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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Maisto 1:50 Datsun 620 Pickup and 1994 Toyota Truck



Talk about a short-lived odd-ball group.  With cartoonish dimensions, the Maisto Fifty-5's look unlikely the collector's choice, yet some of the vehicles they offered are unique and show off splendid details to the point that their 'toonish character doesn't bother much.  Especially when you take a look at these two small trucks, two to four years before Mattel did their versions!


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Mini Trucks of the '70's and '80's

In 1989 the Toyota Truck got restyled with a more aerodynamic look, with 4x4's still carrying their unique macho look.  The interior is more car-like, and the new V6 was all the rage.  The 2wd was remarked so much of it's car-like ride that it was named Motor Trend's Truck of the Year in 1989.  Typical format in 2WD is the 2.4L I-4 producing 115 hp. through a 5-speed manual.  On the other side is the Datsun 620 Pickup, serving longer than the Toyota truck by about a decade.  The 1970's 620 was the rage with styling similar to the 510 line, famous for the Bluebird version.  Featuring the quad headlights inside the large grille, unique bed line that starts at the middle of the doors, and curved tailgate with Datsun letters and bumper-mounted taillights.  The interior also shows similar looks to the 510 line from the steering wheel, the gauges, to the center stack.  The engine is the 2.0L I-4 producing 110 hp. through a 4-speed manual.  When lowered, this 620 can also run with the relative Bluebirds as well.

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The odd looks of the Maisto

Despite the cartoonish looks, both are nicely-done.  The Toyota is the cleanest-looking with metallic red paint, detailed grille and marker lights at front, Fifty-5 logos on bed sides, chrome dual exhaust, and large multi-spoke wheels with rubber tires.  Even the base has nifty details, in metal, despite the small dimensions.  Sadly, the bed is too high, just like the Maisto Power Racers (even though it doesn't have any pull back motors).  The interior is nicely done, having the correct dashboard, door panels, and seating details, though uses a sporty 4-spoke wheel over the stock 2-spoke design.  The Datsun is bombarded with graphics any one you choose, but this one seems the nicest with black/metallic red color, side blue graphics, chrome front grille with DATSUN in the grille, detailed taillights and silver tailgate letters, and tinted chrome on the wheels.  Just like the Toyota it has the properly-done interior details, including the same 4-spoke wheel.  The bed has a deeper depth, but rather edgy wheelwells, not to mention it lacks the dual exhaust of the Toyota.  Also the Maisto plate at the rear is proper size on the Datsun, rather microscopic on the Toyota, and the Toyota is incorrectly called 1985 Toyota Tacoma: Tacoma didn't arrive in the US until 1995 1/2 and this is actually the 1989-1994 body-style.

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Even with the new versions of 620 and Toyota Truck from Mattel's Hot Wheels brand, these two versions are still nifty no matter how awkward they look.

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