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Diecast model cars originated with Charles O. Dowst and his son Samuel, who were the first to create metal toy cars with their toy company Tootsietoys. They began by making metal novelties, a hobby that resulted the first ever metal scale toy, a 47mm long limousine in 1911, followed in 1917 by the first toy resembling a Ford Model T. Diecast cars before World War II used zinc, which degraded over time. After the war, zinc was replaced by the much more durable zamac, which is still used today. Historic brands like Ertl and Matchbox, the latter which released its first line in 1956 and quickly became the moniker for all diecast cars of the 50s and 60s, created diecast cars primarily for children.
Matchbox was followed later by Hot Wheels, created by Mattel for boys to compliment their girl’s doll Barbie. The market took a turn toward the adult collector with precision-detail in the mid 1980s, cementing the diecast car as a premium collectible. As the market has grown, so have the variety of available scales, the most common being 1:64 and 1:18 scale diecast model cars. Other common scales include 1:24, 1:25, 1:32, 1:12, and 1:8.