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Friday, March 31, 2017

Matchbox gets so "Matchboxy" with the 1962 Nissan Junior.


Here is another Mattel-provided preview for you folks.  And this one to me is super exciting.  Matchbox's unique take on the JDM craze continues with the 1962 Nissan Junior.

This seems to be the approach.  Take something everyone is talking about in our little diecast world, and tweak it the way Matchbox likes to.  Last year?  We'll take your Hakosuka Skyline, and raise you a serious short nose stock version, surfline intact.  This year?  You love your 510, so here is a rally version.  And your classic Datsun trucks?  How about the much lesser known Junior?


If our hobby is a puzzle, these pieces fit perfectly.  The Hot Wheels vintage Japanese car kick happily continues, and Matchbox continues with its JDM curveballs.  For those of us who collect all of this shit, it is pretty awesome.  Happy times indeed.

So let's look at the Junior casting.  This model provided is an early test sample, and the finished product will obviously not look like this.  In fact, the first release of the Junior, due at the end of the 2017 product year, will be greyish blue with brown interior, small disk hubs, and front and rear decos.  A clean debut for sure.


This sample give you an idea of what the casting will look like.  It is small.  Smaller than other classic Matchbox pickups like the '57 GMC and '75 Chevy Stepsides.  And it should be.  The Junior was a small Japanese truck, and it will go nicely with the others.  (Expect a full classic Matchbox Pickup post when the Junior is released.)

The Junior also sports a Matchbox hallmark, the tow hook.  This is most welcome, and with rumors abounding of more Matchbox trailers in the works, I see some cool options coming.

So yeah, I am at my Matchbox homer best with this one.  Such a welcome addition to the Matchbox return to awesome.

More previews to come.  And some exciting developments too.  Stay tuned.









21 comments:

  1. Awesome truck! I'm glad it has a tow hook, we'll need some of those when the Matchbox horse trailer shown on Instagram hits the pegs.

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  2. Would love to see more
    Emergency cars and less generics

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    1. http://www.earlydatsun.com/nissan40fire.jpg
      http://www.earlydatsun.com/nissan41fire.jpg

      ;)

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  3. I am about to step into it. This is a nice model and in typical fashion it is well done. But I just don't see it being a seller after the initial release and scalper attack. It just is not relevant to most of Matchbox's primary market, the USA. If you take the second market, Europe, pick ups do not sell well. I see the Datsun and Luvs hanging in many places around the US with my travels. Why will this be different?

    I keep seeing MB make nice models of Niche cars which do not move quickly. IN the heyday the models were of current and iconic relevant cars. And they sold. Most parents are not into classic cars and kids need to relate to the models. So many current cars need to be in the line and if there are classics, the need to be icons everyone knows or brand collectors go for. Where is the 57 Chevy? Been years since we have seen that. 69 Camaro? Mustang Cobra Jet?

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    1. Jeff I agree they are not going to be a big seller but I would take this over another 4x4 or non relevant casting. Most peg warmers tend to belong there. My suggestion to both brands. Three colors and put the cast on the shelf bring it back after some time. Limiting castings by HWs back in the day aka redline basic wheel days. Made some of the casts highly sought after today.

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    2. I think the people at Matchbox are pretty hardcore car geeks, and want to put out something interesting. '57 Chevys, '69 Camaros, '64-69 Mustangs, and others have been done over and over and over for fifty years and there is no reason anyone needs to rehash them. Maybe a re-release now and then, but no new castings.

      As much as I want to love this Junior, I just don't think it captures the delicacy and size of the original truck, and I don't think normal work trucks are that exciting to kids. If this is going to work, it needs to have a shorter bed and Matchbox DESPERATELY needs some skinny tires for the vintage cars. These 300-series Countach tires just do not look good on cars that came with 15" bias ply rubber.

      Instead, on the interesting front, I would suggest these uncommon yet awesome vehicles which have by and large not been done before. Mazda Cosmo Sports*, Nissan Silvia CSP311, Tatra 87 or 603, '59 Corvair coupe, Mitsubishi Pajero/Dodge Raider SWB, Jeep FC, Saab 99 Turbo, Toyota TE27, Honda S800.

      I hesitate to include the S800, Toyota Sports 800, Mazda Carol and R360, Subaru 360, Honda Vamos, Honda Z600 and other microcars because the 3" size restriction makes small cars seem huge, such as the new 500 Abarth.

      *http://www.lamleygroup.com/2016/06/did-you-know-that-hot-wheels-made-71.html

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    3. Tyler,

      Again I will say they need volume to support the line. All of the great niche cars would be cool. But they wont give volume sales. For this a manufacturer needs to have models that will sell in the millions over time. All of those cars that have been done over are just that. Why does Majorette have a Camaro, Mustang, F150 and a Silverado in their line? Because they will sell. Even if the cars aren't offered in their main market Europe. It is also why they have a ton of French vehicles in their line.

      I know many of the cars I would love to see in small scale won't be done. Nor should they. They just wont sell. Especially in a market like the US which doesn't have nor did it have many of these "homeland" cars.

      As for the narrow wheels, we need to remember they are play toys for small children.

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    4. I'm not sure where you've been, but the Hot Wheels 510s, hakosukas, kenmeris, SA22C's and Fairladies have flown off the shelves, and the 1:1 cars are not popular in this country. Many parents don't even know what they are. It's been almost impossible to find a MBX hako, too. Cars don't have to be beaten to death to sell; they can just be cool.

      A '59 Corvair is not too niche for Americans. Why hasn't Mattel done it? And a Jeep FC? Kaiser M715? Pure 'Merica. Maybe a '60 Chrysler 300. There are tons of great old 'Merican cars that can be done. Why not a 60 Impala? Or a '54 Chevy? There are so many good, recognizable options that don't go *straight* down the beaten path.

      And let it be known that I want that MBX 59 Chevy wagon with the canoe on top. I just haven't found one yet.

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    5. For the narrow wheels, check the Hot Wheels Astro Funk and Cadillac Fleetwood. Skinny wheels with different styling have been in production for years.

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  4. I don't find it very exciting, but good deco could change that.

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  5. This is what I like to see. Need more cars that don't get much exposure in the diecast world.

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  6. at this point i am not suprised if matchbox tackle russian cars like lada or gaz, keep the strange and obscure coming!

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    1. How about a Melkus RS1000, Wartburg 313, Trabant, Volga 21, Moskvitch 410, IZH 2125, and also the TRUCKS on top of them! How about a GAZ 66 radio truck? :D

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    2. There is a Maisto Trabant out there if you can find it.

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  7. This looks great. The tow hook is a nice touch. Can't wait to get it in hand.

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  8. I am looking at the base - the fuel tank seems to be on the left side while its refueling port is on the right side of the body. Isn't it wrong?

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    1. Yeah I think you are correct. The tank is one the correct side. The gas refiller should be on the other side.

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  9. Chrysler Conquest would be nice!

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  10. Love the look of this casting. So much the better if it's not a scalphers choice as it would be easier to find, like the new Fiat.

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  11. I love the Datsun 510 and am for as much JDM as we can get, but for whatever reason this Junior is not appealing to me. Will wait and see what the final version looks like in different paint.

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