China

In the 1970s China replaced Japan as a leading producer of tinplate toys. Inexpensive plastic and diecast toy cars were also made in China - and still are made there today. In the beginning, toy production was particularly important in Hong Kong (then still a British Crown Colony), where large factories were operated since the 1950s. Besides no-name products and toys made for Western companies, toy cars by indigenous manufacturers such as Blue Box, Playart or MC Toy were also made in Hong Kong. But in the 1980s, production was more and more transferred to the neighbouring provinces in the Chinese mainland. Since the 1990s Chinese factories have also produced high quality model cars for collectors. In many cases they are designed by European and American firms that produce in China because of the lower wages: Minichamps, Detail Cars, Franklin Mint. The traditional British manufacturers Matchbox and Corgi have moved their production to Asia, too, as well as Solido and Norev from France. Since there has been only a small automobile industry in China so far, you can hardly find models copying Chinese originals. But they exist: CMC e.g. produced a highly detailed Jiefang truck in 1/43rd scale in various liveries. Furthermore, manufacturers such as Century Dragon and CM Model have released models of the Chinese state limousine Hongqi and of special versions of Western European cars produced in China for the Chinese market. An overview of the huge Chinese model car production shows models by the most popular manufacturers as well as rareties copying Chinese originals - model cars which are very hard to find in Europe or America.

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