Sunday, August 18, 2013

Childhood Memories - CF Nissan Bluebird

I am always trying to buy back the toys I had during my childhood. No exception for this Nissan Bluebird. The difficulty level finding this toy is high because it's made by an unknown maker and many of these cars in the same series are sold as cheap toys in the 80s. If you find this Nissan familiar, you are right as it is a Tomica copy. There are a number of toy cars which were made in Hong Kong copied from Tomica directly. Some do have a brand name while many are unknown to collectors. Let's call this Bluebird "CF" since there is a "CF" marked on its base. There are total of 6 cars in this series from CF 301 to CF 306 and all 6 were Tomica copies. I personally felt that this should be the best interpretation of a Tomica copy. First of all, all CF cars comes with rubber tyres which are only found in Tomica Limited series today. CF cars comes with pullback motor but I can't remember mine is free wheeling or motorized. The doors opens too just like the authentic Tomica, many copies toys save on the extra process. CF do comes with a few colour variant for each of its model. Above all, CF made their toy cars with some character by having slight differences from a Tomica.

How do I get this toy car when I was a kid? I can't remember the year but it should be around the mid 1980s. I was at my parents work place and I always volunteered to buy newspaper or weekly magazine for my mum. I would go to the same newspaper stall which sells toys, candies and sometimes tikam too. This shop is operated by a uncle. The toys in this little shop are mainly cheap toys from Hong Kong, hardly anything from Japan as the shop was located in a wet market. For the richer who wanted expensive toys will go to shopping centre or departmental stores such as Yaohan or maybe Oriental. On this particular day, I went to his shop as usual. I will usually spend not more than $2.00 because I don't have much money. I saw one lot of loose cars located near the pile of candies. I couldn't help and of course help myself to dig into the lot of loose cars. I couldn't recall the models available in the pile but I picked this Bluebird eventually. How much I did I pay for it then? Just $1.00. I have to confess that I didn't like this Bluebird after buying it. I loathed to play with it among my lot of Tomica and Matchbox. The main reason being the rubber tyres which is a deterrent for the car to run fast across the room. The condition of the car is consider very good because it had very little abuse from me. I don't know how this Bluebird disappear from my toy lot but it should be my mum who threw my old toys regularly. After months of hunting, I finally got it. I don't mind keeping multiples of these CF cars as long the price is reasonable. Priority now will be to get the CF Porsche 930 to complete my 6 cars collection. Anyone selling? I still have a long list of childhood toys to hunt down. Wish me luck.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Not Your Regular Tomica

I got hold of 2 interesting Tomica recently. Coincidentally, both Tomica comes from Hong Kong. It seems like all prototypes, errors or unassembled Tomica comes from this city.

I am not a fan of any die cast in unassembled state. I will never buy this if it is 5 or more years ago. I am more receptive in recent years considering buying all new regular release on regular line of Tomica. I would not consider buying a construction vehicles or an excavator then as I will prefer road cars only. I will not buy unofficial Tomica items such as customs done by Kahla Enterprise. I bought one eventually and I paid a high price for it. I don't buy Tomica Limited but I buy selectively now. I would think twice to buy this "split seconds" March because as a Tomica collector (myself then), this is somehow not complete. How often do you find this kind of "error" in a Tomica? Almost close to zero due to the stringent quality control of the company. It's unlike Hot Wheels which you can find errors here and there so there is a market for these error cars. Tomica collectors will prefer to collect rare variants or Tomica which are mint in mint box if possible. I bought this March because you can't simply get a unassembled Tomica in any shops. The closest which I can think of will be Tomica shop where you can buy a factory Tomica. Then again, unassembled factory Tomica are not allowed to leave the shop even if you just want to buy the parts.

I thought that this is one variant on its own initially but on closer inspection, it has no printing at all. The front grill is not printed, the bumper where the fog lights mounted are not painted, the Suzuki logo was omitted, fog lights not painted as well. The A, B and C pillar around the window frames are not painted black too.

This extends all the way till the rear. Rear light, bumper, windows, logo are totally omitted. It could be more interesting if the silk screen printing leave just 1 layer of printing out which will make it look more error-like and probably more collectible. I have a feeling that the March and the Swift are done intentionally to be error cars. This Swift without detailing somehow does remind me of Tomica made in the 70s and 80s when there are no decal or printing treatment as detailing on cars. The detailing of old Tomica are done on the mould instead. Although this Swift has no details on it but I find it quite attractive in its own way. If you want to find an error Tomica in retail, try the Tomica Limited series (now discontinued). I found a few with error wheels especially those on buses or trucks due to difference rim design on front and rear wheels. If you found a error Tomica, do post it on my facebook group for sharing.