Night Burnerz: DATSUN BLUEBIRD 510

2019 marks the 10th anniversary of the #Datsun Bluebird 510 casting. Back in 2009, I don’t think even the savviest of #JDM enthusiasts could have predicted the meteoric rise of the #510 in the Hot Wheels collecting world. Now, its seemingly an event every time one is released, causing a commotion between those that have, and those that don’t. Personally, I believe if Hot Wheels had done a Top 50 set for the 50th anniversary, the collectors would have put this casting in the top 10 — all time!

Orange Track Diecast

Hot Wheels ’71 Datsun Bluebird 510 from the 2019 Nightburnerz series (red MOMO, rear view)

Yeah, yeah, its blasphemy among the traditionalists in the hobby who would object to a newer #JDM casting beating out most of their childhood favorites. However, its those same traditionalists who have learned to love a #Datsun Bluebird 510 release as much as the rest of us, as its these collectors who have learned to flip these — and in many cases getting redlines or nicer muscle car releases in return.

Orange Track Diecast

Hot Wheels ’71 Datsun Bluebird 510 from the 2019 Nightburnerz series (red MOMO) with 2009 New Models release in blue.

Despite its surge in popularity over the last decade, the #Datsun Bluebird 510 has been absent from the Hot Wheels mainline since 2012. Why you ask? Well, I don’t have one answer for you, but I am fairly certain it revolves around the casting/tooling. The tools used to mold these castings wear out over the course of several years. Could it be that this mainline tool simply wore out? Its possible.

What I actually believe happened is that the original casting was deemed “unsafe” by Mattel design and/or the factory. You can see the trend in the mainline over the last several years has been to retool single-rivet castings that have a portion of the base “clip” or snap into the body. Such was the case with the initial Bluebird casting as the front headlights/grill did just that.

Orange Track Diecast

Hot Wheels ’71 Datsun Bluebird 510 from the 2019 Nightburnerz series (red MOMO) with 2009 New Models release in blue (front grill view)

So how could the Hot Wheels #Datsun Bluebird 510 return to the Hot Wheels mainline for 2019? One word: retool. Yes, the collector-favorite has been reworked to have those two rivets, eliminating the need for the base to be snapped into place. Ultimately, it makes for a sturdier diecast car. Collectors who crave the color break on front of the original casting need not worry — at least for premium lines. That version of the casting will be used for premium releases still, and don’t forget, this casting has undergone change before when it received an #Opening Hood a few years back.

Orange Track Diecast

Hot Wheels ’71 Datsun Bluebird 510 from the 2019 Nightburnerz series (red MOMO) with 2009 New Models release in blue (base view)

This #2019 Hot Wheels release of the #Datsun Bluebird 510 has also gone somewhat of a name change. The base still reads its original name, but its #Nightburnerz Series packaging reads, “’71 Datsun 510”, dropping the “Bluebird” moniker and adding a vintage. Speaking of it being in the 2019 Nightburnerz, the #510 looks like it belongs more in the HW Speed Graphics with those #MOMO graphics on every inch of the car, but alas, a Nightburnerz series release it is. Its actually the second MOMO release in the 2019 mainline thus far as the Volkswagen Golf GTi received the livery for its Volkswagen series release.

Given the casting’s popularity, the #2019 Hot Wheels #Nightburnerz Series release of the #Datsun Bluebird 510 will surely be scooped up. It has just started to appear in the “D” case assortments hitting stores now, and should continue into the “E” case assortments as well, so best of luck to you while hunting. It also appears that we will see a recolor of it at some point as well. Images of a black colorway have surfaced and it could be from a future assortment, OR it could be a Target Exclusive #Red Edition like the black MOMO VW Golf GTi was. Either way, welcome back to the mainline #510, your $1 price-point was missed.

Orange Track Diecast

RELEASE DETAILS: Red Body (metal). Tinted Windows. Black Interior. Yellow-Rim, Black Steelie 8-Spoke (ST8) Wheels. Black Base (plastic). Made in Malaysia. Toy# FYD14. Released in 2019 as #8 of 10 in the Nightburnerz Series (#97/250 in the 2019 mainline).

5 replies »

  1. Its too bad because the front looked so much better with the grill and headlights integrated into the base. 😦 But I’m glad it says the year now. Brad, why in the world has HW got into this habit of not putting the model year into the name? It’s really annoying. I’m more of a hot wheels guy than a car guy. I can’t just look at it and tell always. Most Skylines don’t have it, except for the ’82 R30.

    • Yeah, I definitely prefer the color break the older casting has with the grill. No idea why some have a year and some don’t. Not having a year probably gives the designers more flexibility when they are adding to the custom nature of the casting. Also, marketing and licensing play a role in names and dates too. With so many people having a hand in the official name on the packaging, thats probably why you see so many inconsistencies.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s