According to Wikipedia ....
"A model car or toy car is a miniature representation of an automobile. Other miniature motor vehicles, such as trucks, buses, or even ATVs, etc. are often included in the general category of model cars. Because many miniature vehicles were originally sold as playthings, there is no precise difference between a model car and a toy car, yet the kit building hobby became popular in the 1950s, while the collecting of miniature by adults started to pick up steam around 1970. Precision detailed miniatures made specifically for adults are a significant part of the market since perhaps the mid-1980s."