Thursday, June 19, 2014

Jada Toys 2003 Ford Excursion and 2008 Ford F350 Super Duty

They're big and brawny, tow and haul lots of stuff, but only one of these carried on while the other one got ridiculed from the start, and both are made from Jada Toys Just Trucks line.

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Super Duty Success, Excursion Failure

The Super Duty was introduced in 1999 as a response to the soft, car-like shape of the 1997 F-150 that turned away loyal customers who prefer an original square-shaped pickup.  The Super Duty launched an aggressive look with large grille and power dome hood. Doors are larger, interior is larger with a slightly-different dash, yet it still shared some parts with the F-150 until that version got a full redesign in 2004.  Powertrains range from a 5.4 V8, a 6.8 V-10, or a 7.3L Powerstroke diesel V8.  During those times until 2008 the Super Duty gained new headlights, minor interior changes, and a Harley-Davidson versions.  In 2008 the Super Duty got a new look with new grille and headlights inspired by a locomotive.  The rear also gets new panels and taillights, and inside the interior is completely revamped with new materials, shape, and at long last ditching the two-spoke steering wheel (which was uncomfortable to hands on long drives) with a four-spoke version.  The same gas and diesel engines carry over.  The one to get is the 6.4L PowerStroke diese V8 with 350 hp and 361 Ib-ft. torque through a 5-speed automatic.  After complaints with Navistar over diesel engine problems, Ford developed their own diesel V8 starting with the 2011 facelift.

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Also related, but brief, is the Ford Excursion.  Introduced in 2000, it was Ford's long-awaited answer to the Chevy Suburban.  However, Ford then decided to make their suburban-beater bigger by employing the Super Duty platform, offering V8, V10, and diesel V8 power, two or four-wheel drive, and similar styling inside and out to the Super Duty line.  The main difference is at the rear where the Excursion offers a third-row seat to accept up to eight passengers comfortably and gain access to the large interior by a lift-up glass window obtained by two side-opening dutch doors.  Tow ratings are good, though gas mileage is terrible; best bet is to get the 7.3L diesel V8 producing 250 hp through a 4-speed automatic.  But the grand master plain failed to work out from the get-go:  Criticism range from being too large to crush smaller cars in a head-on accident (despite the lower bumper support designed for these purposes), gas hog, to being too big for a garage.  Customers listened and avoided buying the massive Excursion, so Ford ended production in 2005 and shifted the suburban-fighter roles to an extended version of the Expedition SUV, called the EL, in 2007.  So far only a few of these Excursion's are used for personal use, the rest are used by government agencies including Fire Department's.

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Big and Bold

Both trucks have made their run in the Just Trucks series, a group of trucks in lifted 4x4 fashion.  Unlike the past Jada 4x4 series, High Profile, this new series offers a lower stance, smaller wheels, and wider track than the High Profile versions giving the proper off-road look.  The Super Duty came out in 2008 in regular-height look in a 5-pack and was planned for the next High Profile release until the economy turned south and Jada had to cancel all future series to rethink their next strategy.  After three years off the Super Duty returned in 2011 in the version shown here.  The black with blue graphics look cool on the nicely-detailed body with silver headlights, big grille, and lower bumper extension with integrated foglights to give it that aggressive look.  The sides show the blue graphic and still adds the silver F350 logo's on the fender's.  The rear has detailed taillights but seems plain compared to the real truck and I think the bed section is plastic while the rest is metal.  The base shows proper details behind the jungle of suspension and axle pieces and rest on cool blacked-out wheels with blue beads (the Excursion shares the same suspension and wheels, except the blue beads are red).  Inside the interior is nicely-executed with details all in the dash, seats, and door panels, and since this was made after the DUB period of Jada no booming speakers inside or even in the open bed.  Jada has made several variations of this F350, some even nicer than the first one, so go on and check one out!

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The Excursion was part of the DUB series, so you can see that from the custom front and rear bumper (rear bumper has exhaust cut-out), custom grille without the ford logo,  no exterior door handles or gas cap door, and interior which features four captain's chairs with a custom touch screen replacing the stock radio and subwoofer's replacing the rear seat but opens up a vast cargo area.  However, when you touch it in an all-black stealth look the custom parts become invisible.  Details that stand out are the silver grille and headlights and red taillights, but I would like to see more badging and details on the body.  Personally i'm not a big fan of the Excursion or the Jada custom look, but I have to give credit for this version in the all-black look to give the proper look of the Excursion while hiding all the custom looks that irritate stock-perfectionists (like me!) to avoid this casting at all costs.

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1 comment:

  1. I got a red excursion and immediately removed the mud truck suspension and blacked out the bumpers drew door handles and now it hauls tractors and other equipment on my farm diorama