Epiphone's reissued Casino was fairly similar in looks to the mid-late 1960s Gibson Kalamazoo-made original, with Trapeze tailpiece, pearl parallelogram block markers, and chrome dog-ear covered pickups. Most importantly, they offered a guitar with the characteristic Gibson/Epiphone set neck. These Epiphone Casino reissues had been produced by Aria at the Matsumoku plant in Japan at least as early as 1976, though not immediately available in the United States. The 1976 advert (right) shows an accurate reissue, but with a list price of ¥65000 - roughly equivalent to $600 - was most likely too expensive in comparison to US-produced guitars.
But by 1982, the Casino was being shipped to the US. Although a respectable copy, there were a number of significant differences from the US-produced original, though perhaps not immediately obvious. The guitar pictured appears to be in Walnut finish - previously not available, though the text only lists Wine Red and Antique Sunburst - both darker than the Cherry and Sunburst offered in 1960s instruments. In terms of construction, the guitars were fairly similar, both had a maple top back and sides, rosewood fretboard and parallelogram neck position markers - though this reissue had a three-piece maple neck replacing the single piece mahogany of the original. But perhaps the biggest change was the pickups. Although topped with the same chrome dog-ear covers, and therefore fairly similar in appearance, the pickups of the reissue were 'vintage Epiphone humbuckers' as opposed to single coil P90s.
In September 1982, the list price was $579.95. The least expensive US-produced Gibson was the ES-335 dot with a price tag of $999.