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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a Corvair buff (no surprise, given muy screen name!), but some day I'd like to own the German version of the car, some variant of the Porsche 911. You know, sleek lines, compact size, great handling, pancake-6 hanging out behind the rear axle, etc. OK, so the 911's don't have a back seat to speak of, but they aren't a real Corvair, right? Anyhow, I generally buy any at least semi-realistic Porsche diecast I come across. I recently got these two:


The blue one is a Matchbox...


...and the white one is a Hot Wheels!


They appear to be the same casting wth different wheels and tampos. So as the thread's title asks, how often does Mattel do this kind of thing?
 

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I made that mistake before. There is a 99% chance it isn't the same casting or the same mould to be exact. I'd look at the skirting under the side door. It's black plastic on the HW and part of the casting on the MBX. The back fenders aren't the same either and the front skirting right under the nose with the vents has subtle differences too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I made that mistake before. There is a 99% chance it isn't the same casting or the same mould to be exact. I'd look at the skirting under the side door. It's black plastic on the HW and part of the casting on the MBX. The back fenders aren't the same either and the front skirting right under the nose with the vents has subtle differences too.
Well, you nailed it. In looking at the two models more closely, I could see that the side skirts on the HW are a part of the base plate and those on the MBX are a part of the body. The front air dam looks identical to me, as do the quarter panels, but I did find one basic difference on the engine lid out back: The flip-up spoiler beneath the wing is cast into the body of the HW and a part of the add-on wing of the MBX. Regardless, they're both great-looking little cars!

All this begs the question: Why did Mattel invest in two different tools with very subtle differences for what are essentially the same car for sale at the same time?
 

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Yes they are different castings. Matchbox and Hot Wheels don't use the same castings for vehicles, and especially not at the same time. There have been instances of previous castings for something being retooled as the other brand (some Matchbox muscle car collectibles and some older JCB construction vehicles were originally Hot Wheels, but retooled as Matchbox and converted to the other side). But these were done when Mattel first took over the Matchbox brand and were moving things around as they felt they worked better under the other brand. In the last decade, there has not been any of the same casting used by both brands at the same time.

The same vehicle has been made on occasion, the last one being the Lexus last year. But both brands had their own designer come up with their own interpretation of it. It is just that when a model is simply a stock vehicle, and 2 sets of talented designers go to work on it, there will not be a huge difference between them. I know there were 2 Dodge Vipers done by MB and HW, and both were released in the same color too. People looked really carefully to see the differences, but they were there.

In fact, the Porsches above. The MB one is a 911GT3, and the HW one is a 911GT3RS. It is a slightly different version of the real vehicle. The spoiler at the back is the biggest difference.

:) :D :p
 

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When Mattel had a Caterpillar License in the Late 90's they used several Hot Wheels castings for Matchbox. They where all Larry Wood Designed castings such as the scraper, dump truck, dozer, loader, and the road roller.
 

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Doh! It was Caterpillar, not JCB. How did I get those 2 companies mixed up. Those were the ones I was talking about. Thank you for the correction.

:) :D :p
 

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The plastic headlight lenses of the Hot Wheels are a nice touch, but the MB is my favorite of the two. The panel lines of MB's always seem a little more finely wrought.
 
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