And so 2014 begins.
Many of you are preparing to get your hunt on for Kdays this Saturday, with visions of Supers and First-to-Markets dancing in your heads. We will be there too, but for us Kdays has been completely upstaged.
Why? The Datsun 620 is why.
2014 A cases are slowly emerging in some areas of the world, and our connections with you collectors have produced an early First Look that we could not be more excited about. Jetson cars and COPO Camaros be damned. Hot Wheels made a Datsun pickup!
We have heard the hints that 2014 will be a stellar year for JDM fans, and if the first new model is any indication, it might be even better than we thought. Not only is the choice a great one, but the execution is as well.
And this isn’t a model that a small corner of the car world will appreciate. Why many might argue (erroneously) the relevance of the Mad Manga in the basic range, the Datsun 620 crosses many cultural lines. Yes, we JDMer’s are to the 620 what Homer Simpson is to doughnuts, ogling over the 620’s pickup perfection at a place like JCCS, and our excitement with this model is a given. But the little Datsun pickup occupies a soft spot for many others not of the JDM persuasion. It seems anyone from Gen X upward remembers the Datsun pickup. Maybe Dad or your Uncle Jim had one, or a rare early morning drive with Pops exposed you to the thousands of them on the road, hauling landscapers and construction workers all over the place, putting on mile after mile. Or even now you will see the occasional Datsun pickup, still going strong, happily carrying its longtime owner, a leathery guy named Hank, who was proudly there when it passed both the 100k and 200k mile markers.
Needless to say, the Datsun 620 serves as a Japanese show car for JDM fanboys, an iconic Japanese Nostalgic, as well as a true piece of Americana. And while we reside in a world of oversized, underused trucks that are marketed by low-voiced grumbly men and used in commercials by manly men who only work in muddy locales hauling boulders and space shuttles, let’s all step back and sing praises to the little Japanese truck. Let those big-rimmed monstrosities talk their talk. The little Datsun pickup walked its f#*king walk. (And I said that in a nice low growl.)
And no better way to celebrate it than with a mini version from Hot Wheels. This is another Jun Imai design, complete with Jun signatures like mild flares, a low-but-not-too-low stance, a chin spoiler, and something we are seeing more and more…side mirrors (hooray!).
But the one thing that we love over all else on this model? The raised “DATSUN” on the tailgate. That one little element makes this model in instant classic. There is probably no detail I remember better than than the its prominent rear tattoo. I must have been behind a lot of them growing up. The font is right on, and since it is part of the casting, it isn’t going anywhere.
And we won’t forget that little logo on the rear panel. Yes, once again our friends at Japanese Nostalgic Car get a nod, like they did on the Hakosuka, RX-7 (twice), and AE86. And we have a feeling this isn’t the last time we will see their logo this year. Jun is Jun, but we are glad the JNC guys have the Hot Wheels designer’s ears…
2014 is going to be fun, but it will take a lot to top the 620. Consider this a dare, Hot Wheels. Beat it…
Hot Wheels Datsun 620 (2014 New Models):