Monday, April 8, 2013

How The Tomica Civic FN2 Type R Should Be

There are 2 Type R in the Tomica range both labelled as Tomica number #54. The FD is a Japanese domestic model while the FN is made in the United Kingdom. There are lots of expectation (from me) when Tomica released the FN (replacing the FD) some time back. To my horror, they produced some model which I do not want to show here. Given another chance, how should the Tomica FN2 look then?

Since the FN is made in the United Kingdom, I have managed to get my hands on this once British but now owned by its American arch rivals. Perhaps they have a better idea how should a Anglo-Japanese car should look and this car was given a make over.

The Original Tomica has a scale of 1/68 and this Tweet Tomica is marginally larger than its FD counterpart at 1/61. In order to further improve on the canary yellow FN2, shrinking it down to 1/63 should perfect it. Replace the front tempo head light with plastics, nice. Give it some suspension, awesome. 

The rear looks nice but seems a little carried away. What this car prove to the original Tomica is, you do not need any opening parts to look nice. The Tomica of 2013 has new strategies in cost cutting started some time ago in some models which I will cover that in 2nd half of the year. A little disappointed but what can we do? We still buy them anyway.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Tomica Jaguar XJ-S & Audi 5000

Received one lot of cars the other day and found 2 Tomica copies which is similar to the Tomica Jaguar XJ-S and Audi 5000.

Not too sure what are these brands are but it might be Faie. These are exact casting of Tomica although the brown Jag might look a little bigger and taller. The real stuff has a flat metal base with smaller set of wheels while the clone has a concave plastic base with a bigger set of rims.

This imitation green Audi is rear wheels drive as it has a motorized pull back motor under its rear wheels. This is the one and only Audi in the Tomica range and soon, an A1 will join this 5000. If you are asking me why am I collecting these. I used to have one of these cars but it's a late 70s Bluebird model. I had a dollar and I bought it in a small shop selling newspapers, magazine, candies and toys. I patronised the shop frequently and it is also one of the places where I bought all my $1.00 cars. The Bluebird that I had was completed with rubber tyres. It shares the same casting as the Tomica Bluebird but it's made in Hong Kong. Tomica Bluebird is red (as I had one then) while the imitation is coloured in magenta. I am still looking for this Bluebird although I didn't really like it when I was a kid. I didn't like it because it had rubber tyres. I can't spin or skid my car. That's why!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Acceptance of Recent Special Edition Tomica

I received another box of Tomica again today. OK, it's not just these 5 cars as shown above but 5 of the many cars in the box. I have bought a few spares for some of the models shown here. After merger of Takara and Tomy, I have stopped buying special edition issued by the 2 toy giants until recently. Before the merger, limited editions were issued by mini car shops such as II ADO or Gulliver (and many others). These companies have made a number of interesting models based on actual race cars and different colour variant of road cars. Many of the models made are still based on old moulds which are Japan made and there are only 3000 pieces made. Some models such as Skyline made by these shops have different casting compared to Tomica regular release. The reason why I shunned from the current special edition after the merger as most of them are "re-issue" models which are once made in Japan. I felt that they could have concentrate on current models which were initially China made. Making old models such as Toyota 2000GT or Bluebird SSS pissed vintage collectors off and it doesn't pleased many new collectors because they don't appreciate old cars. The worst is the old mould is modified which I consider it as a "destroyed" mould. Some new collectors might argued that "re-issue" are good for them as they cannot afford vintage. Well, I have to say that, keep it that way then. If the old mould were to be kept untouched, Tomica could still be able to produce special edition for certain special occasion which can be still made in Japan. I don't mind paying the premium for Japanese made Tomica. As for Tomica Shop models, I avoid them totally as I don't feel really like "Tomica Shop" accents around the toy car. The same reason goes for the Tomica Factory model as I don't collect these range. I might buy them as souvenir if I visit Tomica Shop physically. Event Tomica is another range I do not collect because of the huge "Event Tomica" tempo on the car.

Recent special edition from AEON, Apita or even Toy Dream Project series release some recent Tomica which are road cars such as the STi WRX above. I have started buying the newer range of special edition not too long ago as they have more interesting road cars now. Nobody know how many pieces were made but definitely more than 3000 pieces as they have stronger funds than private small mini car shops. I am rather selective in current special edition as I will not buy a Hakosuka within the same series unless I like that particular variant. I don't really fancy this bug eye Rex when it was released as a regular. I have to say the Tomica Limited version, some limited edition 3000 pcs and Event Tomica version of the WRX are nicely made. I would say the same if it is a 2000GT do it the same way if it is made in China. Toyota 2000GT are made initially in Japan! I don't know if you realised that recent Event Tomica does not shout "Event" as loud as earlier models now. I have also started buying event cars selectively now too which I never did few years ago.

Another nice example is the CR-Z which I ranked it as top 3 model in its released year. Yellow is my favourite colour and this CR-Z is given a carbon fibre rework on it bonnet. Quite cool for a Tomica but I will never do it on my own car. Although I have started accepting these newer Tomica into my collection range, I still kept doors closed for Tomica Shop, Factory and Anniversary models. I hope Tomica will address on that to make it more collectible.