Hoarders of Datsun and Nissan related merchandising and collectibles may already be familiar with with the large Gold cigarette cases, based on various models built by the company. They appear to date back to at least 1959 and it seems that virtually every model sold since then has been represented by one of these cases… well into the 1990’s it would appear. The earliest examples I have seen are modelled on the 310 series Bluebird and 30 model Cedric but cars as late as the Nissan Cima are also represented and just about everything in between. It’s impossible to say whether every variant of every model series built is covered, but in many cases it seem that at least some variations such as saloon and coupe certainly are.
All feature the same basic design which consists of a very heavy, one piece cast metal body, usually around 1/18 scale, with a removable roof to allow access to the cigarette tray and match holder inside. Generally they are plated in a gold finish although a few appear with a silver finish. Many even include a small clockwork music box which plays a tune when the roof is lifted off. It’s unclear exactly what purpose these served but it seem likely that they were issued to distributors and dealers of the companies products rather than to the general public as they certainly are not common.
Below, I’ve gathered together here a gallery showing some of the various Nissans modelled in this way. There are dozens more and it would appear that some other Japanese marques were captured in the same way, most notably Toyota. Best place to find them is Yahoo! Japan auction but be prepared to part with a fair bit of money if you want a nice one!