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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Maisto's roots can be traced back to the MC Toy name. MC Toy was the brand name used May Choeng Ltd that was founded by the Ngan Family of Hong Kong in 1967.

In the mid 1980s, Intex Recreation; an American distribution company, introduced the May Choeng diecasts, then made in Macau, as MC Toy products. They carried this brand name on their baseplates at the time. Intex Recreation also distributed castings for Zee Toys (Zylemex/Zyll) at the same time. According to Sahakangas, et al, both of these brands were readily substituted for each other in their different distribution packaging lines. As MC Toys castings they were distributed by Intex as "Dynawheels" and the "Color Splash" series.

The Maisto name rose to prominence as a diecast manufacturer during the 1980s with their models made in 1:18, 1:24 and 1:64 scales. These models depict a variety of vehicles including cars, trucks and motorcycles. Maisto's 1:18 models raised the level of detail and features included in their castings to a new level for their market price point.

Around 1990 to 1992, the distribution relationships between Intex Recreation and May Choeng came to an end. As did May Choeng's relationship with Zyll Industries. Subsequently, May Choeng transitioned their MC Toy brand line to become known as Maisto with the same production factories and a new in house distribution system.

In Canada, they were mass marketed by Canada Games Company Limited which was based in Concord, Ontario and many other companies. (See below listing.)

Some collectors may be surprised to know, that Maisto is an American based company. Who like Mattel; sources their product from Asian based sources they own themselves.

Maisto products could also be found as made by May Tat Products Fty Ltd (Hong Kong). May Tat is also owned by May Choeng and marketed their castings under the name of Master Toy Co. Other marketing names used by Maisto were "Mini Racer", Turbo Treads, and "Master Works". K-Mark marketed them as "Mighty Motors". with their (5) pack sets known as "Action Series".

Maisto's "Fresh Metal" series is perhaps the most recognized and readily available series found in America today.

Maisto is noted to be a one of the diecast makers for Edocar.

In the late 1990s, an exclusive Walmart series was distributed as "Road & Track" castings.

In 2001, they made the "Max Speed" series. This range was made up of various Detriot made concept cars. Other offerings were "Transit Authority" and "Max Speed 25 Special Edition" set. A pull back series called "Mini Power Racer" was also available in a window box presentation.

In addition to the standard line of 3" small diecast vehicles, they also produced "Burnin' Key Cars", "Highway Haulers", "Moto-Box" transformer vehicles, and "Power Pocket Racers". There were also distributed in Canada by numerous other disributing companies - see also list below.

In the early 2000s, additional series offered included the "Playerz and " G Rodz" series. These castings were designed to model the then current American car culture of the West Coast.

Licensing was also arranged to make their "Marvel Heroes" series of diecast that were issued in singles and sets.

Additional licensing arrangements were made with Hasbro to make GI Joe and Tonka themed diecasts in the early 2000s.

During the early years of production castings included interiors and clear window pieces which were deleted over time and replaced with opaque window pieces in their cheaper line of offerings. Adding new castings and changing wheel sets continued to offer a variety of new versions of many of their still ongoing casting models in the lower end line.

Maisto recently purchased Bburago in 2008; Muscle Machines in 2011 and Tonka in 20??.

Still know as Maisto International Inc and based in Fontana, California; they are also still a part of the May Choeng Group and continue to produce cars, planes and motorcycles in a variety of different scales and detail offerings, both assembled and as kits. They also manufactur a line of radio controlled vehicles.

Any interesting tid-bit of information is that all Miasto products since 2007, have a tool identification number that can be found on their base.. It is a 5-digit number sequence. These are included to meet the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)'s. This is an American requirement to make it possible to trace the date and place of production. For Maisto, the 1st digit is to identify whether it was produced at their Manda or May Tat factory. The 2nd and 3rd digit are the production year. With the 4th and 5th digits indicating the week of production. (This should at least be able to allow us to identify similiarily marked castings by year and week of production.


See Carmania, Chad Valley, East West Distribution, Edocar, Grand Toys, Hasbro, Hudson's Bay, Kaybee Holdings, Megatoys, Ottawa Import & Export, Straco, and Zellers.

An unspecifed association is noted with Corgi Toys and K-Mart.



My primary information resources are first the postings made by members here at HobbyTalk. Then the Encyclopedia of Small-Scale Diecast Motor Vehicle Manufacturers by Sahakangas, Weber and Foster (2006). And of course information found at the Maisto listing in Wikipedia as of this post edit date.

Additional referenced resources are -

http://www.maisto.com/index.html
https://www.hobbydb.com/subjects/maisto-brand
https://www.hobbydb.com/marketplaces/hobbydb/subjects/may-cheong-group-company
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Maisto Diecast Car Series

MC Toy 1985-1990

Adventure Wheels (Wal Mart)
All Stars (Formerly marketed as Playerz.)
___Elite Transport
All Stars Red (Target-exclusive lineup, which consists of 100 different models.)
Assembly Line
Bburago (Maisto) (2003-present)
Exclusive Edition
Fresh Metal
___Power Racers
Gascaps
GT Racing
Hummer World
Maisto Porsche 550 Spyder (1:32)
Muscle Machines (1:18, 1:24 and 1/64)
Need for Speed - Undercover
Premiere Edition
___GRidez
Pro Rodz (1:18 and 1:24)
Pro Rodz Pro Street
Show Stoppers (1:18)
Special Edition (1:18)
Speed Wheels (Walgreens)
TLUGZ (1:24)
Tonka Classics
___Chuck & Friends



Feel free to add photos or post updates, additions or corrections and I will update these listings as appropriate. Adding scale information and years of production if known is especially appreciated. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It took a few attempts and do overs, but I have finally made it through the history of MC Toys and Maisto. Along with their known distributor associations primarily in America and Canada. And the diecast companies they have bought along the way under their parent company May Choeng.

The Asian distributors is not documented that I can find. And if I am remembering correctly a few European references are also noted.

I was never able to determine a direct association between Corgi with Maisto. Both of them are included in their respective 'see also listings' in the diecast encyclopedia, but no details are noted in here lising there (or elsewhere so far).
 
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