Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What I bought in Hong Kong

Regular Tomica plus 2 special issues

First time bought more than 5 TLV

JUSCO Honda Civic set, heard it's hot item.

Domestic Series Tomica. Sold 4 of the above pcs above to my friends by the time I posted this.

Foreign Series Tomica, one Power Tomica, 3 Matchbox Superfast and 1 Polistil RJ Series

Limited Edition of 3000pcs Tomica, sold almost all to my group of Tomica collector friends as they like them very much. Why I sell my purchases? As long as my friends know how to appreciate them, why not? It's fun to share and in the mean time stop myself from spending too much on Tomica or toy cars. My room cannot hold so many of them.

Many empty Tomica boxes I got for my loose Tomica

Managed to paired up 14 cars out of the many boxes

Tecology Tomica, bought a total of 8 pcs

Tomica Town Set - 7-11 Convenience Store

That's all, folks. Most of the purchases are here.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Kombie in Macau

Kombie parked near Macau's landmark, St. Paul's Church

Before going to Tong's Model shop, we go for our lunch in one of the cafe there.

Kombie cannot resist the food in Macau.

Kombie in Tong's Model shop in Macau.

Kombie in Hong Kong

Kombie, a VW Combi Van, is given to me as a gift recently by one of our group members. It's his childhood toy and Kombie is complete mint. I wanted it very much as it used to be my childhood toy (same color variant too) and so I got it as a gift from this friend of mine. He just want the van to go to a good home so in order not to dissapoint him, I treat Kombie really good by taking him everywhere with me.

Kombie waiting the flight with us at the budget terminal.

Kombie believes he can fly so I give him a hand.

It's Kombie's first flight and Tiger Airways delay our flight for 3 hours. Kombie looks into the run way in dissapointment.

Kombie reaches Ken's Garage and plays with the Foreign Series Tomica like himself.

Here's Kombie, he has no "home" (box) so my duty to find him one.

Kombie goes to "Dim Sum" restaurant with us. Playing with the chopsticks while waiting for food to be served.

Kombie find the BBQ pork rips salivating.

Kombie is hungry but he can only watch.

Kombie found his first love in Hong Kong, a Toyota 2000GT.

They come from the same family background. Both are mint loose. Their real car counterpart are born in the 60s too. Only difference is VW from Germany and Toyota from Japan.

Kombie waiting patiently for the ferry to Macau.

Kombie is excited as it's his first trip by sea.

Finally on the ferry and Kombie doesn't need a ticket like me.

Hong Kong Revisited, & Macau

I have been toying the idea to bring my friends to Hong Kong for toy car hunting since last year. As I frequently visit Hong Kong 3 to 4 times per year and somewhat familiar there (within Hong Kong island only), I think it will good for me to bring my friends to see the toy car shops there and also Ken's Garage. As Hong Kong is nearer as compared to Japan, flight only requires 3hrs 30 mins and lesser days of leave required as you can visit all the key collectors shops within a day. The air fare is lower too, $270.00 by Tiger Airways vs $1200.00++ by Singapore Airlines to Tokyo which we took back in May this year, saving of almost $1000.00. Planning to do another trip to Japan next year during their swap meet and hope that can visit Japan twice in 2011. I can help my group of friends to buy their "wants" & "needs" since my group has expanded to a good size and we have regular meet up. This time, I managed to arrange a trip with Aaron and Pooh. I wanted Pooh to go Hong Kong as a start first because the cost is lower, then we can bring him to Japan hopefully next year. I just want to convince him why I say he is buying rubbish by looking at the toy car scene out of Singapore and Malaysia (which is his main hunting ground). I told him that there is nothing to buy at all locally so I hardly buy anything in Singapore. Most of my collection comes from my overseas trips, eBay, Yahoo Japan etc. I might be doing an interview with Pooh soon because he is one of the more successful example of my inception. Some people who know him might be surprised with his collection as those who started slightly earlier than him are still marching on the same spot on their Tomica buying pattern. If you think his premium collection started from this trip, then you are wrong, he got his stuff from a collector who is letting go of his collections. I will try to convince him to let me do an interview soon.

We are at the budget terminal, it's early morning around 530am but Pooh is very energetic!

Ken pick us up from the airport to our hotel.

Ken's Lightning Blue Honda Spike. Spacious enough for all our luggages.
Ken helping us with our luggage.

Showing the way to Aaron and Pooh direction of Ken's Garage. Met Ken's father (not in video) on the way and have a short chat because my Cantonese is only slightly better than my Japanese (by the way, I don't know Japanese so you know what I mean)

Pooh Bear posing in front of Ken's Garage

Pooh asked me if this is how I buy? I told him that he can do the same now.

Pooh starting his digging of treasures.

Taking video in Ken's shop to show you what Ken has to offer. He sold most of the more wanted items which I might like as it's 20 days after his trip to Tokyo when I visited. Took Pooh and Ken's video by accident, look at Pooh's expression towards the end. Priceless. Ken's Garage happens to be the most reasonable price shop if you are looking for Tomica.

Showing Aaron an Pooh the direction to Hung Hing

Toy Kingdom in Macau, good for Singapore collectors who visit China Square and good for Children too.

Macau's best model car shop will be Tong's who has collection of 1/18, 1/43 and one cabinet of Tomica. You can also have coffee at his shop as it is a cafe model shop. Mr. and Mrs. Tong are running this shop together. If you are in Macau, you can pop by this shop.

Pooh bought some cars and town set here while I bought a TLV.

The trip is a good one for my friend, Pooh. Not so much for myself as I did not buy much Tomica this trip. Surprising, we spend the most in Toyzone followed by Ken's Garage and lastly Hung Hing. Pooh has agreed that Singapore has really nothing to buy as compared to Hong Kong. Our plan for Pooh is Japan next year. I will post some of the stuff I bought in Hong Kong soon.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tomica vs Schuco vs Lesney - Käfer War

VW Beetle was first born in 1938 as Mr. Hitler wanted a people's car so he got Mr. Porsche's involvment to develope the Kdf-Wagen. Little did anyone will expect that this little car is so popular that production continues for 65 years before the last one roll out of the Mexican plant in 2003.

Today, we welcome our Beetles from different assembly plant from England, Germany and Japan. Almost all toy makers made the Beetle as it is a iconic car from the last century.

They are not only from different factory coming from different parts of the world. These Beetles are also of different engine capacity as what their maker suggested. Here they are:

Tomica 1/60 VW Beetle 1200LSE, Made in Japan
Schuco Modell 1/66 VW Beetle 1302S, Made in West Germany
Matchbox Lesney (approx. 1/60) VW Beetle 1500, Made in England
Tomica has been always been good in making Japanese car and foreign cars. In fact, VW Beetle has one of the most variations in the Tomica range just like their Mini Copper. I like Beetles ever since I was young as they look really unique to me but I like them more when I watch the re-run of the "Herbie, The Love Bug" 1977 movie series in the 80s. I must get this variant no matter what. Somehow, something is lacking in the Tomica is they just couldn't capture the "feel" or "soul" of the real Beetle. I am not implying that it is not a beautiful car but it just lack some "x" factor. The Schuco on the other hand is a tad too small to be a 3 incher car but I couldn't blame Schuco for that since their Modell range are all based on the scale of 1/66 so naturally the Beetle is a compact car made even smaller. When the Schuco was viewed without the other 2 cars, it looked, well, it's unmistakenly a Beetle, just like the one you see on the road. It has sharp features capturing the outline of the Beetle. The Matchbox Lesney Beetle is nicer to hold because of its good size but it is the lightest car and the slowest one here due to its "o-ring" like wheels (Viton?). Lines are not as sharp as the Schuco but the toy like presence is excellent. Collector for the 3 inchers will definately like the toy like feel. Being a cult car and also classic car, the Matchbox gives you the classic feel too.
Tomica - 1 point
Schuco - 2 points
Matchbox - 3 points

Which rims best fit the Beetle? First of all, it must look classic enough to suit the classic car feel. The Tomica 4 spokes button wheel identifies it as a Tomica but not as a classic car which is an slight disadvantage. It might look nicer if it is fitted with the smaller 5 spokes button wheels. The Schuco rims suit almost any cars in their range and it really look like the real Beetle's rims. The Matchbox rims is a hub cap type of the regular Matchbox wheels, the type which I think will look nice in almost any car including current day cars but it's not to everyone's liking.
Tomica - 1 point
Schuco - 3 points
Matchbox - 2 points

The Tomica has the best suspension here which still lives up to its name at least. The Schuco seems to prefer to make its ride firmer. The Matchbox suspension is too soft that it seems like there isn't any.
Tomica - 3 points
Schuco - 2 points
Matchbox - 1 point

Tomica has almost no features except for its well known suspension. Schuco has opening doors, it's a common feature but not so common for Beetles. Most companies do not make doors open for their Beetles. The feature I like most about the Matchbox is not the steerable wheels but the "Monte Carlo" plate, ok, it's not really a feature.
Tomica - 1 point
Schuco - 2 points
Matchbox - 3 points

The Tomica Herbie variation is one of the rarest. I used to have 2 units and I sold one in eBay. It fetch me around USD$150.00. I ever saw one that fetch USD$300.00. This is one of my favourite Tomica and I will keep it so please do not offer unless I found another one in Japan. The Schuco if mint in box will fetch around USD$30.00 and it's not so difficult to find it in eBay. The same goes for the Matchbox, price differs much depending if mint in box and loose mint condition. It is also not diffucult to find one in eBay.
Tomica - 3 points
Schuco - 1 point
Matchbox - 2 points

My favourite is the Tomica. The nicest to look at is the Matchbox. The most Beetle like is the Schuco. It depends on what you are looking out for in a Beetle. There should be one for everyone but if you are a Beetle lover, you will buy all you can find in the market.
Total Score:
Tomica - 9 points
Schuco - 8 points
Matchbox - 11 points