Here's a small sample of the many toys that have been produced in Asia representing Jeep prototypes built by Mitsubishi in Japan, and Mahindra & Mahindra in India.
This Japanese toy, model no. 31 made by Grip Zechin, appears to be based on the Mitsubishi J56 variation of the CJ-3B, with dog-eared fenders (although it's marked on the base as a J52, which had flat fendres.)
The model is 1/42 diecast metal, with plastic windshield, seats, and detailed undercarriage.
The model is about three inches (75 cm) long overall, and has a nice level of detail including a chromed engine. See also a rear view and a side view with the windshield down (20K JPEGs).
In the background here is a Mitsubishi J3R paper cutout model, downloadable from Paper Jeep Toys.
Model no. 33 is a Japanese Self-Defense Forces version with a recoilless rifle. The box is labelled "Army" although Japan stopped using that term right after WWII. Also the military version of the Jeep would be J54A, although Grip Zechin has not given the model any military details (other than the 106mm RR and split windshield.)
Roberto Flores in Spain built this 1/20-scale electric motorized kit by Aoshima, and painted it in the yellow which is certainly one of the most popular colors for Jeeps in Japan (as well as the EBRO Jeeps in Spain). The prototype for this older kit was a J58.
This 1980 1/20 kit by Nichimo of Japan also represents a J58, which was Mitsubishi's basic short-wheelbase Jeep from 1974-81, with a 2-litre gasoline engine.
This 2013 1/35-scale plastic kit from Fine Molds in Japan is the J24, backbone in the 1970's and 80's of the Japan Self Defense Forces, who called it the Type 73 truck.
The Type 73 truck is also available in machine gun and recoilles rifle versions from Fine Molds, who also make a photoetched brass detail set for the models.
See also a 1/35 Okuno CJ3B-J4A Model Kit on CJ3B.info.
I don't know much about this "Academy" (Korean?) model kit -- I've only seen the box. J3R was the model number of the right hand drive version of the Mitsubishi J3. However, Mitsubishi never produced a Jeep with rectangular headlights (like the Mahindra CJ Deluxe) -- this seems to be a feature dreamed up by the designer of the model kit.
There have been a few diecast or plastic toys made in China which appear to be based on Mitsubishi Jeep protoypes. This example was sold in Europe in 2002, with no identifying marks beyond a paper sticker on the base identifying the maker as "Kandy Toys." It's about 1:25 scale, with a diecast metal body on a plastic base with plastic top attached. It has pullback drive, and travels a surprisingly long distance on its oversize rubber tires. Thanks to Peter Pearson for finding this one.
Tomica in Japan has produced a number of models based on Mitsubishi Jeep prototypes. Both of the models in this photo by Brian Willoughby are of Mitsubishi's first Jeep, the J3R, a right-hand-drive CJ-3B.
Brian says, "The yellow model is #016 in the Tomica Dandy range, scaled at an unusual 1:42. The roof is removable, the doors and bonnet open, and the windscreen folds down. The blue one is scaled at 1:56 and is #25-A in the domestic Japanese series of "Matchbox-size" Tomica models. The windscreen folds down and the bonnet opens."
Tomica replaced the #25-A with #25-B, a 1/57 casting of the Mitsubishi J58, with its characteristic dog-eared front fenders. Obviously yellow was a popular colour for Mitsubishi Jeeps -- this one with with matching yellow wheels was sold in North America in the "Tomy Pocket Cars" series. See also a front view (20K JPEG) showing the Mitsubishi logo above the grille, and the Tomy Pocket Cars package (20K JPEG), designed to look like a blue jeans pocket.
The J58 model has been produced in a number of colours and variations, including no roll bar (20K JPEG).
Left-hand drive models were made withthe North American market in mind, and the "domestic" (i.e.home-market Japanese models) have right-hand drive.
This 1/55 diecast J3R is #0094 from the Tomica Limited series. Produced in 1971, it has remarkable detail including engine. This photo and a rear view (30K JPEG) are from CLK's Model Car Collection in Hong Kong.
This Bandai tinplate CJ3B-J3 is a notch more realistic than many older Japanese Tinplate Jeep Toys. The Mitsubishi Willys stamping on the grille can be seen in a larger version of the photo (30K JPEG). See also a rear view photo (30K JPEG). Thanks to Yona Ken for the photos.
This detailed 1/35-scale plastic Jeep by Centy Toys from New Delhi, India, was "developed in collaboration with Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd." and is a pretty accurate model of the Mahindra Classic. Along the lines of "Coca-Cola Classic," the Classic name has been used by Mahindra since the late 1980's for their still-popular version of the CJ-3B.
The roll bar, upgraded wheels, and chrome bush bar on the front bumper are distinctive features of the Classic.
The Centy line also includes what might be considered the other classic Jeep from India; the MM540, with a removable ROPLAS fiberglass hardtop. Both toys were manufactured in 1998, with pull-back friction drive, and all-plastic construction. The MM540 is a slightly smaller 1/40 scale, so the two Jeeps are not a perfectly matched set.
The most obvious differences between the MM540 and the Willys CJ-5 on which it was loosely based, are the CJ-7-style doors, and the headlights which are completely outisde the grille slots.
See the colorful packaging cards (60K JPEG) with prototype photos. Thanks to Srivardhan Srinivasan for sending the Centy toys from India.
Thanks to Brian Willoughby for the Tomica photo. -- Derek Redmond
See Jeeps Around the World for full-size Jeeps in India and Japan.
Return to the Toy Jeeps Pages.
Visit CJ3B.info on Facebook.
CJ3B Home | Contents | Search | Movies | 3A and 3B Community