We normally take Saturday off, but when said Saturday is May 10, a post is merited indeed. So before you do your last minute scramble to get cheap chocolates at Walgreens for Mother's Day, take a minute and celebrate Datsun 510 Day with us...
This year, the way we have decided to celebrate the little Datsun that could is by focusing solely on Hot Wheels First Edition 510 that came out in 2009. Understandably, the Vintage Racing and RLC versions, both in BRE livery, have gotten a lot of attention lately, as has the Datsun 510 Wagon. That does not mean that the First Edition has been widely ignored, as its ebay prices clearly attest, but we think it is prudent to dedicate a post to it.
One reason is because it is an important model. While the AE86 and 240Z preceded it as Hot Wheels models, and the Hakosuka and Kenmeri Skylines solidified Hot Wheels dedication to JDM, the 510 in a way opened the door for many of the models we all enjoy now. All those Jun Imai creations, the Skylines, and 620 pickups, and Celicas, and RX-7's, and CR-X's, and 2000GT's, and BRATS, all owe a little to the 510. And while the RLC and Vintage Racing versions helped educate a lot of people on the 510 heritage, we can't forget how well this casting was done by Jun Imai. The model is very true to its original looks, as a street car, racer, and JDM icon. It has a great stance, a chin spoiler, and plenty of detail.
Another reason? It may be hard for new JDM collectors to believe now, but the initial three colors of the 510 were massive pegwarmers. Up until 2012 you could still find them on the pegs. That allowed us here at Lamley to accumulate a few, including some tremendous variations and errors. Some we found, others were sent to us, and others we traded to get. It wasn't hard. Trying to do the same thing now would extremely difficult, and very expensive.
So we thought we would give you a rundown of what we humbly think is the best loose collection of the First Edition Datsun 510 around. We like these models opened, which could make some of you skeptical on whether or not they are genuine. We promise they are. We can't verify it to you officially, but we don't need to as these are not going anywhere. We know they are legit, and that is probably all that counts.
Let's get started. We might as well break it down by color, variations, and then errors.
The 2009 Hot Wheels Datsun Bluebird 510 came in three colors - first blue, then black, followed by bronze - all with chrome-lipped OH5 wheels:
But that is only the beginning. Each color actually had one major variation:
Blue - chrome OH5 wheels:
Black - 5-spoke wheels:
Bronze - transitional silver stripe:
To see the silver stripe vari on the bronze version, which is a transition from the black model, how about a comparison pic? Silver is on top, compared to the standard white-striped version below it:
None of the three variations were easy to find, but the 5-spoke black and silver-stripe bronze versions were extremely rare. We know of about three 5-spoke variations, and less than 5 silver-striped varis, all found at Toys R Us. The chrome OH5 vari in blue was found in Target 2-packs, and was slightly easier to find. We acquired all three in trade.
There is one other variation that generated some debate. The black and bronze versions seemed to have two molds. Both were exactly the same, except for a small casting flaw on the C pillar. It only appeared on the black and bronze versions:
"Antenna" casting flaw:
While some considered it a legit vari, others ignored it. We happened across one in bronze, and if you look closely above at the 5-spoke model in black, you will see it there as well.
That is it with variations, but we didn't stop there. We acquired a few errors and other anomalies as well. We used to have a few mismatched wheels, which we got rid of, but these tampo and color errors are not going anywhere:
No side tampo:
(In case you are wondering, both of our naked models are only half-naked. They were both double printed on the other side, clearly indicating they stayed put when they should have been flipped.)
No hood tampos:
No black tampos (on both sides):
Finally, our favorite 510 error, Stripes only:
How that happened we have no idea. Obviously the stripes were printed before the numbers and text. The model was found in a Target 2-pack. The best evidence it hasn't been tampered with is that the "Goodyear" tampo is missing entirely, and it normally sits on top of the stripe. Cool, eh?
In case you are wondering, the other side got the full treatment:
So there it is, our geeky way to celebrate Datsun 510 Day, pulling out the mini-cars to give them a whirl. So go hug your Mom, wish her a happy 510 Day, and then go find the 510's you still need...