Note: This feature is in the Aug. TT&C 2012 issue.
Jeff Silver in the big truck of a customer who pulled in to buy some little trucks!
American Historical Trucks in 1/64, produced exclusively for Awesome Diecast, showcase many of the great truck brands from the 1920s up through the late 1950s. Seen here are a GM Cannonball Dromedary unit, a Peterbilt 350, a GM crackerbox, a Mack AC and a Brockway dump truck. Models are handmade and cast in white metal. Productions are ultralimited with little more than 24 units being produced of each piece.
As Awesome Diecast celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, Jeff Silver’s passion for the die-cast collectible industry continues to reflect in the products his company sells and the personalized knowledgeable service he and his team provide their many customers. Jeff takes pride in being a kid at heart and still playing with toy trucks!
Other stories in the Aug. TT&C 2012 are:
• First Gear 20 Years of Innovation, Resourcefulness and Quality Replicas by Mark Macreading
• Riessen's DC Toy Trucks by Fred Hendricks
• ATHS Show Report by Mark Macreading
What started in a garage 10 years ago, now fills a 3,500-square-foot warehouse with die-cast models shipping to more than 60 countries around the world.
It all started when Jeff Silver, now 48, was approached to have a replica done of a Sysco truck. He knew a lot about die-cast models because he had been collecting them since his teen years.
In fact, he still has his first piece—a Dinky Wayne school bus—just like the one he rode to school every day in Montreal, where he grew up.
“I gave $25 for it, and that was a lot of money for a kid,” he said. He still has that piece in addition to several thousand more, consisting of other buses because he was a tour bus driver two summers during college, fire trucks because he was a volunteer firefighter for 14 years and trucks just because he loves them.
With his wealth of knowledge about die-cast and the collecting industry, he started Awesome Diecast LLC in November 2002.
“To date, we have produced more than 60 different DCP, Tonkin Replicas, Liberty Classics, SpecCast and First Gear models,” he said.
Besides American manufacturers, Awesome Diecast also carries a wide variety of foreign trucks: Tekno from Holland, Hachette from France, Premium ClassiXXs and Siku from Germany, DIP Models from Russia and Cooee Collectibles from Australia, among others.
“The idea is to offer a wider variety of items that are a little more unique than most distributors,” Silver said. Altogether, he stocks trucks, buses, police cars and motorcycles, military vehicles, farm and construction equipment, ambulances, automobiles and airplanes.
He travels each February to Nuremburg, Germany, to attend the International Toy Fair—the largest toy show in the world. “If I didn’t always come back with something new to sell,” he said, “I wouldn’t bother going.”
Silver has also attended the National Toy Truck ’N Construction Show in Indianapolis for the past five years. “We ship several hundred pieces there for the show,” he said.
From the beginning, Silver’s focus has been on building a relationship with customers through great customer service. “We really try to get to know our customers. People call me personally, and they’re as passionate as I am about the die-cast industry.”
Georgeanna Rhodes, 63, and her husband, Paul Walters, 61, of Illinois, are both avid collectors. She said, “Jeff is very knowledgeable. He can tell you about the products, how many are available and the cost. If he doesn’t have it in stock, he will research it and call you back.”
Want to read the rest of the story? It's available in the August TT&C 2012 magazine!
Call (701) 883-5206 or (701) 883-5206 to purchase or order online at: http://www.toytrucker.com/past-issues.html