German tinplate toys were predominating all over the world at the beginning of the 20th century. Tinplate model cars with many functions were made until the 1970s. But before World War II manufacturers like Märklin already replaced tinplate toys by diecast models. In the 1950s plastic model cars also became popular, either big scale cars with functioning parts or models in 1/87th scale, matching with H0-scale model trains. This scale is still the favourite scale of many German collectors; besides the detailed models made by the well-established manufacturers such as Wiking and Herpa, cheap truck models advertising breweries and other companies are also collected. Diecast model cars in 1/43rd scale were mainly produced by Märklin and Gama in the 1950s and 1960s, whereas companies such as Schuco and Prämeta made clockwork-powered toy cars with diecast bodies in about the same size. But afterwards, several producers such as Schabak, Conrad, Cursor and NZG have specialized in making promotional models in 1/43rd and 1/50th scale for the car and commercial vehicle industry. Another well-established German manufacturer of diecast models, Siku, rather concentrates on the toy market and on other scales, such as 1/55th and 1/32nd. Handbuilt resin and white metal models were and are also produced by various German manufacturers. One of them, Danhausen model shop in Aachen, initiated the production of highly detailed diecast models in China in 1990 under the name of Minichamps. Minichamps made precision diecast models popular and induced other brands in Germany (Revell, Schuco, Herpa) and abroad to produce similar models.

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