Gianluigi Cappi is a collector with a multitude of interests. None of them, however, are closer to his heart than his impressive collection of Brooklin Models.
How vast is his Brooklin knowledge? Just ask Brooklin Models’ management team, who purchased one of Gianluigi’s early books to learn more about the history of their brand! Or Nicola Bulgari, the new owner of Brooklin who was a long-time customer before buying the company and now for the first time knew what he was still missing!
Now the collector and author is bringing that passion and expertise as the latest member of the hobbyDB Advisory Council. Gianluigi is part of the current effort to check every Brooklin Model on hobbyDB for accuracy and add what we do not have (he is joined in that noble effort by Joe Nahhas, John Kuvakas, John Merritt, Karl Schnelle, Otto Schmid-Kaatz and Tom Kinney). When done, probably in January, we will have around 1,750 Brooklin entries.
He took out some time recently from that project to chat with us about his collection, inspirations and advice for collectors.
When and what did you begin collecting?
I had the passion of collecting since I was a child, most everything that stimulated my imagination. At that time there were not many possibilities, so I collected picture cards of football (soccer) players or cyclists. I also collected cartoons. I think I still have the first Italian Mickey Mouse comics somewhere.
What got you hooked?
Mostly lots of colors on small things and souvenirs. My first big collection was Mignon liquor bottles, starting in the 50s and continuing until a few years ago. I traveled a lot in my life, so I had the opportunity to buy liquor from all over the world. I have over 200 bottles of Whisky in a showcase and another 3,000 stored in boxes. I also collected seashells, miniature guitars (I play guitar) and some other subjects.
What do you collect these days?
All my collections stopped sometimes, although I still have some of them (like the small bottles). Just two are still alive and ticking: Triumph TR3s, because I have a TR3 which I bought when I was living in the USA and still enjoy driving it. I have lots of models in different scales, kits, books, pictures and everything related to TR3, and it is becoming quite difficult to find something that I don’t have.
The second collection is Brooklin Models, which is the most important for me.
How big would you estimate your collection is?
I have more than 1,200 Brooklin models.
Is there an item, or “grail,” that you’re on the lookout for?
There are just a few models missing from my collection, but they are very difficult to find and I intend to use the hobbyDB Wish List to find them!
What is it about Brooklin that appeals to you?
I like Brooklin Models because of their weight. It seems strange, but this was the first thing I noticed in my first Brooklin. Of course, it is not the most important aspect. I like the selection of models they make. I like the quality, especially in the last years and the world they represent for me: America, where I lived for almost 8 years.
What was the inspiration for your books?
My collection. At one point I decided to take pictures of all my models and then make a book with a description of each one (with the help of a friend collector), which could be a useful reference for other collectors. There were three editions “homemade,” until Mr. Bulgari saw it (strange to say, but Brooklin bought one from me to know their history better) and decided that he wanted to make a book out of it for all collectors. There are now two books and an appendix!
What do you recommend for those looking to begin collecting?
First, you need to have passion for something and then be careful at the beginning as it is initially harder to distinguish the good offerings from the too expensive and not so good ones. It often pays off to be patient.
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