Super Collector Tim Smith Brings Micro Machines Expertise to hobbyDB

Micro Machines

Tim Smith’s fandom for Micro Machines is anything but micro.

An exclusive Micro Machine collector, Tim is the latest member to join the hobbyDB Advisory Council. He brings with him an immense Micro Machine collection and even bigger wealth of expertise as the author and publisher of the book and database websiteMicro buy Many.”

We chat with Tim, who shares some of his personal favorites, inspirations and advice when it comes to collecting Galoob’s Micro Machines.

Micro Machines

What was your first Micro Machine? How many do you own now?

My first ever Micro Machines car was a Plymouth Barracuda police car – and for that reason it is still one of my favourites. Last time I counted, I have over 6,500 vehicles, and I’m still finding the odd Micro Machine I don’t have to this day.

What’s your most valuable (monetary or sentimental)? 

I mentioned probably my most sentimental Micro Machine above, hard to know which is the most expensive. I have an unreleased set of prototype Indy 500 pace cars from 1999, those are pretty special (and expensive!).

Plymouth Barracuda

What got you hooked? Why Micro Machines?

I’ve always appreciated the design of cars, and most things, but especially cars – I’ve even ended up as a designer in the auto industry (human factors). I’m also a big graphic design fan and I love the aesthetic of the ’80s and ’90s. Micro Machines encapsulate all of those things into micro-sized collectables that I couldn’t resist.

What is your collection missing?

My collection is missing very few these days, but there are, of course, items still to find. There were a few collections planned for 1990 that were never released that I am still looking for, but they may be impossible to find. Also a handful of the rarer ‘Promo’ (cars with special features) Micro Machines such as remote controls, Triplesiders, X-Rays etc.

Aside from Micro Machines, what else would we find in your collection?

Nothing! I collect only genuine on-brand Micro Machines, I avoid imitator brands.

Micro Machines

Tell us about the inspiration for “Micro but Many.”

I wanted to share this piece of history with anyone who cared. Speaking to the original Galoob designers who made Micro Machines in the 1980s and 1990s, it became clear that they all loved working on the toy – and there were so many great stories and nostalgia. The “Micro but Many” website came first, but that soon became a book ( that acts as a car showroom for my collection and a museum for the artifacts and stories of the Micro Machines line. It’s a fascinating part of toy history.

If I wanted to start collecting Micro Machines, what’s the best way to begin after purchasing “Micro but Many?”   : )

Haha, buying the “Micro but Many” book is a good start! After that I would seek to buy large bulks on eBay or Facebook, hold back the ones you want to keep and then use the others to trade or sell to fund your next bulk purchase. That can be quite an affordable way to grow your collection.

Thanks, Tim! Check out our entire Micro Machine database here!

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