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Monday, January 11, 2016

Greenlight International DuraStar Krispy Kreme Box Truck

If you're gonna make a replica everyone else makes, make it stand out.  That's the case with the International DuraStar casting: ten years ago only a handful of diecast manufacturers made the replica of International-Navistar's newest medium-duty truck.  Today there are tons of replica's based on this truck, making it a bit tiresome since there are other manufacturers out there who make equivalent trucks.  Since I already have a few International flatbed trucks already there was no need to get the Greenlight version.  However, after seeing a nifty feature on the box truck and now with delicious Krispy Kreme livery, it was finally time to see how this casting turned out.

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International, owned by Navistar, is an iconic brand that started out making tractor's and then into the light-duty truck market with the Scout SUV and pickup in the 1960's and 1970's.  During that time International decided to focus primarily on its medium-duty truck line, and aside from a brief partnership with Ford to produce the PowerStroke diesel engines Navistar has kept pace with the medium-duty line that is easily identifiable in any city across the nation: from the boxy 4100 series to the rounded hood 4200 and now the DuraStar line.  All start with a chassis cab configuration and then can be modified with various utility body frames from a flatbed tow truck to an ambulance to a box truck.  Powertrains are various, with the most common a 7.6L turbodiesel I-6 that produces 255 hp. and 660 Ib-ft. of torque through a 6-speed manual transmission.  The interior is more driver-oriented with a curved dashboard and many switches and gauges that are located in individual pods for a cleaner look.

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Greenlight makes two different versions of the DuraStar truck: a short-wheelbase version used for the basic tow truck with a hook boon, or the long-wheelbase version used for flatbed trucks and this box truck.  The front has a grille with vertical slots, swept-back headlights, and hood vents with the center one designed as a grab handle to pull the hood forward.  The cab has nice details from the roof clearance lights to the window trim to the large exterior mirrors, and side steps with fuel tank behind the steps and even the compressed air tanks for the brakes visible behind the left-side steps.  Then there are the wheels that are based on the real truck and designed for utility and less for style; nevertheless the bolts and vent holes are nicely done, and the rear tires are the typical dual setup.  I did experience a few quality control problems on my tester: the lower base of the passenger-side mirror was not glued in properly so it is a bit loose, and then there's the wheels which were not pressed properly to the axle so they tend to wobble when rolled.

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Now to the back-end of the truck with the box attachment that is nice and big (tallest Greenlight truck by far in the line!) with detailed silver trim, clearance lights, side access door on the right side, and the dual rear doors with the detailed lock latches.  The Krispy Kreme logo adorns all sides of the box, with the larger sides showing off six hot and fresh doughnuts on the cooling rack.  The rear doors have two additional logo's: one as a bar code scanner for mobile devices with the other sponsoring the fund raising program.  The rear doors open up nice and wide, though I do not understand the amount of travel in the door hinges that make the doors move around even closed!  Worse, the doors suffer the same problem I found on the Hitch and Tow horse trailer: they don't stay shut and keep opening up during movement.  Inside, the walls are not the typical white that you'd expect to see in other low-priced diecast box trucks: it has a wood floor with detailed wood planks that support the walls of the trailer.

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Now the trailer looks pretty roomy and large enough to support a 1:64 diecast vehicle, right?  That what it looks like initially, but when I tried to fit a few vehicles in the box they were stopped by the door hinges.  If the doors were spaced out a bit wider it would be possible to fit a 1:64 vehicle right in there.  On the bright side if any vehicle (or even a motorbike) in 1:64 scale can fit between the doors it is still possible to haul some 1:64 diecast vehicles.  The bumper has detailed taillights and warning stripe that usually is missing from some Box Truck diecast castings, and since this truck shares the same platform with the flatbed truck and its moving support arm slot to accept an additional vehicle to tow from behind, the box truck uses that slot to insert a metal ramp that is used for delivery drivers to access the box with a dolly and unload or reload boxes.  Two tabs at the end rest on two slots on the floor for a smooth integration.  But be careful: if you push the ramp too far back into its slot you will have to remove three Phillips-head screws to take the box off and retrieve the ramp.  Trust me, I done it two times already!

No-go here!

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Finally, the frame has pretty good details that include the engine, transmission, frame, driveshaft, front and rear axles with leaf springs, accumulators at the rear axle for the air brakes, and even the International logo on the rear mud flaps.  The interior shows off two bucket seats, shifter on the floor, two-spoke steering wheel on a detailed dashboard with the correct gauge and switch placement.  So far Greenlight has done a nice job on the DuraStar casting with some pretty good details for its size and a detailed box with functioning doors and a cool metal ramp.  If the doors could be space a bit wider and remain shut, and quality control problems resolved, this would be one great casting.

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