|Headquarters||Fontana, California USA|
|Key people||Ngan family, Founder
P. Y. Ngan, CEO
|Parent||May Cheong Group|
Maisto International Inc. is a popular toy brand of the May Cheong Group. Maisto manufactures die-cast models of automobiles, aircraft, and motorcycles. The company has manufactured a number of Tonka products under license from Hasbro. It also now produces the former Italian Bburago brand name.
In the 1980s, Maisto became well known as a diecast vehicle producer after a business conglomeration of May Tat Toy (Mainly motorcycles), May Cheong (MC Toy - which produced smaller vehicles), and Maisto. Through the 1990s, Maisto was considered the US division of Master Toy Co. Ltd. of Thailand with May Cheong being the Kowloon, Hong Kong, subsidiary (Johnson 1998, 119).
The May Cheong Group is based in Hong Kong and their products are made in China and Thailand (Rixon 2005, 64). The factories in China and Thailand manufacture 1:12, 1:18, 1:24, 1:25, 1:27, 1:43, 1:31 and 1:64 scale replicas. Most models are officially licensed products, based on popular vehicles. The US warehouse and distribution center, aka Maisto International, Inc, is located in Fontana, California.
In 2005 the May Cheong Group acquired the assets of Bburago, the well-known Italian scale model manufacturer that had previously gone bankrupt.
Maisto gained popularity around 1990, mainly competing in 1/18 scale with Italian Bburago, Polistil and the more expensive - and often more spotty Franklin Mint Precision Models. By 2000, a whole host of companies like Yatming, Ertl, and even Mattel's Hot Wheels had entered the larger scale 1:18 fray. Especially since Bburago failed (being now a part of May Cheong itself), no other company overall has been able to compete with Maisto at the larger scale, except perhaps Jada Toys. Even so, the 1:18 scale market is not as prevalent as it was. Circa 2010, 1:24 is still popular, but the larger scales have waned in retail stores. Maisto produces many licensed properties that reflected contemporary motoring and industry trends. For example, it is an official licensee of Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Company.
Maisto vehicles of 1/18 scale usually have all features open with nicely appointed engines and interiors. Models have nearly perfectly proportioned bodies and have very good detail for mass-production in the hundreds of thousands. Still, paint application may not be uniform, body panels may be uneven, lights unrealistic, and trim rather thick and gaudy (Review: Maisto 2010). Collectors wanting finer crafting in this size must look to AUTOart, CMC, or Exoto at the higher dollar end of miniature modeling.
1/64 scale Maisto die-cast models are comparable in quality and details to Matchbox, Hot Wheels and Johnny Lightning, but new models in this scale are not released very often. Newer lines offer vehicles in more customized themes. One such line is the AllStarz which features custom rims, special paint jobs, lowered suspension and super upgraded in-car entertainment systems. Another line is Pro Rodz which uses the same themes but consists of classic American muscle cars. Both lines are in direct competition with 'Jada Toys' 'Dub City' and 'Big Time Muscle' brands that started the 'bling' trends in auto toys.
Around late 2010, Maisto toys sold in Wal-Mart stores took on the name 'Adventure Wheels' on all Maisto packaging with red-orange and yellow gold box and blister pack colors with black trim.
- Special Edition - Mid-range vehicle replicas. 1:18 scale models are mounted on plastic display stand.
- Premiere Edition - Vehicle replicas with clear plastic casing over display stand. No real quality increase over Special Edition, varies with the model.
- Assembly Line - Ready-to-build die-cast vehicles. Includes Ferrari models.
- GT Racing - Replicas of race cars from the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (German Touring Car Championship) and 24 Hours of Le Mans series.
- AllStars - Scale replica vehicles with lowered suspension, larger wheels, custom interiors and special paint jobs. Formerly marketed as Playerz.
- AllStars Red - Target-exclusive lineup, which consists of 100 different models.
- Pro Rodz - American muscle cars with custom wheels, interior and paint jobs. Some 1:18 and 1:24 models are also available as assembly kits.
- Pro Rodz Pro Street - American muscle cars modified with larger engines and thicker tires for drag racing.
- TLUGZ - 1:24 scale plastic vehicles with 2½" block character figures.
- Hummer World - Maisto's exclusive lineup of Hummer vehicles.
Muscle Machines 1/18,1/24 and 1/64 were diecast now being produced in mostly plastic
Motorcycles, bicycles, and aircraft
- Motorcycles - Lineup consists of Harley-Davidson official licensed products, MotoGP racers, Vespa scooters, stock motorcycles and the Dodge Tomahawk Concept Bike.
- Wild Rides - Custom choppers with matching helmets.
- Tour de Maisto - 1:12 scale replica bicycles.
- Fresh Metal - Tailwinds - 1:87 die-cast historic and modern-era military helicopters and airplanes. Plastic stand with aircraft name included.
- Maisto On Track - A variety of railroad engines and rail cars in 1:131 scale.
- Maisto Power On Track - .
- Tonka Classic - Replicas of classic Tonka vehicles.
- Chuck & Friends - 3" cartoon vehicles that are part of the Tonka Collection.
- Fresh Metal - Power Racers - 4.5" die-cast vehicles with pull-back motors.
- Gascaps - Super-deformed vehicles, similar to Jada Toys' Chub City line.
- Need for Speed: Undercover - Promotional die-cast for Need for Speed: Undercover game. Each car has a cheat code to unlock the in-game version of the car.
- Custom R/C Shop - Radio-controlled versions of AllStars and Pro Rodz vehicles.
- Street Troopers: Mobilized Attack Vehicles - R/C vehicles that can transform into attack modes and fire foam projectiles.
- Monster Drift RC - R/C vehicles with hard plastic tires and 4 wheel drive, optimized for drifting.
Muscle Machines 1/18,1/24.1/64 large motors,wheels
Johnson, Dana. 1998. Collector's Guide to Diecast Toys & Scale Models, 2nd Ed. Padukah, Kentucky: Collector Books, a Division of Schroeder Publishing.
Review: Maisto Bugatti EB110 GT and Jaguar XJ220. 2010. Review on the Diecast Car Forum. Diecast X Change. 
Rixon, Peter. 2005. Miller's Collecting Diecast Vehicles. London: Miller's, a division of Mitchell Beazley, Octopus Publishing.