Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Best Tomica of 2014

Hi everyone, apologies for the long wait. After a week of selection for "My Favourite Tomica", we have shortlisted 7 cars out of the 24 released in 2014. The selection was done by our very own Go! Go! Tomican members, you! From 7 cars, you have chosen your favourite of 2014. Here are the results:

3rd Place: Nissan Fairlady Nismo

2nd Place: Mitsubishi Triton

My Favourite Tomica of 2014: Subaru BRZ
Round 1: 
This is a very tough year to choose the Best Tomica of 2014. For a start, 2014 is a recycling year for Tomica. If you look closely at the 24 cars released in 2014, half of them are based on old casting. I wanted to give the winner to a totally brand new car but the new ones are really far from good. So, I will just name the winner who follow closely to Tomica origins. In round 1, I will eliminate the cars which have corners cut heavily. 6 cars crashed out of the competition in round 1.

If you think that the Ford Focus is the best Tomica of 2014, I  assumed that you should be one of the newer Tomica collectors around. Based on photo before the official release of this Ford, I can say that the car is ready to be in the contention for the Best Tomica until I received the actual product. I was filled with disgust from B pillar onwards. Just look at the side and rear windows, no plastic window but a large area painted black to represent "windows". Fast Lane can do a lot better than that and it cost almost two third cheaper than Tomica. It is one of the worst Tomica of 2014.

Toyota Voxy and Noah are basically the same cars and equally good in cost cutting.

Both Noah and Voxy do have nice casting but C pillar onwards shares that same fate as the Focus.

The Suzuki Alto rear painted window on its opening hatch.

This Renault Megane is indeed a nicer variant as compared to the road car version but the rear painted window does not save it from being eliminated and crash out of round 1.

I really like the Suzuki Hustler when I visited the Tokyo Motor Show in 2013. It is a miniature version of a Toyota FJ Cruiser. The real thing look so much better than the Tomica version. It failed due to the rear hatch window too.

Round 2:
Round 2 see off 8 cars in all. The Skyline is a nice car but it should look better if it is 1/65 or bigger. Just slightly bigger will improve the proportion of the car.

The pink Crown suffers the same fate as the Skyline above. It's a let down for a Crown since Tomica been making them since the early 70s.

One of the smallest and ugliest Tomica bus around. Enough said.

The Dodge Viper could be one of the better Tomica if it is completed with suspension and opening doors.

The Spyker C8 has nice details on its rear but it looks really much softer than the real thing.

The Nissan X-Trail is indeed one of the best Japanese car but let down by the rear painted window.

Formula One vehicles are often unloved and so is this Renault. The plastic looks cheap too.

I hope that the passengers on board will be able to view the scenery when taking Dr. Heli.

Round 3:
10 cars in the contention. Have to choose the right ones with caution now.
The only feature that is well made is the burger.

The first Lexus (regular series) is a much better effort that it won the best Tomica. This one looks a little out of proportion, the detailing is a horrid. Road Tough (ex-Yatming) made an IS (previous model) and I am surprised that a toy that cost 3.5 times less than Tomica can have better mold. I can show you guys some other time if you really like to see it.

The safety car is nice but at this point of the competition, I have to nitpick even on little details.

I love this car but I just couldn't put the painted quarter rear window behind. That just destroy the whole package of a good Tomica.

The Triton was once the most disappointing Tomica of the year, mainly because of the ugly rear painted window. It isn't the worst now or the best.

Final Round:
The final five finally. There are 3 cars I wanted to place them top so it took me some time before the final decision is made.

The Fairlady is now a NISMO with an additional wing complete with "carbon fiber" side skirts. Can I request for lighter colour interior? The whole car looked almost like a Batmobile.
I struggled for a full 10 minutes if to put the Rex into top 3. The racing Impreza looks much better than the road car it replaced. This is one of the better "shrunk" Tomica made but I had to exclude it in the top 3 as the car rank third had better proportions.

3rd Place: Subaru BRZ
I did not expect Tomica to make a BRZ and I didn't expect the sister car to make it into top 3 again. The BRZ isn't spectacular, it is just the minimum requirement for any Tomica should be made.
2nd Place: Suzuki Carry Mobile Catering Truck

An interesting Tomica, much more than the Hamburger car in my opinion. The fun factor in this Tomica among the other 23 should be higher too. The potential of making this vehicle into a gift set of 4 peddling truck is possible too.

Best Tomica of 2014: Lotus Exige R-GT

This comes a little unexpected for me. I only open my Tomica once a year when it is time to choose the best Tomica of the year so every Tomica is a fresh sight for me. The Lotus was almost forgotten in my list of potential contenders for the best Tomica. Although the Lotus does not have any opening features but it is well proportionate. This Lotus was painted like a John Player Special colour scheme. Not much corners were cut for this model.

I was also a little surprised that all 3 recent Lotus made top spots. The Exige was 3rd in 2011, the Evora was 3rd also in 2013 and this Exige R-GT is the winner in 2014. I do not know why Tomica made Lotus better than any of their Lamborghini models. Probably Lamborghini is much easier to sell than any other cars. Looking forward to the Tomica in 2015. Just hope that they will give every Tomica a proper window, stop all opening hatch and stop painting side windows black. That is all I ask for and hope that isn't too much of a request.



  1. I just purchased some modern Tomica, which should arrive from Japan in a couple weeks- always loved my childhood Tomica, and look forward to exploring the modern versions :)

  2. This is a good article and I agree with your criticisms of the lack of details and shortcuts of no real windows.