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Any Chance AMT Might Backdate The Dodge Van?


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They've re-released the Dodge van many times and I appreciate it, but how about backdating this kit into it's original version? The other thing I'd love to see is that same van in it's final iteration. I'd really love to do a Dajiban!

1MPC1971DodgeSporstman.jpg

1MPC1997-Dodge-RamVan.jpg

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I'd take any of the above to complete the series. 

Make the bodies separate tooling, so they can all be reissued at any given time. 

And "Pah'leeze" include the passenger window options on them as well as the 3 rows of seats.

Extra cargo stuff would be nice too. Tool cabinets, motorcycles, loveseats, sinks, refrigerators, beds, bubble "heart" windows, raised camping roofs, panel and mural decals, the works! Possibility of not including all of them at one time, but group them into package themes and issue them as different kits. Ya' know, "milk that cash cow"! Keep the reissues busy for years to come.

Here's another idea - tool up the optional parts as groups and include them in future releases of the Ford and Chevy vans:

A passenger van set with windows, drapes, bench seats, captains seats and luggage.

A camping van set with stove, fridge, sink, tents, fire pit, sleeping bags, roof vent, 

A workvan set with tool chests, cabinets, loose tools, lawn mower, leaf blower, clip board and boxes with notes and businesses fliers.

An off-road set with bikes, buggies, watercraft, fishing and scuba gear. And a couple cases of the "barley bubbly" in the Igloo ice chest!

The Rec. Van set with high-top roof cap, A/C unit, and various select choices of gear from any of the above sets. I.E: rear bench seat with table, refrigerator, sink and stove and a motorcycle. Or dune buggy, captains seats, ice chest and tool box with various loose tools. Design the tooling with modular inserts and parts could be swapped from set to set. 

How about an "Uncle Rico" issue? Put the matching parts from the list above into a special edition box set.

And finally the Premium 1970s Vannin' set with bubble windows, sky lights, waterbed, pillows, beanbags, bar set, T.V., giant 8-track and reel-to-reel sound system, chandelier, mirrors, wine bottles, nautical theme walls and cabinets and a ship's wheel for steering. For extra points, include a big sheet of adhesive fuzzy fur for the floor and walls. This set alone would make a price bump acceptable for the amount of creative ideas it would provide. 

Future plans could include each of these as a parts pack set to sell individually. 

These are ideas to keep these kits moving for years to come! Steve G. are you listening?

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I'm a fan of those early versions, so bought a stack of them back then, when ebay was a new thing and the winning bids were doable.

The plan for in my head {got many of those} for one of the early window versions is to do it as an 4x4 Alaskan polar bear tour bus/ Alaskan camping site shuttle bus with polar bear graphics...

Wishful thinking on my part, but who knows and maybe the folks of Round-2 will eventually beat me to it, and release such a vehicle or similar, like a Tornado chaser ;)

 

 

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8 hours ago, Oldcarfan27 said:

I'd take any of the above to complete the series. 

So many good ideas and if they expanded it to the Chevy and Ford vans, that'd be awesome. Maybe even redo the Open Road high top camper van.

It probably wouldn't be feasible to do the short wheelbase versions as well, but maybe do a shallow scoring line on the inside so we'd be able to do the conversion?

 

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Backdating the Dodge Van tool might be dicey. As Tom G. here has noted before, there were nearly yearly changes to the body. 

Still- a good start might be to work up a 1978 window van body, grille, and rear bumper and release it as a Cannonball Run van. They could add in the new steel wheels from the Dodge Monaco and ‘78 Dodge pickup kits to complete the look a bit. The original Cannonball Run van kit was incorrectly windowless, but they could do a window body, something that was never offered before for a ‘78 kit. The older (‘72-‘73) window body had windows and doors in different locations than they should be for a ‘78, so it would be a truly different body than the old window van was. They could follow it pretty quickly with a stock Sportsman version, with pretty two-tone paint, etc. 

Once the movie kit money starts rolling in and pays for the changes to the tool, then they could do a windowless ‘78 (maybe with “Street Van” graphics) and then add in some new custom gear for good measure. 

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At this point, almost anything done to this tool to backdate or enhance would be a win.

The newly tooled MOPAR Steel Wheels and Hubcaps would be a great addition, as would the window version. Even if the changes were limited by the body, I think much could be done to 'spiff-up' the kit to generate more sales. I like the MPC derived Dodge Vans better than the older AMT Fords and Chevies. Somehow they are trimmer and more friendly than the AMT kits. I know Dodge used some different grille assemblies with the same sheet metal, so I'd be happy with any grille updates or backdates that did not require changing the tooling for the body.

AS mentioned, some new interior Dress Up parts would be really helpful. Maybe some Toolboxes/Work benches/ Working gear type stuff would work. Heck, just throw in a few of the trees from the Brand New 'Tip Top Shop' & 'Weekend Wrenchin" (Tool Box, Air Compressor, Tools, & Jack) and you could make a Race Team, or Mobile Auto Repair kit with almost no work. New Decals and Stock Rims and those tool Sprues and you'd have a whole new kit.

I'd like to see them try this.

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Those old -- 50+ years old! -- MPC B-vans have so much potential. 
The first one I built was the 1976 (one of me first glue kits) annual; followed by the 1977 annual; and finally, the 1978 annual. 
Certainly, I also built the later/ "non" annual versions (except for the hideous custom iteration), and enjoyed each one (but took some time to get used to the 1978's tail lamps).

The Turtle Wax release (1982 annual originally, sans Turtle Wax embellishments, IIRC) has those sweet tinted glass options... but, man, is that tooling ancient! Another 'victim' of "core shift" of the tooling. 
I'd imagine that these days that, like the (awesome) 1963 Nova Wagon, 1972 Grumpy's Toy, 1974 Bruce Larson USA-1, and 1964 F-85/ 4-4-2 , a c.1972-1977 & 1978-???? B-van could be scanned, and a new body created. 
Include the 440 from the 1971 Charger as an option (400 cubes in the B-Van until 1977 or so), and update the interior options (i.e., new 'partition', including a 'cage, as to rid the original part of its detail marring ejector pin marques -- same with the curtains for the back windows).
So, a side windowed 1971-1977 model, with Tradesman plain sides as an option, would be the best. Include the Adult Toy or Street Van decals, and some period-correct custom options (i.e., ditch the 'Vector' et al. wheels, and replace them with Ansens or Keystones or Cragar S/S), plus some telephone company livery (GTE used Dodge Tradesman Vans from c.1970-c.1978), and Round2 would have a winner.

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Forget back dating, its 2022, front date it, I believe the body stayed somewhat the same thru the 93MY(minus the changes for the new front grill piece), I agree with the above on the wheels, tool up a set of the steel and caps they ran.  

I wonder if they could modify the front end to bring the van into the 3rd Gen which ran from '93-'03.

Edited by martinfan5
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1 hour ago, martinfan5 said:

Forget back dating, its 2022, front date it, I believe the body stayed somewhat the same thru the 93MY(minus the changes for the new front grill piece), I agree with the above on the wheels, tool up a set of the steel and caps they ran.  

I wonder if they could modify the front end to bring the van into the 3rd Gen which ran from '93-'03.

I'd definitely like a later one to do one Dajiban style...

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I'm thinking of a much more modest re-working of the kit. By sticking to to what can be accomplished with just grille alterations, and adding parts that have already been tooled, I hope to offer Round2 an idea that could have better ROI.

The Steel Wheels, and Tools have already been done, and are in small trees that lend themselves to mix'n'match boxing. You could add in the Ubiquitous, Newly Tooled 5 Spoke Mags that have been seen in many recent kits too. Round2 seems to be more open to product variants that require little investment on the one hand, and huge Clone-the-Past projects on the other hand.

I pitch this as a Minimal Cost, New Product Kit. Throw in some Light Bars, and Police / LEO Decals and you can sell a Cop Roadside Investigation/ repair truck, and add Commercial Decals and you'd have a Work Van. Those "Blue Sprocket" decals from the Dodge P/U would be a natural, and a Sunoco Branded Service Unit would be a good fit with the latest Tie-In. 

I agree, that a new Back-dated Grille would be great, and sell more kits, but even just adding current parts from other kits, could brighten this kits future sales.

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With the grille they can only backdate to about 1979, though.  The hood, fenders, taiilight shape differs on the earlier models, along with the dash and other interior details.

The easiest change would be to tool up some accurate 80s style grilles.   

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3 minutes ago, Rob Hall said:

With the grille they can only backdate to about 1979, though.  The hood, fenders, taiilight shape differs on the earlier models, along with the dash and other interior details.

The easiest change would be to tool up some accurate 80s style grilles.   

The grille that's in the kit is the same as a '79. They didn't change much until '86 or '87, and then they didn't change much as by then Mopar was probably concentrating more on selling their new minivans.

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5 minutes ago, Can-Con said:

The grille that's in the kit is the same as a '79. They didn't change much until '86 or '87, and then they didn't change much as by then Mopar was probably concentrating more on selling their new minivans.

The 4 headlight grille is good, but the 2 headlight grille that’s been used on several releases is pretty inaccurate. 

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If they used modern technology for tooling, is it possible they could recreate the original body and the later 90s style in both a window and panel style to go with the rest of the original tooling? Maybe the way they recreated the Chevy II Wagon parts? They could do a nostalgia 75-ish Street Van with all the custom van accessories and some cool mural decals, then do the window version as a Cannonball ambulance and even add extra seats for a family van.

For the later version, they could do special Dajiban version with a nice set of 16 inch Watanabes and some BF Goodrich wide tires. Add some Ferrari disk brakes, a pair of racing seats and steering wheel and maybe some toolboxes for the rear. Throw in some carbon fiber decal for the hood, and Japanese decals for the body. You'd still have to shorten the wheelbase, to be accurate, but if they put in score marks inside we could do it. They'd probably sell tons of them in Japan. Plus, all the extra parts could be sold as a separate parts pack kind of thing.

 

1Dajiban.jpg

1DodgeStreetvan.webp

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22 hours ago, Rob Hall said:

The 4 headlight grille is good, but the 2 headlight grille that’s been used on several releases is pretty inaccurate. 

Oh, I wasn't even considering that abomination.

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5 hours ago, oldcarfan said:

If they used modern technology for tooling, is it possible they could recreate the original body and the later 90s style in both a window and panel style to go with the rest of the original tooling? Maybe the way they recreated the Chevy II Wagon parts? They could do a nostalgia 75-ish Street Van with all the custom van accessories and some cool mural decals, then do the window version as a Cannonball ambulance and even add extra seats for a family van.

For the later version, they could do special Dajiban version with a nice set of 16 inch Watanabes and some BF Goodrich wide tires. Add some Ferrari disk brakes, a pair of racing seats and steering wheel and maybe some toolboxes for the rear. Throw in some carbon fiber decal for the hood, and Japanese decals for the body. You'd still have to shorten the wheelbase, to be accurate, but if they put in score marks inside we could do it. They'd probably sell tons of them in Japan. Plus, all the extra parts could be sold as a separate parts pack kind of thing.

 

1Dajiban.jpg

1DodgeStreetvan.webp

A Dajiban Drift Van would be pretty cool. I think that would almost be a new tool though. My understanding of that generation van is that the engine and or suspension were relocated slightly from where they were in the prior (pre ‘93) vans. 

Bare minimum, they would need a new body, grille, bumpers, revised rear cap, but also, an accurate Drift Van would be a shorter wheelbase window van. The interior had a different dashboard and steering wheel, and while they were at it, the 5.2 “Magnum” engine is very different from the older LA small block. 

They would have to add in the requisite Watanabe wheels and big brakes, headers and side exhausts, maybe a wing of some sort for the rear roof. A modern media set up and racing buckets would complete the look. 

Enough of it would be different that it really would be almost an all new tool. The race goodies could conceivably be used on other cars, and it would be a neat link to JDM machinery and culture. 

Sign me up for a few!!!

 

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I'd be all for it!

 

It's a pretty tiny detail, but something they wouldn't have to change is the lower trim parts that are molded into the body.

On the 1:1's, they changed changed the design of them for '78 onward. On the MPC kits, even the '82 has the same lower trim as the first '71 Sportsman kit.

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As far as Dajiban goes, it seems the short wheelbase is preferred, but the long wheelbase is also used. I'd bee happy with score marks on the inside to do my own conversion to SWB.

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On 8/12/2022 at 8:58 AM, Oldcarfan27 said:

Plus the old tool has wire axles and we know how some builders feel about simple chassis details. 

IMHO, if one would think of tooling up an all new series of kits of this gen van, semi curbside would be the way to go, meaning no engine but a detailed suspension so that both rear- as well as all-wheel driven variants can be offered.

The money otherwise spent on an opening hood and engine bits, can be used to tool up dress up features, and interior detail, opening back and or side doors.

 

Just my 2 cents.

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4 minutes ago, Luc Janssens said:

IMHO, if one would think of tooling up an all new series of kits of this gen van, semi curbside would be the way to go, meaning no engine but a detailed suspension so that both rear- as well as all-wheel driven variants can be offered.

The money otherwise spent on an opening hood and engine bits, can be used to tool up dress up features, and interior detail, opening back and or side doors.

 

Just my 2 cents.

I think you're onto something there!

I'd like a new Snap Fast version of both eras of this van. Who needs the engine when all the fun of building it goes into the cargo area anyway?

I think most of the engine details are glossed over when anyone builds the current van kits, so why waste tooling dollars recreating something nobody sees anyway?

Given all the options, this could be a fun and creative series that the manufacturer could milk for a long time.

Work van decal variations could include Coca-Cola, Good Year tire, Sears/Kenmore appliance repair, FedEx shipping...

Or how about "Oh-Kay plumbing and heating"?

C'mon, think about it. You know where that last one comes from!

"Crow bars up!"

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1 hour ago, Oldcarfan27 said:

I think you're onto something there!

I'd like a new Snap Fast version of both eras of this van. Who needs the engine when all the fun of building it goes into the cargo area anyway?

I think most of the engine details are glossed over when anyone builds the current van kits, so why waste tooling dollars recreating something nobody sees anyway?

Given all the options, this could be a fun and creative series that the manufacturer could milk for a long time.

Work van decal variations could include Coca-Cola, Good Year tire, Sears/Kenmore appliance repair, FedEx shipping...

Or how about "Oh-Kay plumbing and heating"?

C'mon, think about it. You know where that last one comes from!

"Crow bars up!"

Also what I don't see in the current car model kit range is an ambulance. a van could be a starting point to create one.

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