Its latest creation — JDM Tuners — proves once again that Jada is a champion of the modified car aesthetic in diecast. In the past they’ve served up cool collectibles showcasing classic muscle with a pro-touring twist, Cali-style VW culture, lowriders, and import tuners. With JDM Tuners they take it to another level of realism.
Once upon a time ‘Japanese Domestic Market’ meant simply vehicle or part built exclusively for Japan’s home audience. But JDM has always included a contingent of performance vehicles—and over time machines like the Skyline, AE86, EVO, and STi became unicorn vehicles for enthusiasts here in the U.S. — and aftermarket brands like HKS, GReddy, APEXi, Mugen, Tein, and Veilside became the go-to source for exotic, rare, highly advanced technology that made your Japanese car both invariably faster and infinitely more respected.
Jada dishes up tuned JDM cars featuring many of these models and brands in three different scales—1:64, 1:32, and 1:24—covering a wide range of classic and late-model vehicles. Let’s take a look.
(Available Exclusively at Toys ‘R’ Us)
Last issue we previewed the first four cars in the 1:24 series—the Toyota FT-1, ’16 WRX STI Widebody, and a pair of Ben Sopra-tuned R35 Nissan GT-Rs—but Jada has just released the second set.
1972 Datsun 240Z
With its long-nose/short deck and inline-6 power, Nissan’s original sports car was described as the Japanese Jag E-Type. Jada’s version rolls on wider, lower-profile Bridgestone Potenza rubber mounted to Minilite-inspired 8-spoke wheels, and there are modest bolt-on fender flares installed along with deeper front and rear lower valences that faire into them. The paint scheme is reminiscent of a vintage showroom stock racer.
2003 Nissan 350Z
The Z is Nissan’s longest-running performance model, and it returned to its roots with the 5th-gen 350Z, delivering lighter weight and a naturally aspirated 6-cylinder engine like the original. The taut, beautifully sculpted lines were thoroughly modern, and a great canvas for aftermarket body kit builders to work with. Jada’s wears an unbranded (but very clearly a Veilside V3) body kit, along with an APEXi exhaust and a host of other upgrades.
2002 Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34)
The R34 was the last of the JDM-only Skylines, and the final model to use the original twin-turbo Inline-6 engine. Fast as they were, they were favorites for cosmetic upgrades. A BoMex body kit, Bride racing seats and a big honkin’ rear wing are the obvious items on this one.
2001 Honda S2000
The one non-Nissan in this batch. Honda was one of the originators of the JDM trend, and slammed and cammed VTEC Civics with big exhausts out-number every other import tuner combined. But the S2000 was a rarer animal: a rear-drive roadster with razor reflexes and a 4-banger that could zing past 9000rpm. To beef up the low end GReddy offered a turbo kit for the S2000—it and a hardtop are the signature items on Jada’s version.
(Available exclusively at Toys ‘R’ Us)
1:32 is an unfamiliar scale to many collectors (outside the industrial and military model genres) but Jada has embraced it, as it offers similar practicality to the more common 1:43 scale, while giving a bit more visual punch. It’s a good size for its intended retail environment (Toys ‘R’ Us shelves) but they’re worth a look for collectors too, because the affordability makes it easy to collect them all. Many of the same cars covered in 1:24 reappear here in slightly different color schemes, but we also got a look at two that we had not seen in the larger scale.
1993 Mazda RX-7
Mazda’s flagship performance car was reinvented for 1992, offering a sequential twin-turbo system that turned the tiny 1.3L rotary engine in to a 255hp powerhouse. Tuners were quick to throw more boost at it, and it became a favorite in the drift scene. Jada’s has a cool rotary graphic on the flank, and a nitrous bottle silhouette under the rear deck.
2002 Honda NSX Type-R Japan Spec Widebody
Honda’s 1990 mid-engine NSX (badged in the U.S. as an Acura) was Japan’s first true exotic car, and a steady stream of updates culminated in the carbon fiber-bodied 2002 Type-R. Jada’s goes a step further with a widebody kit that includes a pronounced undertray of the type used in Super GT racing.
(Available at all retailers)
The 1:64 series comprises six vehicles done in two paint schemes each for a total of an even dozen cars. The widebody NSX-R, FT-1, and Ben Sopra R35 make another appearance, bolstered by three unique castings.
2009 Nissan GT-R
Comparing the stock body GT-R (left) to the Ben Sopra version (right) shows just how extensive the latter’s body mods are. This factory GT-R is pretty radical to begin with, so aside from a pair of aggressive paint schemes it remains fairly stock.
2002 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 7
The last EVO you couldn’t buy in American dealerships, the EVO 7 is JDM through and through. One version carries a version of the APR Performance logo made famous on the side of the EVO in F&F: Tokyo Drift.
1995 Toyota Supra
The Supra finally earned its name with the arrival of the 1993 model and its awesome 2JZ-GTE twin-turbo straight-6. Like the Z, the Supra body doesn’t need much embellishment: a subtle ground effects to go with the obligatory big wing. Both schemes are attractive—polished silver or red with blacked out hood.