Matchbox and the Z-Car

Posted by: Doug in Member Blogs

The last 30 years of Nissan Z-Car history have now been represented by Matchbox. Rival toy car makers had the new 350Z out in 2003. It would have been a shame for Matchbox to break the string of Z-Car models and the newest version is a welcome addition. Here is the summary of models offered.

Datsun 260Z 2+2 

Matchbox did not offer the original 240Z model in 1:64 scale (although a larger Super King version was produced) but did produce the 1973 260Z in 2+2 form. This is essentially the same generation as the 240Z model so this Matchbox casting does represent the first generation Z-Car. Opening doors and realistic paint give this model the classic Matchbox Superfast look.

Datsun 280ZX

This particular Matchbox model was one of the early Hong Kong castings and uses wheels unique to these models. The doors open and the colors might have been seen on the real car. This model was offered while Matchbox was still owned by Lesney of England.

Datsun 280ZX 2+2

Matchbox produced a second 280ZX in 2+2 form, shortly after the take-over by Universal. This one also features opening doors. The quality of the casting is better than the earlier Hong Kong model and that may be why the second version of the 280ZX was produced.

Nissan 300 ZX

The Datsun name was dropped in favor of Nissan for all models from this marque and Matchbox offered the new 300 ZX. It features an opening hood. The special wheels were part of a special new 'Superfast' series that was designed for more speed on the gravity tracks.

Nissan 300ZX

New ownership by TYCO saw the continuation of the Z-Car. The 300ZX for the 1990's was an excellent casting, even if it did not feature any opening parts. The first version is yellow was one of the best and the new wheels improved the overall look.

Nissan 350Z

The Z-Car returned in 2002 with the 350Z model. It took Matchbox, now owned by Mattel, an extra year to offer this new version of Nissan's sports car. Clean paint, a decent casting and realistic wheels help make this model one of the better current Matchbox models.

Tags: Vehicles, Tales of Toy Cars

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