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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everybody,

Lately I've been photographing and cataloging my Playarts (at least the ones I have here in the US) to start off the hobbyDB Playart database. While I was doing it, I got to wondering again about where they copied the AMX, Javelin and Barracuda from. Lots of people seem to think the AMX and Barracuda were "inspired" by the Hot Wheels Custom Barracuda and Custom AMX, but knowing how exactly Playart copied the Dinky, Corgi, Mebetoys and other makers they "borrowed" from, the models never looked similar enough to the Hot Wheels to be copies. So I did a little research to see if I could find any other sources and came across something interesting; a series of 1/32 model kits by Revell which included a Barracuda, a Javelin, an AMX and a 1969 Corvette. And the closer I looked, the more interesting it got.

To start with, most Playart collectors know how they famously copied a Yamada kit to make their Mazda Rotary Coupe and copied the wrong bit of text off the kit box, marking the Playart model as "Yamada Super Discmatic Rotary Coupe" where "Yamada Super Discmatic" was actually the model kit range. Bearing that in mind, I managed to find and buy an unmade, still-sealed Barracuda and a built AMX. Here's the box for the Barracuda;



Notice that they refer to it as a Barracuda Formula "S" - no mention of the word "Plymouth" and the quotation marks round the "S". That's exactly how the name appears on the Playart Barracuda's card:



The base, IIRC, says Barracuda Formula S without the quotes. However, the AMX's base reads AMX "390", this time with quotation marks and all:



Which is exactly how the Revell kit box for the AMX has it. This is the side of the Barracuda's box, where you can see they also call the Javelin Javelin SST - no mention of AMC. Javelin SST is what's cast on the Playart base.



Revell also misspelled Stingray as "Sting Ray" which Playart do on their Stingray as well. I'm looking out for a Revell Stingray to compare to the Playart one, as it seems the Revell model has a hood bulge, while the Playart does not.

It also seems that the Revell kits were marketed in Japan and the far east by Gunze. I borrowed this pic of a Japanese-language AMX box from an eBay listing. If this is correct, as it seems to be, they would likely have been available to purchase around Playart's Hong Kong HQ;



I don't have a Barraduca to hand at the moment to compare castings, but by chance, I did turn up a rather battered, hoodless AMX in a flea market the other day. Here it is with the Revell 1/32 AMX;



The Revell car's hood doesn't open, so I wonder if Playart engineered that then cast the generic-looking engine under their car's hood. The two look incredibly alike, even down to the mould-release line on the C-pillar. I also noted that the details of the vents and wipers on the front scuttle panels are identical:





As soon as I have a Barracuda with me, I'll open up the Revell Barracuda's box and see what points of reference there are there too.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks! If you guys like Playarts, check out my link to the hobbyDB database listings for them at the top of my post - I'm using my collection to catalog them - I have about 70 listed so far and will be adding more over the next few weeks (and when I get back to the UK for Christmas). Anyone can add more too if you have variants that aren't there.
 

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GREAT work sir!
Things like this really adds an interesting dimension to the hobby.
Looks like you have solved a bit of Playart history. Very commendable!
 
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