Saturday, June 5, 2010

Tomica Hunting in Tokyo

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.


GULLIVER Main 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 GLOBAL Minicar 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-STOCK One 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.

Tomica Domestic 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 Hunters There 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.


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

MINICAR IKEDA 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

Departmental Store near to Bic Camera in Ikebukuro

Tomica Section in Yamada


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.

Another shop where they sell toy cars and they also specialise in train sets and modelling kits and tools.


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.


  1. I wish, I can be like u just go n buy like that.

  2. You can do it also. Just have to save up. I am saving up for my next trip hopefully end of this year or next year. I don't wanna wait for 4 years again.

  3. amazing post, julian... May need some directions from you should I plan a trip there, hehe

  4. Hi Ian, sure. Do let me know if you wants to go, then I can plan to go too if your trip is a full toy car trip.

  5. Hey Julian, Amazing one man. Just managed to see this blog on the week end. Look forward to your exhibition in September. Tc. Mishoo - Regulus.

  6. Hello Mr. Mishoo, did you ask your friend to view my blog as well? I will let you know when the time is near.

  7. ► http://www.tomicafci.org/index.php?option=com_fireboard&Itemid=71&func=showcat&catid=16

    Tomica for sale

  8. Hi,can u tell me the address of the shop?

  9. I do not have all their name cards. Perhaps you can do like what I did. If I wanted to make a trip to Tokyo again, I will do a search in the search engine.

  10. Thank you, y'all. This article proves to be very helpful for our upcoming trip to Tokyo just to hunt for Tomica toys with our 3-year-old.

  11. Such a nice shear guys, Love to participate here.
    sell my house

  12. Nice, informative post ! I have been traveling to Tokyo and Hong Kong every year since 1982 to buy Tomica ! There are always new shops popping up, but Gulliver, Ikeda, IIADO are the mainstays. Ken is also a great friend.
    Bob tomysource@aol.com -largest Tomica stock in the WORLD

  13. Wow, this trip must be one of your bet experience in life.
    Do you have the address of the TOMICA SHOP, the one that is above of the topic calle TOMICA FOR NEW COLLECTORS?

  14. Dear Sir,
    I am an avid die cast model car collector lived in India. I have around 50 tomica models. I want to bought some tomica models from India.
    Please tell me price of regular series like #64 elf mypack backhoe etc.how much shipping will charge and how much price of the same?

    Thanking you,
    avijit sengupta

  15. Hi. Thanks for this fantastic info. I will visit Tokyo for the 1st time on late november, and since I'm a hardcore 3 inches collector I plan to visit most of the shops you mentioned. My hotel is near Higashi Ginza and... II ADO shop ! Best regards. Olivier from FR

  16. Hello ,i really appreciate your post so much info on the hobby ,you mentioned of a Ken in Hongkong who sells tomica, where is his store located?im planning on a trip to hongkong soon and would like to visit his store.

  17. Hi,welcome to join our gctc tomica wechat group,there are 500 tomica collectors chat everyday, please add my wechat:yanjun8210

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