Saturday, September 24, 2005

On Collectibles

Collectibles is big business. It has not caught on so much in India, but in other countries collectibles and hobbies are big. Maisto is one of the more recognised brands here. Scaled down models of aircraft, cars, military equipment and (hold your breath) earth moving equipment sell like hot cakes. So what if one can never own a Jaguar of any sort. Scale down your dream by about 1:18 or 1:24 on an average and a Jaguar is yours. Still think its too expensive? Scale it down a little more and it fits the pocket (literally and figuratively) or it can be parked in your drawing room display.

India has few collectibles on offer. GMs Matiz used to offer a scaled down Matiz (matched to the shade) with some of its models. Hawkins used to have a scaled down pressure cooker. For the Indian railways (or even good public transport services like BEST - not DTC or BMTC and their toota foota buses), this could be an amazing business, but nobody seems to have taken it very seriously. There would be a beeline of customers who would want a scaled down railway engine (of various vintages) or an EMU (nothing like it if it has its own tracks and can run too!) or even old steam locos. Another market waiting to be tapped. Perhaps the Chinese will get there first.

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