CORNER BROOK, NL — Jay Hussey can still imagine his son playing outside with his Hot Wheels cars.
It’s a fond memory for the Mount Moriah man, who lost his son, William Hussey, to cancer on New Year’s Eve.
William, 25, was a collector of Hot Wheels and die-cast cars, and it’s a hobby father and son enjoyed together.
“He’s really the reason I started,” Jay said. “It was his collection that we were building.”
Jay thinks William was only two years old when he started buying him Hot Wheels.
William loved everything about small cars and he knew all the ones he owned, Jay said.
“And up until this year, he was always, every time he went to Walmart, or anywhere, he had to go to the Hot Wheels section to add to his collection.”
This collection includes nearly 1,000 that are out of packages, many of which he has played with before, and 300 or more that are still in packages. There are also around 100 of the larger diecast cars and eight or 10 remote control cars.
“He’s a car enthusiast, and he was particularly fond of old cars.”
These old cars and race cars are the ones Jay loves the most.
William’s favorite was the Mustang.
“He had his Mustang jacket, his Mustang belt buckle. Everything was Mustang.
On his 15th birthday, William bought a 1983 Ford Mustang.
“Of course it was old and tattered, but he had invested money in it ever since.”
William did all the work himself, with help from his father and an uncle.
“He drove it every day in the summer. He loved it,” Jay said.
He was a member of a local auto club, and he went to cruise parties and took his Mustang to car shows.
William was diagnosed with carcinoma in 2015 and was doing well until around 2018 when the cancer returned.
Jay said that no matter how tired or sick he was, William liked to go out in his car.
So the fact that he continued to collect toy cars came as no surprise to Jay.
“From the first cars, he was hooked. He just wanted more cars, more cars.
“Once a collection starts, just keep going,” said Jay, who even recently picked up a few cars he didn’t think were part of the collection.
“It will still be built. Probably slower now.
And he’s sure that’s something William would love.
At one point, all the cars were displayed on the wall of the garage William had built to store his Mustang.
Jay said they started a plan last fall to put them back in the garage, but William got sick again and he was put on hold.
He now puts them back on the walls as a tribute to his son.
While Jay continues his son’s collection, his friend, Dwayne Osmond, decided it was time to get rid of his.
Osmond also played with Hot Wheels as a child, and when he got into collecting he also started with a Mustang.
“The Mustang is my favorite car,” said the Corner Brook man, whose first car at age 19 was a Mustang. “So every time I went to the stores looking at the toy section with my kids, if I saw a little Mustang, I grabbed it.”
He later expanded his collection to include Dale Earnhardt race cars and other Hot Wheels and die-cast cars.
At one point he had between 8,000 and 10,000 cars, many of them loose, out of their packaging. The walls of a bedroom in his house were filled with Hot Wheels from Matchbox, still in their packaging.
Over the past two years, Osmond’s interest in collecting has changed and he now sees his collecting as an opportunity to earn money that can be used to pursue other things.
He is selling his remaining collection of Mustangs – around 200-250 cars.
He has advertised them in online classifieds groups and in some of the collectibles groups he is in on social media, including the one he started, Hot Wheels Collectibles NL.
Getting rid of the collection was slow, but it shipped cars to buyers in the United States and across Canada.
“Some of them can be very expensive, but being here in Newfoundland the cost of shipping is absolutely insane,” Osmond said.
He also dislikes the things he sees as downsides to collecting, such as store employees receiving arriving cars first before they hit customer shelves, and the idea of grab something just to make money on it. It also takes time to find buyers.
“It’s such a trend now and a lot of young people are getting into it. They’re only getting into it for what we call the scalping factor. They only get them if they can get the ones that are worth it for. be able to sell them.
“If you’re a collector, you’re not worried about value,” he said.
But there’s always a chance you’ll find one that’s worth something, he said.
A buy of $1.25 could sell for between $150 and $180.
“There are random ones, but you have to be lucky to find them,” Osmond said.
Even though he parts with his collection, he checks the car section of every store he goes to.
“I have to look,” he laughs.
But it’s with caution, because he knows how easy it is to replenish a collection, because collecting can be a bit addicting.
He’ll hang on to a special car or two, maybe one he’s customized or one that mirrors his own Mustang.