Die-cast and radio-control toy manufacturer Maisto roared into the full-size vehicle market on Wednesday, announcing that it has agreed to acquire the HUMMER division of General Motors Corporation, one of the sector’s top players.
Financial terms were not released. But Dewey Cheatem, the senior director of mergers and acquisitions at Maisto, said in an interview with CFN News that the Fontana, Calif.-based company has agreed to pay all cash for HUMMER, and expects the deal to close this week.
Privately held Maisto is making the leap from manufacturing a wide variety of HUMMER toys and models to the real thing. “It’s really very simple,” said chief designer George Tirebiter, “we already have HUMMER tooling in 1:14, 1:16 and other scales — all we need to do is scale them up to 1:1 size and we’ll have the most powerful and lightest weight SUVs on the planet.” He is confident that Maisto will be able to build the HUMMER H3T, for example, at only a fraction of the weight and cost of the current ones. The 1:16 Maisto R/C toy weighs about two pounds so multiplied by 16 to the full size it would tip the scales at 32 pounds. With its electric drive it should accelerate to 60 mph in about three seconds.
Distribution will change also. Deals are already in place for major “big box” stores already selling Maisto models to carry the new full-size vehicles as well. Production is expected to begin this summer with the 1:1 items in stock this October.