The miniature vehicles produced by Playart in the 1970's and '80's deserve much more recognition then they have received from collectors. Primarily seen as Asian diecast of moderate quality, these 1:64 scale models represent much more. Perhaps the greatest attraction to the Playart models is the fact that so many are examples of cars never done by any other manufacturer in small-scale. Of the 27 examples in my collection, eight are one-of-a-kind in 1:64 scale. Most of the others are of models seldom done.
The Playart story is not easy to trace. Most major diecast directories provide only a brief summary of the company. From the age of the company's earliest products, it appears that Playart was a Hong Kong based response to the success of Hot Wheels. Indeed, as the Honda S800 package to the left shows, the brand name 'Fast Wheel' was used with '70's graphics not unlike Hot Wheels packaging of the same period. Playart vehicles are not dated on the base but must have first been offered in the late '60's, early '70's. They were produced for about 15 years although when production stoped and why is unclear. The last were produced sometime in the 1980's. Some Playart diecast appear to be close copies of models from other manufacturers but the majority are unique castings. Playart vehicles were re-packaged for sale by large department stores including Woolworth's, McCrory's, Sears and others. Any additional information or literature on Playart would be greatly appreciated. Below is the most complete list I have available. Much of the list is courtesy of Brian Willoughby, a fellow Playart collector from Kentucky. Brian's own remarks about Playart follow on the next two pages of this article. Car numbers have been added where available. The number proceeding the entry is the earlier Playart number. The number that follows is the later Playart/Yatming number. Cars currently in my collection are in bold type. For a detailed look at one Playart car, the Jensen FF.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest of them all. For years, diehard Hot Wheels and Matchbox collectors have disagreed about which manufacturer makes the best diecast cars. While there will never be a resolution to this question, it is fun to compare the two styles. To add a third and fourth perspective, Johnny Lightning and Racing Champion diecast have been added to the mix.
In this case, the cars up for your consideration are all classic American muscle car variations. Where possible, colors have been matched to make comparison easier. Each of the 'Big Three' U.S. automobile manufacturers is represented with Mopar, Camaro and Mustang models.
Rather than let me tell you which one I like best, it will be more fun to have you vote and I will tally the responses. Vote for one of each of the three sets of cars.
The Year is 1967.
Ford did have a better idea, three in fact.
Ford, Fireworks and the Fourth of July
1937 Talbot Lago - 1938 Mercedes 540K - 1935 Rolls Royce Phantom II - 1937 Bugatti type 57
Porsche 550 , Maisto - Porsche 356 , Maisto - Porsche 911 Targa, Siku - Porsche Carrera 6, Siku