Sunday, January 27, 2013

Best Tomica of 2012

Like previous years, I will do a Best Tomica of the year for 2012. I am doing this as a reference for my own record initially but recently I found that there are more collectors having the same interest like myself. It benefits me in a way as I will need to read up some history on Tomica and a chance to interact with fellow Tomicans, so I am continuing with this award. This year I do it a little different as compared to previous years. For a start, I wanted friends and readers who follow my humble blog to decide the best Tomica. After speaking to a few contributors, it seems that they are voting for their personal favourite models instead of the best so I decide to convert this into a subsidiary award to "My Favourite Tomica of 2012" instead, Go! Go! Tomica edition it is. I have received slightly more than 20 contributions but that is enough as I only take in votes from fellow Tomicans or people who appreciate Tomica. These votes comes from various parts of the world including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Philippines, Japan, India, Austria, Belgium, Canada and the United States. No, I did not vote as it is strictly an award decided by YOU! I like to thank all friends and readers for the contributions as some of you really take the time to inspect every Tomica before deciding your top 5 favourites in random order. Finally, after 3 weeks of polling, I present you the final results and awards given by you and me.

Most Unloved Tomica:
Komatsu Towbarless Tractor
UD Truck Condor
Toyota Prius Alpha
Honda Fit Shuttle

I don't know if this comes as a surprise but come to think of it, I think it could be due to being "forgettable" models. Forgettable as they are not the favourite or the most hated models. Most collectors do not really bother if these models are made. Take the Honda Fit Shuttle for instance, it belong to the range of Tomica which are on a "budget exercise" like the other 3 models sharing the same award. The Fit Shuttle is a Japanese domestic model not meant for export. Some of you might argue that we do have it here in Singapore but those are parallel imports rather than official models brought in by authorized dealers. It is hard for people to relate unfamiliar models so this might be due to the reasons why they are unloved. Nobody actually voted even once for them out of the 24 models released in 2012.

The following are the Top 10 voted totally by you.

My Favourite Tomica 2012

My Favourite Tomica 10th Place:
C11 1 Steam Locomotive (Released Date: 05/2012)

Tomica revived many model range they did years ago. The last Steam Loco was released in 1975 before it was discontinued in the last 80s. Most of us are not fans of railways otherwise we will be collecting Faller or even Pla-Rail. Be prepared that Tomica will make a Long Tomica out of this model. I have a feeling they will. For the steam loco to get a 10th place is consider respectable.

My Favourite Tomica 9th Place:
Peugeot RCZ (Released Date: 10/2012)

I am actually quite glad that Tomica finally made a Peugeot. No Peugeot was ever made in Tomica history.  I was hoping Tomica to make the bread and button hatches or sedans but the RCZ is a good choice as well. I don't mind owning a real RCZ but our company disapproves us of buying coupes although I have heard reviews that the rear seats swallow 2 full grown adults. There are a number of people rooting for this model but this car is not the top choice. The RCZ is usually ranked 5th among voters so the low scores did not help the RCZ to propel into higher position. I hope that Tomica can open up to more foreign makes in the near future. Revived a Jaguar!

My Favourite Tomica 8th Place:
Renault Megane RS (Released Date: 09/2012)

Another French car ranked alongside to one another. It's not a surprise that the RS is in the top 10 because people just love sport models. I just love the idea that French cars are taken into considerations now. Citroen was left out might due to there isn't a sports model worthy enough to start production. It seems like only sports models are produced among foreign cars in order to cover the licensing cost.

My Favourite Tomica 7th Place:
Toyota Camry (Released Date: 06/2012)

I was quite surprise that this car actually beat the 2 French ladies. 2 Tomicans who I spoke to actually wanted to rank it the 5 worst Tomica. I agree that it wasn't the best but there are worse models. People like it because Camry is a common road car which you and I see it everyday so there are some sentiments values involved in the voting. 

My Favourite Tomica 6th Place:
Mazda CX-5 (Released Date: 12/2012)

Just before 2012 is coming to an end, Tomica released one of the nicest SUV to date. I wasn't expecting many votes for the Mazda because there is another SUV competing with the CX5. Indeed, the CX5 was not loved by most people but it received constant votes during the 3 weeks to push it to the number 6 spot. Those who actually voted this car in either owns a Mazda or family member has a Mazda.

My Favourite Tomica 5th Place:
Honda CR-V (Released Date: 08/2012)

The CR-V was leading the rest of the pack in week 1. I almost thought that this car might win the title or at least a runner up position. I am not surprise if the CR-V were to win it because the ASEAN region love this car. Who could imagine during the contribution in week 2, the CR-V ranked 8th while the CX-5 was 5th. The 3rd week was worse which it shared the same scores with Suzuki MR Wagon, Panda Truck and Nissan March Patrol. The Honda CR-V eventually beat the CX-5 by a whisker to claim the fifth spot, thanks to its exordinary results in week 1.

My Favourite Tomica 4th Place:
Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 (Released Date: 07/2012)

The Lamborghini might take better position if it is not build on a budget. It managed to get constant support from its fans during the 3 weeks. The highest position was week 2 when the Aventador shared 3rd place with Lexus. Only 2 contributions voted it as their favourite Tomica of 2012.

My Favourite Tomica 3rd Place:
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG (Released Date: 01/2012)

I am always happy to see more Mercedes models because Mercedes is always the preferred models for my collection. I am actually thrilled that a SLS gull wings is made because I had one Mercedes 300SL gull wings during my childhood.

Total votes below means percentage of contributors who vote the car into top 5.

Total Votes (%): 63.6
Voted Favourite Tomica of 2012: 2 Votes

My Favourite Tomica 2nd Place:
Lexus IS F CCS-R (Released Date: 12/2012)

This is the first time Tomica includes a Lexus into the regular series. The Lexus GS300 and the LF-A was in the Tomica Limited series before. I just felt that a humble IS250 should be good enough to wow Tomicans. The IS F did a slow start in the polling until week 3 ranking 2nd and breeze past the SLS to claim a final 2nd position.

Total Votes (%): 59.1
Voted Favourite Tomica of 2012: 6 Votes

My Favourite Tomica 1st Place:
Toyota FT-86 (Released Date: 06/2012)

This is a within my expectation for the 86 to win this poll. During Week 2, the SLS was fighting strong with the 86 neck to neck. The SLS managed to lead the 86 for a while before raising the white flag at the end of week 2. The 86 was under the limelight then because it is somehow associated with Initial D AE86. It is regarded as a successor to the AE86 because it is front engine and rear wheel driven. But, what is so special about that? There are a number of cars around with this drive train. The AE86 is actually a Toyota Corolla 3 door hatchback or 2 door coupe in disguise. The FT-86 is not even based on a Corolla, it was co-developed with Subaru which Toyota had acquired earlier. The last Levin was code named AE111 but that was from the last century. Shouldn't the sucessor be code named as FT161 or maybe AE121? What I do not understand is why name it 86 if it is not a Corolla? Anyway, this Tomica model did create quite a stir in 2012.

Total Votes (%): 90.9%
Voted Favourite Tomica of 2012: 4 Votes

Most Disappointing Tomica:
Most Clueless Tomica:
Most Discussed Tomica:
Most Promising In Value Appreciation:
Toyota Avensis (Released Date: 04/2012~10/2012)

The Toyota Avensis has bagged the most award for 2012. I am sad to say that the Avensis is famous for all the bad reasons. I am sure that I don't have to explain why. It totally lost the Tomica flavour with exception of the button wheels. The button wheels for the budget range Tomica has shrunk as well. It look exactly like a Tomica junior gotten from a gashapon machine. I cannot understand why the experienced Tomica design team can come out with something that doesn't look Tomica. It is seriously undersized, offers no opening/ movable parts (except the wheels) and the rear windows including the 3rd quarter side windows are paint over. If Siku can maintain its quality after all these years, why can't Tomica? It seems like they are totally lost in directions with this model. I believed Toyota Avensis owners must have sulked for days after waiting anxiously for its Tomica variant of their cars. This car is also been most talk about among Tomicans on its quality and directions till today. The Tomy office must have suffered tremendous pressure hearing complains from the public that the Avensis had to be pulled out within 6 months. It is now replaced by the Toyota Aqua. The Avensis should be one of the shortest production Tomica in history. This Tomica will be considered rare in no time, so grab whatever the shops have while you still can. The ugliest toy and toys people who do not want to buy are the hardest to find many years after its release.

Best Foreign Car Award:
The candidates are -
a. Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
b. Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4
c. Renault Megane RS
d. Peugeot RCZ

Best Foreign Car Award:
Peugeot RCZ (Released Date: 10/2012)

I know some will disagree due to the fact that many has voted the SLS. I have to consider which Tomica follow closest to the Tomica traditions. The Tomica SLS is indeed a nice car especially when viewed from the front with a beautiful grill integrated. But that's all about the Tomica SLS, the gull wing doors has ugly gaps which they supposed to be seamlessly shut. Keep in mind that the doors are not spring loaded like the usual Tomica which gaps are hard to avoid. The rear window is a cut cost design without extra material to act as a rear window. The Megane suffered the same costing cutting design and detailing is a little crude based on today's standard. The Aventador came closest but it is build slightly undersized at a scale of 1/68! The RCZ does not have any parts that open but it looks more proper as a Tomica.

Picking the best Tomica this year is neither easy nor tough. I have to say that I am always neutral as I do not favour any models.  The objective for me is to choose the best made model PERTAINING TO TOMICA TRADITIONS. It's easy to eliminate many models and I am left with only 5 models. They are Lexus IS F CCS-R, Peugeot RCZ, Toyota FT-86, Komatsu Excavator and Mazda CX-5. I can only pick 3 models for this award and it's a tough decision. I ranked the Peugeot RCZ as 2nd place initially but had to pull it down from top 3 for models more deserving models for the title. I really like the Mazda CX-5 very much, I have to rank it 5th because of the opening rear hatch. The window paint over job on the hatch started when the productions shifted to China in the 90s. Since then, all opening hatch do not have a through hole. I do understand that most current hatchback, SUV or MPV today has a one piece window covering the D-pillars totally. Tomy could have cut a hole on its hatch and produced an extra plastic covering it. The CX-5 is the definitely the best SUV to date.  

Best Tomica 2012: Bronze Award
Toyota FT-86 (Released Date: 06/2012)
Made in China

There is nothing special about this model, really. It is made just like any other China made Tomica in the past, suspension, opening doors and not build undersized. The FT-86 won the 3rd place because it didn't do any major faults but it's not fantastic too.

Best Tomica 2012: Silver Award
Komatsu Excavator PC200-10 (Released Date: 10/2012)
Made in Vietnam

I am never a fan of excavators and this Komatsu is the last Tomica model I bought last year as I thought that I had one already. This excavator did not fare with flying colours in the polling. This is what I have expected because most collectors prefers "fast cars". The Komatsu wins my approval as it is build like what a Tomica should be. At least the rubber tracks are still intact rather than what Matchbox is doing. Compared it with its predecessor and you understand what I meant.

Best Tomica 2012: Gold Award
Lexus IS F CCS-R (Released Date: 12/2012)
Made in China

I would actually prefer Tomica to do a IS250 instead but they did great on this tuned up Lexus. Tomica never had much tempo on its regular line of vehicles and they did it beautifully with this one. The car in generally wasn't too soft or too loud as a sport sedan, it was done just nice. I wasn't much of a fan for GT wings but I could bear with it for the sake of a nicely crafted body which Tomica had never do so for a long time. I hope there will be variants of a regular sedan IS250 in the future. I hope you have enjoyed reading the 2012 edition of Best Tomica.

Let me know your comments (if any).


  1. I am so glad you took the #9 Komatsu PC200-10 into consideration when you ranked your top 3. It is an under-recognized model that really deserves a high placing. Also, I very much agree about the IS F CCS-R as the best of 2012 (even though I still thought that the CR-V was the best) since it really had the quality of a typical 70s or 80s Tomica models I came to know about.

    About the CX-5, I'm not sure if it's really the best SUV, considering how there was more budget cuts on that model compared to the CR-V, but I can understand how you like it so much. Even I do too, since I mentioned earlier that it was worthy of top 5 when I gave out my list. I can only agree that both CX-5 and the CR-V are some of the best SUVs made by Tomica to date.

    All in all, great posting and evaluations!

  2. #9 Komatsu PC200-10 is the only heavy equipment / machine in construction line
    that released by TOMICA in 2012 .

    Quote :
    My Favourite Tomica 10th Place:
    C11 1 Steam Locomotive
    (Released Date: 05/2012)

    Tomica revived many model range they did years ago.
    The last Steam Loco was released in 1975 before it was discontinued in the last 80s. Most of us are not fans of railways otherwise we will be collecting Faller or even Pla-Rail.
    Be prepared that Tomica will make a Long Tomica out of this model.
    I have a feeling they will. For the steam loco to get a 10th place is consider respectable.

    Mr.Julian maybe the
    #135 D51 498 STEAM LOCOMOTIVE
    which released in 2009
    already figured it .

  3. Hi Tjiang,

    I refers to regular release, not inclusive of Long Tomica.

    Hi Kent,

    Thank you for your contribution.


  4. Hi,

    May I know where did you get the display case in the picture?