I haven’t outgrown my love of scale models. However, I don’t have the skills or time to build plastic kits. So what’s a military vehicle lover to do? The next best thing to building it myself: Diecast.
The hey-day of diecast military vehicles had to be the early 2000s. There were hundreds of vehicles hitting the market. From tiny 1/144 scale resin models up to outstanding 1/6 scale (big GI Joe size), there was a never-ending flow of cool tanks, trucks, and jeeps coming onto the toy market.
While that flood has significantly subsided, there are still plenty of choices. The problem is, I grew up in the era of inexpensive plastic models. So, paying 15 dollars on a what is probably a 1/72 scale vehicle is the most I am willing to spend.
And, because you have probably feel the same way, I am sharing my “Top 12 Diecast MVs under 15 Bucks" with you.
All of these are linked to easy ordering (click on the images or highlighted text). Bear in mind, Amazon is always adjusting prices, so there might be some differences than what I have recorded here.
Cararama diecasts are decent quality. Buy them when you can. This Jeep is currently listed at $13.24 with free shipping, though there aren't many in stock on Amazon right now. The model features good tires and impressive decals.
Corgi is known for good quality. This Stuart would have ranked higher on the list if it wasn't for the "Fit the Box" scale. I am only guessing, but it is probably around 1/50th scale. Price on Amazon is $12.99 with "free shipping to first-time buyers" — whatever that means! Buy it with Prime to guarantee free shipping.
A nice size (1/32 scale), this WWII Jeep is okay. The detail isn't great, but it is a nice vehicle to have around in case some kids want to play with something--and you want to provide realistic toys. Good news is I found a listing for just $11.50 with free shipping to US addresses (I have seen it as low at $8.50 on Amazon, as well).
This toy is one for the young kids...and sort or resembles an M2 Bradley. Start off with realistic military toys for only $8.99.
I bought these Jeeps with making trophies in mind. Well, at 1/72 scale, they are a little too small for that, but the painting and markings are impressive. Display as is or use these MBs for wargaming or dioramas. Priced under $14 with free shipping, that is less than $5 a vehicle to supplement your army!
Okay, this one isn't diecast, but rather the plastic we have come to expect our toys to be made from. BUT, it does represent an M113 during wars in the Mideast--how cool is that? The guy is a little out of scale, but at $12.99, it is a neat playset to have for when the grandkids come over.
Why did I get this? Because it seems like I always need a gift for some 4-7 year old kid. This roughly 1/55 scale Jeep is a way to share my military interest while still staying within the "Disney-safe" societal boundaries. Don't let the picture fool you, though. It is just a bit larger than a regular Hot Wheels Car. Not too horrible looking, it costs only $11.99.
At just $12.95, this Kuebelwagen was a bargain. The same scale as a lot of my Porsche diecasts, I can view a little WWII Volkswagen action, as well. No regrets on this one. Dig in a little deeper into the history with Michael Sawodny's Volkswagens at War book for just $14.99.
Heck, this one is just too cool on so many levels. A Cold War BTR-60 that certainly appears to have been made during the Cold War! I actually bought a couple of these. One for display...and one to put out on my sale table! At $10.99, why not? Want to relive those Cold War days? Check out Russell Phillips' book Weapons and Equipment of the Warsaw Pact for about $23.
Nothing represents NATO's efforts during the Cold War like the West German Leopard family of tanks. This model, decked out as a 1998 Italian Army Leopard in the 4th Regiment is nicely detailed and costs only $13.97!
Who doesn't love WWII German armor? But, just like the real things, models of Panthers, Tigers, and King Tigers tend to be too expensive for most buyers. Thankfully, this Tiger is available for just $14.99--and it's a mid-war version used by Grossdeutschland in 1943.
By far, the 1/72 scale LVT(A)-1 depicting a 708th Tank Battalion vehicle used in Mariana Islands in 1944 is my "top-shelf" model. This one is easy to look at, so it commands a place on my work desk. When I look at David Doyle's LVT in Action, this model helps me to understand these unusual amphibians. At only $14.99, it was a better investment than a Papa Murphy's pizza that disappears in a little under 30 minutes.
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