My Take with John Kuvakas: Model Cars of the Chicago Toy Show

John Kuvakas is a great friend of hobbyDB and a connoisseur of cars in 1:1 and smaller scales.  He started a YouTube channel to highlight old and new models and we just love it. So we asked him to start sharing his Top-3 most popular videos of each month. Give them a watch here!

During the late winter and through most of the fall, there are a wide variety of toy and collectible shows that occur in hometown meeting halls, school auditoriums, even garages and empty fields. These shows are like manna falling down from the sky for collectors. We can be seen walking up and down the aisles, our senses fine-tuned for that one object of desire, hoping against all hope to find it tucked away in some hapless dealer’s display where we can swoop in and bargain him down from an already ridiculously low price.

We are so wily!

In truth, once we find that elusive holy grail, in the heat of the moment, our eyes glaze over, our breathing accelerates, sweat appears on our brow, and all sense of reason abandons us and we find ourselves offering to liquidate a portion…or maybe all…of grandma’s inheritance, just to take home that precious piece of collectibilia that rules our hearts like the Queen of Sheba floating down the Nile with her entourage in tow and underlings groveling at her feet.

Decades ago, there were shows like this dedicated to the 1/43 hobby. There were regional clubs, local shows and several international shows that attracted healthy crowds and were goldmines for dealers and manufacturers alike. With the demise of many brick and mortar shops, the rise of a world economy that has managed to offer quick and inexpensive shipping just about anywhere, those shows have dwindled in number until most 1/43 scale offerings are relegated to a corner in the UAW hall down the street, right next to the Barbie’s and massive displays of Beanie Babies.

However, over the last few years, we’ve seen some of that turnaround. It began at a toy & collectors show in Chicago held on the third Sunday in March. Over the time frame of a few years, someone set up a 1/43 hospitality booth where 1/43 folks began to congregate. As word got around, the number of dealers began to proliferate, and more people were showing up.

Eventually, some the manufacturers got involved, dinners were arranged, outings scheduled, new models debuted, and it was becoming something of an event. Four years ago, another 1/43 show, this one on Saturday, began across the street. Now, it has turned into a weekend with people showing up from all over North America and as far as Europe.

What we found out was this, there are advantages to buying online, ones that are not going away. It is generally less expensive and quick. But it is also sanitary and impersonal. We all enjoy followship, particularly with folks with whom we share some commonality. In other words, we like to have fun!

That’s what the show in Chicago offers up in spades, fun. Here My Take of this year’s show. Maybe we’ll see you there next year!

Give it a watch here –

YouTube player


~ John Kuvakas

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1 year ago

I have been to this 1/43rd show for many years now, and as John said, I go not only to see the new releases and what people are selling, but also to talk to old collector-friends and to catch up with them. It’s also great to meet other 1/43 collectors who are at the show for the first time. Model cars are just a part of hobbyDB and 1/43 is just a small part of that group, so throughout the year we have our specific on-line forums and blogs to use, but this face-to-face meeting is always the highlight.

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