Tai Sing - Car-e to Play?

Gone are the days when a car was known merely for its ability to transport. Movies about cars, auto songs and even little matchbox cars are a big hit among children and adults alike.

Car for your kid Car for your kid

“I’m a precision instrument of speed and aerodynamics,” exclaims race car, Lightning McQueen, in the movie Cars.

Such a statement displays the true sentiment that many have towards cars today. The thing about cars is you don’t have to drive to get your adrenaline pumping. Movies like ‘Gone in Sixty Seconds’ and even advertisements like the Cadillac CTS featuring Kate Walsh, readily supply us with an adrenaline rush.

Gone are the days when a car was known merely for its ability to transport. Movies about cars, auto songs and even little matchbox cars are a big hit among children and adults alike. Disney’s ‘Cars’, a box-office hit proved in 2006 that even children want to be part of the hype that surrounds cars. From beds in the shape of cars to pencil boxes, the love of cars is being marketed to children in a wide range.

For the love of cars…

Jacob Goh, 31, remembers his childhood days being filled with car races he would have with his neighbours. A proud owner of a Mazda 2, Jacob attributes his love for cars to his first die cast car his older brother bought him for his 3rd birthday. “It was in this amazing shade of red and I played with it daily. I even went to bed holding it,” laughs Jacob.


A collector’s paradise 
Not only was he having fun, but a childish game of just racing two cars engaged Jacob more than anything else. Keeping his collection of matchbox cars free of dust became a routine for him every weekend from the age of 7. “I realised that only I am responsible for my things and letting them rust was not an option!” he remembers. Aside from subscribing to auto magazines, participating actively in car forums, Jacob also collects die cast cars as a hobby and has models from Ferraris to the latest model of Peugeot, which he proudly displays in a glass showcase in his living room.

Eager to know more about such a hobby, theAsianparent uncovered a shop in North Bridge Road that deals and supplies die cast cars to collectors. Tai Sing has been around since 1971 and has seen its fair share of collectors. People, ranging from as young as 4 to as old as 78 years old, flock down to the showroom weekly to see the latest displays or add more to their existing collection.
Jacob himself frequents Tai Sing to chat with fellow collectors.” What begin as a childhood game has turned into a past time that not only builds but also widens my circle of friends,” smiles Jacob. Tai Sing, a leader in Singapore for toy cars, sees an equal number of females and males among the customers. Though children always buy the cheaper models, excitement over such a past time is incredible. These overseas imported items are gaining popularity weekly. A big hit with the crowd is being able to cast your own car. Colour sprays, glue, accessories and more are offered by the store to make the model you’re buying more personal.

Car culture is certainly having a cult following. As American contemporary artist, Matthew Barney, puts it, “I have a relationship to car culture. It isn't really about loving cars. It's sort of about needing them,”

As much as adults want to continue their love affair with cars, children too share the same desire. In Jacob’s words, “as a kid, they were my security, responsibility and hobby all rolled into one.”

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