Maisto is a Chinese diecast manufacturer producing cars, motorbikes and aircraft in many different scales it is part of the May Cheong Group, based in Hong Kong, which also now owns Bburago (the well-known Italian scale model manufacturer that went bankrupt in 2005). The models at larger scales like 1:18 and 1:24 look amazing, not quite up to the exquisite detail of the more expensive AutoArt or Exoto, but very attractive models. The largest model in my collection is a 1:24 1970 Chevrolet Corvette by Maisto. The 1:18 Datsun 240Z is very tempting, I’ll have to wait until my budget can stretch to 1:18.

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Maisto VW 1303 cabriolet and Opel Speedster

These two at 1:35 and 1:36 scale have pull back motors and are of similar quality to Kinsmart. The right door on the VW has too strong a spring, so won’t stay open properly.

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1965 Lamborghini Miura

Maisto produce a Lamborghini Collection of twelve models but disappointingly from the sixties and seventies they only have this 1965 Miura, a 1970 Urraco P250 and a Countach. I would have liked to have seen Lamborghinis like the 400GT, Jarama or Espada. They have four versions of the Gallardo and two of the Murcielago.

At 1/64 scale the Maistos are a step up from generic Chinese diecasts but they are not as good quality as either Hot Wheels or Matchbox. But they do have some interesting models missed out by other manufacturers like this Pontiac Solstice and Buick Bengal Concept.

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Pontiac Solstice and Buick Bengal Concept

More Lamborghinis at 1/64. The Countach looks fine but the Miura is rather basic.

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Lamboghini Miura and Countach

In addition to regular models, there are lots of gimmicky toy vehicles like key cars (Burnin’ Key Cars), where a key is inserted into a spring in the back of the car and when a button is pressed on the key, the car springs forward. These are fun when young children like my grand daughter or godson call over.

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Maisto Key Cars

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push the button on the key and the car shoots off across the floor

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Key Car with button inserted.

There are also cars which change colour with heat and cold (Fresh Paint) and others which glow in the dark (Glow Riders). The fresh paint cars are great for entertaining visitors, even if they are not interested in Diecast Cars. The one I have is light blue when hot and purple when cold. Changes can be made quickly using cold and hot water.

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Maisto Fresh Paint car

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Maisto Fresh Paint Car (cold)

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Maisto Fresh Paint car (hot)

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Maisto Fresh Paint Car (mixed hot-cold)

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Glow in the dark car

Finally there are some gift sets like the Maisto Road Race, which has a track printed on laminated paper and some plastic buildings.

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Maisto was relatively new to me until recently, the gimmicky vehicles are fun to play with, the models only get really interesting for collecting at 1/24.

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1/24 scale 1970 Chevrolet Corvette



7 thoughts on “Maisto

  1. I also have a … excuse my enthusiasm… MY KID has a 1970 Manta Ray Chevrolet Corvette just like yours but of different color, a green/blue. It is one of the best 1/24 car in our house.

    As far as die cast toy cars I am not that happy with Maisto. I like the suspension but I dislike the fact that my kid can dismantle them :(. In fact he was able to do so from the age of three. It isn’t as bad as with Welly for example but still. I expect a die cast toy car to be an extra durable toy. I wrote an article about various die cast size toy cars and made a comparison Matchbox vs Hot Wheels vs Majorette Toy Cars. When you take into account that a toddler will play with them Matchbox and Hot Wheels proved to be the most durable in our case. And what I find very hard to believe is that they’re almost the exact price as Maisto. Maisto really should step up their game in the die cast range.


    my favourite are SIKU, but they’re too expensive for small kids and the tires can be taken of (choking hazard anyone?)

  2. I have a 1/64 scale Maisto Porsche 956, it is blue with silver markings and number 19. But it isn’t sold as a Maisto, it is sold in Asda via the Adventure Wheels collection, only when the base is checked can it be seen to be a Maisto casting. The body is very good, but the suspension is just a little too high for this type of race-car shape.

  3. I wonder if May Cheong are sort of playing on people associating Bburago with Italy and thus Ferrari and thinking that, that is a stronger hand in terms of marketing worldwide? I didn’t even know that Bburago were Chinese owned until I read your blog.

    • Bburago were the last major European diecast brand. It seems that with the marketing Bburago has a greater number of European cars and Maisto has more American and Japanese cars. But there are some overlaps. It is like Matchbox and Hot Wheels are both Mattel now, and Matchbox has more trucks, but occasionally they’ll put out a similar model like the Austin Mini Van. May Cheong have kept the brand name “Bburago” because it is strong in European markets.

  4. Makes sense.

    I do hope that Mattel continue to keep the unique Matchbox and Hot Wheels identities intact. I like the more ‘everyday’ and ‘normal’ nature of the Matchbox castings (if that makes sense).

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