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 Lucky Toys, 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 diecast 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. Furthermore, production of detailed resin models by companies such as Spark and Neo started in China soon after the year 2000. Since China developed a larger automobile industry only in the 21st century, models of Chinese prototypes are mostly recent products. Already in the 1990s, CMC produced a highly detailed Jiefang truck in 1/43rd scale in various liveries. In the meantime, manufacturers such as Century Dragon, CM Model, Kamo, China Auto Replicas, Guangdong Kaidiwei and others have released models of classic state limousines, special versions of Western European and American cars produced in China for the domestic market, and modern cars entirely designed in China, usually in 1/43rd and 1/18th scale. 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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