Ron Ruelle hobbyDB
Every now and then, you look at a model car and notice a detail that just doesn’t look quite right. You start to wonder if the model is based on the actual car, or if perhaps the measurements and details came from somewhere else. In many cases, a model company will “borrow” part of a casting and modify it to their own purposes, not realizing there were some incorrect features in the original. Or they may use an existing model for research, unaware that a certain detail should not be copied.
Here at hobbyDB, we love learning about diecast oddities like these, so we made sure to include features that allow users to link copies to their originals and vice versa. One of our favorites is the YatMing Porsche 911. You probably remember YatMing, a respectable company that made a large range of original castings, mostly in 1/24 and 1/18 scale.
Before that, however, they borrowed quite a few castings for their small-scale range. In the early 70’s, Corgi Toys created a nice, detailed original mold for their Porsche 911 Targa Police car in 1/43 scale, including an opening engine cover and doors. It also included an emergency light on the left side roof pillar… A couple years later, YatMing released a similar model. Even though the new model was much smaller (1/64 scale) and the detail was a bit fuzzier, and the engine bay and doors were sealed, there was a curious but familiar detail. The YatMing Porsche had an extra “opera” window in the left side roof pillar. Turns out that was where the police light was mounted on the larger original and nobody at YatMing realized that hole should have been filled in.
Corgi first offered this Porsche 911 casting in the late 1970s.
YatMing offered their own version of the Corgi 911 but forgot to plug the hole where the police light attaches, turning it into an extra opera window.
Here’s another case… Husky was Corgi’s first attempt to steal a slice of the small scale action from Matchbox in the early 1960’s with cars like a 1959 Buick Electra coupe. Around 40 years later, a company called MEV created a slot car of a ’59 Buick Electra that looked an awful lot like the Husky model. Even though the body was shorter to fit the running chassis, some odd details such as a crooked driver side door panel line made it into the later version. Yep, MEV started with the Husky car and modified it to their needs. Completely different model in some ways, and yet so similar. MEV also made a station wagon version of this car, and while carving the lines for the extra doors, they still left the crooked line in place. Models of 1959 Buicks are hard to find in any scale, and these revised castings are otherwise even cleaner than the original, so no one seems to be complaining.
The original Husky 1959 Buick model (left) is a bit longer than the MEV slot car.
Can you think of any other instances where one company surreptitiously borrowed the molds or designs from another company? Post them below, and better yet, add them to the hobbyDB catalog!