Saturday, September 11, 2010

World of Imitation Tomica

We may be living in the Tomica world but do you think that we are really alone? Ever seen a Tomica which trying to look like one but it just isn't one. Or have you encountered Tomica that are pack in a "special" packaging which you might thought it is a foreign packing. Or..... have you ever pick up a Tomica which you thought that comes from a special series and they are look so "unique" that you actually thought that it was a custom piece. If you have seen one (or not), welcome to the world of imitation Tomica.

A&L (Aoli):
The vehicles look exactly the same as Tomica and they come in pack of 4. A&L are made in China and they are the imitation Tomica of recent years. Though they look exactly the same as a Tomica, the quality isn't. Each set cost approximately US$9.00 (cheaper than the real stuff by approximate half) and I think they overprice it considering that there is almost zero research, development and design of the toy cars. Oops....Sorry, let me rephrase it, there is some design done by the Chinese like the theme (Fire Rescue series etc), the color scheme of the vehicles, the packaging and the imprints found on the vehicle. Where in this world can you find a "Tomica" imprinted with Chinese characters and yet they doesn't exist at all in the real world. You can't buy these "Tomica" anywhere too because these are the "domestic" series (they aren't available elsewhere except China).

Look at this! How lucky I am to have an error Aoli on my first purchase.

Aoli Toyota Harrier City Rescue Service car

Aoli Mitsubishi Pajero Fire Chief car

Aoli Nissan Fairlady 300ZX Firebolt Rescue Service car

The base is different from Tomica, if they manufacture a base with "A&L" or "Aoli" trademark, Aoli might cost more than Tomica.

I just bought one out of the many sets they have. Linglibao copied many of the Tomica giftset. Do you find this postal service set familiar in the Tomica range? The plastic used on Linglibao are of the lowest grade (same goes for the box) as plastic parts of the bike broke when I open it in my hotel, could be due to mishandling by Toy'R'Us staff (I think that is where I bought this set). A few sets I saw in the shop do contain broken parts too. They cost slightly more than Aoli. Skip this totally and save for that ugly wheels.

Winner made imitation Tomica and Schuco. These are made in Hong Kong in the 70s. Almost all toys are made in Hong Kong then and they are producing toys in full throttle like what China is doing today. Winners are the best and most worthy to collect imitation Tomica. The quality is definately made at a budget but they are better than current day Tomica. Why? Obvious reason Winner is using the same cast as Tomica and Schuco without much modification done. Take note that the Winner still carries the "Schuco" on its registration plate. The difference is the color variation and all Winner keep their doors shut although the Tomica Celica below does open its doors. Cost saving is a first priority for imit Tomica.

Authentic Tomica Toyota Celica LB2000GT

Winner Toyota Celica LB2000GT

Authentic Schuco Opel Commodore

Winner Opel Commodore

Most collectors should know Yatming of Hong Kong. I remember they were sold in provision shops packed in blister or as a loose car at $1.00 each then. The good news about Yatming if you happen to like them, they aren't exactly costly to buy. The bad news is they are still worth $1.00 after 30 years (actually to be fair to Yatming, usually goes for $1.00 to $3.00 each).

The earlier Yatming were mainly copies of Tomica but they started to have different models which Tomica doesn't have in the 80s. The quality isn't great. I remembered buying a Yatming Civic (Green car with black strips I think) from nearby Indian provision store, excitedly open the blister. After 5 minutes of play (I might be rough), the front bumper drop off. I was a little disappointed as I like hatchbacks since young. It's sad to see the toy car lost its bumper.

Yatming were also produced in Thailand and China when Hong Kong becomes expensive to produce budget toys for children. That is when the quality dropped another notch. Base of Yatming the same as the Tomica but crude.

Authentic Tomica Fiat X1/9

Unknown Fiat X1/9

No name on its base. The car is the same except for the base, wheels and of course the material that made it. I once had a Bluebird SSS 1800 which I believed belong to this same maker like the Fiat above. I know the Bluebird and the Fiat are from the same maker because the wheels are the same. I have little fun with this "Fake Tomica" because the wheels are "rubbery" which doesn't allow me the drift, skid, accelerate the car while playing on the floor. The "Fake Tomica" doesn't comes with suspension too so the car had zero fun factor. I am also puzzled why the blue car number plate is CF305 (CF305 is their code number like Tomica F-28 for example) while Tomica has "Fiat" on the licence plate. I been thinking what CF stands for? "Copy Fiat", "Charming Foreign", "Creating Fakes". I saw some in eBay but they are not cheap and sold by a German seller. How on earth did these cars get there?

The base and bumper (one piece) of the imit Tomica is not made of metal. It looks like plastic coated with chrome paint. The chrome fades badly through the years of playing. Tomica shines brightly with smile in un-played condition. Although not really perfect, I do hope to buy the Bluebird I once had then.

I believe there are other imit Tomica which I haven't seen yet. Anybody heard of "TakWo"? I saw it in some website, they look like Tomica but less details. Anyone who has one can sell it to me? I am also looking for other Hong Kong made imit Tomica (except Yatming). Anyone who willing to let go to someone who will give the car a good home, please contact me.


  1. Wow, they really look like the real thing! Where did you get those Aoli 4 Packs? I like! Haha!

  2. They come from land of copies, China. Bought them when i was there for business.

  3. Heard of a Jusco S10 Plaza??? Well, they sell a small range of Toy Cars, and I'm quite sure they are imit tomica

  4. Actually, no... never heard of. Where's that?

  5. I found out today that here in Dominican Republic there is one toy store that sells the AOLI brand imitations as single cars.