Previously, we spent a some time on Hot Wheels, Maisto, Racing Champions, ERTL, and Mini GT. Some you may have heard of, and some you may not have. For the most part, toy cars were our past, present, and future so let's continue onto part two of our little series of diecast cars. In part two, we'll cover a little bit of Auto Art, Matchbox, JadaToys, Corgi, Bburago, and Action Diecast.
Action Racing Collectables, or ARC, is one for the collectors. Especially if you are a NASCAR fan. The models are only available in 1:64 or 1:24 scaled models, but are almost exactly like the real thing. They feature true contour lines of the bodies, opening and closing hood and trunk, poseable wheels, highly detailed engine, interiors and actual opening roof flaps. ARC has been around for about 25 years, but it wasn't until 2018 when the parent company, Lionel, made the move to be more detailed and move up scale in class of diecast. ARC covers mainly most of the NASCAR series from the Camping World Truck Series, Xfinity Series, and the NASCAR Cup Series, but also cross over onto the NHRA circuit with Pro-Stock, Funny Car, and Top Fuel dragsters. Each 1:24 scaled car comes with a "Diecast Identification Number" or "DIN" for you to register on the Lionel Garage for you to build your garage of cars to keep track of. ARC creates some highly collectable cars and even offer an autograph series from drivers as well. Price point wise, they certainly are not light on the wallet and can cost you a pretty dime.
Action Racing Collectables Line: ARC, ARC Platinum Series, ARC Silver Series, ARC Gold Series, RCCA Elite Series, NASCAR Authentics, University of Racing Legends
Matchbox Cars are one of the oldest brands in the diecast world have made everything from cars and trucks, to boats and planes. Matchbox originated in 1953 and has since been creating diecast replicas of vehicles since, but due to high production costs, Matchbox made the move to production in Asia with plastics and blister packs in the 1980's which in turn caused slow sales and eventually, in 1982, it's parent company, Lesney, went into bankruptcy. In 1992 it was sold to Tyco Toys, which then was acquired by Mattel in 1997.
Matchbox now has since bounced back with an appropriate line up and designs and details that differentiate itself from it's adoptive brother, Mattel's Hot Wheels. Mattel gave matchbox more realistic lines and details of decals and lights versus the Hot Wheels lines that even though sold the same car, used a different casting. Either way, whether you're a Matchbox fan or a Hot Wheels fan, Mattel has assured that you can find a casting of your choice to meet your interests.
Matchbox Super Kings, Sky Busters, Sea Kings, Convoy, Real Working Rigs, Matchbox Adventure, Matchbox Hero City/Ultra Hero, Matchbox Superfast, Matchbox Moving parts, Matchbox Premier, Matchbox Convoys, Matchbox Yesteryear, MBX Metal
CorgiToys was introduced in 1933 by Mettoy, but really didn't hit big in the market until its UK introduction in 1956 to compete it fellow UK toy manufacturer, DinkyToys. Corgi made beautifully rendered cars and concentrated more on quality against quantity. Corgi also separated themselves by obtaining rights to create famous-entertainment designed cars. Corgi is the first company to land and market the cars of 007 himself, James Bond. Some of the very first Batmobiles were created by Corgi as well as cars not seen on television, but owned and used by famous celebrities. Corgi didn't continue without its troubles though, in 1989 the brand was sold by it's board to Mattel as well as all of it's licenses that it carried. Corgi did regain its independence 1995 under a new name, Corgi Classics limited, and to this day still retain their quality over quantity build motto while still making their famous television and movie favorites.
Corgi Major, Corgi Classics, Corgi Circus, Corgi Competition Series, Film & Television, WhizzWheels, Corgi Kits,
Bburago is an Italian diecast manufacturer that started producing models since 1976. Concentrating on marketing super cars and exotics, they allowed everyone a chance to own the cars of their dreams, or at least on their walls, in some physical form one way or the other. Bburago's biggest market is the 1:24 scaled cars, but they also make 1:18 and 1:64 scaled cars. Bburago in the most recent years, Bburago has been making replica Formula 1 cars and British Touring cars, but still meanwhile creating highly detailed gran tourers, exotics, super cars, and hyper cars. Bburago is also one of the very few 1:64 brands that still attain the Ferrari licensing as many other companies were not able to retain or renew their contract with Ferrari (i.e. Hot Wheels, Maisto, etc). With moderately detailed compartments, decals, paints, and separate pieces for the wheels and tires, Bburago doesn't hurt the wallet for what you get from their models, but it does have you asking for just a little bit more.
Bburago Race, Bburago Street Fire, Bburago Tow, Bburago City, Bburago Emergency, Bburago Farm, Bburago World Tour, Bburago Plus, Bburago Classic, Bburago Rally, Bburago Collezion, Bburago Ferrari Race & Play
Majorette is a lot like the Maisto brand that was mentioned in part 1 of this series. Majorette comes from France, but before hand, the toy manufacturer was known as Rail-Route because of the model trains, but made the switch to cars in 1967. Majorette never really held a niche in the US market and quickly fell to limited, and then almost no representation in the US at all in the mid-1990's through the 2000's. One of the most iconic cars they made was the Cadillac limousine and light up 1:64 die-casts, something no other maker was doing. Although it was short-lived, it did hold a place for collectors and enthusiasts. Majorette disappeared for a while and after falling through various ownership's, it finally found a home, Dickie Toys, and a stable retailer at the time, Toys R'us, to push for a large comeback into the US market, sadly, with the demise of Toys R'us, Majorette quickly fell to trying to find a new retailer once again.
LIMOS, Porsche Edition, Deluxe, Vintage, Limited Edition, Super City, Formula E, WRC, S.O.S, Airport, Creatix, Street, Premium, Race, Sonic Flashers, Turbo-Loop, Movers, Gran Turismo, Showcase
AUTOart models is probably my favorite of the bunch. Probably the most detailed and completed of the diecast world I have ever seen. The amount of detail and craftsmanship put into these cars, certainly show why they are some of the most expensive to purchase. AUTOart 1:18 scaled cars not only have opening doors, hoods, trunks, detailed compartments and rubber tires, they also have removable panels (for applicable cars) like one piece front ends, retractable spoilers, removable tops, and to a degree, moving gear levers and opening sun/moon roofs. AUTOart came about in 1998 with a concept of creating the "Ultimate" diecast vehicle. Many of the early cars were hand painted and hand set to complete. AUTOart also created 1:12, 1:32, 1:43, and 1:64 models, but none are as intricate as their 1:18 scaled cars. AUTOart also started a small trend for enthusiasts to enjoy their love of cars with little things like a Brake Disc Clock, Suspension Pen, and even an Exhaust/Muffler Style Chopstick set. AUTOart even produces wheels for you real car also. They also have a large library of licensed makes and models world wide to choose from and use actual manufacturer paint codes to match. Now these models certainly are not for play, but display. So this isn't one that you can purchase and just hand over to your 5 year to keep. Their are lots and lots of various small fragile parts and are pretty delicate to move around. But if you are looking for one of the best 1:18 scale models in the world, AUTOart is certainly one to consider.
AUTOart Line: AUTOart Models, AUTOart Mini, AUTOart Lifestyle, AUTOart Wheels
JadaToys came out in 1999 and came out hard after the younger car enthusiast market. Releasing cars and trucks with collaborated brands like Dub City and Import Racer Magazines. Moving into a market which brought back big chrome wheels, big wings and super low, tucked wheels, and flashy pearlized or matted paint jobs, JadaToys created a new window for diecast collectors. They kept with the muscle car era still, but also expanded into lifted and lowered trucks while maintaining the big chrome wheel look. JadaToys has changed over the recent years allowing more room to grow with licenses obtained to create a new line of vehicles from shows and movies with figurines to match (pending scale size). Jada takes pride in build metal models including their current MetalFig's line. JadaToys is certainly a growing brand still and is wisely being selective on what they market and how to market it. Their current Nano Hollywood Rides is certainly one of my favorite lines as of recent releases, but that is probably the comic-geek inside of me.
Dub City, Import Racer, Big Time Muscle NanoFig, Hollywood Rides, Nano-Hollywood Rides, D-Rods, Collector's Club, Just Trucks, Road Rigz, Garage Worx, Punch Buggy, Street Low, Thunder Crusher, Kustom Kings
So of these brands mention thus far, what are some of your favorite examples? Any favorites of yours or one's that you've held on from you childhood? Or of ones that you plan on attaining? Leave a comment or photo of your favorites. That's all for now, stay tuned for the next entry where we'll cover a little bit of Autoworld, GreenLight Collectables, Kyosho, Micro Machines, Tarmac Works, M2M, and Tomy/Tomica.