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Model Kits as an Investment Strategy

Nowadays everybody are talking about investments. Portfolios filled with crypto coins, NFTs, stocks or paintings, gold or rare minerals. It varies from person to person, even from country to country. All that makes one thing certain – people lost their trust in the money as we know it if not completely, at least to a certain degree. Times change and with them, perception of value. In the same time things get pricier. So far, you probably wonder how all this might have anything to do with scale models in general. Well, keep on reading.

Scale modeling in is essence is a hobby for the diligent and devoted people. It takes time, a lot of research and patience, all combined into a long process, which is rarely one-sided. It is a process of relaxation, similar to open-eyed meditation, but also a process towards self-improvement. A process of knowledge-gathering and a purification of a sort. The affinity for the hobby usually begins in the early teens, sometimes even earlier. However, most of the modelers that are somewhat famous and most prolific nowadays are in their 40s, 50s, even 70s. That means two things:

  1. This is a long-lasting process of knowledge and experience gathering, that usually takes years, if not decades.
  2. The love of the hobby in its variations does not fade away easily.

Once again – how does all that have anything to do with investments?

Well, Mr. Warren Buffett is famous for his investments and wealth. What he is not famous for is that he has done that throughout decades of various World events, cataclysms, wars and what not. He kept doing what he loves doin’ and never ever stopped. With anything in life, the success comes with patience, practice, devotion and time. If you spend enough time doing something, you will eventually get pretty good at it. So let’s draw the parallel –

If you and many others like you loved the hobby for decades, would you consider that a long-term relationship? Something, that takes time more than anything else?

Pretty much yes. In long term relationships, value comes from several things, some of which are emotions, memories, rarity, and so on. So scale models, throughout the decades brought along all those with them and even more. Nobody just dumped scale modeling at least non that we know of. Maybe for health reasons like weakening sight, respiratory problems, but that’s all.

Let’s switch the perspective once again. Some kits are worthless in terms of accuracy or quality. But they still hold their value in time. As a modeler, your stash usually grows throughout the years. From the wife’s perspective, that might mean that you are childish and unreasonable. But let’s ask ourselves that: what if your stash was made of Wingnut Wings or Kitty Hawk kits last year or so? Now, what would your dear wife think about the fact that those kits tripled their worth in money practically over month time? Won’t even start on the demand.

What about Mi-24 1/72 Eduard kit, that was sold out overnight the day after its release? Same for their Bedna MiG-23? Or Zoukei-Mura Ta-152 in 32nd scale?

Yes, it is hard to predict which kit in your stash will worth much. But it is sure as hell, that some of them might worth a fortune in no time. They might even out-worth the whole rest of your stash all together.

That sounded crazy just a decade ago. But people appreciate things /stuff/ differently and value different qualities in an item. That means that any kit out there can be considered vary valuable item, even with the fact that nowadays it isn’t. And all that said is not meant to be used in the next argument with the wife about the new investment in “plastic toys worthless to the sane person”, but as a fact that says –

if you want to invest, it is not necessarily in the things that are widely accepted. It is necessary to invest in things you know and understand. Well, only if you want to make sane investments. Otherwise, you can invest in whatever comes into one’s mind. Also, it is necessary to invest in things that are being valued over time. With that said, we’ve seen a WnW kit bought for 80USD and sold for nearly 600USD in less than 6 years time.

Do you really think that if you invested in Gold, the case would’ve been the same?

With all that said – investing in kits does not mean to go out and buy 10 F-14s from Tamiya because you felt like it. But think about it – which kits will transfer their value over time and space? Which kits might vanish from the market or be sold out forever and can ever be hardly replaced? We all know about companies non-existing anymore. But there are others. And if the hobby is such a long-lasting endeavor, people rarely just quit and most importantly, you won’t invest millions in it, well, you can consider researching the subject of investing in some kits really seriously.

P.S. Did you read all that? Instead of conclusion – If you don’t find any sane reason to invest in kits after all, well, you can still use the argument to buy more to fill the stash. No harm done!