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Monday, May 9, 2016

Hot Wheels and Jada Toys 2006 Nissan Titan




When it comes to full-size pickup trucks in the U.S. Chevy, Ford, and Dodge are the well-known brands that buyers trust, and over the years that's what diecast manufacturers replicate as well.  However, in the last decade two of the largest Japanese automakers have started to carve their share of the full-size pickup market, and so far they have been successful to say the least.  A bit late to the party but diecast replica's of these trucks have come out.  I already showed the Toyota Tundra replica's, so now the focus is on the Nissan Titan made by Jada Toys and Hot Wheels.



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For years the Nissan/Datsun brand has focused on the small trucks, just like Toyota, and was not big enough to challenge the larger full-size pickup market in the U.S.  While Toyota got an early, and ill-fated, start, Nissan waited until the market was hot and in 2001 showed a concept truck called Alpha T  that previewed what a full-size pickup at Nissan would look like.  The end result in 2004 is the Nissan Titan pickup, which also spawned a full-size SUV called the Armada.  Like the Tundra the Titan only came in extended and crew cab models with one engine: a 5.6L DOHC V8 that produced 305 hp. and 385 Ib-ft of torque through a 5-speed automatic.  Styling was truck-like, if a bit soft at some corners and on early models featured an optional storage area just after the rear wheels.  The interior was spacious and had a clean-looking dashboard.  The sound of the motor worked great with dual exhausts and the throttle was a bit touchy so care was required when moving from a standstill.  The Titan was not a success due to the limited amount of cab and engine options offered, and was well-behind the competition as Nissan tried to figure out if they should build the next Titan on its own or with help from Ram.  In the end the 2016 Nissan Titan and mid-weight Titan XD with Cummins turbodiesel V8 takes another slice into the full-size pickup market.




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Hot Wheels Titan

Hot Wheels was first in 2006 with the well-done Nissan Titan.  The truck starts with an extended cab model that is lowered to the ground, giving it an aggressive, cool stance with the wide body.  The front has headlights that join the chrome grille with the detailed mesh pattern inside.  The sides show a clean body that even on the first release barely had any tampos whatsoever.  The door handles are shaved off and the flared fenders are nicely represented here.  The rear has V-shaped taillights, tailgate handle with Nissan logo, and dual rectangular exhaust tips below.  The bed is useless as it has cut-outs for the air springs along with an air tank in the bed; this was the first use of the cut-out bed in a Hot Wheels truck casting and it would not prove popular for future releases due to it's limited use.




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The interior has seating for two with a grainy texture on the seats.  On the passenger seat is controls for the air suspension, or some old joystick from a gaming system.  The dashboard is flat and void of details, while the rear seats are removed for a few subwoofers.  The base shows off a short-lived feature of the Hot Wheels logo being part of the interior piece.  The first release started with the FTE wheels in gold, then transferring to the non-FTE wheels in chrome that adds to the look of this truck.  That was followed later in 2006 with red and black recolors.  The last mainline release in 2014 was the blue one with the first adaptation of detailed taillights in the rear.  Hopefully someday Hot Wheels can add a lifted 4x4 version to go along with the lowered version just like they did to the 2007 Chevy Silverado.




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Jada Toys Nissan Titan

This Jada Toys Titan and the Ford F-350 Super Duty, despite their differences, share the same story: released in 2008 both castings never got to see much variants after their release as the market downturned and Jada had to restructure to stay alive, and that included removing upcoming releases.  While the F-350 has been enjoying revived success for a few years now in the Just Trucks line, the Nissan Titan finally comes out of hiding in the latest release.  It starts with a nice light blue color with a flat black hood that stretches down to the grille.  The front has detailed headlights, foglights, and Nissan logo that hides behind the wraparound brush guard, yet the details still show through.  Jada chose the crew cab body style to differentiate from the Hot Wheels version, which adds detailed door handles, exterior mirrors, and V8 Titan badges.  This is the first time that i've seen a Just Trucks release with running boards.



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The rear has detailed taillights, black tailgate handle, and detailed badging.  As usual the bed area is nonexistent and covered with a tonneau cover in black.  The interior has far more detail than the Hot Wheels version and a more stock appearance.  That means seating for five, detailed door panels, three-spoke steering wheel, console with shifter, and a dashboard layout with all the right controls in the right area.  Overcoming the Hot Wheels shortcomings is a lifted stance that shares the same axles, suspension, and wheels with other Just Trucks model; the latter finished in a black suit that goes well with the rest of the truck.  It's more capable than the Hot Wheels version despite the lack of a pickup bed and looks nicer and more aggressive than the Hot Wheels version, but don't count out the Hot Wheels for its unique lowered look and how well that translates with the detailed and larger exterior.


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