Official Site: Maisto.com
The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Maisto page on 24 September 2018, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Maisto International Inc. is a globally marketed toy brand that is part of the May Cheong Group. Though the brand is now headquartered in California, its origins and main company today are in Hong Kong. Maisto mainly manufactures die-cast models of automobiles, aircraft, and motorcycles. The company has also manufactured a number of Tonka products under license from Hasbro. It also now owns the former Italian Bburago and Polistil brand names.
In the 1980s, Maisto became well known as a diecast vehicle producer after a business conglomeration of May Tat Toy (Mainly motorcycles), May Cheong (MC Toy - which produced smaller vehicles), and Maisto. Through the 1990s, Maisto was considered the US division of Master Toy Co. Ltd. of Thailand with May Cheong being the Kowloon, Hong Kong, subsidiary.
The May Cheong Group is based in Hong Kong and their products are made in China and Thailand. The factories in China and Thailand manufacture 1:12, 1:18, 1:24, 1:25, 1:27, 1:43, 1:31 and 1:64 scale replicas. Most models are officially licensed products, based on popular vehicles. Others, however, are fantastical rod and custom creations more in line with the Hot Wheels formula. The US warehouse and distribution center, aka Maisto International, Inc, is located in Fontana, California.
In 2005 the May Cheong Group acquired the assets of the famous Italian brand Bburago. Later, Maisto also obtained the Polistil name, another well-known Italian scale model manufacturer that had previously gone bankrupt.
Maisto gained popularity around 1990, mainly competing in 1/18 scale with Italian Bburago, Polistil and the more expensive - and often more spotty Franklin Mint Precision Models. By 2000, a whole host of companies like Yatming, Ertl, and even Mattel's Hot Wheels had entered the larger scale 1:18 fray. Especially since Bburago failed (being now a part of May Cheong itself), no other company overall has been able to compete with Maisto at the larger scale, except perhaps Jada Toys. Even so, the 1:18 scale market is not as prevalent as it was. Circa 2010, 1:24 is still popular, but the larger scales have waned in retail stores.
Maisto vehicles of 1/18 scale usually have all features open with nicely appointed engines and interiors. Models have nearly perfectly proportioned bodies and usually have excellently researched detail considering models are mass-produced in the hundreds of thousands. Still, paint application may be too thick or not uniform, and details that should be chrome are often painted silver. Body panels may be uneven, lights unrealistic, and trim rather thick and gaudy. Muscle Machines magazine noted that the 1963 Dodge 330 Hemi was completely devoid of any indication of a gear shift of any type (even push button on the dash). Collectors wanting finer crafting in this size must look to AUTOart, CMC, or Exoto at the higher dollar end of miniature modeling.
1/64 scale Maisto die-cast models are comparable in quality and details to Matchbox, Hot Wheels and Johnny Lightning, but new models in this scale are not released very often. Newer lines offer vehicles in more customized themes. One such line is the AllStarz which features custom rims, special paint jobs, lowered suspension and super upgraded in-car entertainment systems. Another line is Pro Rodz which uses the same themes but consists of classic American muscle cars. Both lines are in direct competition with 'Jada Toys' 'Dub City' and 'Big Time Muscle' brands that started the 'bling' trends in auto toys.
Around late 2010, Maisto toys sold in Wal-Mart stores took on the name 'Adventure Wheels' on all Maisto packaging with red-orange and yellow gold box and blister pack colors with black trim.
Maisto produces many licensed properties that reflected contemporary promotional and industry trends. For example, it is an official licensee of Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Company. Chrysler is a big user of Maisto for promo models - one example was the offering of three different versions of the PT Cruiser (stock, sport and panel) made available first to auto journalists, but later sold normally in Walmart and other stores. The brand was popularly seen in Sam's Club until about 2010.
|Type & Item #||Name||Details|
|Die Cast - 15001||Jeep Wrangler Sahara||Fresh Metal, small scale, dark red w/grey top|
|Die Cast x2 - 15080-1601||Volkswagen Jetta|
|Motor Works, small scale, dark blue & red, Car labeled "GTI" is actually a Cabrio|
|Die Cast x2 - 15080-1601||2000 Chevrolet Traverse/Chrysler GT Cruiser||Motor Works, small scale, dark blue Traverse, silver GT Cruiser|
|Die Cast x2 - 15080-1601||2000 Chevrolet SSR Concept/Chrysler Panel Cruiser||Motor Works, small scale, dark blue SSR, dark blue Panel Cruiser|
|Die Cast - 21001-1601||Power Racer, 1:43 scale, red w/silver top Jeep Jeepster|
|Die Cast - 21001-1601||Power Racer, 1:43 scale, dark blue Chevrolet SSR|
|Die Cast - 29400||Ford Interceptor||Assembly Line, 1:43 scale, Black & White "Highway Patrol"|
|Die Cast - 31651||1953 Studebaker Starliner||Special Edition, 1:18 scale, green & white|
|Die Cast - 31651||1953 Studebaker Starliner||Special Edition, 1:18 scale, dark blue & light blue|
|Die Cast - 31883||1971 Chevrolet Chevelle SS454||Special Edition, 1:18 scale, blue|
|Die Cast - 31892||1972 Chevrolet Chevelle SS454||Special Edition, 1:18 scale, red|
|Die Cast - 31895||Chrysler PT Cruiser||Special Edition, 1:18 scale, sliver|
|Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library|