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Friday, October 31, 2014

Jada Toys 1:32 2014 Ram 1500 Quad Cab and the Maisto 1:43 2002 Dodge Ram Quad Cab

It's quite nice to find out about the new products in advance over the Internet, but sometimes it's a curse when you have to wait a long time before you ever get to see one in person.  The Internet can have a habit of ruining the mysterious fun of finding out what comes next when you walk into a store.  Thankfully a few companies still do this, and the latest is Jada Toys who released something I did see online first (the Silverado), but not the one you see here.

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Muscular looks save Chrysler's last stand

When the Ram debut in 2009 with sporty and aggressive sheetmetal reminiscent of the original 1994 Ram, some wonder if the truck will make it through the Chrysler bankruptcy happening at the same time of the truck's release.  It did, and boy did it advance over the years.  Many trucks have gone upscale with their boxy look and advance features, but only the Ram keeps the sporty and smooth look across all trim levels, and now has not only the much-needed features in 2013, but also some things that other truck makers have not even though of yet (or toyed around with the public.)

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2013 saw a revised front-end with square corners on the grille, new lower bumper with vertical foglights, LED taillights, and on higher-end models new projector-beam headlights with LED signal/running lights.  New 6-spoke wheels also arrive, as does the shift of new 3-part headlights (the ones used previously on the higher-end models) to all models.  The interior got a revised dash with larger touch-screen in the center and revised gauges.  The basic shape and interior are mostly unchanged.  So is the 5.7L HEMI V8 producing 395 hp. and 407 Ib-ft. torque through a six-speed automatic and two-speed transfer case on 4x4 models.  The suspension features the unique coil-spring rear axle, but the newest feature on higher-end models is the air springs to allow for adjustable ride height for fuel economy to off-road capability.  The newest engine is the base 3.6L DOHC Pentastar V6 and eight speed automatic; the same transmission finally arrives in the 5.7 for 2014, as does a 3.0L EcoDiesel V6.  The front grille has shudders behind the grille but ahead of the radiator to adjust for better aerodynamics and cooling.  Even more unique is the RamBox side storage areas on the sides of the bed fenders.

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In 2002, the Ram moved up to the next scale with smoother and rounder styling, bigger dimensions, and larger cabs with a new Quad Cab.  The grille is larger, rounder, the headlights also larger and rounder, and new 20-inch 5-spoke wheels.  The interior is more refined with a cleaner dash and spacious interior.  Powertrains are new with SOHC 3.7 V6 and 4.7L V8, though the V8 is the old 5.9; in 2003 the 5.7L HEMI V8 arrived with more power and cylinder deactivation.  It produces 345 hp and 375 Ib-ft. through a 5-speed automatic.  With several variations, including the SRT-10 (more on that in the next article), Heavy-Duty models, and a revised front-end and interior in 2006, with new afterburner taillights in 2007.

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Boxy, but correct

From the outside, the Jada Toys 1:32 2014 Ram 1500 is rather boxy (especially at the rear), but the details are correct.  Also it lacks exterior mirrors, and my tester had an odd circular stamp on the driver's door.  The metallic blue is cool and proper to the actual color, the front has chrome grille with Ram logo and honeycomb look, chrome bumper, and headlights with the details of the LED's and projectors of the higher-end lights.  The side features the Ram and Hemi logo's, 6-spoke wheels, and flared fenders.  The roof seems a bit odd at the rear, and the bed fenders are rather narrow for the RamBoxes (the first diecast version of this truck with this feature).  The rear has detailed taillights, badging, and chrome bumper with dual exhaust in the bumper.  The pull-back motor does hinder the bed space, but it is still accessible.  The doors open to the interior with the correct dash details, steering wheel, seats, and door panels.  Note the console that features the deep well of the 2014 model signaling the shifter, instead of being on the console, is now on the dash to the right of the steering wheel (which means it has the 8-speed automatic).

The base is nothing to brag about, and the ground-clearance is jokeable for a 4x4 truck with running boards, but I was surprised in a few approach and departure angles tests the Ram passed them without snagging its undercarriage.  I'll look into the Ram more later on when Jada released the 1:24 scale version of the truck in a few months.

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First for the model, though quickly downsized

The first replica of the 2002 Ram that I found was the Maisto 1:43 Power Racer.  Unlike the Jada, it's smaller and the motor is larger, so the rear bed has a tonneau cover to go with the silver running boards (and obstructs the ground clearance below).  The wheels are the correct 20 inch 5-spoke wheels, but the tire sidewall are rather large.  The details are nice with the chrome grille and round headlights, detailed taillights and logo's, and slick black paint.  Then there's the matter of the interior: it's clearly a copy of the 2000 Chevy Silverado Extended Cab that Maisto also has in the Power Racer line.  Talk about a lazy job!  Even scary was the pre-production casting that Maisto showed of the 1:24 model to be released later in 2002: you can see hints of Silverado parts on a newly-tooled Ram body.  Thankfully the end result of the 1:24 turned out better with the proper interior and base details of the actual truck.

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So, not the best, but definitely better than the Maisto Power Racer version of the 2002 model.  In fact, if you want more detail, just head for the 1:24 version just like the Maisto version.

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