For most 18th scale manufactures, there is a tendency to stick to a particular segment of the market, to “stay in their lane” so to speak. If we were to play a game of diecast word association, Kyosho wouldn’t make you think Corvette, Minichamps won’t call Honda to mind, and Greenlight isn’t going to be followed by Mercedes. Of course there are always exceptions, but most companies tend to not stray very far when it comes to subject matter. Two companies that tend to buck that trend are Maisto and AUTOart. And while they play at different ends of the market cost-wise, it’s not unusual to have them come up together in conversation.
So it is fitting that today we have a battle between these two manufacturers. This isn’t going to be as unfair as you might think, and the categories where you’d expect one company to have an obvious edge are closer than you’d expect.
Accuracy and Detail: AUTOart 9/10; Maisto 7/10
In terms of accuracy, both models are spot on and there is virtually no difference between the two. However it is in the details that AUTOart (Aa for short) pulls a gap on the Maisto. The lighting elements look more realistic, especially the taillights, and the doors have separate handles. Both models are evenly matched in the wheel department, but the Aa has the advantage in brakes. Moreso than the rotating rotors, the positioning of the brake assembly right behind the wheel is what completes the look. The Maisto has their typical 1 piece caliper/rotor, but it looks nice with its simulated cross drilling and Porsche lettering on painted calipers and it has branded tires.
The frunks are about equal, with the Aa’s main advantage being that its frunk is carpeted. Under the engine cover, the Aa is again better detailed overall, but the Maisto holds it own, and even has warning labels on the underside of the cover, something the Aa does not.
Moving to the interior, and it is a dead heat and again the AUTOart’s advantage is basically just the carpeting. For you manny tranny lovers, I should note the Aa has a proper transmission, while the Maisto has PDK.
Fit and Finish: AUTOart 8/10; Maisto 6/10
This is a category where you’d expect the AUTOart to win, and win it does. The panel gaps are tight and consistent and the paint is done to their usual high standard, though even mighty Aa is not immune to the paint coverage issues that yellow seems to have. For the Maisto, this becomes the get what you pay for category. So you get larger panel gaps and paint with noticeable orange peel. The Maisto also takes a hit on the interior finish. Though not as bad as some of their older models, they still have a habit of over-emphasizing the grain of the leather/vinyl materials in the interior.
Features: AUTOart 5/10; Maisto 5/10
Both models feature opening doors, hood and trunk, and poseable steering. That’s it.
Value: AUTOart 8/10; Maisto 10/10
I don’t remember the exact price, but I’d say that the AUTOart cost me about $70. The Maisto was a $10 Sams Club special, but the MSRP at the time was around $25. Both models get good scores here because to my eyes the AUTOart looks to be worth every penny I paid, and the Maisto is 80% as good at about 33% of the cost.
Rarity: AUTOart 9/10; Maisto 6/10
The AUTOart is long out of production and as of this writing there are only 4 on ebay. I don’t know if any Maisto has ever went out of production. I’d have to think so, but even really old models still seem to be plentiful, and this model is no different.
Totals: AUTOart 39/50 Maisto 31/50
Take rarity out of the score, and its 30 to 25, which is pretty close given the price disparity. So which one should you get? If you could get the AUTOart for anywhere close to its original MSRP, it would be a good buy and well worth the cost, but I’d be hesitant to spend more than $100 on one. Which leaves us the Maisto. It was a killer deal for the $10 I paid, but you can get them new for $25, and that’s still a killer deal. There’s one very important detail I have left out so far. Part of the reason why this car is so well done is that Maisto at the time made dealer models for Porsche, so they had to step their game up. So the models released during that time are quite a bit better than your standard Maisto. This applies to the 996, Carrera GT, Cayenne, and Cayman and Boxter models. This does NOT apply to the Maisto/Bburago 911 GT3 RS4.0