So it begins! This is the first installment of TBK Reviews, where I, your semi-trusted fellow author, will subjectively review a diecast vehicle to give you a more detailed look at what retail & hobby brands are producing these days. Most will be 1:64 scale, but I may branch out along the way. Feel free to disagree or offer your own take in the comments. I don’t really care! Well, I do care a little bit. We’re like a family, some of us. So I’ll consider your opinion as I sulk in the corner next to the fireplace at mom & dad’s, sipping leftover egg nog.
Now where were we? First up is the Greenlight 1973 BRE Datsun “Baja” 240Z, as built by Pete Brock to race off-road in the Baja 500. Brock did most of the development on this car himself, even if the suspension is mostly Nissan rally spec. The engine was also largely stock minus some race internals. Creative touches are everywere, like the use of snowmobile batteries and the relocation of rear underside parts to the inside, giving the car more clearance.
Greenlight included nearly everything, from tampos to plastic accessories like fog lights, that make this car a faithful representation of the 1:1 car that was restored and shown to Pete Brock in 2008. Even the American Racing mag wheels are correct. Since this category is all about the inclusion of these details, this model scores highly for a 1/64.
Fit & Finish: 6/10
This is where Greenlight has struggled for the past few years, but has been improving since 2016 or so. Wheels are stock, but the paint touches are sloppy compared to early Greenlight 1/64 efforts a decade ago. One wheel may have full detailing while the other was barely hit. It almost works with this desert racer, though unintentionally. Other small problems include color matching paint on the plastic nose and smaller logo tampos. If we didn’t have new Round2 examples from Johnny Lightning/Auto World showing off near-perfect tampos, these would be perfectly acceptable.
For all of my fit & finish criticism, I really had consider this is a $6.00 diecast car that’s widely available. Given its unique heritage, it stands out among other JDM offerings in this size on the pegs.
This car in particular is one of Greenlight’s first Japanese castings, it’s historically accurate, and it’s available in a series that will also (hopefully) include the BRE 510 Baja 500 sister car soon. It’s a lot of value in a delightfully heavy, pocket-sized package. I didn’t expect to like this car when I first saw the renderings. In reality it’s probably the best in the Tokyo Torque Series 1 lineup.
Tip: I acquired this bad boy from a small vendor called KPS Hobbies & Toys. They’ve quickly become my trusted shop for Greenlight, Johnny Lightning, M2, and other premium 1/64 diecast. Pre-orders, current releases, hobby exclusives, fast shipping...they have you covered. If anyone is interested I can link you to their current order form in the comments. Let’s kick the eBay habit!