Monday, January 14, 2013

Tomica vs Hot Wheels - Hakosuka & Kenmeri

1971 GP Nissan Skyline KPGC-10 Hakosuka Racing

Japanese GP Racing which was held some 40 years ago on 3rd May 1971.

Gulliver made these 2 Tomica racing Hakosuka in year 2000.

No. 6 car was the champion while No. 8 car the runner up.

Hot Wheels made quite a number of Japanese classic recently such as 510, AE86, TA22 and this year a Toyota 2000GT. It's so maddening because these are cars made by Tomica and Diapet then. Most toy car makers produce the current model line rather than turning the clock back. Most Hot Wheels fans in Singapore don't know anything about classic Japanese cars. They either like it or hate it only after Hot Wheels produced them because they don't know that there's such a car until Hot Wheels made one. They like it because it's made by Hot Wheels. They hate it because they look at it as an old car rather than classic. They are only interested in fast, super or exotic car. I felt that if they know nuts about these cars, shut up! I felt disgusted in a way. Not the toy car but those fans who are shallow.

Hot Wheels actually benefits on the casting because the front grill and the rear spoiler follows closer to the real thing. This is mainly due to a new casting overdue by 40 years. Tomica front and rear is similar to the road car version because the casting is based on an old casting which was lightly modified. When comes to proportions, Tomica is better because all Tomica are made to scale while Hot Wheels are totally not.

The decals on the Tomica Hakosuka follows to the actual racing car. One obvious detail can be found on the tail of the car. "PMC.S" on the Tomica while "JUN.S" on the Hot Wheels. Many Hot Wheels fans don't even know what the hell is that. Skyline was a line of model produced by Prince Motor Company since 1957 and the then Datsun took over this company when Prince Motor wasn't doing that well. "PMC.S" actually stands for "Prince Motor Club. Sports". "JUN.S" because the car is designed by HW designer, Jun Imai.

Many HW fans don't even know how Jun Imai looks like. I am not a even a HW fan at all. Some might be asking what is Hakosuka? Every Skyline has got a name or nickname. As the C10 looks boxy, the Japanese people called it Hakosuka which means "square box". The Hakosuka is also the first GT-R ever produce under Datsun.

The best feature about the Tomica is the special made Watanabe wheels. If you are asking what is Watanabe wheels? I will make it simpler for Hot Wheels fans to comprehend. You watch Initial D right? It's the same type of rims used by the Trueno, 8 spokes nolstagic styled sport rims. You don't find it in Hot Wheels.

This is the 4th generation Skyline but 2nd Skyline to have the GT-R version and it's also the least number of GT-R produced due to the oil crisis during the 70s. 197 units was made to be exact. There are also Hot Wheels fans who doesn't know that this C110 Skyline is also know as the Ken and Mary Skyline or simply Kenmeri Skyline. I have a HW friend who trades HW but he doesn't know much about this car too and said that it is a KPGC-110 so I asked if he is referring to the Kenmeri Skyline? He said that it should be and pretend that he knows it. Anyway, he usually knows nothing about Japanese classic or Tomica but will always continue to talk nonsense hoping to bluff his way through. Usually if I don't know my stuff well, it is best to shut my mouth up.

This is a Kenmeri Skyline made by II ADO Company. It was still made in Japan just before the Tomica Limited series was released and the casting was modified to China. That is why I hate re-issued items especially those which production are shifted to China using the same old mould.

The Kenmeri HW build and quality is nowhere close to Tomica. The HW front left wheels not able to contact to the surface rolled on. It was rolling with just 3 wheels. I do agree that some Tomica had wheels which are undersized but most Hot Wheels has over sized wheels.

The nomenclature of the HW is imprint on the car. Tomica had it moulded on its body. Basically most HW does not have opening doors or working suspensions. I already heard someone saying who the "F" cares about the suspensions. Sour grapes. Why are Hot Wheels priced cheaper than most brands? Simple, no opening parts and suspension, hence, less parts and tools are used in the process. No scale involve so it take lesser time to develop one as number of Hot Wheels models release per year are more than any other toy makers. There are some models which are produced without licence too and rename with a fanciful name. The quality checks are not as stringent as any other brands too so you can find the so called "error cars" easily. I would hope Hot Wheels to stop making these Japanese classic cars as I wouldn't want to see beautiful classic made for people who doesn't appreciate them. I would rather HW to produce current Japanese cars or old Japanese cars Tomica never made such as AE101 or AE111.

This is my friend's Kenmeri. I think it looked really nice but Tonegawa, my friend, send it to the workshop for restoration. He told me it is a 10 months project and he is taking public transport at the moment. I will take photo of his Kenmeri once it is restored.


  1. Your friend has got a beauty.
    I collect all GT-R (and many other)made by tomica, kyosho, and HW. All models are different,made from different point of views and I am happy to have them made by as many makers as possible. HW is cheep, but worth it. Tomica is a bit more expensive, and also worth it. I am not an HW fan, I am a fun of classic japanese cars of HW. (and Tomica, and others)Jun san made a good job at HW.

  2. Great blog! Led me to the gems at Tai Yuen St this week.
    I'm a small time Tomica collector, I collect 1/6 figurines and the occasional 1/18 model car (had loads but offloaded prior to university. So I just might fit into the good, bad as well as ugly categories from one your previous posts.

  3. hot wheels is ugly as fuck same as the matchbox. The very best thing about tomica is they don't have sloppy work, if you will magnify the logo, writings on the cars... it is very good unlike the hotwheels who have sloppy and lazy details

    1. As I've written in my review of 1:64 diecast cars at Matchbox vs Hot Wheels vs Majorette Toy Cars, I believe HW and MB sacrifice detail in order to have more durability to sustain kids playing with them. While other brands (like Siku and Majorette) have more detail and moving parts... they also often fall apart after only a few days of play unlike Hot Wheels and Matchbox which are practically indestructible :D

  4. marco from surabaya, indonesia
    great review and comparison!

    i believe you write it as a truly fans of vintage asian cars. adding about why they make those cars at such price, is very logical too. then we're back at a phrase "you got what you pay"