Category Archives: Mitsubishi

A Bronze Mystery

By Frank Koh

All text and photographs are copyright of the author.

I have owned this “bronzed” Yonezawa Diapet 1/40 scale Mitsubishi Galant A-II coupe from the early seventies for two years now, but I have yet to find out what material it is made out of.  Could it be some specially treated zamac (zinc) alloy, white metal, brass or brushed anodized aluminum?  And what would be the logic behind the production of this rare and special piece?  Was it some sort of special dealer promotional model, or simply the product of a creative imagination?

The finish is unpainted, and there does not appear to be any form of “clearcoat” to protect the surface of the metal. If it were unpainted zamac (zinc), the finish would have been well-oxidized after more than 45 years sitting totally untouched in its mint box.  Brass oxidizes too, so could it be some sort of brushed anodized aluminum?

Just like the “regular” painted variants of this Diapet Galant A-II, the lines and proportions are very, very convincing. Why this particular model was rendered in this esoteric treated metal alloy of still-undetermined origin remains a mystery.

And like most Yonezawa Diapet models of the sixties thru the very early nineties, this proudly Japan-made piece features opening doors, hood and trunk, plus reclining front seats! Tremendous play value for what was originally intended to be a toy car, but hey, when rendered in this mystery material, was it some sort of special dealer promotional model or just the product of a creative imagination, resulting in an interesting, if not frivolous adult conversation piece?

A friend who knows how to read Japanese said the literal translation of what’s written on the box is “Antique Color (Bronze)”.   The photo on the box is the exact same “bronzed” piece as the actual model, whereas the “regular” painted Diapet Galant A-II variants had a painted car in the photo. What is the real intent of the manufacturer in producing this bewildering model?


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Coca-Cola Miniature Delivery Cars promotion

By Jerry J. Broz

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author. Translation from Japanese by Fumiaki Ishihama.

These Miniature Delivery Cars were introduced by Japan Coca-Cola Promotion in July 2016. They were available as a free promotional item with purchase of a bottle of Coke or Diet Coke at local convenience stores and lasted until all these promo cars were gone, usually within one or two weeks.

The promotional toy cars were, and still are, common within the  Japanese beverage. The promotional campaigns start suddenly and are gone from the stores in a couple of weeks. One of the past Coca-Cola promo items was four delivery cars with a strap for mobile phones. In recent years there were some more promo items with Coca-Cola logo. One of them was a set of 6 types of pull-back model cars with removable key rings. In 2006 at their 120 anniversary, the Coca-Cola Japan company introduced 24 types of key rings with assorted objects, six of them were models of Coca Cola Delivery Cars.

The Japanese promo cars in small scales, as well as die-cast or plastic model cars in larger scales, are rare finds for collectors outside of Japan.

These miniature cars in Coca-Cola livery, as well as other promotional cars are not available on the open model car market in Japan, the USA, or rest of the world. They are extremely rare to find, especially in a complete sets, even on the eBay or at the swap meets.

The title of the promotion was “Coca-Cola Delivery Miniature Car Collection” and consisted of 12 small, interesting model cars, vans, and trucks, from the year 1913 to the year 2003. The models are made in China to no particular scales, but with a more details than one would expected in the models of this size.

 

(See a few of them in comparison with the size of the US Quarter coin.)

All models, including the wheels and tires, are made from ABS resin with exceptional details.  Each car has clear windows, simulated, simplified interiors, and some of the models have a rows of the simulated Coca-Cola bottles. The very fine, clean and sharp tampo prints and thin stickers of the Coca-Cola corporate, promotional logos and slogans are superior to most of larger die-cast or plastic model cars.

The model cars were: 1913 Ford Model T, 1920 Ford Model AA Truck, 1930 Ford Model A Sedan Delivery.

Second Picture: 1938 Dodge Airflow Refrigerated Van, 1940 Ford Sedan Delivery Commercial Car, 1956 Ford F-100 Pickup.

Third Picture: 1958 Nissan Coball, 1962 Daihatsu Midget, 1965 Dodge A-100.

Fourth Picture: 1990 Ford Econoline Van, 1996,
Mitsubishi Fuso Super Great, and 2003 Dodge Ram Quad Cab.

Twelve models of assorted delivery cars, vans, trucks in Coca-Cola liveries, were inserted into clear blisters (built to conform to the shape of each individual model) to be clearly seen when on display.

 

By folded tabs, the blisters were then attached to the front of the cards (identical for all 12 models). The card itself was then folded such that the ends formed a ring by which the card was attached to the neck of the Coke bottle to boost the promotional value of Coca-Cola Drinks.

 

 

The blister card effectively communicated the name of the promotion and the product’s use and features, while attracting the consumer with a visible model car, blue sky with white clouds background and colourful graphics.

Centered on top of the front side of the blister card is a line “It’s Summer! Be Refreshed!” with on each side of which is “Enjoy Coca-Cola” logo and the “Coke Please!“. line. Under this is the name of the promotion: “Coca-Cola Delivery Miniature Car Collection” with a yellow starburst listing “12 TYPES“. At the bottom of the blister card is line in English “Delivery miniature car collection” printed white on black back ground.

On the top of the back side of the card, in the red box, is a warning: “Caution < to parents> please be sure to read“. This is followed by 10 suggestions on how to safely handle the product. Additional information, (black on the blue background), lists the material from which the model is made. The bottom of the back side of the card, in the white box, lists how to reach the Coca-Cola Promotion Office and the days and hours of business, following by the statement that this product was produced under license from featured car manufacturer and Coca-Cola. The line at the bottom of the card says “For Age Over 6” followed by MADE IN CHINA and in a very small box “Not For Sale“.

Folded and included into the card is a small catalog sheet. The front side (beside the “It’s Summer! Be Refreshed!” “Delivery miniature car collection” and “Coca-Cola Delivery Miniature Car Collection” with a yellow starburst listing “12 TYPES“) the catalogue sheet lists all 12 cars in collection with year and marque description. On the left side of the front page is a detailed description and picture of the featured car.

In the sheet shown, it’s the “1958 Nissan Coball” and under the picture of the truck is brief description of the role the Nissan Coball played in Coca-Cola delivery cars: “Coball is the first domestic Coca-Cola delivery truck that played an active role when sales dramatically increased“.The initial colour of the car was Yellow, but since 1964 it has changed to the Coca-Cola’s Red. The miniature car can be displayed in a diorama setting by placing the catalogue sheet’s back side photo behind the car. The last line says ” This product is made under license by Nissan Motor“.


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