Hong Kong

After World War II, the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong became an important production site for inexpensive toys. The first toy cars mostly were plastic copies of European diecast models, often in a slightly larger scale and friction-powered. At first, the manufacturers remained anonymous. If a brand name was indicated, it was, as for instance in the case of Telsalda and Cragstan, the name of the distributor in Europe or the USA. Indigenuous companies such as Blue-Box and Lucky Toys started marketing their toy cars under their own name in the 1950s and 1960s. Since new companies continuously entered the market and brand names were often changed, there was soon a wide range of toy cars made in Hong Kong whose manufacturers are not always easy to identify. Due to the new competition in lower price segments and the growing experience of the domestic workers, production in Hong Kong also became attractive for traditional Western toy makers: The American toy group Louis Marx opened a factory in 1956, and Dinky Toys let produce a series of six American cars in 1/42nd scale in the British colony from 1965 to 1967, later also some other diecast models in smaller scales. In the late 1960s and the 1970s diecast toy cars became an important product for indigenuous companies: MC Toy (a predecessor of Maisto), Playart, Yat Ming and Zylmex offered such products, namely cars and commercial vehicles in smaller scales competing with products by Matchbox and Hot Wheels as well as 1/30th to 1/48th scale toy cars with pull-back action. From the mid-1980s on, production was rapidly transferred to the neighbouring Chinese mainland. But many model car manufacturers still have their headquarters or important offices in Hong Kong today.

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