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From: Peter < peter@.... >
The term die-cast toy here refers to any toy or collectible model produced by using the die casting method. The toys are made of metal and plastic, the metal used commonly is ZAMAK (or Mazak), an alloy of zinc and aluminium. Zamak is also referred to as white metal or pot metal. The most common die-cast toys are scale models of automobiles, aircraft, construction equipment and trains, although almost anything can be produced by this method.
Diecast (or die cast, or die-cast) toys
were first produced early in the 20th century by manufacturers such as Meccano (Dinky Toys) in the United Kingdom and Dowst Brothers (Tootsietoys) in the United States. The first models on the market were basic, consisting of a small car or van body with no interior. In the early days it was common for impurities in the Zamak alloy to result in metal fatigue; the casting would crack or decompose for no apparent reason. As a result, diecast toys made before World War II are difficult to find in good condition.
Lesney began making diecast toys in 1947. Their popular Matchbox 1-75 series was so named because there were always 75 different vehicles in the line, each packaged in a small box designed to look like those used for matches. These toys became so popular that "Matchbox" was widely used as a generic term for any diecast toy car, regardless of who the actual manufacturer was.
The popularity of diecast toys as collectibles developed in the 1950s, as their detail and quality increased. Consequently, more companies entered the field, including the Corgi brand, produced by Mettoy, which appeared in 1956 and pioneered the use of interiors and clear plastic windows in their models.
In 1968, Hot Wheels were introduced in the United States by Mattel, to address the complaint that they had no line of toys for boys to balance their line of Barbie dolls for girls. Because they looked fast and were fast (they were equipped with a low-friction wheel/axle assembly), Hot Wheels quickly gained an important niche in the diecast toy market, becoming one of the world's top sellers and challenging the Matchbox 1-75 series in popularity.
During the 1960s various companies began to use diecast vehicles as promotional items for advertising. The idea that children can play a large part in a family's decision as to what products to buy came into wide circulation. In addition, by the 1980s it was apparent that many diecast vehicles were being purchased by adults as collectibles, not as toys for children. Companies such as McDonald's, Sears Roebuck, Kodak, and Texaco commissioned toymakers to produce promotional models featuring their names and logos, or licensed their use. One early example was an American Airlines London bus produced by Matchbox, an idea other some airlines quickly copied.
Beginning in the mid '70s trucks and other commercial vehicles took a lion's share of the diecast market. Matchbox started the trend when they re-launched their Models of Yesteryear range. They made a score of different versions of their Y-12 Ford Model T van, along with other trucks in colorful liveries such as Coca-Cola, Colman's Mustard, and Cerebos Salt. They also made promotional versions for Smith's Crisps (potato chips) and Harrod's department store. Some models were made exclusively for certain markets and immediately became quite expensive elsewhere: Arnott's Biscuits (Australia) and Sunlight Seife (soap, Germany) are examples.
1:24 Diecast Model of the Honda ValkyrieCorgi copied this idea when they expanded the Corgi Classics line in the mid-'80s, producing more than 50 versions of a 1920s era Thornycroft van. Some collectors disparaged this development as "collecting paint," as the castings were identical; only the decorations were different. Other collectors created what they called the "10-Foot Rule" when the collecting of minor variations of the same vehicle got out of hand. The idea was that, if you couldn't differentiate between two versions of a model from 10 feet away, it wasn't worthwhile to collect both of them.
Despite their popularity, many diecast manufacturers went belly-up in the 1980s. Meccano (Dinky), Matchbox, and Corgi all went bankrupt within a three-year span, which essentially reflected the economic climate in the UK at that time. It had become virtually impossible to manufacture in England and compete on the world market. (Mattel had also long since shifted most of their production from the USA to the far east.) Matchbox was purchased by a Hong Kong conglomerate named Universal Holdings, which moved production from England to Macau. Later (1997), Mattel bought Matchbox, essentially making Hot Wheels and the Matchbox 1-75 line sister brands. The two brands continue to sell under their own separate names.
Meanwhile, Corgi had been acquired by Mattel, which moved the office from Swansea, Wales to Leicester, England, and moved manufacturing to China. Matchbox also bought the Dinky Toys name, long after the Liverpool factory was closed. Manufacturing resumed in China. In a series of subsequent shifts, a group of Corgi executives bought back the Corgi Classics line from Mattel, and portions of the Matchbox line were sold to an Australian company named Tyco (no relation to the Tyco line of HO scale trains, originally made by Mantua Metalworking in New Jersey, USA).
Effectively from the ashes of Matchbox's bankruptcy arose Lledo, a company created by former Matchbox partner Jack Odell. Odell believed that British collectibles for British collectors could still be profitably produced in England. Lledo took over part of the Matchbox factory in Enfield, and introduced their "Models of Days Gone" line of diecast vehicles in 1983. The first series of Days Gone models included re-makes of some of the most popular and respected first and second-generation Matchbox Models of Yesteryear. Lledo models were very popular collectibles in the '80s, leading to a period of diversification (incl. the Vanguards line of classic post-war British vehicles), but by the '90s they were eclipsed by other brands, and by 2002 Lledo went broke. Parts of their line were purchased by Corgi, which moved production to China.
In addition to trucks, Corgi produced hundreds of versions of their 1/64 scale Routemaster bus in the '80s and '90s. Like other collecting and promotional model trends, it started as a trickle and soon became a flood. Many versions were made to be sold exclusively in the stores whose advertising appeared on the buses. Harrods, Selfridges, Gamley's, Hamley's, Army & Navy, Underwood's, and Beatties were among the British stores employing this idea. A South African chain called Dion was one of the few overseas firms to follow suit.
A die cast Yamaha motorcycle model in 1:18 scale.Then 1/76 scale buses became very popular in Britain in the late '80s and early '90s, with competing lines from Corgi (the Original Omnibus Company) and Gilbow Holdings (Exclusive First Editions, or EFE) fighting for the market. The 1/76 scale fits in with British 'OO' scale model trains.
By the 1990s NASCAR enjoyed increasing popularity and a large number of racing-related Nascar diecast cars and trucks, painted in the colors of the different racing teams, appeared from various manufacturers. Racing Champions was a leading brand of such models, but there were many others.
In addition to cars, trucks, buses, agricultual implements, and construction equipment, diecast aircraft and military models were popular. While Dinky had made such models decades earlier, new companies entered the field in the '80s and '90s. One producer was Dyna Flites, which went bankrupt in the 1990s, but their market share was quickly taken up by their competitors, including Schabak, Gemini Jets, Herpa, and Dragon Wings.
Main article: List of scale model sizes
1:50 scale and 1:48 scale metal diecast models together
1:50 scale and 1:48 scale metal diecast models together
Die-cast toys and models come in various scales, the most popular ones being:
* 1:12 scale - Very large models usually about 14 or 15 inches long often targeted at adults who are more into serious collecting and high detail. These models are generally much more expensive than the 1:18 models.
* 1:18 scale - Large models usually about 7 or 8 inches long, often targeted at adults
* 1:24 scale - Similar to G scale Nascar Cars],which are 1:22.5 scale, extremely popular in America
* 1:32 scale - Intermediate size most common for vintage cars and model tractors
* 1:43 scale - made popular by Dinky and Corgi, the most popular scale with model car collectors internationally - similar to O scale model trains
* 1:48 scale - aircraft sold in this scale to match plastic model kits - same as O scale model trains
* 1:50 scale - trucks, buses, construction equipment, promotional models, military vehicles - similar in size to O scale model trains
* 1:55 scale - used by Siku and Disney Pixar Cars Die-Cast Line by Mattel
* 1:60 scale - the scale of the immensely popular pre-war and post-war military vehicles series by Dinky Toys (including military Dinky Supertoys)
* 1:64 scale - popular for farm models and American model trucks. Matchbox, Hot Wheels and model Nascar cars are nominally this size.
* 1:72 scale - A growing scale for military die-cast AFV's
* 1:76 scale - highly detailed mainly British buses and lorries such as those by EFE and Corgi OOC HO scale model trains
Items such as toy restaurants and filling stations are sometimes sold separately from the cars, to be used as playsets. Toy raceways are also sold for use with die-cast cars, which have become more complicated in recent years, usually involving loops and complicated curves. Also produced are carry cases made specifically for children to be able to travel with their cars.
List of die cast toy brands
* Abrex: Czech firm, Škoda models
* American Highway Legends (AHL) - see Hartoy and Tonkin
* Altaya : publisher of European partworks which include models vehicles
* AUTOart : High quality range of model cars in 1:18, 1:43 and 1:64
* Bang : Italian-made range of 1:43 European sports cars
* Brooklin Models - handbuilt 1/43 white metal models (with sub-brands Lansdowne, RobEddie, U.S. Model Mint, International Police, Buick Collection '34-'39)
* Brookfield Collectors Guild
* Checkered Flag Sports
* Cigar Box
* Classic Carlectables
* Code 3 : American range of emergency vehicles in 1:64 scale
* Conquest - handbuilt 1/43 white metal models
* Conrad: Germany maker of construction, truck and bus models in 1:50 scale
* Crescent Toys
* Crown Premiums: Manufacturer of diecast promotional cars and trucks
* DA Graphics
* Danbury Mint- primarily 1/24 scale models
* DG Productions
* Diapet: Japanese cars, mostly in 1/40 scale.
* Die Cast Promotions (F.F. Ertl III)
* Dinky Toys : Classic toy cars made in England and France
* Dragon Armor
* Dragon Wings
* Durham Classics - handbuilt 1/43 white metal models
* Dyna Flites
* Ebbro : Quality range of modern and classic Japanese cars
* Exclusive First Editions (EFE)
* First Gear
* Fairfield Mint
* Franklin Mint - High-priced collector models, primarily in 1/24 scale
* Forces of Valor
* Gear Box
* Gemini Jets
* Golden Wheel
* GreenLight Collectibles
* Great American Dream Machines - handbuilt 1/43 white metal models of mid-20th century Detroit showcars
* Hartoy : Range of 1:64 American trucks
* Herpa : German-produced range of plastic vehicles in 1:87 scale
* Hobby Master
* Hot Wheels
* Husky/Corgi Juniors/Corgi Rockets
* Ixo : Varied range of quality models in 1:43 scale
* Jada Toys
* JLE Scale Models (Joseph L. Ertl)
* Joal : Spanish range of mostly construction vehicles
* Johnny Ligntning
* Kaden - Czech firm, Škoda models
* Liberty Classics
* Lion Car
* Lledo: Models of Days Gone, Vanguards
* Madison - handbuilt 1/43 white metal models (from Conquest)
* Mercury: Italian Manufacturer
* Minimarque 43 - handbuilt 1/43 white metal models
* Motor City USA - handbuilt 1/43 white metal models (with sub-brands Design Studio, American Models, USA Models)
* Motorsports Authentics
* MTH RailKing
* NZG: German maker of construction models, trucks, buses in 1:50 scale
* Ozlegends Manufacturer Of Australian Die cast models.
* Plasticos Argentinos
* Precision Engineered Models (PEM) - see Hartoy and Tonkin
* Precision Miniatures: Manufacturers of Quality 1:18 Scale Diecast Model Cars
* Racing Champions
* Red Line
* Road Champs
* Spa Croft Models
* Spark Model
* Spot-On : 1960's British range in constant 1:42 scale
* Team Caliber
* Tomica: Japanese diecast, about Matchbox size.
* Tonkin : high grade models of American trucks in the unusual 1:53 scale
* Trax : Australian model cars in 1:43 and 1:24
* Trofeu: Made in Portugal, 1/43 scale range specialising in rally cars
* TWH Collectibles: Museum class replicas. 1/50 Scale
* UT Models
* Western - handbuilt 1/43 white metal models (with sub-brand Small Wheels)
* Winner's Circle
* Vitesse: Wide range of 1/43 scale European and Japanese cars.
* Von Dutch
* Scale model
* Diecast Collector Magazine
Web Indonesia die-cast wallpaper collector http://www.garagetoysshop.com/wallpaper.php
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