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, spending more than 15 dollars on a what is probably a 1/72 scale vehicle is the most I am willing to spend.
And, I bet you have much the same feeling. So, I wanted to share my “Top 10 Diecast MVs under 15 Bucks" with you. All of these are linked to easy ordering (click on the images or highlighted text).
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 $12.98 with free shipping to US addresses.
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 am not big on "fantasy" toys, but this one ranked high on the "Torment the cat" scale. Okay, so the missile does NOT launch (I hoped it would). BUT, you can pull back on the truck and it will go skittering after anything on a hard floor. At $12.88, I wasn't too disappointed.
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.
Elefant? Well, these tanks never impressed me, but they were produced by Porsche--another one of my loves. So, mixing my military interest with my racing interest? I had to get it. And, it didn't cost as much as most scale models of Porsche 911s--It was just $14.99
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 Pzkw. III is available for just $14.99--and it is a nice, early war variant used in Libya in 1941. Desert Fox, baby! This tank just oozes cool.
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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