It’s a double dose of JDM at Matchbox this year with the Nissan Junior Pickup joining the Datsun 510

And that is about all that these models have in common.  That JDM tag can create a frenzy, and the upcoming Datsun 510 and Nissan Junior from Matchbox will definitely benefit.


But remove that JDM tag, and these two could not be more different.  The 510 we have already talked about, a model indicative of one of Matchbox’s approaches, to take something well known and go slightly out of left field in it’s approach.  You would expect a stock 510, instead you get a rally version.  The Junior comes from the other approach.  A somewhat obscure model done plain stock.


I think most of us think of Japanese makes when small pickups are the topic.  What we might not think of is the Junior.  It wasn’t the smallest of the Nissan pickups, nor was it the most popular.  But it was around awhile.  The Matchbox is a replica of the second-generation Junior:


And with the utility feel of the Junior, it is probably more appropriate to link it to other Matchbox pickups, like the ’57 and ’75 Stepsides, or even the Dodge A100.  However you want to link it, the Junior fits nicely into the Matchbox line, and is a most welcome addition.  I actually would love to see Matchbox do more models like this one.


The model itself is great.  Simple in execution, but detailed, including nice touches like a license plate on the back, as well as a tow hook.  This one thankfully has front and rear tampos as well.  The mild blue color means it doesn’t stand out a ton, but I think that is the point.

It is models like these that really make me a happy Matchbox collector.  They may not set the world on fire, but they always make the collectors smile.  Look for this one in Batch K.


15 Replies to “It’s a double dose of JDM at Matchbox this year with the Nissan Junior Pickup joining the Datsun 510”

  1. Looking forward to these two. The pickup has quite a few chopping possibilities. I like their method of construction where you get a decent load bed and a back window for the cab. Chris

  2. I am normally all-over the Japanese brand models, but this one doesn’t excite me much. While it does resemble the real truck quite accurately, the color, wheels, and chassis color just seem really boring. Living in SE Michigan all of my 51 years, I do not recall these on the road in my youth either. I’m sure they must have been much more common on the coastal areas.

  3. I’m with John here…the debut colors are a bit underwhelming…I actually thought this was a pre-pro model at first, until I saw the tampos. Having said that, however, the casting itself is fabulous. I like that it has a tow hook too…I”m picturing one of the Green Light Airstream trailers hooked up to this. I suppose the truck’s probably on a much smaller scale, but still. Nice touch.

  4. I think the interior color should be different, because the current color makes the inner fender look yellow. Other than that, I still love this one. I hope to find this one when it comes out.

  5. Proportions are way off. While I applaud something different, it just doesn’t look right. Scrunched fascia, crowded little cab and wide Nascar tires. I’ll pass. But then again I’ll never see them anyway- I’m just about to get my hands on a (well executed) green doka after all this time. What’s been happening with Matchbox lately?

    1. My thoughts as well. Too bad they can’t put a little more effort into the accuracy of the model. Matchbox of 50 years ago could, so why not now?

  6. Just been reading comments…. I think the real ones had dull colours – although this can make for peg warmers when reduced in size 64 times and aimed at children.

    Perhaps there is a case for Matchbox ( and Hot wheels) to reduce the width of their wheels to look a little more realistic but still have a purposeful stance?


    1. Valid point regarding the dull color, but I can assure you these will NOT warm the pegs….most probably won’t see the pegs at all. I fully expect never to find this in the wild.

  7. I like it. Nice work by the Matchbox team. I only wish they had chosen black or dark grey for the plastic part in the tray/interior. The yellow/cream visible in the rear wheels arches is an unnecessary distraction.

  8. I applaud the inclusion of a hitch, but what am I going to hook up to it? I never see Matchbox trailers anymore, except very rarely in a 5 pack. Greenlight and Maisto are doing very well with their car and trailer 2 packs, and Matchbox used to have something similar that also had a few little figures with it (there’s actually a grocery store near me that still has some on the pegs). Those would be nice, or at the very least a trailer or two added to the mainline.

  9. It seems like a lot of negativity is brewing over this model- some valid, some not (in my opinion). The color is true to the real Nissan Junior, and if Matchbox did an “exciting” color, everyone would say it is too bright or not authentic. Secondly, Matchbox is not designed to be 1:64 scale, and it never was. From the beginning, they have been 1:box scale, which happened to be in the common 1:64 ballpark. Also, the wheels are what the casting is designed around. It would be a $15+- car over a $1 car if they made new wheels every time a new casting, and it would then make every other Matchbox car look funny. Matchbox AND Hot Wheels are not meant to be exact replicas. Finally, Matchbox announced they will be making the Speed Trap trailer last July, so YES, there is not many trailers out right now, but that takes time. Give it time. All of you bring interesting points to the table, but consider these things. I love that NISSAN license plate, by the way.

  10. Matchbox has always been choosing authentic colors – at least for first editions from what I could remember. Never been a problem. This truck’s color is again close to the real deal. It’s meant to be dull. Proportions are probably not accurate, but again this is not Greenlight. The only improvement I could think of is have the bumper colored white instead as with the real model.

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