Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mythbuster! Tomica Interior

I know a new friend recently who also happens to be a Tomica collector and he is getting more and more serious into Tomica everyday ever since he knows me. This post is as per his request because he told me some small details which is never a issue to me. Shame on me. I didn't know that Tomica collectors can get so serious into details like, STEERING WHEEL! He asked if I realised that the recent release Tomica had "bun"-like steering wheel? I told him I didn't take notice of current day Tomica because once I bought them from stores, I chucked them aside without opening them. I didn't open them because I already seen them on the Internet and I will only open those which I like. Back to the topic, what my friend says "bun"-like because there is no spokes at all!!! I took a closer look and how right he is. It is really god damned ugly. My friend says that this bun steering happens recently and we did check a few cars like 370Z, Mark X etc, they have been "bunned". My friend asked me why? Lazy, cost cutting, profit maximising or is there a better reasoning? It can't be collector like the steering wheel to be one piece or steering wheels in future should have no spokes.

So is it true that steering of yester-years do complete with 2, 3 or 4 spokes steer or have they started the "bun" before we can notice it? The few cars featuring below are from the 70s. The interior do not have a dashboard and usually do have super size steering wheel.

80s Tomica started to down size the steering wheel and started to have some centre console. These are 3 examples of the 80s interior. Interior is still all right but 80s cars started to lose some Tomica solidity feel.

So does that mean that 70s & 80s does not have the "Bun"-like steer which my friend totally against with? I was rummaging through my Tomica by sections. First I go through the foreign cars and found some culprits. I found the buns and these cars with no spoke steer have a common feature. They do not open doors. I do not want to reveal the identities of these cars as I hope their value do not fall overnight. KIDDING!

More surprises as it happens to the rest of the 80s & 90s Japanese car which doesn't open doors. Honestly, I do not mind since I do not know and they do not open doors. I am fine with it all these years and since their doors do not open too. I am fine with Tomica that does not open doors too. BUT, things are not consider acceptable if they do it overboard. Read on.

The car dismantled is a Honda Civic Type R. Doors doesn't open. Chassis and base were separated to show you what the "bun" we are talking about because this is a term invented by my friend so I don't know if there is a better word to describe it.

Current day Tomicas do comes with a dash too, sad for the steer. In order not to waste my time to dig out my other current day Tomicas, I headed straight for the Jeep Wrangler (oops, I am not supposed to mentioned any names). Wrangler is open top so it is supposed to have spoke steering.

Well, I guess the Jeep just help me save some of my time and yours. If you want some spoke steer of current day, go get the Axio and Impreza WRX. You might have to check it out yourself because I don't really bother about new Tomica except to make sure I have bought at least one unit to keep in my storage.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Special Sales 2010 July

I have been thinking to do Tomica sales for a long time. Not the regular Tomica which is off the shelve in local shops but the Tomica which are only available in Japan which are not supposed to be exported unless you do it the parallel way. After some months of struggle (due to my laziness on sourcing), this is the first batch from Japan arrived on 28th July. Total are 14 pcs of Limited Edition Tomica and one Cherica Fairlady on special request. These are limited as they are made by Tomica on special project/request by minicar shop, museum, companies etc in Japan. All of them are produced in limited numbers (usually 3000pcs), one of the Skylines here is only 500 pcs made, I believed. I have already discussed and agreed with my collectors friends and followers turned friends of my blog that I can do this with an "early bird special price" but condition is all transactions made must be CASH ON DELIVERY. It is to be fair to me because I need to fork out the initial payment of a few hundreds dollars (depending on quantity and price I got from Japan). Above pictures are some of the 14 Tomicas, 2 Fairlady are not seen as I am keeping them because they look too nice telling me not to let go to my friends. Eventually, 8 units are snapped up. I still have last 4 units here so I am offering to the followers of my blog.

Last offer for Fairlady 240Z (2 units), R32 Investigator car and a Skyline R31 GTS Racing car. Offer valid from today till our Singapore National Day, 9th August 2010. Fairlady and R32 are going for USD$15.00 while R31 GTS at USD$18.00. Singapore collectors who are interested, please base on USD$1.00=SGD$1.40. Foreign collectors are welcome too but price does not include freight. No offense but do hope you don't bargain with me as the price I buy from Japan are not really cheap so I am earning a few SGD dollars from each car only. After this promo, I will sell at higher price, sell in ebay, flea market or keep it under my own collection. Next offer might be in end August or Mid September if I am able to get hold of nice models. Interested parties please drop me a mail : bonu@starhub.net.sg and I will try to assist.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Tomica DASH vs Darda

Recently, my friends told me that I have the power of inception. So here comes another issue of "Inception". I don't poison anyone with Tomica, never, I promise, I just influence them only, good influence for sure. Riding on to the movie, "Inception", my friends told me that they are incepted subconsciously. How do you get here? People don't usually remember beginning of their dreams but middle or the end of their dreams. A dream in a dream? Ok, I am incepted too by this movie. WAKE UP! You are watching (reading) the real thing here.

Today we shall know another 2 new "friends". DASH and Darda, sounds like Ultraman and his monster. Heeeeeeeeee......

Tomica DASH Toyota Celica 1600GT (I think) vs

Dada... Joking....

This Darda I mean

Tomica DASH Toyota Celica 1600GT

Darda Porsche 911

It is really a Tomica and Made in Japan

Made in West Germany

A video says a trillion words. Pull back cars are not always fast. Ok, Choro Q might be but they are a little small and started life in plastic. So here we are, die cast "turbo charged" pull back toy cars. I wouldn't say the Tomica is a pull back car. I took some time to figure out how the "pull back" works. So then I realised that it is "pull front". The Darda works both way, front and back.
All right, we should not bother if they are well made because this is a need for speed kind of comparo. Then again, sorry, I don't have a track long enough at home so I am kind of playing guessing work here and based on my experience when playing with these 2 new friends here. Although the Tomica is much heavier than the Darda but it response almost immediate when release so the century sprint is "zoom zoom". Darda being a lighter car started slow but could end up going faster on longer distance. Think GTi vs Kompressor. When can a Celica 1600GT be faster than a 911? Only in Go! Go! Tomica. But wait, saw that huge engine block from the Celica bonnet, it should be a Celica 6100GT instead. That should explain why a heavier car is faster than a light weight 911.

Lighter materials used on Darda

Darda 911 Sports Nicer and Bigger Wheels

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tomica vs Cherica - Toyota Mark II

Toyota Mark II (2nd Generation 1972 to 1976)

Don't let the name fool you. The first generation of this classic is also known as Toyota Mark II. The first model has close relation with the Corona. This car is slot in between Corona and Crown, so the first generation is more of a upgraded Corona. The car is competing more with the Bluebird in the 70s while the better specification model of 6 cylinder 2 Litres model is competing in line with the Skyline then. If there is a current day Mark II, that will be the Mark X. Tomica by far made only Gen 1,2 and 3 of the Mark II and also the current day Mark X.

I believe both cars are not made in 1975 (because the Tomica appears in my 1974 Tomica catalogue too) but they appears in my 1975 Catalogues (not re-issue, these are originals)

Here it is, no.69. Tomica Mark II

No. 0407, Blue Mark II

Tomica Domestic Box vs Diapet Cherica Box

Diapet Cherica Toyota Mark II

Tomica Toyota Mark II

Rear view of the Cherica

Rear view of the Tomica

This is the first time I am pitting 2 Japanese minicar against each other. The Tomica Toyota Mark II vs Cherica Toyota Mark II. Rightfully I should have call it Yonezawa Diapet Cherica. Yonezawa is the company who made the Diapet while Cherica is a subsidiary product of the Diapet. Diapet bread and butter models are based on scale of around 1/40 to 1/43 and they started making these in the 60s which is a few years before Tomica is born. When they wanted to counter Tomica, they introduced Cherica. That is why we call it Diapet Cherica, just like why we call Dandy as Tomica Dandy as Tomica is the core product. I don't think most people know much about Cherica because this is a short lived range in the entire Yonezawa history. As Tomica is way too strong for Cherica, they died off in the 70s, that is why Cherica is extremely rare in Yahoo Auction Japan and really almost impossible to find one in eBay. Try listing one Cherica in eBay and you will see the price went up like SGD against Euro 3 months ago.

Anti-corrosion base

Tomica Base has corroded due to old age, I guess.

Cherica are mostly in scale of 1.54 so that is why all Chericas are much bigger and heavier than Tomica. The Tomica in this comparo is 1/61 so it is much smaller than the Cherica but small doesn't mean that it is bad. I always think that "small is beautiful". Minicars at this level should be small but not to extend of HO size which is way too small for me. As long as it can be fitted into the Tomica box with some space for the car to breath, it should be a good size. Cherica quality is quite good and definite for any collector who are into vintage toy cars. It is quite similar to Tomica but bigger. Cherica range is almost similar to Tomica too although the range is really small due to short production years. Cherica do make cars like Toyota Crown Wagon which Tomica does not have in their range too but the proportion is a little weird looking to me. I have 2 Cherica in my collection while the other is a 240ZG (which I will likely do a comparo soon, I hope). I am still trying to get other Cherica from Japan if the price is right as they are not cheap due to their rareness of Cherica.

Old Tomica Wheels vs Old Cherica Wheels
I might be still searching for Cherica but based on these 2 models, I still would still prefer the Tomica over the Cherica. I have never seen a Tomica so attractive before, or should I use the word "sexy" to describe the Mark II especially when view from three quarter rear. That is why I can't help but kept shooting the car from rear. Tomica matching with the old wheels looks perfect match as compared to button wheels. This should be one of the most attractive Tomica I have ever seen.

Both cars welcome you to take a seat

Different Grill? I am suspecting the Cherica is the 6 cylinder version. Anyone knows?
It's really hard for me to pick a winner as both are really superb in their own ways. The Cherica wins for collectors who wanted more mass and being more desirable being more rare. The Tomica wins marginally in terms of detailing and finish. For myself, personal preference will be the Tomica.
Do keep a look out on my next post, I might have one lot of limited edition of 3000 pcs Tomica arriving from Japan which are mostly for sale.