinplate, and die-cast models ever produced in Asia from 1945 to 1970. The book is richly illustrated with extensive supporting text.


Coin Banks by Banthrico by Jim Redwine, hardcover, 2001, Schiffer, ISBN 0764312804, $49.95

This is the Banthrico "bible" for coin bank collectors. Rather than providing actual values, this book refers to a "rarity scale" of A through E, A being the most common and E being the rarest. Photos are plenty and text is extensive.


The Collector's Guide to Bus Toys & Models by Kurt M. Resch with photos by Richard Romagnoli, paperback, 2002, Schiffer, ISBN 0764316311, $29.95

This second edition serves as an update of prices and information to Resch's first book on bus toys entitled A World of Bus Toys & Models published in 1999. Excellent color photos and accompanying text provide the most comprehensive book available on the subject.


Cast Iron Automotive Toys by Myra Yellin Outwater & Eric B. Outwater, Steve & Bill Weart, hardcover, 2000, Schiffer, ISBN 0764310771, $69.95

Rich with large color photos and extensive historical text, this 264 page guide is a goldmine of information on cast iron toy cars and trucks from the better-known brands of Arcade, Dent, Hubley, Kenton, Kilgore, Vindex, A. C. Williams, to the lesser-known brands of Champion, Globe, Grey Iron, Freidag, North and Judd, and Niederst.


Corgi Toys, 3rd Edition by Dr. Edward Force, 1997, Schiffer, ISBN 0764302531, $16.95

Dr. Force's price guides were the first to provide information specific to a variety of popular brands of diecast toys. This one covers the history of Corgi Toys from 1956-1983 with photos of every Corgi toy produced within that timeframe and an updated 1997 price guide.

The Unauthorized Encyclopedia of Corgi Toys by Bill Manzke, paperback, 1997, Schiffer, ISBN 0764303082, $34.99

Manzke takes a more artistic approach to the arrangement of his book by offering large photos of the most appealing Corgi toys and a separate price guide that consumes nearly half the book.



Dinky Toys, 5th Edition by Dr. Edward Force, paperback, 2001, Schiffer, ISBN 076431372X, $19.95

Once a prominent brand from Europe, Dinky Toys have since been banished to the dark, dusty corners of the Mattel toy empire. Dr. Force presents photos of every model produced from 1933 to 1987 when the line was absorbed into the Matchbox Collectibles assortment. An updated price guide is offered in the back of the book thanks to the efforts of the Dinky Toy Club of America and its founder Jerry Fralick.

Collecting Dinky Toys by Mike Richardson, paperback, 2001, Francis Joseph of London, England, ISBN 1870703979 $24.95 (£ 16.95 UK)

This is a compact 136-page value guide with a large 56-page center section of color photos. Values are provided in US dollars and British pounds.


The DeSalle Collection of Smith-Miller & Doepke Trucks by Don & Barb DeSalle, paperback, 1997, L-W Book Sales, ISBN 0895380935, $19.95

Doepke Model Toys of are rare American-made heavy pressed steel toys spawning a specialized group of collectors and demanding high prices. Meanwhile, Smith-Miller toy trucks are so highly valued by collectors that new ones are being produced in limited quantities which retail for $700 to $1000 each. Imagine what the old ones are worth! Don and Barb DeSalle showcase their spectacular collection of both brands in this excellent book.


Standard Catalog of Farm Toys by Krause Publishing, paperback, 2001, ISBN 0873492579, $29.95

With 444 pages, 5000 listings and lots of photos, this is the most comprehensive farm toy guide available, covering Britains, Tru-Scale, Ertl, Reuhl, Scale Models, Vindex and others.

Toy Tractors by Rob Wagner & Vincent Manocchi, 1996, Motorbooks International Enthusiast Color Series, ISBN 0760301670, $12.95

This book features 96 pages of great photos and rich text that explores the wonderful world of toy farm tractors.


Fun Ho! Miniature Vehicles, A Collectors Guide by E. David Daw, paperback, 1997 by the author, ISBN 0646292595, price unknown

This small, yellow booklet is 64 fact-filled pages covering these charming toys that originated from New Zealand in 1939 and gained popularity in the US for a short time in the 1960s.


Hot Wheels: The Ultimate Redline Guide 1968-1977 by Jack Clark and Robert P. Wicker, paperback, 2003, Collector Books, hardcover, ISBN 1574323016, $24.95

Collector Books has finally gotten their wish. After many years of looking, they've finally found an author to assemble a Hot Wheels price guide for them... well, actually two authors. Jack Clark and Robert P. Wicker have assembled The Ultimate Redline Guide, a 352-page full-color extravaganza of which Collector Books thought so highly as to make it a hardbound edition.

This book offers year-by-year color-coded pages of those important first ten years of Hot Wheels production, in large, definitive photos and sumptuous supporting text. Each page is devoted to a single model and its variations. This book is the definitive guide to the earliest and most valuable Hot Wheels.

Tomart's Price Guide to Hot Wheels, 5th Edition by Michael Thomas Strauss, paperback, 2002, Tomart, ISBN 0914293524, $32.95

Despite continuing controversy over Hot Wheels values and variations, Michael Thomas Strauss has braved the critics to author this fifth edition of what has become the collector's standard reference book to Hot Wheels. Covers all Hot Wheels issued from 1968 to 2002. Still the best book ever published on Hot Wheels values and variations.

Hot Wheels Cars by Mac Ragan, with intro by Jay Leno, paperback, 2001, MBI Publishing, ISBN 076030839X, $19.95

This book is more a showcase of Mac Ragan's photographic talents than it is a guide to America's most popular die-cast toys. This is by no means a comprehensive price guide, but rather a colorful survey of these colorful toys. A foreword by Jay Leno is likely the primary driving force in the book's inevitable popularity.

Hot Wheels 1968-1972, 1st Edition by Bob Parker, paperback, 2001, Schiffer, ISBN 0764314807, $29.95

Up until Collector Books published The Ultimate Redline Guide this was the most comprehensive book in print covering the first four years of Hot Wheels cars. Now it comes in a close second.

The Complete Book of Hot Wheels, 4th Edition by Bob Parker, paperback, 2000, Schiffer, ISBN 0764310836, $29.95

Not to be outdone by "the other guys," Bob Parker offers this intensive look at America's favorite diecast toys. This book offers nearly 200 pages of color photos followed by a 190-page variation guide with values.

The Ultimate Guide to Hot Wheels Variations by Michael Zarnock, paperback, 2002, Krause, ISBN 0873493486, $29.95

In this book, Zarnock focuses on Hot Wheels issued between 1989 and 1999 with collector numbers printed on the package.

Hot Wheels: the Recent YearsHot Wheels: the Recent Years by Bob Parker, paperback, 2002, Schiffer, ISBN 0764316990, $29.95

Yet another attempt to capitalize on the Hot Wheels phenomenon, Parker offers this 176-page guide to the more recent issues from Mattel.

Hot Wheels, A Collector's Guide, 4th Edition by Bob Parker, paperback, 2001, Schiffer, ISBN 0764312170, 19.95

Parker's attempt to compete with Tomart leaves this book lacking in organization and usefulness. Photos are a mix of large and small images of Hot Wheels in and out of their packages, with text scattered and price guide relegated to the back of the book.

"Hot Wheels Redlines and Blackwalls 1968-1988 Field Guide" by Dan Stearns, paperback, 2003, Krause, ISBN 0873496221 $12.99

This portable guide is designed as a handy resource to take to shows and assist in on-the-spot identification and evaluation.


Hubley Toy Vehicles: 1946-1965 by Steve Butler, paperback, 2001, Shiffer, ISBN 076431405X, $29.95

Steven Butler offers this rich historical look at Hubley toy cars, trucks, airplanes, motorcycles, tractors and other vehicles produced during Hubley's golden age.

Hubley Catalog: 1946-1965: by Steve Butler, paperback, 2002, Schiffer, ISBN 0764315633, $29.95

As a companion to his Hubley Toy Vehicles book, Butler provides a view of Hubley toys as seen through the pages of Hubley catalogs.


Tomart's Price Guide to Johnny Lightnings by Mac Ragan, paperback, 2001, Tomart, ISBN 0914293508, $26.95

Playing Mantis founder Tom Lowe is thrilled about this new book as it provides an absolutely comprehensive guide to every Johnny Lightning car ever made, including the early Topper toys from 1969-71, as well as those produced by Playing Mantis, the company Lowe formed in to resurrect the Johnny Lightning brand. I hope author Mac Ragan has the energy to continue and update this book from year to year as it is the most authoritative guide to Johnny Lightnings ever produced.


Kenton Cast Iron Toys by Charles M. Jacobs with preface by Gene Autry, paperback, 1996, Schiffer, ISBN 0887409806, $39.95

In its day, Kenton produced a broad assortment of cast iron toys. Their specialty was toy guns, and first in line were Kenton's Gene Autry repeater cap pistols. But Kenton also made beautiful cast iron vehicles, from horse-drawn carriages to automobiles. This book embraces the full sixty year history—from the 1890s to the 1950s—of the Kenton, Ohio, toy company.


Lledo Toys by Dr. Edward Force, paperback, 1996, ISBN 076430013X, $19.95

Dr. Force is a leading authority on toy cars. His books include those on Corgi Toys, Dinky Toys, Toy Emergency Vehicles, Solido, Matchbox, the 3-volume series on Classic Toy Vehicles Made In France, Italy and Germany, and this book on Lledo toys, covering their beginnings in 1982 when Jack Odell left Matchbox to start his own company, through 1996.

Matchbox and Lledo Toys, Dr. Edward Force, 1988, ISBN , $16.95

The connection between Matchbox and Lledo is an intimate one. Jack Odell served as primary diecast expert for Lesney in producing their popular Matchbox toys. He left the company once to return again, until 1982 when Matchbox was purchased from Lesney by Universal of Hong Kong. Odell then left for good to form his own toy company known as Lledo, Odell's name spelled backwards. Lledo toys continue to be a popular favorite despite its unfortunate bankruptcy in 1999. Now owned by Zindart of Hong Kong, Lledo survives today as a part of the Corgi Classics line-up. This book covers Matchbox and Lledo toys from 1982-1987.


Unauthorized Collector's Guide to Majorette Toys of France, 2002 Edition by Dana Johnson, self-published, $19.95

This extensive self-published book offers 100 pages of variations and prices on Majorette die-cast toys. Over 500 Illustrations are integrated into the text to assist collectors in better identifying their Majorette toys.


Collecting Matchbox Regular Wheels, 1953-1968 by Charlie Mack, 2000, Schiffer, $29.95

Charlie Mack exceeds himself in this totally new price guide covering the first 15 years of Matchbox toys. Concentrating only on the 1-75 series, Mack goes into greater detail than ever before in delineating variations and values.

The Encyclopedia of Matchbox ToysEncyclopedia of Matchbox Toys, 3rd Edition by Charlie Mack, 2002, Schiffer, ISBN 0764315714, hardcover, $34.95, paperback, $29.95

Charlie Mack is the reigning master of Matchbox Toys. His museum in Durham, Connecticut, houses the largest collection of Matchbox toys in North America, perhaps in the world. He has authored several books on Matchbox toys, but this one, now in its third edition, is his most comprehensive ever. Every model is pictured, and an up-to-date price guide is included in the back.

Matchbox Toys 1947 to 1998, 3rd Edition by Dana Johnson, 1999, Collector Books, ISBN 1574321153, $19.95

This third edition is the most user-friendly edition available, organized by model number, with color photos and prices integrated into the main text, and an index provided in the back. Will I ever produce a Fourth Edition? The outlook is unknown for now.

Matchbox Cars by Mac Ragan, paperback, 2002, MBI Publishing, ISBN 0760309647, $19.95

This is another foray into the miniature worlds of Mac Ragan. His photography expertise shines in this showcase of Matchbox cars through the years.

Lesney's Matchbox Toys, The Regular Wheels Years 1947-1969, 2nd Edition by Charlie Mack, 2000, Schiffer, ISBN 076431193X, $16.95

Lesney's Matchbox Toys, The Superfast Years, 1969-1982, 2nd Edition by Charlie Mack, 1999, Schiffer, ISBN 076430772X, $19.95

Universal's Matchbox Toys, The Universal Years, 1982-1992, 2nd Edition by Charlie Mack, 1999, Schiffer, ISBN 0764307711, $19.95

Tyco's Matchbox Toys, The Tyco Years, 1993-1994 by Charlie Mack, 1995, Schiffer, ISBN 0887408656, $19.95

This four-volume series goes into great depth by delineating the evolution of the brand by eras. What's missing from this series are The Mattel Years.

Matchbox Toys, 5th Edition, Nancy Schiffer, 2000, Schiffer, ISBN 0764309919, $19.95

Schiffer Publishing has kept this title alive since 1983, the first complete guide to Matchbox toys. It remains a useful guide for models issued 1982 or earlier. It is now likely out-of-print, bowing to its successor, Charlie Mack's Encyclopedia of Matchbox Toys, also published by Schiffer.

Matchbox and Lledo Toys (see listing above under Lledo )


Micro Models Historical Survey and Collectors Guide by Dana Johnson, 1999, self-published, $4.95

Ten pages of text and four pages of color illustrations highlight the first and only price guide ever published for these wonderful toys from Australia and New Zealand.


Antique Motorcycle ToysAntique Motorcycle Toys by Rich Bertoia, photos by Bruce Waters, hardcover, 1999, Schiffer, ISBN 0764308629, $49.95

This richly illustrated hardcover edition offers a breathtaking view of toy motorcycles from the collection of "Indian" Al Liebowitz.

Motorcycle Toys, Antique and Contemporary by Sally Gibson-Downs and Christine Gentry, paperback, 1999, Collector Books, ISBN 089145618X, $18.95

Likely now out of print, this 290 page book provides a broad spectrum of motorcycle toys in all sizes and materials.


Promotional Cars and Trucks 1934-1983 Dealership Vehicles in Miniature by Steve Butler, paperback, 2001, Schiffer, ISBN 0764312324, $29.95

Dealer promos have a long, rich history. Steve Butler does a great job of presenting an in-depth examination of this specialized sector of the collector market.


Renwal - World's Finest Toys by Charles F. Donovan, edited by Steve Butler, 1999, L-W Book Sales, ISBN 0895381052, $24.95

Classic plastic dollhouse furniture of the Forties and Fifties dominate this book which delineates in generous photos and detailed text the expansive array of Renwal toys produced over the years. A few of Renwal's toy cars and trucks are featured in illustrations taken from vintage catalogs.


Collectors Guide to Road Champs 2001, 2nd Edition by Dana Johnson, paperback, self-published, $9.95

A complete and up-to-date list of Road Champs is presented with values, variations and 4 pages of color photos.


Schuco Toys of Germany, by Dana Johnson (1998 text only) $2.95

I assemble this text-only price guide only because nobody else has yet done it. It lacks photos because I only own one Schuco toy to photograph.

"Schuco Classic Tin Toys - The Collector's Guide" by Chris Knox, paperback, 2002, Krause, ISBN 046081005459 $29.95

This is the first commercially published book on Schuco toys of Germany from their beginnings prior to 1940 through bankruptcy in the 1970s, and subsequent resurrection in the 1980s.


Siku Toys of Germany by Dana Johnson, 1999, self-published, $4.95

This booklet features a 24-page listing with values to Siku toys issued through 1998 and includes a 4-page color photo section. It's another case of nobody else did it, so I did. There is another book published on Siku toys, but it's in German.


The DeSalle Collection of Smith-Miller & Doepke Trucks (see listing under Doepke).


Solido Toys Dr. Edward Force, paperback, 1997, Schiffer, ISBN 0887405320, $16.95

Solido toys of France are some of the best known toys in Europe, and for a while celebrated success in the US market before being purchased by Majorette, also of France. They have since been absorbed into the Majorette line-up where they have most recently been resurrected as Majorette Collector Cruisers.


Tomica, Japan's Most Popular Diecast Toys by Dana Johnson, 2000, self-published, $3.95

This is an eight-page booklet listing every Tomica Pocket Car produced through 1999. Current values and four pages of illustrations are included.


Collector's Guide to Tonka Trucks 1947-1963, 3rd Edition by Don and Barb DeSalle, paperback, 1999, L-W Book Sales, ISBN 0895380552, $22.95

Don and Barb DeSalle have a passion for toy trucks, and it shows in this book celebrating the early years of Tonka trucks.


Collector's Guide to Tootsietoys, 2nd Edition by David E. Richter, paperback, 1996, Collector Books, ISBN 0891456767, $19.95

David Richter authors this definitive guide to the oldest brand of diecast toys. Beginning in 1910, Tootsietoys have remained an American favorite for generations.

Trax Models - The 16 Years EditionTRAX

"Trax Models - The 16 Years Edition" by Robert Hill, hardcover, 2002, $32.95 Australian

Available only in Australia and New Zealand, this 176-page book is the definitive collector's guide to these distinctively Australian diecast models.

- - - - -
Mr. Dana Johnson
Dana Johnson Enterprises
PO Box 1824
Bend OR 97709-1824 USA
24 hr. message line 541-318-7176
Editor/Publisher - Toy Car Collector Magazine
Chairman - Toy Car Collectors Association
Author - Toy Car Collector's Guide


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2 Comment(s) Posted:

collecttion addiction     Glenn Barry   (09/19/07)

Missing Guides     melvin perkins   (07/19/04)



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