Halo Reach release party

Last night I was invited by a good friend (fellow toy designer) to attend the Halo Reach official release party. My buddy works at Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory and tells me Microsoft is using the factory for it’s release of the new game (Halo Reach). So of course I was like, HELL YES! I love Halo, so do my kids. Needless to say the night was pretty awesome. I showed up a little early and got a quick “mini-tour” of Corpo and the factory.

Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory
Halo Reach Entrance

There were xbox 360 consoles and flat screens everywhere! Some were linked up so multiple players could check out the new game and kick the crap out of each other. All I have to say, is the friggin Jetpack rules!!! I have a whole new respect for Halo with this release. There are some awesome new features and some bitchin new and updated weaponry. Yeah, the party going on behind us, don’t bother us, we’re gaming here! Hey dj can you turn that down? You’re drowning out my Jetpack sound.

Some of us nerds getting our Halo Reach on.

The crowd starts to arrive, they got greeted by an awesome “hollywood style” step and repeat of Halo Reach, Xbox, and Microsoft. Then they got to walk up a Halo ramp into a Halo world. It was pretty amazing.

The crowd starting to arrive via the Halo entrance
Shepard Fairey doing his DJ set

And since this blog is about die-cast, toys and cars. Auto Gelato had an awesome delivery truck.

Auto Gelato truck

Microsoft knows how to throw a party, drinks, food, music, video games, awesome venue, hands down, best industry party I’ve been to.

Zombies looking for Food!

Welcome to Halo world. Where we party like it’s 1999, I mean… 2099.

Halo Crowd

This is Rob Dyrdek’s T-rex, I wanted to take it out for a spin, but you know, too many people in the way.

Rob's T-Rex

The stars were out, apparently I missed some of them, but Michelle Rodriguez, Zachary Levi, Nathan Fillion, Justin Beiber, B.o.B, Diplo, Olivia Munn, and I don’t know who else, but they were there. I heard one of the guys from Office Space was there, it was like NERD HEAVEN. Here’s Michelle Rodriguez trying out Halo Reach. She seemed to really like it.

Actress Michelle Rodriguez trying out Halo Reach

Got a chance to meet and chat with some of the game’s designers/developers from Bungie. Really cool dudes, who flew out just for this party. They were like the rockstars of the night in my opinion.

Some of the Halo Reach developers and Castro

The musical performances were awesome. B.o.B and his band kicked arse and had all the hipsters shaking their booties.

B.o.B performing
Me giving Halo Reach a spin

I had never listened to Diplo before, but his set was pretty much fire. Looking into his musical catalog now.

Diplo on the One's and Two's

We met Zachary Levi from Chuck, turns out he is toy nerd just like us. Very cool dude.

Cisco, Trace, Zachary Levi from Chuck, and Castro

See here, I thought my desk and toy collecting habit was bad, but Tracy has since surpassed my TOY NERDINESS. This is about 1% of the toys in his office. NERD.

Tracy's toys

One thing I realized after this awesome night in L.A., I NEED A NEW CAMERA. Oh wait, there is ONE MORE THING….

My copy of Halo Reach!!!

Freeway Fotos: What’s your dream car?

I took this pic a few weeks ago, we were out getting dinner and I spied this old Chevy Truck sitting in someone’s lot (Reminded me of our “Old Friends” line.) Rusted and beaten down a bit, but I could see her potential. She could shine once again with a little attention, sweat, and lots of love. I can’t believe people let these jewels just rust away.

It got me thinking about my dream car. Sure it would be sweet to be rich like Jay Leno and be able to have garages and warehouses full of cars. I mean, there are so many awesome cars out there, I’m sure I could create a lengthy list of cars I’d love to have. However, my dream car, started when I was a young boy. My grandfather had picked up a 54 Chevy Bel Air, he told me when I was old enough, it would be mine. I don’t remember what color it was when he picked it up, but I do remember him painting it Green on the bottom with the top painted White. She was gorgeous. This is obviously not the car, but this is an example of the color combo.

When I was 14 my grandfather passed away and unfortunately, the car I was promised was sold. So this car has always held a dear spot in my heart. Now that I’ve grown up (some would argue that), I’m on a mission to get one (53-54) when I am able to save up some money for one. That is not the case right now, obviously there are other priorities. When I do get one though, I could see it starting something like this.

And finishing with something like this.

So, what’s your Dream Car?

A Typical Day At The Office

or maybe this one should be called “Guys, I got nuthin”. yesterday i was out of the office “on business”. meeting in santa monica, followed by a delicious seafood lunch that my colleague paid for (thanks marc). tuff day, to be sure. i did see a 4′ castro in santa monica, however…

on my 2 1/2 hour drive back to the (inland) empire, i received an urgent message from my asst liz. apparently all the designers had left their posts, intent on seeing something new they had heard about at the local target store. O!M!G! 16,000 e-sheets to do, and they are leaving their wacom tablets to do a store check? what could i do? i was speeding along at approximately 7 MPH on i-10. i could only hold on and hope all of them returned back to maisto shortly. i did send out a quick text, illegally, unsafely, and with my humblest apologies to arnold,  to r2b2, to determine if:

a) it was true,

b) if the boss was truly p-o’d,

c) if there was an excuse, and most importantly,

d) if i was in anyway implicated in target-gate.

r2b2 responded, quickly and decisively that:

a) yes,

b) yes,

c) not really, and, most importantly,

d) seemingly no.

and that was that. i was thinking that i was sure to hear about it monday, but then the wife called, meet us at hometown buffet, we have 2 for one coupons, and all of a sudden 7 MPH is just not cutting it. i then realized my laptop was at the office, my post responsibility is the w/e, so i would have to do it remotely. got home, did a search for ‘spider-man” found this video, and with that, we will check back with you manana…

ok, you got me – i didn’t do a search for spider-man, i was checking out deadspin and came across this spider-man catch – greatest catch ever? and had to figure out how to get it into the blog. whatevah…

Up Close and Personal with Maisto’s new 1:24th Scale 29 Ford Model A!

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about one of our latest castings, a 1:24th scale 29 Ford Model A. We have two variations, a more subtle custom version and a chopped and dropped hot rod version. Charles and I (CASTRO) worked together to bring you the two different versions. I didn’t work on the graphics this time, but I can’t wait to get my hands on one! What I did do was take Charles’ already awesome more traditional look, and hacked it up stretched it out, and slammed it to the ground. Just how I like ’em!

Here is the first style that will show up in Maisto’s Special Edition line. She looks purrrdy in Red.

1:24 Scale 29 Ford Model A (Special Edition)
1:24 Scale 29 Ford Model A (Special Edition)

Here she is in yellow, very Hot! Makes you want to take her for a run down the two-lane blacktop!

1:24 Scale 29 Ford Model A (Special Edition)

Here is…get ready for it…the kustom version, graphics by our boy JCUriarte. I like the two-tone color combo.

1:24 Scale 29 Ford Model A (AllStars)

and here, just the way I like ’em. Flat black with a little red & white pinstriping. Lookin’ pretty bad ass! Yes those are “suicide” doors.

1:24 Scale 29 Ford Model A (AllStars) with Doors Open

She is a BEAST!

1:24 Scale 29 Ford Model A (AllStars) Front View

and looks great from behind!

1:24 Scale 29 Ford Model A (AllStars) Rear View

is that? Holy Moly, yest it is….

1:24 Scale 29 Ford Model A (AllStars) Side View

a Skull Knob shifter…..wowzers. Here’s a little close-up of the guts. Hard to see, but she has some awesome bomber style seats as well. You can bet I will be designing some bitchin’ paint schemes for these, Whitewall Rebels and Outlaws of the world unite!

1:24 Scale 29 Ford Model A (AllStars) Pattern/Skull Shift Knob Detail

Mooneyes Summer 2010

Greetings Maisto friends! We’re trying to liven up this blog so if you can, please pass the word around to your friends to come by and check it out. We are trying our best to post daily, and we’ve been doing pretty good. If you have any questions you would like answered or topics you would like to see, send them to the e-mail link to the left. I went to the Mooneyes Summer 2010 Party, it was a make up event for the rained out X-Mas Party last year. This time it was not pouring rain, but maybe pouring sweat, because it was pretty dang hot! Here are just a few of my favorite cars and trucks from the show.

This one was my son Jake’s (6 years old) favorite car in the show. He has an eye for Cadillacs, how awesome is that?

Outlaw Garage!!! Nice!

This ’36 reminded me of that new 2011 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport!

Freeway Fotos

Hey gang, I was driving home the other day and caught this bitchin hot rod coming up in my rear view. I quickly reached for my iPhone in my pocket and selected the camera app. This guy flew by me (since I slowed down to snap a pic). There was a lot of traffic so it was hard for me to catch up to him and get a good pic.

I sped up to catch him, then he dropped back behind me again. This is fun while you’re trying to take a picture, drive, and oh yeah….NOT DIE!

I drove all the way up the hill, almost home, before I got a decent pic. That my friends is dedication. Hope you enjoy.

Don’t forget this Sunday is the Mooneyes Summer X-mas show make up event. I will be attending with my family to check out the awesome rides, vendors, grab some King Taco, and listen to some great music! Hope to see you there.

Back To The Future…. wait what?

Ok this is old, but I never got a chance to share any pics, so here are is a small handful. Back in February we were asked to attend the 2010 Die-cast Super Convention in Las Vegas. It was pretty awesome, CJ and everyone behind this really did a great job and made us feel right at home.

We signed some autographs, got a chance to catch up with old friends, and talk to some great collectors.

This day was crazy, so many people came through, but it was really fun. I ran into a distibutor/collector from the Phillipines that remembered me from my days at Jada.

Castro aka “The Fonz” catches up with Joanie Cunningham (Erin Moran)

The usual suspects… (from Left to Right) Charles Hepperle, Ralph Benitez, and Castro.

We got a chance to pick  a “Maisto Designer’s Pick” winner in the custom die-cast competition. We picked one of Bryan Johnson’s many entries, if you remember. Here are just a few of our favorites (many of them were Bryan Johsnon’s.)


This was one of my favorites. I’ve been a fan of The Dukes of Hazard since I was a kid, so this one was top notch in my book.

Hot Rods!

Seeing as how Summer is officially here, it seems like there is an event every weekend. Just a week ago was  Ink-N-Iron, this past weekend was the L.A. Roadster Show, so many great hot rod and kustom shows. The guys in CAPD are a very diverse group, but we all have one thing in common, WE LOVE CARS! Particularly, cars from the past! (For me, it’s Hot Rods!) But, whether it’s hot rods, muscle cars, gassers, lead sleds, vintage drag cars, low riders, Cadillacs, it doesn’t matter, we love ’em all! Here are a couple photos I took back in January of 2009 and never posted of some hot rods Maisto has produced. If you enjoy these, I will post more!

In the center of this pic is a custom convertible 29 Ford I chopped up for fun.

This little guy was from the Gas Caps/Gassers collection. A tooned out version of a ’49 Merc! Still one of my fav’s!

and here is a new Freeway Foto I snapped of a bad ass Hot Rod Rig on my way home the other day. It’s too bad I couldn’t get a better pic, but I think you can see how rad this thing was!

Fabulous Freeway Foto Friday!

this morning there was some heavy traffic, so I had some time to reflect. Cruising, or crawling I guess would be more like it., I had time to think about work, life, and that awesome nailbiter of a game last night. If you didn’t already know, I’m a huge Laker fan, so I was pretty stoked, and my boss, “El Señor” RHB is a huge Celtic fan, so I’m guessing he was not. It’s been kind of awkard the last couple of weeks, and now he tells me I cannot have the day off to go to the victory parade, boo! Anyhoo, this post is not entirely “un-car-related”, because while I was driving to work, I spied these two awesome hot rods! Enjoy!

and this last pic, well this one’s just for “El Señor” and our buddy Rainier!

Maisto 2010 Catalog: Splash Pages

charlesmaisto has been sharing a bunch of catalog pages for you all to get a quick view of some of the new stuff we are coming out with in 2010. since the catalog is a trade publication only, we thought we would also share some of the splash pages with you so you could get a little more of a feel for what the catalog looks like. the splash page falls in between categories, and is used to intro the next section in the catalog. in a design conscious house such as maisto, the splash page is always an hot issue, and is ultimately decided by the bosses. this year’s design was created by none other than Castro. while under a pretty extreme deadline, Castro went all tracy porter on us and scored big time with this layout. here are a couple of the pages, suitable for framing. we will add a couple more tomorrow…