Hobbyist Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
24,398 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Playart was owned by Hong Kong industrialist Duncan Tong. Their toys were made at their factory in San Po Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong from 1965 to 1983. In addition to diecast vehicles they also made larger-scale plastic battery-operated cars, slot cars and trains.

They made many different die casts during the 1970s to 1982, ranging in sizes from 1:16 to 1:87 scales. Their most often used scale casting size was around 1:60. They only produced 180 different models across that range of scale sizes. Their range of castings was notable (?) as almost all of them were smaller versions of larger scale vehicles or model kits made by other manufacturers or second use casting molds from other companies like Yatming or Tomica.

A line of miniature tanks was also made by Playart. Its airplane line was called the "Fastwing" series and were mostly diecast models. There was a 1:148 scale series and a smaller 1:215 scale size series available.

They are also well known for marketing their diecast models under other brand names. Some of those were the Charmerz Super Scale Models - "Super Singles" and "Super Tandems" from Charles Merzback; Imperial's "Freewheel Flyers", ; Woolworth's "Peelers"; Model Power's "Road Kings"; Sears' "Road Mates"; YDC's "Fastwheels"; and Lash-Tamaron's "Fast Wheels" in the 1980s. Regardless of distribution method, the Playart name was always visible on the casting base. Some casting models could also be found in other brand series offerings, but many are unique to the Playart range of vehicles. Like Zylmex, their first castings used solid wheel sets comparable to what Shuco and Tomica brands used.

In Canada, they imported models to regional Toys 'R' Us stores. Other imported series went to John Lewis & Partners in the UK, Dickie Spielzeug's "Super Fast Wheels" and Prazentra's "Champions Autos der Welt" in Germany.


In Japan, it is thought Masudaya marketed playart castings under their own brand name.

In the Netherlands, they were sold by HEMA department stores.

Playart also marketed many of their own castings as promotional offerings. One example is a semi/trailer set for the Bloker department stores in Europe.

Playart also made a smaller scale series of around 1:87 scale with no base plate, windows or interior, during the 1970s. These models were also sold in multi-packs and called "Mini Super Speedsters". These were primarily marketed by Model Power's"]Model Power[/URL] in America as their primary distributor. The scale of these passenger car models was approximately 1:87 (HO), and the models consist of one single body casting only, with no separate baseplates or interiors. Designed like Tootsietoys, the axles were supported by 4 posts attached to the underside of the body. Some of these have the Playart brand name on the inside of their body while others do not.

Around 1981, some of the first castings offered by YDC (York Distributing (Toy) Company) are Playart castings. Also based in York, Pennsylvania, YDC marketed items for J J Newberry Co department stores as "Speed Wheels". The first castings used were from Playart.

It has been noted that Gata purchased the Playart molds in the early 1990s with only rare reissues being known. They arranged with Perfecta of Hong Kong to market a few police, fire and military sets under the brand name of "Horsman".


Known Playart Series

Fastwheel
Freewheelers - exclusive to McCrorys
Playart Mini
Road Mates - exclusive to Sears
Super Tandems - vehicles with towed trailer and load



Sourced references - @Motorcade,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Playart
https://www.hobbydb.com/subjects/playart-brand
https://www.hemmings.com/blog/article/1-64-scale-gems-playart/
https://www.planetdiecast.com/index.php?option=com_myblog&show=toy-box-treasurers-playart-a-far-east-favorite-by-doug-breithaupt.html&blogger=TalesofToyCars&Itemid=157
https://www.planetdiecast.com/index.php?option=com_myblog&show=toy-box-treasurers-playart-ii-by-doug-breithaupt.html&blogger=TalesofToyCars&Itemid=157
https://www.planetdiecast.com/index.php?option=com_myblog&show=toy-box-treasurers-playart-iii-by-doug-breithaupt.html&blogger=TalesofToyCars&Itemid=157
https://www.planetdiecast.com/index.php?option=com_myblog&show=playart-iv-a-case-study-by-doug-breithaupt.html&blogger=TalesofToyCars&Itemid=157
Encyclopedia of Small-Scale Diecast Motor Vehicle Manufacturers - Sahakangas, Foster & Weber (2006)
https://www.hobbydb.com/subjects/e-i-horseman-co-inc-company
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
24,398 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Today, I updated the playArt history with information from their other known brand assocations. :cheers2:
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
24,398 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
That is because they were not sold as Playart brands at Woolworths - that I am aware of. They were marketed as Peelers.

And where does it say UK Woolworth stores? I thought they were known as Woolco in the UK. :lurk5:
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
24,398 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
For John Lewis & Partners what other brands did they market?

Do you remember if they had or still have a private label brand and what castings they used for them?

:lurk5:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,872 Posts
That is because they were not sold as Playart brands at Woolworths - that I am aware of. They were marketed as Peelers.

And where does it say UK Woolworth stores? I thought they were known as Woolco in the UK. :lurk5:
I mean Playart being sold as Any other brand here. In my lifetime (from early 60's) 'Woolworths' Have always been 'Woolworth's' stores in the UK. (I've seen old painted 'woolco' signs on wall's before...which look more like 1930's.!)
According to wikipedia, 'Woolco' is an American name for Woolworths.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,872 Posts
For John Lewis & Partners what other brands did they market?

Do you remember if they had or still have a private label brand and what castings they used for them?

:lurk5:
I know very little about this company. From what I saw in the 80's, Playart was the only cars they had there (which I took notice of ...there could have been others). I seem to remember there wasn't very many cars in the store ...at all. The Playart cars I believe were sold as 'Playart' (I did have the blister packs.. no idea where now).
John Lewis stores are (i'd say) a more Upmarket version of Woolworth's (Generally selling, better quality goods.) The store my Mum worked in was 'Pratt's' in Streatham, south London. (one of J.Lewis' owned stores).
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
24,398 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I mean Playart being sold as Any other brand here. In my lifetime (from early 60's) 'Woolworths' Have always been 'Woolworth's' stores in the UK. (I've seen old painted 'woolco' signs on wall's before...which look more like 1930's.!)
According to wikipedia, 'Woolco' is an American name for Woolworths.
I went back and looked at the diecast encyclopedia entry for Woolco and they are described as only a Canadian distributor in the book. But like the wikipedia notes, I seem to remember a Woolco's in downtown Houston in the mid to late '60s, before there were a bunch of Woolworths everywhere it seemed. :cheers2:
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top