Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars

[REVIEW] Tomica Nissan Sunny Excellent 1400 GX

Tomica time is here again. Today we venture back to the mid 70s - a time of disco, polyester bell bottoms and big hair - a world where cars like this were at home. This is Tomica 8-2, the Nissan Sunny Excellent 1400 GX. This casting entered the range in April 1975, and remained until November 1979. It couldn’t be more of a period piece:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Tomica Nissan Sunny Excellent 1400 GX
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Tomica Nissan Sunny Excellent 1400 GX

Ah the 70s, where you could buy a nice new Datsun with sheetmetal gauge similar to a beer can, and wacky alien rocket-boy styling. The Tomica casting does an excellent (see what I did there) job of capturing the real world car. Scale is listed as 1:59, likely accurate, given Tomica quality. The green paint works perfectly with this car, and green was popular back in the day. Proportion looks accurate, and there are numerous fine line casting details. This model sits on “old wheels”, which suit the car. If course, it has the springy suspension, snappy (less snappy than later models) door action, and crisp glazing we know and love about Tomica from this era. From all angles, this is a quality model:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Tomica Nissan Sunny Excellent 1400 GX
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Tomica Nissan Sunny Excellent 1400 GX
Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Tomica Nissan Sunny Excellent 1400 GX
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Doors open to reveal a detailed interior and accurate steering wheel:

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Front and rear have similar detail. The model name cast in on the license plates is a nice touch, along with “Sunny” on the rear deck. As far as I know, NA-spec models did not have the racy round rear lights:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Tomica Nissan Sunny Excellent 1400 GX
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Tomica Nissan Sunny Excellent 1400 GX

The base is metal, for heft and a quality feel, and has ample detail:

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This example is lucky enough to live in its original black box:

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This is definitely a model I am happy to have in my collection. I also have a blue one with button wheels. When I was a little kid, I had a thing for these cars - the styling must have seemed interesting to me, and I liked the honeycomb pattern on the hubcaps. I didn’t realize this was just a boldly styled economy car - I eventually got a ride in one via a friend of my dad, who had one (an aging used car by that time), and I was not wowed. Oh well, they are a fun funky piece of a long-gone era. This model was sold in many countries, mostly as a Datsun 120Y or B210. I remember when these were still not too unusual (west coast), but they are scarce now, no doubt dissolving in harsh climates, and being abused in climates where they survived:

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A few 1:1 images from flickr, hatchheaven.com, and curbsideclassic - I imagine the styling was a way to inject a little fun in the age of fuel crises and automotive malaise:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Tomica Nissan Sunny Excellent 1400 GX
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Tomica Nissan Sunny Excellent 1400 GX
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Tomica Nissan Sunny Excellent 1400 GX

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