Derek Twigg is an avid part-time collector who runs the website PartTimeCollector.com, where he features “everything diecast”, including many videos from his Part Time Collector Youtube channel. Read on to learn more about Derek in our first-ever Collector Spotlight!
- TDP: When and how did your die-cast hobby begin?
- Derek: I guess you could say that my collecting started the day I was born. My father gave me a few Hot Wheels cars that day and I’ve always cherished them and still have them 35 years later! He passed away when I was three and so my mom made sure that they were protected. They still look new! Though, I didn’t become a serious collector until the mid-90s when my grandparents gave me a few sets of “collector’s edition” Matchbox cars. I was told that I wasn’t allowed to open them and had to display them. After that, I stopped opening diecast cars that I purchased and started displaying them packaged.
- TDP: What does your die-cast hobby include?
- Derek: I have a YouTube channel that I’ve dedicated to my diecast hobby in which I have hundreds of videos going over a majority of the brands out there. I also like to make customs when I get the free time. While I’m not very good at customs yet, it is still a lot of fun to tear apart a car and change it to whatever color or style you want. Another large portion of my hobby is collecting preproduction or prototype samples. I have always enjoyed behind the scenes of movies/tv shows. With diecast cars, it is fascinating to me to get to see a designer’s vision for a product before it goes into mass production.
- TDP: What got you interested in GreenLight die-cast products?
- Derek: While I had purchased some GreenLight cars over the years, it was in December of 2014 when I found my first GREEN MACHINE. I was at Toys’R’Us walking through the diecast aisle trying to find one as I had just heard about GreenLight’s chase cars. I didn’t find one there, but did see one on the end cap in another section of the store. I think that is how it was stilling hanging there. It was the CSI grey Dodge Charger with green wheels/base. I ended up selling it at the next toy show reluctantly because one of my buddies was actually looking for it. I instantly regretted it after I saw them walk off with it and ever since then have not sold any 1:64 GREEN MACHINEs that I’ve found. The only greenie that I’ve sold since then was a 1:24 chase as I do not collect that scale and it went to a buddy that needed it.
- TDP: Tell us about your favorite type of die-cast to collect or work with.
- Derek: My favorite scale is 1:18 as I really enjoy getting to go over all of the details that engineers put into the molds. My favorite models are Boss 429s! Favorite license would probably have to go to Gulf as I love their livery!
- TDP: How many cars do you think you have in your collection?
- Derek: Kind of scared to know, haha. I lost count of my GREEN MACHINE collection in the 300s a couple years ago and stopped tracking them. At one point I had estimated around 4,000 pieces total for my collection. Believe it might be quite a bit more now.
- TDP: Is there any die-cast you are still hunting for or always hunting for?
- Derek: Yes and yes! The ’67 Mustang GREEN MACHINE with green tires from the Midnight Edition release. It is the last one I need to have fully completed the entire Midnight Edition collection along with the spin off releases that Collectable Corners did in that run. After that, always on the hunt for Ford GT and Boss 429 deco samples from GreenLight.
- TDP: Do you have any interesting stories relating to your hobby?
- Derek: While I have plenty of interesting stories that my diecast hobby has brought me, the one that always comes to mind first is a car that I got in a factory sealed master case. I resell cars from M&J Toys and one of the releases I sold was the BRE #46 2015 Nissan GT-R they had an exclusive of. While going through the cases to make sure that none of the cars were damaged, I came across one with a black base. All of the others were raw metal. I thought it was interesting and was going to put it to the side to keep because I thought it was a factory error. While putting it down, I looked at the windshield and it had on it “NOT FOR SALE.” I was floored and couldn’t find the words to say. I remember my wife looking at me really puzzled as I was staring wide eyed at the car. Somehow, one of the factory workers accidentally put a preproduction into a clamshell and it ended up in one of my master cases. What are the odds? I’ve never heard of this happening before or after. When MJ Toys found out that I had ended up with one of their deco samples, they offered to replace it with a regular at no charge. Yeah right! It sits on display on top of my many other deco samples from GreenLight. MJ Toys still remembers me when I visit their showroom and they get a good laugh out of it. The same week that I wrote out this story, the same thing happened again while I was shopping at Hobby Lobby and now I’ve struck lightning twice! Another preproduction Nissan was sitting front and center on the pegs, I could not believe it! Pictured below you can see that both of them have large white letters NOT FOR SALE on their windshields. As far as I know, these are the only two in existence still in their package as another one was found last year, but the guy opened it. I do know of a few others, but they were package samples.
- TDP: What is your advice for someone who is looking to start a die-cast hobby?
- Derek: SLOW DOWN! I feel like I need to repeat this, SLOW DOWN! I’ve been in this hobby long enough to where I have seen several people come and go. The biggest reason for watching some of my friends selling off their entire collections is because they get burned out from buying everything they can find that gives some slight interest to them. I’ve personally done this and gave up on collecting for a few years. Ended up selling my Hot Wheels collection for pennies on the dollar. When I started collecting again, I learned to pace myself and have steadily been increasing my collection since. Also, make some good friends. I have many diecast friends that I talk to on a regular basis that I’ve been able to meet in person through conventions or open houses. Keep the hobby fun. If you miss out on something, don’t sweat it. There are plenty of other cars you can go after. Patience is HUGE in the diecast world. If you really want something and don’t want to pay top dollar, just keep looking, you will find it at a better price. Might take years, but it will be worth it.
- TDP: Is there anything else about your die-cast hobby that you would like to share?
- Derek: Keeping it fun was the best change I could have made in my diecast hobby. When my grandparents told me to not open up the cars because they were collector’s items, it just wasn’t fun. It felt like a chore that I wasn’t able to open anything I bought. When I sold all of those cars, I felt like a huge burden was taken off my shoulders and I was free! I ended up making a ton of friends in the diecast world and stopped worrying about not acquiring many cars I was after. I spend more time talking to my diecast friends than my friends in the “real world.” No need to be jealous of what others have, be content with what you have!
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