Thursday, December 30, 2010

Kombie & Landy in Singapore

Kombie in front of Merlion and Marina Sands Casino

And Landy who just flown from The Netherlands to Singapore

Landy and his passport which will bring him to all the adventures around the world

Landy will goes to Ohio, USA, on his next adventure.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My eBay Listing - Cherica & Matchbox

I have not been active in eBay for a very long time (as a seller) since I started as one in 1998. I would say I am more of a buyer now as more engaged in work. I will give you the link of the Cherica as stated below. If you are interested any of the 2 cars listed here, do bid generously so that I can buy more Tomica as my collection.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Spot the Tomica Contest

I always love car chase or car pile up scene. This is one of my favourite scene although a little too exaggerating. Another of my favourite is the Alarm Für Cobra, a German TV series. The clip shown above is a movie being filmed in Hong Kong which featured quite a number of old Japanese cars. Can you spot the Tomicas in this 1 minute pile up? The fastest entry to submit your entry by 31st December midnight (Singapore Time) will get a Tomica Nissan Juke as a token of appreciation.

Rules & Regulations:

i. Able to spot 5 Correct Tomica per entry. However, the entry with most correct Tomica submitted wins the contest.

ii. Different body variants from Tomica is not accepted. Example 2 doors, 4 doors etc

iii. Based only on regular Tomica, Tomica Limited Vintage not accepted

iv. Specific on car model. Not just Toyota Corolla but Toyota Corolla AE92

v. Contest open to anyone

vi. Late submission not accepted

vii. One entry per person

viii. All entries to submit to bonu@starhub.net.sg

Updated: 14.01.11

Someone did win this contest and he is from USA. Car will be send to you by mail.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Rubbish Edition Tomica for My Birthday (From Pooh)

We have a meet up on my birthday and Pooh Bear asked me if he look like someone as he asked me to take this photo.

This wrapper was used on 16th April (Pooh's birthday) this year. I purchased a Hotwheels Ferrari 430 from my cousin's shop as a birthday present for Pooh but its actually a teaser, not the real present. The real present to Pooh was a Diapet Tadano Crane. Pooh said that he will reused the same wrapper on my birthday (which I actually forgotten about what he said and was tricked too).

This is the present in the wrapper which I thought is a Hotwheels but it's a "blister pack" Tomica with its original box.

We call this a "Rubbish" Edition Tomica 1 pcs made only. This "handmade" edition is meticulously detailed, see the bottom right "001/001" and bottom left Age 3+ above above.

Back of card has the trademark and logo of Pooh Bear. Although this is not the real present but it took a lot of effort to make this. I like it very much and thank you, Pooh. The real present is a Dri-Fit Cap. The wrapper will be reuse on 16th April 2011, time for me to crack my head.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Kahlah Enterprise 370Z

I like the Red Bull 370Z at first sight, a pity that you will need to buy a set (of 4) in order to own these cars. A cool variation of 370Z and the price is...., I shall skip this. Just wanted to share these with my blog followers here.

My Cousin's New Shop

Another new place to shop for Tomica, Gifts Greeting branch in Nex Serangoon. A bad place for drivers though due to lack of parking lots, bad design of car park and super long queue before able to drive into the car park.

Monday, December 20, 2010

What I have bought in Hong Kong before Christmas?

13 Tomica Limited Vintage or Neo
Tomica Nissan Racing Set Complete
A dozen of Tomica Limited Toyota 2000GT
Tomica Nissan Juke x26 pcs
Tomica Snowplough Vehicles x3 pcs
Tomica Honda CR-Z x20 pcs
Tomica Nissan March x30 pcs
Tomica Suzuki Alto x11 pcs
Tomica Nissan Serena x30 pcs
40th Anniversary Long Tomica
Some Norev of Renault and Subaru
Tomica 2010-2011 Catalogues courtesy of Ken
Lot of other Tomica
Loose Cars I have got
Found the box for the BMW, R32, Starion in Hong Kong. Found the R32 and R31 in Hong Kong as loose cars. So I match with my loose cars & loose box.
Helping Melvin from Malaysia to buy this. Not cheap for a new Tomica and one car only.
While I was taking these Tomica photos, postman delivered my package of toy cars from Japan. I am sick for the past 3 days so I haven't open this package when I am preparing this posting. I will open it tomorrow.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cars Tomica Should Make (F-Series)

I started collecting Tomica from the F-Series and sometimes I wonder why these cars are not made into a Tomica. It's a hard decision to make especially coming into top 10. Although some of them which features here almost got into production but was axed in the process. Give me your comments or suggestions.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cars Tomica Should Make Part II

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution III
This is the missing link for Lancer fans and regret for Tomica I supposed. Tomica has made Lancer Turbo, EVO IV, VII & X. The only maker that made the EVO III is MTECH but it’s in a scale of 1/43.

Figaro (aka Nissan Figaro)
The Figaro has always been my favorite Nissan. It looked like a 1960s car but it’s actually introduced in 1991. Only 20,000 units are made and some units did reach our shores. Although its 1.0 turbo charged but its not a fast car and it has a 3 speed auto transmission. It’s an ideal car to be driven with leisure during weekend. I don’t mind buying one to replace my current ride but its way too rare. Diapet did make the Figaro in the 90s.

Alcyone SVX (aka Subaru SVX)
It’s a very rare Subaru launched in the early 90s. The car most unique feature is the full glass canopy and the styling is very American for a Subaru. The car has a big engine of 3.3 liters considering bigger Subaru are usually 2.0 to 2.5. It is sold as a luxurious sports tourer and strictly a 4 speed automatic. Somehow the car reminds me of a Renault Alpine. There are rumors that Subaru might revive this car but under corporation with Toyota. The end product is said to be the Lexus LFA (Supra Replacement).

Suzuki Swift / Ignis Sport
I personally think that this is one of the nicer Suzuki around for the past decade. My second choice will be the Cultus of the late 80s. How about Kizashi? It’s the first Suzuki mid-size sports saloon. Great car with sporty styling but forgettable. I mean Kizashi will have to fight really well in order to fend off competitions in the battle field. Now back to Ignis. Sold as an Ignis Sport in Singapore and was awarded the most fun car for the least money by many car critics then. The styling of the car is kind of different from other sports hatch. It makes you ponder if it is a sports hatch, mini SUV or a bread van. Closest competitor then was the Daihatsu YRV Turbo which is also featured here.

Toyota MR2 (SW20)
This is not my favorite MR2, my favorite is the AW11 and it has been made by Tomica. I am also considering the Celica of 5th & 6th Generation since Tomica made every generation except these 2 models. Since there is only 1 MR2 model, let’s make another one. Not many cars today are mid-engine, rear wheel drive, seats 2 and available in a non super car price. If I can customize the SW20, I hope Tomica will make a T-bar roof version with retractable pop-up lights.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cars Tomica Should Make Part I

"Do you have a Honda Stream?" This is the most common question I have been asked when I am doing my weekend flea market. I do ask myself on the criteria Tomica is looking at before making into one. I also felt that some models should be made but was not. I will not bring my wish list too far back in time; just 20 years will be enough for me to list out the cars I wish Tomica should make.

Daihatsu YRV Turbo
I heard some people shouting “Kelong”, apologies for those who do not understand Kelong, you may like to check in search engine under Singlish. For friends who know me, they know that this is my ride. Well, not really “Kelong”. I’ll explain a little to support my claim. How many Daihatsu does Tomica make? Some Midgets, Moves, Mira & Copen. Can’t they make something a little bigger like the Boon, Materia or Terios (I do know that they are a specialist for micro cars). They did make the Toyota Passo which is originally a Daihatsu Boon but many thought that it’s Daihatsu who “steal” the design from their parent company. The same goes for the Materia and Terios. There is one car which is supposed to be a prototype which really goes into production, the YRV. Although using the same platform with Yaris but the YRV is a model which Toyota does not have. I also do hope Tomica can make a Daihatsu Boon X4 but unlikely as it is already been made into a Passo. To make the Materia will not be possible too because they will rather make it into a bB (2nd generation). Since YRV is the stand alone model (which is not a Toyota) Daihatsu has made in recent years and a non-Kei car because Tomica has not made a Daihatsu bigger than the Kei-Class.

1st Generation Honda Civic (rear engine)
2nd Generation Honda Civic Country
3rd Generation Honda Civic 3 Doors Hatch
JDM Honda Civic Type R
Honda Civic EG6 (5th Generation)
This is one of the more popular Civic of all time so why didn’t Tomica make this? If they made this in the 90s, they could include this into the Initial D gift set. Tomica has made a total of 4 Civics. 1st generation Civic (rear engine) as a 2 door hatchback, 2nd generation Civic as a Station wagon known as the Civic Country, 3rd generation Civic as a 3 door hatchback and 8th Civic as a JDM 4 door sedan Type R. Nobody know why they miss out the 4th to 7th generation Civics.

Infinity G37 Coupe
Tomica has never made an Infinity before. I know they made a Nissan 350GT Coupe (based on Infinity G35) but it’s under the name of Nissan. Since Tomica is making a comeback into US of A this year, why not make this one? It’s a nice car actually.

Isuzu 117 Coupe (One & Only Isuzu Passenger Car)
Isuzu ELF & Many more other commercial vehicles
Isuzu Piazza (Impulse)
I felt that it’s a shame that Isuzu no longer make cars today. Tomica in the past make more trucks, buses, vans, fire engines compared to passenger cars. In fact, Tomica only made one Isuzu car, the 117 Coupe. I would really hope Isuzu can return to the passenger car scene due to their sporting heritage. If you asked me, I would say they are the Japanese Alfa Romeo. Isuzu cars are very European styled and most of their cars are sports salon tuned by Lotus. My favorite of the lot will be the Isuzu Piazza aka Impulse. Don’t you find that it looks a 80s VW Sirocco? The very last of Isuzu which see the daylight in Singapore is the Gemini (reminds me of a Tercel because of its short tail).

Lexus LFA
Tomica never made a Lexus except for the equivalent of LS series and Soarer. Strange enough, the only Lexus made is under the Tomica Limited branding. The LFA should be a Soarer / Supra replacement and the specifications of the car look really much superior to the Supra in the early 90s. Tomica has been making Soarer and Supra and they are always in my collecting list. I have a feeling that Tomica might make this car in 2011. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Tomica has made these 323 but missed a few generations
Mazda 323 Familia Astina
I think that this is the most beautiful 323/Familia of all time. The new “M3” is nice but somehow has lost some identity. The Astina sports a pop-up head lamps and a svelte rear. This car is popular in the 90s but I was too young to buy one then because I am still schooling then. I don't think I will buy one now too because most cars of that era are not in pristine condition and I am not ready for occasional hiccups from my car. The only company that made this car is Yonezawa Diapet. Good choice.

Part II coming up. Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Collectors

I was always a lone toy car collector till I started meeting local collectors 3 years ago. I did not really have a chance to meet any because most of the toy collectors in Singapore have bigger interest on 12 inch figurine collector or action figures. Yes, those who will need to buy 2 piece of the same product, one for play and one to keep it untouched. If it is opened or there is a hairline scratch on the box, the price will depreciate as what they explained (What the....!?). I felt lucky that I have negative interest in figurines. Back to car collecting, I was kind of surprise that there are locals who actually collect Tomica but I wasn’t going to have high expectation based on what they have been posting on the forum before the gathering. The minimum I expect is they do have some knowledge on Tomica but to my disappointment; nobody has any except current Tomica range. Can you imagine nobody ever seen a Japan made Tomica at the gathering? They might not even know that there are Made in Japan Tomica since everything are made in China ever since they started collecting. After knowing some local collectors and doing a series of flea market with friends, I started to understand what the local market wants. I respect what they want to collect but I do not want to understand some of the people who I consider unbearable. Here are the Good, the Bad & the Ugly (based on people I have met & seen).

The One Make/Model Collector
I treat these collectors with respect because they know what they want to collect. I have seen collectors who are contented with just collecting Minis or Beetles of different sizes and makes. Like my quote “I collect any toy cars as long as it is a Tomica”. For these collectors, they substitute my “Tomica” to “Mini” or “Beetle” or whatever their interest. I also know a “Toyotageek” who is a nice person who collects any Toyota and has very good knowledge of Toyota cars.

Tomica does make gift set for Toyota, Honda etc.

The Car & Driver
These are not real collectors but they happened to be a “collector” because of what they drive. My brother happened to be in this category as he displays Suzuki Swift of all sizes and colors in his room. Some of his collections are my contribution from my business or holiday trips. I do get approached by patrons at flea market asking me if I do have a Honda Stream or Toyota Wish on sale at my stall. My Toyota Wish is also the top harassed car at my stall which I do not mind at all as long as they don’t break it. The Toyota Wish on display at my stall is a Promo car for Toyota, strictly Not-For-Sale item in Japan.

My brother's Suzuki Swift Sport collection
Most Harassed Car at the Flea Market: Toyota Wish

The Vintage Collector
I have known people who collect mainly old toy cars regardless of condition as long as they find them charming. I like to talk to these collectors because we can learn from one another and we can have hours of discussion. I do not consider myself a full pledge one yet because my collections are from the 70s till current day (well about 70% are before 1990). There is once when a smart Alec told me that I am not a Tomica collector (which is a big insult to me because he knows nuts about Tomica) but a vintage collector. His intention is not to compliment me but to insult me softly. Anyway, I take it that he complimented me.

Various makes of die cast like Matchbox, Schuco, Husky etc

The Diehard Fans (but Blind)
Although my quote is to collect any toy cars as long as it is a Tomica but I do collect other brands too like Schuco, Matchbox, Majorette, Diapet, Cherica etc. I am trying to say that my main core is Tomica but I am not restricting myself to just Tomica. There are many nice and charming toys out there, why restrict yourself to just one? The diehard fans are the royal followers from Hotwheels or Tomica. I would say that they are good customers to Mattel and Takara-Tomy but somehow they do not know what they want. I am referring to “collectors” who will buy whatever the company release. Tomica for instance, they will buy all regular series from 1 to 120, all Long Tomica and all the Tomica Limited. Why? To complete the series since they start collecting based on what is available in store. They might not like the vehicle but they must buy every release model because they think that it proves that they are a Tomica collector.

The Fast & the Furious
These bunches are mostly from the Hotwheels gang who I like to tease at my flea market. Their favorite line is “I collect fast cars only”. Upon heard that, I will ask “How fast?” answers will be Ferrari, Lamborghini, Skyline being the usual suspects. I will queried them,” Is Golf GTi, Swift Sport or AE86 consider fast?” They stunned a little and I show them my Tomica first Generation Mazda RX-7 and asked, “Is this fast?” They told me that my RX-7 is an old car, not fast car. Darn!

Fast Car
Old Car

The Scrap Metal Collector
Many a times, I see “collector” putting a car on his palm and comment “Ah, it’s very heavy”, “Look! The base is metal too”, “It’s worth it buying this car”. I am starting to wonder if they are buying paper weight or they really like the car. If the car has got rubber wheels, they go crazy. Rubber wheels are nice but when I was a kid, I hated them because the car cannot skid when roll on the floor. To this lot of people, they think that a good quality toy car must have metal base and the toy must be heavy, a bonus to them will be additional rubber wheels. I consider them shallow. I always tell them off that a good quality car doesn’t really mean that it must have a metal base or must be heavy. There are many vintage Tomica which has plastic base, are they bad? Are they going to sell them as scrap metal too when they got tired of the hobby?

Good example of a "Good Quality" toy car

Not-So-Good Toy Car due to plastic base????

The Hunter (aka Scalper)
I have friends saying in exaggerated manner that this piece of Hotwheels (regular release) is “hard to find”, “cannot find” or “don’t have already”. I will tell them, how hard can it be? If I like it, I will just buy it from eBay (of course the eBay sellers might be scalpers too. Ha! Ha!). They are people who will hunt from place to place as many as 5 to 6 spots per day in Singapore and buy all “HOT” cars. They will leave their number at all major departmental stores who are selling Hotwheels so that the store assistant will contact them whenever there is new stock arrival. The same happens in Malaysia too, they pay the store assistant for information of new stock arrival and they mark their territory as well. Why can’t these people enjoy the joy of collecting die cast and why do they have to resort to all this unnecessary moves?

One is never enough. They must make sure nobody else get it besides them.

The Know Nuts
There are many collectors who claim that they are collectors of Hotwheels or Tomica brand. If probed deeper, they know nothing in terms of the brand’s history. For Hotwheels, they will pay very high price for a latest release car which is crazy but they care less about the vintage from 60s or 70s. You can try asking anyone of them using a 60s up to 80s model and they go speechless but if you ask them about what is going to release in 2011, they tell you more than what you know. Tomica collectors are kind of similar to Hotwheels collectors but the vintage models are much more expensive than vintage Hotwheels (in general). There are people who claim that they are collectors but never even seen a vintage model. I decided to give one a test and asked if he will start thinking to collect the vintage ones. He said that he will consider if the price is selling at market price. I asked what he meant by market price for a vintage? He said “$5.95, box and car condition must be excellent”. I was not mad but EXTREMELY pissed because $5.95 is the price of a current Tomica in Singapore and I felt my time was wasted meeting someone who claimed to be a Tomica collector. I just told him politely that I don’t think he will ever find someone who will willingly to offer him a MINT CAR with a MINT BOX vintage which is MADE IN JAPAN at retail price. Whoever does that, he must be a NINCOMPOOP and I wish him luck. These people also like re-issue Tomica (of 70s & 80s) very much (from Made in Japan to Made in China) but they do not know that by doing so, the original die is considered destroyed. They disagreed, they said that if Tomica doesn't produce re-issue, they never have the chance to own a vintage because they are expensive.

This is a dead stock which I acquired recently and should be Mint car in mint box (to my standard) but I will not sell it for $5.95 definately.

The Nit Picker
There are the people who amazed me, mainly the people who buy Tomica. These nit pickers not only nit pick but they are also totally inconsiderate and selfish too. When I started buying Tomica during my SOGO days (my favorite store but closed in Singapore more than 10 years ago, sad), I am glad that every single Tomica are wrapped in clear plastic despite each car cost only $2.90. I will just grab any Tomica as long as it is wrapped because it’s new and it is also being considerate not to open it. In the first place, I never have the thought of opening it. At that time when Tomica started shifting the production to China, the quality varies between models. Example, Nissan Primera has suspension problem, Mercedes C Class has paint blots all over, Range Rover has both. What I did then was to buy 2 or 3 of the same models and I will choose the best one, the balance to sell in eBay. I was still a student then, no income but I am proud to say that I am being considerate to other shopper or collectors. I know that there are people who will open up all boxes of the same model (as many as 20) to choose the best car and the best box. I find this is totally unacceptable just to satisfy your own desire. I knew 2 people who actually do this so I start investigating by asking them. They said that Tomica quality these days are quite poor in terms of paint work which is misalign paint or blots. I took a very close look, almost at the verge of seeking help from a microscope, and it was just a minor over paint and a very tiny blot. I felt disgusted and told them that this is normal and what I experience with the C Class was really much worse. They refused to listen and said that they have the right because they are consumers. These are the people who also buy 2 units of each model, one to play and one to keep untouched. Find some similarity? I urge all Tomica collectors who have this BAD habit, please do not do that again. Be considerate and be fair to others who are also buying Tomica.

I bought these 2 models few days ago and I wonder if they pass the nit picker's test.
I can't really find any flaw, maybe the nit picker will be able to.

This Forklift will not pass for sure because the box has some dirt.

Above posting is based on Singapore toy car collecting scene (I have seen). All comments based on what I felt and strictly my opinion only. You can disagree and have your own opinions or views too.