As if Mattel losing the Ferrari license wasn’t bad enough…
There are rumors circulating that Maisto, who now has the exclusive licensing agreement with Ferrari, has purchased the Ferrari molds from Kyosho, allowing them to jump into the market with multiple Ferrari castings that they do not need to develop. If that is the case, it could very well mean that Kyosho’s long-time partnership with Ferrari is also over.
But wait, you ask, how did Kyosho get away with doing 1:64 Ferraris when Mattel had the exclusive license? They got away with it with one clever idea. Instead of releasing their Ferrari castings as fully-intact models like they did all their other lines, they released them only half-assembled. If you bought a Kyosho Ferrari, you had to assemble the wheels, insert the interior, and screw the body to the base. By doing so, Kyosho could call their Ferraris “model kits”, thus putting them outside the parameters of the Mattel/Ferrari exclusivity agreement. Brilliant.
A couple of years ago we put one together step-by-step on the blog.
This clever loophole allowed Kyosho to release what many collectors consider the best 1:64 Ferraris around. We don’t collect a lot of Ferraris, so we only have a few Kyoshos in the Lamley collection, but we have featured quite a few.
And they are very popular among collectors…
Our favorite Kyosho Ferrari? The 599XX. Kyosho has released several colors (one of which is available right now at Japan Booster), but instead of collecting those, we have the two “Secret” cars. Similar to a Super TH, Kyosho will do a special version of only one casting in a set and randomly insert it in. Because there were two Ferrari sets that contained the 599XX (Japan-only and other markets), there are two Secret cars. And what makes these two so cool, more so than their rarity, is the fact that both are replicas of the cars Ferrari used on the track, including Nurburgring.
Here they are, one assembled and one unassembled.
You can see the unassembled version has no wheels, which are included with the model wrapped in plastic.
Just because of the ongoing Ferrari licensing changes, we haven’t had the guts to open this secret car and assemble it. We might soon.
But we did put this one together:
Kind of makes you sigh, doesn’t it? Those Kyosho 599XX’s are ridiculously cool. Darn-near perfect for 1:64 if you ask us. Let’s just say we are VERY happy to have both.
We are also happy to have one of Kyosho’s LaFerraris. We pursued this one after we saw the Hot Wheels version, which left a little to be desired. We went for the mean straight-black version:
A looker, eh?
We can’t officially report that the days of Kyosho Ferraris are over, but it does appear there is a good chance it is happening. If that is the case, even with Maisto using the molds, it will be a very sad thing…