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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This post originally appeared as a reply to a thread that was about Kuroneko Yamoto models, and the discussion soon was sidetracked by the definitions of Code 1, 2, 3. Those portions of the discussion have been moved here, and that is where we begin... Original discussion: https://www.hobbytalk.com/bbs1/127-other-diecast-car-brands/588953-kuroneko-yamato.html

TOYOTA QUICK DELIVERY VAN (promo) by Kuroneko Yamato

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Kuroneko Yamato (otherwise known as Black Cat Delivery), is actually a transportation service. I'm not sure if I'd label them as a diecast manufacturer though. I've tried to figure out who the actual manufacturer is, but never was able to. There are several more trucks in the series.

Japanese website: ?????

English version: YAMATO TRANSPORT
 

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Would they be a Code 2 or 3 casting then. Where they had the vehicles made to their specs (Code 2) for them or as blanks and then added their own graphics (Code 3)? :lurk5:

@Motorcade do you have a photo of the base in your archives?

Mrs Fox is going to want to add them to her diecast cat collection either way! :D
I'm not sure. But I'd say Code 1 or Code 2? What would you call the Subaru models that Subaru sells, but are made by AeroPro? I think that is the same thing going on here. To the best of my knowledge the castings were not used or shared for any other purpose except for Yamato direct sales.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I would fit both into a code 2 catagory then.

The Subaru ones could also be called dealers promo, but that may be a term that has gone out of fashion/use today.

Is Aeropro the company that also makes the ones for BMW?
I guess I don't understand the whole code 1, 2, 3 concept then, but I would call these code 1.

Here's Corgi's definition.
Code 1 – Standard catalogue and/or promotional models that are factory produced and have any advertising/promotional decals applied in the factory.

Code 2 – Models that are used for promotional purposes but advertising/promotional decals are applied outside the factory by a 3rd party.
I don't know if Corgi definition is the market standard or their own.
They say code 2 would have the promo decals added outside the factory. But I'd say these models come this way direct from the factory, which in my opinion would be code 1.

I'm only aware of AeroPro doing the Subaru models. A representative from the company would regularly announce new releases over on Swifty's. I don't think he ever mentioned BMW. I do think there were some discussions about the BMW models, but I don't recall the outcome.
 

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I have never seen Corgi's definitions before.

Normally, I am told that

Code 1 are the cars that are manufactured for sale by the maker

Code 2 are the ones made to order (your Corgi 1 reference)

Code 3 are the blank ones provided by the maker, that someone else applies graphics or stickers, too. (your code 2 reference from Corgi) Or they are bought as commercial offerings and then customized

This is the common repsonses I get when discussiong Corvette castings or Matchbox castings. Most of the Corvette discussion is about Hot Wheels or Matchbox

Are there other brands that also use only the Code 1 and Code 2 catagories like Corgi does?


The Corgi way actually makes more sense to me with Code 3 being added for the commercially bought and customized versions.

:lurk5:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I only used the Corgi example because that's the first result I found besides eBay when I searched.

Corgi does have a code 3 listing:

Code 3 – Models that are adapted from an original factory made model (i.e. colour change) by a 3rd party and have advertising/promotional decals applied by said 3rd party.
Here is the source: Corgi and Dinky Code 1 Code 2 and Code 3 definitions | Toy Price Guide

Here's another one, for Matchbox: MBX Code System | Matchbox University

From BAMCA - https://www.bamca.org/pages/glossary.php
Code 1
Any model produced by the original manufacturer
Code 2
Any model produced by the original manufacturer but contains authorised after market modifications such as additional tampo printing
Code 3
Any model that has after market modifications that have not been approved by the original manufacturer
Code 4
Matchbox limited quantity models (one-offs) not put on general sale. Normally company issued gifts to individuals or organization.
And from Small Diecast Corvettes - Small Diecast Corvettes
Code 1 Original production any model completely manufactured by original brand maker.

Code 2 Any model altered in part or in whole by relabeling or repainting or both by second party not associated with original manufacturer or maker,but is given the manufacturers full licensing approval.These cars are usually special limited editions with specific #'s made such as 100,200 etc.

Code 3 Any model repainted,relabeled or altered in any manner (without) manufacturers or makers licensing approval,examples are as follows, specific car clubs ,groups or car show events,these are also usually tied to a certain specific amount made.
To me, code 1, 2, and 3 would best apply to a big company like Corgi or Matchbox or Greenlight, that might offer models just as described in the above code definitions. But what about companies that make as you mentioned, dealer promos? These companies remain in the shadows, but make models for various clients - what do we call them? I guess it all depends on who you talk to. I'm not sure if there is a universal definition that is acceptable to everyone?

To me, the Kuroneko Yamato models would be Code 1 or more appropriately, Dealer Promos, but the actual manufacturer is unknown. In my opinion, Kuroneko Yamato is certainly not a Japanese Diecast manufacturer.
 

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Easy to see now why everyone has a different opinion or answer. I will need to adapt my perspective to fit the references you posted as it makes more sense to me. I especially like the BMCA one with 4 Codes, but it seems to be incomplete as well.

Interesting that the small diecast Corvette has a reference. I dont remember anyone referencing it before or using it as written above when we try to catalogue the many different convention, meeting and promo castings that use Corvette castings.

I think I will also trim this discussion to be a new topic in the general diecast collecting section. I found only one thread on Code 3 cars here at HobbyTalk, which after seeing them could be either 1, 2 or 3 depending on who or what actually made them and which Code definitions you choose to follow. :willy_nilly:
 

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I also found the eBay page. That seems to be where the customs inclusion definition came from.

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:8OF7z23a1XUJ:https://www.ebay.com/gds/Code-3-Diecast-Explained-/10000000003582172/g.html+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us



Code 1. This is any diecast produced by the manufacturer. It could be a mainstream toy or model, or a limited edition or ordered promotional. The important thing is that it has been produced totally by the manufacturer.

Code 2. This is any diecast that has been finished by a second party, with the knowledge and agreement of the manufacturer. Examples could be a batch of plain white or coloured models, that have had their decals added by another company, with the consent of the manufacturer. It could be castings ordered unpainted, that have been finished and presentation boxed under license. At the end of the day, two companies have been involved in the finishing process, where normally there would be one.

Code 3. This is the refinishing or alteration of a model, without the consent of the manufacturer. This description sounds almost dodgy, but Code 3 is now a recognized collectable in it's own right, and there is nothing illegal or unscrupulous in these singular alternative models. Code 3 covers a wide spectrum, and can mean simply swapping the trailers of two different articulated units, to completly changing the colour and look of a model. Basically, any model intentionally altered in appearance from it's origional manufactured look, without the consent of the afore mentioned manufacturer.

But, as the saying goes - Begs the question of - Where do resorations fit in? I know some people that do accurate factory specs, but then some others introduce new colos, wheels, etc not originally used by the factory.

:willy_nilly:
 

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I also found the eBay page. That seems to be where the customs inclusion definition came from.

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:8OF7z23a1XUJ:https://www.ebay.com/gds/Code-3-Diecast-Explained-/10000000003582172/g.html+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us



Code 1. This is any diecast produced by the manufacturer. It could be a mainstream toy or model, or a limited edition or ordered promotional. The important thing is that it has been produced totally by the manufacturer.

Code 2. This is any diecast that has been finished by a second party, with the knowledge and agreement of the manufacturer. Examples could be a batch of plain white or coloured models, that have had their decals added by another company, with the consent of the manufacturer. It could be castings ordered unpainted, that have been finished and presentation boxed under license. At the end of the day, two companies have been involved in the finishing process, where normally there would be one.

Code 3. This is the refinishing or alteration of a model, without the consent of the manufacturer. This description sounds almost dodgy, but Code 3 is now a recognized collectable in it's own right, and there is nothing illegal or unscrupulous in these singular alternative models. Code 3 covers a wide spectrum, and can mean simply swapping the trailers of two different articulated units, to completly changing the colour and look of a model. Basically, any model intentionally altered in appearance from it's origional manufactured look, without the consent of the afore mentioned manufacturer.

But, as the saying goes - Begs the question of - Where do resorations fit in? I know some people that do accurate factory specs, but then some others introduce new colos, wheels, etc not originally used by the factory.

:willy_nilly:
This has been my understanding all along. For instance, Diecast Convention editions I typically class as Code 2 - with consent of the maker because typically the maker's name and logo are featured prominently somewhere on the packaging...it would invite a big legal no-no to do that without permission.

Code 3's are aftermarket, a lot of clubs make their own special editions, a third party like Color Comp or Adtrucks may be approached by a firm or event to produce a short run promo that doesn't require consent from the diecast maker, but neither is the maker's name and trade dress featured on the packaging. Sometimes they are not even packaged...and this is where customs and restorations come in.

Any model that has additional work outside of the original factory production is either Code 2 or Code 3, depending whether the factory had any input into the additional modifications...Code 2 if yes, Code 3 if no. That's the easiest way I've found to parse this information.

With a company like AeroPro and the Subaru Dealer promos, those are first run contract models. Here we go into some of the stuff I tried to bring out the other day about makers, factories and trade names. I don't think AeroPro actually has the foundry and casting equipment, paint booth and packaging equipment. What likely took place is they got together with Subaru and came up with designs Subaru approved of, and AeroPro then contracted one of the Chinese factories to produce the models to their specifications in terms of paint / tampo and quantity / packaging. Since we don't know who the factory is, they don't appear to be using known castings (for example, from Kyosho or Tomica), so these models then might be called AeroPro or Subaru, depending where the collector community runs with it. Both would be correct. Personally I go with AeroPro, but that is my preference. This highlights some of the difficulty identifying some of the more obscure models out there.
 

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This is the gold chrome Cadillac dealer promo I mentioned. I see the astrological sign for Leo, but this is not LEO of India that Hot Wheels collectors are familiar with. I'm not even certain that can be considered the makers' name.


Like AeroPro, I would consider this Code 1, even though it is most likely a dealer promo issue. This is not a model I'm familiar with from any other maker, and my best guess it was made under contract. The website address goes to Cadillac of China. The Leo write up might be incidental, might not even be the company name...I can't say because I can't read Chinese. My best guess with the limited knowledge I have is this is either Leo or Cadillac / China, either way would be correct pending if Leo actually is the name of the company that contracted this model to be made. (I know there were 3 other matching models, at $40 a pop, the CTS-V was the only one that interested me)
 

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Here is a JL salesman's sample I picked up from Tom Zahorsky some time back, he was the lead designer during the RC ownership into the Tomica ownership until TOMY phased out JL for a couple years prior to Tom Lowe regaining access to the tools.

I'm looking for another piece I picked up from Tom Lowe, who if you are not aware is the former owner of Playing Mantis and current owner of Round 2. Point being some diecast companies actively sought customers to make promo issues. Makes for a bit of a gray area as they are technically first run and come from the factory, but as promo issues tend not to be released in the usual retail manner.
 

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Around my elbow to get to my tail, but found it!

Tom Lowe was kind enough to autograph this one for me, another sales sample this time using an RC casting (40 Ford sedan delivery). So Round 2 / Auto World is currently continuing the practice of seeking customers for promo issues.
 

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Found a few more examples of JL promo issues...up in the air about first run or "Code 2." I think for continuity it is just as well to consider them Code 2, because sorting out which ones were done after leaving the factory would require internal knowledge that the collecting community is not likely to ever get.


All of these came from Tom Z


I am particularly grateful to have the last one, that was a special edition made for Victory Guitars...advertised at the time through the JL Club in their newsletter, according to Tom Z the company folded and the guy disappeared shortly after these came out. Only one was officially given with the guitar. I don't recall offhand if only 25 or 50 were made, but these are definitely in WL range and exceptionally difficult to find. I never thought I would see one, let alone have one sitting on my shelf.
 

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Code 4
Matchbox limited quantity models (one-offs) not put on general sale. Normally company issued gifts to individuals or organization.
I had not heard this before, so as a rule I don't use Code 4. But I do have a model or two that would fit the description.


These two Shelby Mustangs were made in limited quantity (25 each) for a JL executive who owned the real cars. I'm not certain if the same exec owned both model years, or two different execs, however...neither of these two issues were released to retail in the paint / tampo as you see here.


These also came from Tom Z
 

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There is a category missing from all of this. Preproduction. This would include paint trials and sign-off samples, and even some that were decided not to be made.

This is my first pre-pro piece, picked it up from a seller on RLOL. I have not been able to get confirmation as to authenticity, but everything points in that direction so I am comfortable saying it is a genuine prototype. This is actual zamac...no clear coat to protect the metal. I probably should just to preserve it in Florida humidity. This is a long time favorite JL casting from the first time I saw it, so it was a natural to pick up, and my interest in pre-pro pieces went from there.
 

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Some other pre-pros in my collection


The Deuce Highboy was advertised as Racing Champions, I have not been able to find a production version roadster, all of the 32 Ford hot rods I've found for RC are Coupes (with roof). It doesn't match from Ertl or JL either. It is a mystery to me. Note the lack of "legal lines" on the base.


The Cadillac is the old Racing Champions model that migrated to JL during the RC2 era.


The Duesenberg just happens to be one of my all time favorite models by anybody, and we can see from the base that this old RC model was being considered for inclusion in the JL line prior to the TOMY takeover, but this never came to pass. I expect there are only a handful total made, how many survive is anyone's guess, this is the only copy I have ever seen...a JL Duesenberg SSJ. It is one of the crown jewels of my collection.
 

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Some paint trials and a sign off sample;


The Aeroback Monte Carlo was not released in this color scheme, it was used on a notchback that followed immediately after.


The 68 Camaro "Beat the Heat" issue was not released with the hood stripe


The International Scout was not released at stock height, it was on a raised 4x4 chassis


The build sheet for the 71 Dodge Super Bee Charger. This model and the 64 Ford Thunderbolt were modified from the Ertl American Muscle (1/64) tools for inclusion in the JL line, and the Super Bee only saw one release. In the image is a pre-pro JL with a list of decoration points that were missed, alongside an Ertl retail version to show some of the modifications. (This casting was also sold in Racing Champions packaging showing the cross-pollination between Ertl-RC-JL)


Exceptionally difficult to find Tomica pre-production sign off sample. Tom Z was still at JL under TOMY and had interaction during the period Tomica re-entered the states briefly, which gave him access to some pre-pro models. TOMY is reported to hold their pre-pro pieces very closely, it is a rare thing for them to make their way out into the public. So this is another piece I feel fortunate to have.
 

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Point being that there is a great deal more to collecting than 3 (or 4) Codes would seem to imply. A lot has to do with how a particular collector categorizes their collection and what is available. Some guys are content to see what is on the peg at the local store, some buy retail online, some scour second hand and antique stores, and some go to the source in one way or another to find what they can about behind the scenes...and all of these are perfectly acceptable ways to collect in this hobby.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Exceptionally difficult to find Tomica pre-production sign off sample. Tom Z was still at JL under TOMY and had interaction during the period Tomica re-entered the states briefly, which gave him access to some pre-pro models. TOMY is reported to hold their pre-pro pieces very closely, it is a rare thing for them to make their way out into the public. So this is another piece I feel fortunate to have.
Just to clarify.... TOMY doesn't let pre-pros out of their hands. I know you and I have had discussions about this before, but I highly doubt the Tomica is a pre-pro, even though that may have been what Tom sold it as. I think the model in question would best be described as a 'dealer sample' or 'production sample' and if I recall correctly, is the same as the actual production model.
 

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Just to clarify.... TOMY doesn't let pre-pros out of their hands. I know you and I have had discussions about this before, but I highly doubt the Tomica is a pre-pro, even though that may have been what Tom sold it as. I think the model in question would best be described as a 'dealer sample' or 'production sample' and if I recall correctly, is the same as the actual production model.
Correct, and why it was called a "sign off sample." Still pre-pro because it was prior to retail release, but it is not a development prototype.
 
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