If you're anything like this writer, chances are you've got a diecast model or two kicking around the house. And if one of those models replicates a Ferrari, chances are it's made by Hot Wheels. The Mattel brand secured an exclusive contract from the Maranello automaker in the late 1990s, but the latest word from Hemmings has it that Ferrari has ended its partnership with Hot Wheels and awarded it instead to the May Cheong Group.

Unless you're an avid diecast collector, you may not have heard of May Cheong, but you may have heard of its brands Maisto and Bburago. Both brands are longtime players in the model car market, but it's the Bburago part of the deal that's particularly interesting.

Founded in Italy, Bburago made a name for itself largely due to the scale Ferrari models it made back in the day. But when the Prancing Horse marque awarded the exclusive contract to Mattel, and with increasing competition from the Far East, Bburago collapsed. May Cheong swept in and scooped it up, and now the Italian model brand, along with its onetime rival Maisto, will be producing diecast Ferraris once again.

Whether Bburago will use any of its old tooling to resume production of Ferrari scale models or start from scratch with all-new equipment remains to be seen, as does the matter of whether either it or Maisto will be able to produce the same quality of models as Hot Wheels has with some of its higher-end offerings. Like most collectors, this writer's looking forward to finding out. Looks like it's time to buy another display case.

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