Just managed to open my toys to play after coming back to Singapore after a week. I will only feature those I like or think is interesting to me. If I were to feature all, I think it will be a very long post.
YONEZAWA / DIAPET
DIAPET TOYOTA CORONA MK II RALLY
Car is covered with mud when I bought it
Engine inspection before the next race
DIAPET TOYOTA COROLLA LB
After I bought it and brought home, I realised that there is some "special features" on this toy.
Diapet Cherica Nissan Fairlady 240ZG
Cherica is something which I always wanted but they are so rare that it is hard to come by even in ebay.
Diapet Cherica Toyota Corona MK II GSS
TOMICA & DANDY
Tomica Toyota MK II
Bought many vintage Tomica of the Domestic and Foreign Series but just gonna feature my favourite pieces from the lot.
Cherica MK II vs Tomica MK II
Tomica JAL Cedric Wagon Lump Car
First item I bought in Japan. Like it very much so I tell myself have to buy it no matter what.
Tomica Honda Civic Country
I had one when I was a kid but not this variation. Mine was the white woody Civic Country. I actually saw the variation I used to had in the event but I like this one better.
Tomica Datsun Pickup
This model might be one of my first Tomica as I remember I used to play with one when I was very young. I am very connected to this pickup because I remember this car much better than the Tomica Skyline 2000GTR Racing I had at the same time. I always think that this is a special car then because I don't understand why it look so much like a pickup. This is also a special gift from Ken after he knows that I am looking for this pickup as it is a precious memory from my childhood. Thanks a lot, Ken.
Tomica Dandy Volkswagen Beetle
Beetle with a Rolls Royce Grill
It should be a Toyota Celica 1600GT. The car is dead mint and seems like nobody plays with it for the past 30 years. I believe you have heard of "pull back" toy car but this Tomica is "pull front" and it will really dash after you release it.
SAKURA TOYOTA CROWN TAXI
I believe this mint be a dead stock. The box is almost flawless, the car is very mint and the battery from the early 70s is still intact. When I ask the shop owner if this car still works, he told me that he doesn't know as he never try it (but I expect that it doesn't work). Try it back in hotel after Aaron and I bought a pack of battery from 100yen shop. Aaron bought one too but is a Nissan Skyline Wagon JAF car. His Skyline works but I am still thinking that he is being lucky. When I insert the battery in my Toyota, I couldn't believe that mine work too. We are happy to have made this purchase because Sakura Japanese cars are hard to come by especially in this condition. Most of the Sakura are in the form of Porsche, Maserati or Ferrari etc hardly any Japanese cars like Toyota.
I know the bulb is ugly but it is still a charming toy
Took my Tomica Toyota Crown Taxi to have photo taken with Sakura Crown Taxi. The Tomica is not from this trip, it's pluck from my collection.
MODEL PET NISSAN CEDRIC SPECIAL
In fact, I bought 3 units of same car. Model Pet are from the early 60s and I couldn't believe that they are so mint till I ask shop owner if they are re-issue. Aaron told me that it should not be re-issue as the company wind up more than 40 years ago and he never heard of re-issue for Model Pet. The shop owner said that these are discovered from warehouse and that is why they look like new but no box to complete it. Since they are so rare, I bought 3 units. Do check the price of Modelpet in ebay. Modelpet should be the cheapest among Cherryca Phoenix and Micropet that is why I can afford to buy 3 units.
Saw the ATC stamping?
Schuco 1/43 Volkswagen Gold MK I
This Golf is covered with mud like the Diapet too
Schuco 1/66 Mercedes 250 This is the most wanted model from Schuco range and found it in Japan. I miss it twice in ebay as PC hang on the very last minute. Bought quite a number of Schuco cars in Japan.
Schuco 1/66 Opel Commodore GS Bought this because I bought a imitation Schuco in Hong Kong made by Winner.
Our adventure starts on 26th May to our toy car hunting trip in Tokyo. Aaron and I set off in a empty luggage as we wanted to fill them up with minicars. We have already planned which are the minicar shops we like to go. We are to meet up with Ken (from Ken's Garage in Hong Kong) at the hotel as we booked the same hotel so that we can have some company. As we reach Tokyo one and a half day before Ken, we venture into some shops first.If you are looking for vintage Tomica, please be prepare to pay around 3000yen to 12,000yen depending on condition and variation. I am surprised that I am actually paying this money as I just tell myself to buy the model I like since I have already set aside a sum of money to buy Tomica. I just want to have a fruitful trip and enjoy myself.
FOR VINTAGE TOMICA COLLECTORS
GULLIVERMain Shop of Gulliver
Gulliver Consignment "Garage"
We bought quite a number of vintage toy cars from Gulliver. First shop and few hundred dollars gone buying mainly vintage and limited edition Tomica.
MINICAR GLOBALMinicar Global Signage They have a good collection of Diapet and some other vintage diecast from Japan and Europe.
Some of their vintage Tomica collection
II ADO Another shop I like because they have all brands of vintage diecast like Schuco and Diapet. Vintage Tomica variety not so many but did manage to buy just a few piece.
II Ado Tomica Section
These are Modelpet. You will never get to see one in Singapore. These are from the 1960s and very expensive as compared to a vintage Tomica.
Pooh Bear, our big brother says this is for you.
A small shop selling vintage watches and also a section on only vintage toys. TMT have a number of Dandy, Diapet and some rare Sakura.
Cool collection of Tomica Dandy and Diapet but I bought the Sakura instead because I have never seen this Sakura I bought as it is a Japanese car. Most Sakura are foreign sports car.
SHU-STOCKOne of my favourite shop with all types of vintage diecast, hardly any new model with exception of Tomica. If you are looking for new Tomica only, then you should skip this shop as you need to do a lot of walking and know your direction well.
Thousands of vintage Tomica, Diapet, Playart, Matchbox, Majorette, Schuco, Corgi etc waiting for us.
Impressive show case of Tomica of new and vintage.
TomicaDomestic series in above photo. Your wallet must be thick enough to buy one of them. The price are really collector's price. I only managed to buy a few loose Tomica which I like and a few loose Modelpet.
A Day in the Life of 3 Tomica HuntersThere is one day when we can experience the working life of Ken as he bring us along on a shopping spree. While we were waiting for him at the lobby, we were quite surprise that he brought along a trolley. Toward the end of my trip in Tokyo, I bought one too so I can understand why he needs one for his work. It was quite useful for Tomica or toy car hunters like us not to mention a Tomica dealer. We went to a few places which I have heard of but didn't know that they sell Tomica too. Some of the places I have been there 4 years ago.
Lots of vintage displayed like Cherryca Phoenix, Micropet and Modelpet appears live. I don't have the chance to see these rare toys in Singapore before and this only happens in Japan.
Although there are many Tomicas but the price is not cheap. As some shops like this above do know Ken, he is able to get at good price. Sometimes I wonder why Hong Kong vintage Tomica are cheaper than Japan, now I guess I have the answer now. My verdict is to buy from Ken if I am in Hong Kong next time as he quote a reasonable price after I compared the prices in Tokyo. If you ask me, I will still come to Japan again as I think there are more shop I have not explored yet. I browse through the shelves and spotted one Tomica selling at 31,500yen. Hey, I have one too but I didn't expect the price to appreciate so much. Make a guess what car is it.
This is Japan's version of our China Square but definitely better and bigger. Better because they have almost everything and many cases do have Tomica for sale.
Let me zoom in one of the shelve. Bought 2 Tomicas from this shelve, one foreign series and a Japanese racing car. There are many shelves to explore so I will buy some from a shelf once I spotted those I like.
I was here 4 years ago. This shop sells mainly new 1/43 scale model cars, train models and loose cars of various brands including Tomica. Didn't buy much there except for a Junk Tomica. Junk Tomica means it is not mint, may have some nicks or paint loss, not really a piece of junk but just that it is not in perfect condition. The one I bought is at a reasonable price and also a number of nicks around but I don't mind.
We managed to find a couple of vintage Tomica (loose and beat up) 4 years back in this shop but no luck this time. I remember the price they sell are not cheap too considering the condition of the car. Most stuff sold in the shop are vintage figurines.
SHINJUKU TOY EVENT The 1st ever Shinjuku Toy Event in Tokyo that I have attended, hope that they will continue to hold it continuously like "Wonderland". Rumoured to have it's 2nd event in August. This 1st ever event is also to celebrate the opening of a new minicar shop, Ken-Box (a subsidiary of Ken's Garage??? as I jokingly ask Ken).
It's 920am. The event starts only at 10am but there is already a queue outside the hall. The entrance fee is 500yen from 10am to 12pm and free admission after 12pm. We are lucky to get in as dealers at 930am through our friend's help. We avoided the queue and able to look at the toy cars we might be interested before the public rushed in.
This cabinet of toys are up for auction way before the event starts and you can place a bid up till 2pm on the very day.
Overview of the toy event before opening to the public.
Other booth from another shop. We are lucky that we are in early or we don't have the chance to take any pictures because the first hour is really packed with minicar collectors.
Vintage tin toys is also available in this event.
Never seen so many Tomica before right in front of my eyes. This is just one of the booth selling Tomica. There are many other booth having lots of Tomica on display and for sale.
FOR NEW TOMICA COLLECTORS TOMICA SHOP You can buy all kind of Tomica (except vintage) in Tomica Shop. Basically all current series of Tomica, Tomica Limited and Tomica Limited Vintage are available. If you want to get something which is only available in Tomica Shop, then you should get the Tomica Factory car & Event Tomica (if you are into these). Factory car in May is RX8 Safety car, June is the Celica and June event car is the Honda Freed. I did not buy the May Factory car although I was at the Tomica Shop in May, went 2 days later (1st June) and Factory car changed to Celica, bought 6 pieces for fun, 2 Event Honda Freed, some other event cars and Tokyo Motor Show cars since my friends ask me to buy. Only intend to keep 2 or 3 cars from my purchase but total spending was more than 15,000yen which won me a Tomica Shop member card. I made a redemption for a not for sale Tomica and a Tomica Fork for free.
Tomica in Tomica Shop
Tomica Factory where your Factory Tomica is assembled. The Toyota Celica I got have parts made in China but assembled in Japan. So is this considered "Made in Japan"?. After assembled, the Tomica staff will do a "QC" check by checking the suspension and if the car roll well. This is indeed a good move since some Tomica buyers do check meticulously for that. Tomica shop is also a place where you definitely can get your latest Tomica as some will like to show off that they have it faster than others while others will drool and can only comment "That's a nice catch!".
Tomica Catcher in Tomica Shop
MINICARIKEDA They sell almost all brands of new toy cars from Tomica to 1/18 scale model cars. This is one of the largest minicar shop in Tokyo but I did not spend much in this shop as nothing much interest me. As compared to 4 years ago I was there when they are in their old location, I bought more items then.
BIC CAMERAThey are specialise in electronic goods similar to our Best Denki but a much larger scale. They do have a toy section too.
Tomica Section in Bic Camera
YAMADA Departmental Store near to Bic Camera in Ikebukuro
Tomica Section in Yamada
TOYS "R" US
Tomica Section in Toys "R" US
The only thing special is that you can get the Toys "R" US edition of long Tomica. Bought quite a number of these Toys "R" US edition Tomica.
TAM TAM HOBBY
Another shop where they sell toy cars and they also specialise in train sets and modelling kits and tools.
TOY SHOPS IN ASAKUSA
Both shops sell Tomica and other new toys
Always wanted to play with this especially the Tomica version
Part of my shopping in Tokyo. Spent around 200,000yen on toy cars alone. Doesn't look so many because bought quite a number of vintage toy cars which are not heap. Will try to feature some of the toy cars I bought during my trip in next post.