Back in the 1990’s we produced about thirty different trucks with First Gear.
I kept the first piece of each run, and just recently decided to display my pieces in a newly purchased display case.
The first item I opened up was a B-61 Mack tractor/trailer with Arrow Transportation graphics. When I removed the truck from the styrofoam it was a little difficult getting it out, and I bumped it against my work bench. When I got the protective paper off it, I discovered that the trailer frame, a die cast piece, had broken in several places. After closer inspection, I determined that the casting was bad, the metal was falling apart in my hand.
The situation is called metal fatigue and is caused by poor grade of metal used in the casting procedure. This piece was less than twenty years old, and was falling apart in my hands, something that should not be happening.
It is obvious that the company casting these trucks over in China is using poorly refined metals, and that these trucks are going to be worthless because of the problem. I talked to several First Gear dealers, and they were all aware of the problem and stated that First Gear could care less about the problem. I have always been very critical of items made in China, but now will refuse to buy anything from there in the future. Who wants to spend substantial sums of money for what we consider to be quality die cast pieces, only to find out that they will fall apart within twenty years or less and be worthless junk. This used to be a problem prior to World War Two, but was solved when the metal refining processes were corrected, so there is no need for this to be happening in this day and age.
In summary, buyer beware of any die cast coming from China, they obviously do not care about quality, they are using the cheapest crap they can find to cast these items.