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The Difference Between Official and unOfficial Movie Diecast Cars

Updated on February 1, 2015
Official Initial D diecast merchandise. Notice the Initial D license in the packaging
Official Initial D diecast merchandise. Notice the Initial D license in the packaging

For some time now, I have been writing numerous hubs regarding movie diecast cars – what is the brand of this particular diecast, what is the scale of this movie car, tips on how to spot an unofficial movie car, etc… This post aims to discuss what are the differences between a licensed movie diecast car to one that is not. Additionally, this post is most beneficial to new diecast collectors who are in the beginning stages of diecast collecting and still exhausting all means in finding the diecast toys that they prefer to collect.

Official Release Movie Diecast Cars –

How to know if a diecast movie car is official? When we say official release, this naturally means that the toy maker acquired the license to manufacture and advertise the diecast vehicle. Simply put, they have been granted permission to use the name of the movie in tandem with the toy car model. This is typically apparent on the packaging of the model toy car.

As can be seen from the samples above, a lot of diecast manufacturers have official released diecast movie cars. In choosing an official diecast movie car, it is important to take notice of the points below:

  • Greenlight diecast toy maker has recently released wave 3 or series 3 of its Hollywood series – this concentrates on memorable cars used on famous or iconic films
  • ERTL or RC2 has acquired most of the license in producing the diecast cars for the first three films of The fast and The Furious franchise – the third one being Tokyo Drift.
  • Hotwheels will apparently release a so-called entertainment line similar to Greenlight’s Hollywood series.
  • The popular and now hard to find Initial D diecast (from the popular racing themed anime and manga) are mostly produced by Jada.
  • Due to its limited quantity and difficulty in spotting one, Initial D diecast are quite pricey even in Japan.
  • Official Hotwheels movie cars are common to SDCC (San Diego Comic Con) exclusives and can be distinguished if it has a logo on the upper left corner of the card.
  • Aside from Initial D diecast merchandise, Johnny Lightning's Hollywood on Wheels series are also quite hard to find and pricey

Brian's blue R34 Skyline GTR diecast replica on the fourth installment of The Fast and The Furious franchise - also known as Fast and Furious
Brian's blue R34 Skyline GTR diecast replica on the fourth installment of The Fast and The Furious franchise - also known as Fast and Furious | Source
Dominic Toretto's getaway Chevelle diecast replica in the post credit scene in the first FnF movie
Dominic Toretto's getaway Chevelle diecast replica in the post credit scene in the first FnF movie

Non Official Movie Diecast Cars –

Unlicensed movie diecast cars are more difficult to spot as it does not contain any hint that it is a movie car. Unofficial movie cars are usually cheaper as it does not have to pay any licensing fees.

A person must have extensive knowledge of that particular movie in order to spot one. Actually, some of the movie cars on my Hotwheels 1:64 movie diecast cars are non official movie cars. Below are some tips on how to spot a non official movie diecast car:

  • If you like a car on certain movie, search for that particular car’s make or model.
  • Hotwheels, Machbox, Johnny Lighning, Tomica, and Jada diecast brands usually manufactures various car makes and model.
  • When researching, it is important to take note also of the color and year of production of the movie car.

A great tip when diecast hunting for non official movie cars is to go for the cheapest one as it is unlicensed. Hotwheels and Matchbox is a good resource for this. Below are some samples of Hotwheels and Matchbox non official movie diecast cars:


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    • writerjj profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Hi Ritum,

      Thanks for dropping by and for commenting - though, have to admit, have no idea on what you are talking about :)

      Am guessing that you are referring on how to mod/customize a diecast car. If you are, you may want to comment on my other hub regarding the customized junkyard Herbie (Herbie goes banana) :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Up close those are Up close those are horrible. Real cosutms involve disassembling the car, stripping the paint, painting the bottom, interior and car body. Then you import pictures of the real diecast car into your graphics program. Next you cut,paste and resize the graphics to fit your diecast car on the screen. Next you print on decal media, and apply to the car. NOW that's a Nascar diecast custom!


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