The Datsun Bluebird 510 might have been known to be the “poor man’s BMW” but it is certainly the rich man’s Hot Wheel — with this release being the crown jewel of modern day Hot Wheels collecting. Yeah, I went there.
With prices soaring to the $200 range for one of these carded (about $75 for one loose), collectors that passed this Datsun Bluebird 510 up in 2011 are now kicking themselves. Some collectors will tell you that these were pegwarmers, but in my neck of the woods they were not found as this was one of the Hot Wheels Vintage Racing cars I initially sought out to get. I’ll admit that I am not as big a fan of nostalgic racing as I am of just cool graphics, so when this one was released it was easy to see how non-racing-fan collectors starting buying them up. The BRE Datsun team had one of the most iconic racing paint schemes. The bright red coupled with the white sides, complete with the red-to-blue striping that went from the hood to the bottom of the doors was truly pleasing on the eyes. Combine all that with a nice execution of detail in painted lights, hood/trunk pins tampos, real riders tires and crisp, clean graphics and its definitely a recipe for success.
A cool release typically only does so much for a car’s value though — and this one is now, like I said before, the crown jewel of modern Hot Wheels collecting. The secret has been out that Hot Wheels Datsuns are hot. Fueled by what is deemed the #JDM craze, all #Datsun/Nissan, #Mitsubishi and #Toyota castings have seen an increase of value on the secondary market. Personally, I attribute it to a variety of things. First, Hot Wheels brought on Jun Imai several years back. His take on American and Japanese cars has been well received (though it may not have been initially). He has a personal level of involvement in Japanese Nostalgic Car and Speedhunters and was the originator behind the 2008 Modern Classics series. Secondly, John Lambert, co-founder of The Lamley Group, is a highly-successful blogger who is just fun to listen to on all things diecast. He is huge on #JDM culture and his nearly 19,000 followers (on facebook alone) are largely made up of niche fans. He is so successful with his reach that usually after he posts an article about a product, an increasing demand is there on the secondary market. Lastly, global reach is finally here as many collectors have been able to connect with diecast collectors in Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. These collectors are passionate about JDM and they prove so with their wallets. The culmination of all these things have put this tiny, mass-produced Datsun on a pedestal and elevated it to epic proportions.
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