gogotomica

gogotomica

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Tomica vs Majorette vs Matchbox - Citroen SM

Citroen SM (1970 to 1975)

If I were to choose a car to drive for live, this will be the car as it has been my favourite car of all times. I am always a big fan of Citroens (old Citroens), the only new Citroen that really convince me is the C6 but I will still prefer the shape of the DS if you ask me. I always thought that SM stands for Sports Maserati because Maserati was bought over by Citroen in the 60s and Citroen SM was using Maserati engine. According to Citroen, SM stands for Systeme Maserati. It's a shame that SM was never built for RHD countries, around 200 units are exported to Asia which Japan alone received around three quarter of this lot. The SM comes in 2 engine guise, 2.7 and 3.0 which produces 170hp and 180hp respectively. Citroens are special and this one is no exception too. It comes with oleopneumatic suspension which will self-level the body of the car and directional headlights (6 headlights). Why I love old Citroen is because of their unique design. The design is so distinctive that you wouldn't mistake the car for another make. The best "feature" which I like about Citroen cars is that the rear wheels are half covered. I thought that it was for aesthetic purpose but I read somewhere that it is to improve wind flow against the car body when the car is on the move (Not a bad idea!). The design of the SM is timeless and futuristic, it still looks good today, too bad that none was imported to Singapore due to the drive train system. After Citroen bankrupt in 1974, and Peugeot taking over them, SM production ceased almost immediately in 1975.

Tomica produced 3 variations for the Citroen SM. There is a light green version too but was a part of the Tomica British 4 car set. The metallic green SM (left in picture) was the most common variation and should worth around US$30.00 today (MIB). The rare one will be the silver one shown in the front which I got it for approx. at US$40.00 which is a steal as I believe it is worth more than that. Some Tomica collectors (which they claimed to be) will not even pay for this amount even if you were to sell them half of this price. I spoke to these Tomica buyers / new Tomica collectors and they are only willing to pay at the selling price of new Tomica today for vintage Tomicas, which is only about US$4.00. If I am dumb enough to sell to these fools, I will be a bigger one.

The rear of the SM is the nicest. Sexy!

1977 Tomica Citroen SM, Scale: 1:66, Made in Japan

Majorette Citroen Maserati SM, Scale: 1:65, Made in France

Matchbox Superfast Citroen SM, Scale: Unknown, Made in England




This edition is trio comparo which Tomica will battle out with an early Majorette and the Superfast Matchbox. I left out the Siku SM mainly because I ain't got one yet and Siku scale are usually bigger at 1:55. It will be great if Schuco made the SM as the scale will be identical to the Tomica as all Schuco Modell scales at 1:66. A pity that Germany miss out on this SM competition.

The Casting:
Both Majorette and Matchbox look almost identical but closer look differentiate as the MB has a bigger windscreen. Based on proportion, the Majorette is the most proportionate. Tomica follows all lines and curves that a SM should posses. The Matchbox cast looks like it is built for mass production because no sharp lines and details on the cast, just the SM outline. It's actually a hard fight between the Majorette and the Tomica. The Majorette wins by a slight margin because if you were look at them from far, the Majorette looks more like a Citroen SM.
Tomica: 2
Majorette: 3
Matchbox: 1

Detailing:
All cars comes with demister but the Tomica is supposed to be a blind which some SM are equipped with. The Tomica has yellow tinted plastic all over. The common Tomica are using clear plastic for windscreen, headlight cover etc. Both Majorette and Tomica has plastic covers on the headlights just like the real car, the built for the masses Matchbox left that out. What the Matchbox does come with is a rear hook for the trailer which strange enough that the Majorette has left that out since this is more of a signature for Majorette. One possible reason could be this Majorette is a early 70s model so the car doesn't at all looked Majorette. Well, the hook is not really an important detail since it is kind of an after market installation in the real world. The same goes for the Majorette on the "Hella" style lights on the front bumper. The Tomica is the only car that has a number plate and the Chevrons are also the sharpest of the trio. The best feature on the Tomica should be the rear with the rear window blind. The rear of the Tomica is also the closest to the original.

Tomica: 3
Majorette: 2
Matchbox: 1

Wheels:
Button wheels vs Superfast Button Wheels vs 5 spoke Sport Rims of Majorette. The Majorette wheels looks most attractive to me. I will prefer the Tomica button wheels than the Superfast wheels because the rims on the Superfast looks like a 13" rims on the thick tyres.
Tomica: 2
Majorette: 3
Matchbox: 1

Paint Finished:
Matchbox surprising finished in glossy paint and it last past 30 years. The Majorette is finished in metallic paint and it should be the nicest if the car is in total mint condition. The Tomica is finished with a more realistic color like the real car, no gloss but suits well for the car, a little on the down side is that the paint is not even on its roof.
Tomica: 1
Majorette: 2
Matchbox: 3

Base:
All cars comes with metal base. The best will be the Tomica where details continues down under as compared to the bare base of the other 2 contenders. The Matchbox is the ugliest in my opinion.
Tomica: 3
Majorette: 2
Matchbox: 1
General:
Based on the whole package, the Tomica is my favourite, followed by the Majorette and Matchbox.
Tomica:3
Majorette: 2
Matchbox: 1

Verdict:
Tomica: 14
Majorette: 14
Matchbox: 8
A draw for the first time? If I were to use a later Majorette Citroen SM, Tomica will be the straight winner. Early Majorette cars are much more attractive compared to those made in the 80s and there are seriously worth much more than a Tomica SM if there are totally MIB. Matchbox Superfast faded into a mass production type of toy after the Lesney series in the 60s. There are still some Superfast which are transition period from the predecessor which are much better.

8 comments:

  1. Great post, two thumbs up! I sharing your enthusiasm towards the SM - what a GREAT car, way ahead of it's time. So, may I recommend you a fantastic video about it? (Be careful with Jay Leno's site, you can spend hours to watch his fantastic video reviews. ;-))

    http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/at-the-garage/super-cars/citroen-sm/

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  2. Hey thanks for the link, it's a great site for classic cars. I had always love Citroens but it's a shame that Singapore never had this car. If I am right, we only had the DS but i wasn't born yet then. I saw a DS in Germany once and it was really beautiful. Never had the chance to see a SM though. Another nice citroen is the CX and I also have a diecast of the Citroen CX.

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  3. These are nice models to compare. Thanks for sharing those comparative photos. =)

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  4. hi Jovet, you re welcome.... more coming.

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  5. ang ganda! ( beautiful!)

    I love the way you present your die cast in your blog, very eye catching.

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  6. Hi Brian, welcome back! Thank you for your compliments. I am thinking of doing a Mandarin toy vs a Tomica in next "issue". As the Mandarin is not mint, hope it won't affect the overall presentation.

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  7. Hello !!

    My name is Nicolas, I'm french and i'm a collector of Majorette car !! You have a very nice collection my friend !! If you like Majorette models, you can visit my web site (forum) at : http://passion-majorette.forumactif.com/index.htm

    And please, contact me at : tartenpion1488-info@yahoo.fr - because i have 1 or 2 question for you !!

    Thank you very much and best regards from France.

    Nicolas.

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  8. very nice comparison! I like the front of the SM a lot, the back is not my style. I always found this to be one of the most beautiful Citroën around.

    Tomica models are not sold anywhere near unfortunatly, otherwise I would certainly but the Citroëns. I think tomica does a great job representing the 1:1 models

    If you like Citroën, come and visit me at http://miniaturescitroenscalemodels.blogspot.be/ I collect all Citroën diecast.

    I will follow your blog from now on.

    greets AccroCitroën

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