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.