Die-cast bus replicas are more than toys

Jeff Silver is a self-proclaimed “bus freak” whose enthusiasm was formed while behind the wheel as a bus driver and summer guide for Brewster Grayline, leading tour groups through the Canadian Rockies between Calgary and Vancouver. His passion led him to collect model buses and eventually build them.

Silver is now Head of Design and Development at Industrial Diecast Design (IDD) of Boca Raton, Florida. IDD has become the largest manufacturer of die-cast buses in North America. In terms of volume, it is among the world’s top three manufacturers.

IDD is the only company in North America licensed to produce die-cast replicas of some of the most recognizable names in bus manufacturing including MCI, New Flyer Industries, Prevost, Temsa and Van Hool.

For nearly 20 years, Silver’s industry experience has been incorporated into the quality workmanship of IDD, which is dedicated to manufacturing accurate replicas down to the smallest detail.

The goal of IDD’s Iconic Replicas brand is to produce relevant and interesting products for a global community of discerning collectors and makers who value attention to detail, quality craftsmanship, accurate graphics and reproduction. exact model of real vehicles in miniature.

Models designed by IDD start with computer-aided design (CAD) files provided by the manufacturers so that the replicas are exactly like the real buses, only in 1:87 scale.

Constructed of die-cast metal, the models feature high-quality pad-printed graphics, rolling wheels, and accurate interiors. During the production process, each model goes through several stages of control, including three-dimensional design approval, tooling samples, and manufacturer verification. IDD only approves models for production after each of these quality checks has been completed.

When asked what drives him, Silver replied, “The idea that someone, somewhere is going to really appreciate the precision, attention to detail and sheer beauty of our designs.” He views each model as much more than a promotional item or toy; he sees it as a work of art and a finely detailed design.

The effort is appreciated by customers who post reviews on the company’s retail website, AwesomeDiecast.com.

“This is the most realistic and accurate model reproduction of a MARTA bus I have seen in my time working with MARTA,” said one buyer. “Even down to the correct vehicle serial number. Also very well done!”

Another reviewer wrote: “Excellent detail. The paint color is perfect. And the graphics are colorful, vivid and as realistic as I remember on that bus I rode as a kid!

Build yours

Committing to ordering die-cast models, like any promotional product, requires a financial investment. A die-cast model is clearly more expensive than, say, plastic bus banks or printed pens, but much more affordable than expected, Silver said. A limited edition diecast replica often becomes a collector’s item that will also last for decades, which is a strong argument for ordering a diecast model.

Making a diecast model involves overseas logistics, but IDD makes the process easy. They work with a variety of large and small businesses and government agencies. Regardless of client size, IDD project managers build a one-on-one relationship with each of their clients, Silver said. This relationship is based on a foundation of listening carefully and fully understanding the client’s needs, then reproducing it in miniature.

If IDD already has tooling for a model, it requires a minimum production run of 300 pieces, making the process viable for small businesses or transit agencies. In the larger world of custom die castings, minimum orders typically exceed 2,000 pieces, Silver said.

Customers receive a quote including the design, graphic layout and a production sample. IDD can handle all aspects of the job.

“We make it easy,” Silver said. “I don’t mean to brag, but we pride ourselves on our hands-on approach with every client. That’s what sets us apart…that and great products! »

The company operates three websites: IDDReplicas.com for its corporate orientation; Iconic-Replicas.com for new and upcoming models; and AwesomeDiecast.com for retail sales.

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