Diecast restoration

What’s the Deal WIth All Those Diecast Car Restoration Videos?

There is a popular trend on YouTube regarding the restoration of diecast model cars. We’re not talking about someone finding a well-played with vintage car model that someone discovered at an antique mall or a yard sale.

No, these are relatively modern diecast models that somehow turn up in the wild rusted and beaten to pieces, but somehow still mostly complete, that are just dying to be nursed back to health. Then over the course of 10 to 15 minutes, the vehicle is miraculously brought back to life, better than new.

And it’s not just a few folks making these videos… there are a lot of channels devoted to them. Some use soothing music like ASMR videos, which is kind of relaxing. Others pump loud EDM tunes the whole time. Most don’t have a lot of narrative, just video action.

They are fun to watch, but there are an awful lot of questions… Are they filmed in “reverse” (as in, they start with a nice car and then damage it along the way and change the order of the steps)? Are they just substituting parts from another car off-camera and basically rebuilding it piece by piece? Where is this mystical place where you can walk down a dirt road and magically find beat-up diecast models off in the weeds? How does someone make a program for a 3-D printed copy of a part that was too far gone to use as is?

It’s not just model cars… there are videos on restoring guns, action figures, rusty plastic video game components (what?), you name it.

After you see a few, you start to wonder how so many diecast cars and other collectibles can be abandoned in someone’s backyard in the same rotten condition.

In fact, there are now several channels devoted to “exposing” the tricks of such restorations. And yes, those are almost as fun to watch. No one is saying they’re all fake, but some of them seem pretty sus when held up to scrutiny.

Have you watched any of these videos on YouTube? Have you MADE any of these videos? What are your thoughts on them?