Big things with little cars

Here for Land of the Rising Sunday is Matchbox’s neat casting of the second-gen Nissan Prairie, sold in North America as the Nissan Axxess.

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This here is the second generation of the Nissan Prairie, produced from 1988 to 1998. The first generation was notable for being an early compact MPV, being designed with sliding doors and no B-pillar.

While this generation was sold in Canada from 1990 to 1995, it was available in the U.S. only for 1990. In North America, it was only available with a 2.4L engine, paired with FWD or AWD.

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The mainline example here is the debut version of this casting from 1991.

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This casting is fairly detailed, with side moldings, tailight segments, correct mirrors, front and side markers, and lower grill. Even the door handles appear to be just as good as any cast today.

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Interior detail is excellent, with molded dashboard shapes, ribbed seat texture, a shifter in the centre console, and even a cleanly spoked two-spoke steering wheel. Even many of today’s casts use solid steering wheels with spoke impressions only.

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The underbody is decently detailed with an exhaust system (with overly small muffler) and some front drivetrain components.

The scale is listed as 1:59, which seems a little small. The real vehicle was almost as tall as it was wide (64.6 in./169 cm. wide and 64.6 in./164 cm. tall), which isn’t the case with this MBX. The overall appearance, however, seems to be proportional.

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This particular example was purchased loose from eBay Germany in mint condition, though it isn’t one of the ROW-only releases.

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This is a great example of what Matchbox is known and appreciated for: castings of simple, everyday vehicles with excellent detailing.

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