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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Matchbox and Majorette Toyota 4-Runner

Joining the Truck in 1984 is the 4-Runner, mostly the truck with a shell and a rear seat, the 4-runner morphed from an off-road SUV to a modern-day SUV for the suburbs, yet still has off-road credibility.  Here's two examples of each.

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The off-roader for the street

The 4-Runner was the answer for the new small SUV's that were starting to appear from Jeep, Ford, Chevy/GMC, and later Nissan.  Based on the Truck, the 4-Runner provides a shell over the rear, a rear bench seat, integrated cab and bed, and a rear tailgate with roll-down rear window.  The 4-Runner also gained the more aggressive look of the 4x4 Truck line.  2.4L I-4 was the sole powertrain producing 116 hp. thanks to electronic fuel injection, through a 5-speed manual to a part-time 4WD system and front and rear live axles.  A removable top and diesel engines was also offered.  In 1988 a new DOHC V6 motor was offered, along with an automatic, and in 1990 a four-door version was also offered.

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In 1989 the 4-Runner was restyled and now just offered only four-doors and a more practical look of its own rather than a truck with a top over its bed.  Flush lights and smoother panels now give the 4-Runner a leaner look, yet still offering that 4x4 stance, even in 2WD models.  I-4 and V6 models were still offered.  In 1996 the 4-Runner got more refined, losing the 4-cylinder and 5-speed in 2000, and in 2003 looking more like an SUV for the suburbs, yet still practical off-road.  The current 4-Runner still carries the same status since 2003.

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Matchbox goes the old-fashion way

Unlike other modern SUV's in 2010, the 1985 4-Runner went back to the days when SUV's were purely just for adventure-seekers who need a good truck to get them to their camping site.  The nice silver-blue versions with side graphics is nicely done with the proper aggressive flares, chrome grille and rear bumper step, and a sunroof showing off the detailed interior.  Even though it's small, it still looks good.  In early 2011 a second recolor appeared in tan with white wheels (the six-spokes look spectacular here), different graphics, and a black base with detailed headlights and 4-Runner front plate.  Later in 2011 the red appeared with white wheels and gold trim.  Looks nice, but unfortunately every store exceeded expectations and so this nifty small 4x4 just sat on shelves, so did the recent 2014 one in gray.

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Majorette's rare gem

Before then, I would do anything just to see a replica of a 4-Runner in the 1990's.  Well Majorette answered  with this nice red one with silver 4x4Runner on the sides and a metal base.  The front grille, part of the interior, features Toyota badge, clear headlights, euro plates front and rear, aerodynamic fender mirrors, running boards, large taillights, trailer hitch to tow any of Majorette's trailers, and the rear window is rolled down in typical 4-Runner fashion.  The interior, while not as nicely detailed as the Matchbox version, is still superbly done.  There were several other variations made, but most were littered with racing graphics, not as nice as this one, though.

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