What is it about the BRE Datsun? In our little corner of the diecast world, that iconic BRE racing deco shows up everywhere. Customizers love it, and we have seen the deco on the obvious choices (Datsun cars, wagons, and trucks), to the less obvious (Skylines, Toyotas, the Mad Manga), to certainly not-obvious-at-all (Kool Kombi, Camaros). Nissan used an obvious tribute to the BRE deco when it unveiled its 510-inspired IDx in November. If you are at any event Datsun, the slanted red, white, and blue will most likely be somewhere.
This BRE infatuation is an interesting one. Part is history. The little Datsun that could is a classic American racing story, as the racing team with the wimpy Japanese car zipped by all of its Euro-competition.
Part is design. I would challenge anyone to come up with a better racing design than what Brock Racing Enterprises did. It is perfect. Bright, fast, and easily recognizable. And it looks great almost anywhere, including as we have just learned, on a diecast replica cardback.
Which brings us to the RLC BRE Datsun 510. Those reasons above may be what motivated Hot Wheels to do a second BRE 510, this time as an RLC exclusive, after putting one in the Vintage Racing line in 2011. The model looks so nice, why not do it twice?
Another reason? Just look at what the Vintage Racing version commands on ebay. In just the last few days, several sold for an average price of $87. That is a lot for a model that was on the pegs just a couple of years ago. Appreciation for Japanese cars continues to skyrocket, and many just discovering Hot Wheels’ mini versions are kicking themselves for passing on the Vintage Racing version. So Mattel released another, albeit even more limited.
It has been fun to see the reaction of collectors as the RLC model arrives in their mailbox. It is clear that those who may not be as enthused about j-tin as we here at Lamley are happy they bought one. And there are others that passed on it that are now regretting they did. Neato.
The model looks fantastic, and even the Neo’s don’t bother us too much. In fact, they look a lot like the hubcaps we saw on tons of Datsuns from that era (just not on racing cars). But one of the biggest surprises is what might be the best packaging we have ever seen on a Hot Wheels car. We will let the photos do the talking:
The artwork is superb. That alone makes this model worth it.
And Mattel has done something to drive collector frenzy even higher. Apparently numbers 1-46 were shipped directly by Mattel, signed by driver John Morton, and randomly dispersed with the other 3000. A few lucky collectors have opened up their mailboxes to find one, including this one found by HWC member Budman340:
How cool is that!?! If it weren’t for the special John Morton/Peter Brock signed edition we have coming from BRE themselves (arriving soon), we would be knocking down doors to get one, especially since this one below is already in the Lamley Collection (signed by Mr. Morton himself when we met him at JCCS a couple of years ago):
Alright, on with the pics. We could talk about this model forever, but we know you want to see it. We sacrificed the amazing packaging on one of ours so you could see it up-close, so we hope you enjoy.
We hope many of you can get this one. We are trying to get a few RLC members to hook up with overseas collectors who could not get one, and those updates are coming to those who inquired, but now the best bet is ebay:
Hot Wheels BRE Datsun Bluebird 510 (RLC Exclusive):