BY JOHN F QUILTER January 2014
As offerings in 1:43 scale seemingly move inexorably higher in price, taxing the budget of even the serious collector, it is nice to see a new brand of diecast 1:43 collectibles emerge with reasonable pricing. Rastar, the brand produced by the Xinghui Auto Model Company, is offering quite an extensive range. I will take a closer look at four of them, a 2011 Toyota Corolla, a 2011 Honda Accord, a 2011 Mercedes GLK350, and a 2011 Jaguar XKR coupe. They are not billed as any particular model year so I’m approximating. The range spans cars of the common person up to highline luxury vehicles from Europe and Japan. They are offered in multiple colours for well under $20.00 when seen on eBay.
The Toyota Corolla is the latest generation of this evergreen saloon sold the world over. My example is in a realistic white with a black interior. The black interior may be a compromise, as it is a plastic moulding, along with the baseplate. It is left-hand drive and features proper alloy spoked wheels of the correct size. There is a glass sunroof provided and the front and rear lights are clear or red plastic inserts. The plastic chassis shows some pretty accurate details such as suspension, engine and gearbox sumps, and exhaust system. There is a tampo printed Toyota badge on the nose and boot lid. All quite pleasing for a lower-priced model. The only minor omission I noted was that the side view mirrors are painted on the mirror side, but this was easily corrected with some Bare Metal Foil. Unlike many handbuilt and higher-priced items, the mirrors are cast as part of the doors, so they are much less susceptible to damage, or to falling off and going missing. Another pleasing feature is that unlike many lower-priced models that also pass as toys there are no opening features, which are often difficult to produce in 1:43 scale without unsightly door gaps.
The next commonly-seen car is a late-model Honda Accord. My example is silver, again with a black interior. This model also has a glass sunroof and the front and rear glazing has the black borders common to most modern cars. The paint quality is smooth and in a realistic silver colour. I did note that the ride height on this car was too high, making it look like a four-wheel drive vehicle. I was easily able to remove the baseplate, however, pry off a wheel on each axle and redrill the axle holes to lower it to the proper level. Again the mirrors need the foil treatment. This model sports a chrome grille with the ‘H’ emblem which also appears on the boot lid. The underside shows similar details to the Toyota.
Mercedes Benz GLK350
Now moving to higher-line cars, we take a look at the Mercedes-Benz GLK350 which is in white, although black examples are found as well. This item has the proper silver alloy wheels, black interior, silver grille and roof-rack side rails. The B and C posts are black painted and the perimeter of the front and rear glazing is black bordered. Tampo printing on the rear tailgate reads GLK 4 Matic, along with the three pointed star. Large wraparound tail lamps are in red plastic. Chassis detail is appropriate for this more complex Mercedes car.
Jaguar XKR coupe
And finally there is the Jaguar XKR coupe which is in black, though silver versions have been seen. Again in left- hand drive, the car replicates features of the R version with its bonnet vents, front valance brake cooling vents and mesh grille. The wheels are correct for the XKR. The glazing for the rear hatch even has the heating grid, which is a nice detail. Chassis detail shows correct suspension features, though the engine area is covered by belly pans. There is a huge transverse rear silencer leading to four short tail pipes. Again the only notable omission is the silver on the door mirrors.
What I find pleasing about all these Rastar items is their fidelity to scale and accuracy of shape and details although Rastar seem to have a propensity to black and white in colours, and interiors seem always to be black, which may not be typical of the 1:1 scale cars.
Other Rastar offerings include the following and there may be others as well:
• Honda Odyssey, silver or black
• Toyota Camry, silver or black
• Volvo XC60, silver
• Volvo V70, bronze or silver
• Mercedes S63 AMG, white
• Mercedes SLK55 AMG, black or white
• Land Rover Discovery 3 (LR3 in the USA), silver or black
• Range Rover Sport, red or silver
• BMW X6, red or white
• BMW 5 series, white
• BMW 750, white
• BMW Mini Clubman, red with black roof
• Nissan GT-R, silver
• Audi A1, red
• Nissan Teana, silver
• Nissan GTR, yellow
We welcome your comments and questions. Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page.