Monday, December 29, 2014

Redbull Subaru BRZ by Go! Go! Tomica

Dear friends, 2014 is coming to an end and I like to make this opportunity to thank all of you who supported me on my first Tomica "dream" project. This project has set me a few grand poorer but thanks to you guys who help to minimise my cost to realise this dream.

I have passed 2 of my BRZ to a friend in Japan recently. I asked him to help me list my BRZ in Yahoo Japan. I wanted to see how much my BRZ will fetch in Japan's market and hopefully I can make some money to cover my cost if possible. To my surprise, the 2 BRZ fetch much higher than what I have expected. The 2 pcs was sold at 20,010 yen per piece.

Coincidentally, another friend in Japan listed his spare car on the same day as mine. His unit fetch 20,510yen. He scored well too and I was happy for him. I just like to share this piece of good news with friends who bought the cars from me. Thank you once again for your support. Deeply appreciated. Have a good new year ahead.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Some Cars I bought in Tokyo 2014

 I bought many cars during my recent trip to Tokyo. I am unable to show all of them to you so I will pick them randomly to feature them here. Just to share with you guys.

 This is the most expensive set I bought this trip. Been wanting to buy this long ago but no luck. Have to pay a high price for this set. There is a Tomica Nissan Tiida / Latio after all. Latio drivers in Singapore, just to share, not selling at all.

 Cannot resist the charm of a Dandy truck. 2nd most expensive item for the trip.

 3rd most expensive is a Diapet Toyota Corona wagon. Very rare as I hardly see one on any auction.

 I love collecting Corolla so this is a must buy for me.

 Diapet Honda Prelude (1st gen) is common but not this colour variant. Most common you see is either gold, red or yellow.

 I drive a Daihatsu YRV Turbo so getting this 1st gen Charade is pretty cool for me. The colour is the same as my YRV too.

 Diapet Lamborghini, pretty reasonable price so I have to buy it.

 Dandy Jaguar. Price is reasonable so I add it instantly into my shopping cart.

 Tomica Limited Vintage Neo, 1st time in 1/43 scale. The price is hard to resist and I do love this Gloria very much.

1960 model of a Prince Skyline patrol car by Fine.

 Toyota flagship model, the Century.

 USSR Taxi from the 70s. Pretty hard to come by today and good price too.

 Another Russian toy car, a nice panel van.

 Mebetoys Mercedes Benz 250 Coupe. Thought that it is 680yen but only shock to find out that the price is 6800yen after checking it in hotel. Price is market price so I didn't really overpaid for it. Nice addition to my Mercedes collection.

 I love Schuco in 1/66 and 1/43. These are 1/43 scale Mercedes Benz 350SE. I really love that German taxi of the Mercedes lot.

 Loose mint Diapet Kenmeri Skyline. Gonna check if I have a empty box for it.

 Loose mint Toyota Crown. Diapet cars are really nice.

 Late 60s or probably early 70s Majorette truck. Not mint but very hard to see one these days.

 Tomica Cadillac Seville. Got this one finally.

 Tomica Toyota Century. Got a black and a red, now a silver to add to my collection.

 Tomica Nissan Skyline Hakosuka. I had one of this car during my childhood. It was totally badly beaten up and was thrown away. Now I got a mint one.

 Tomica Mitsubishi Fuso Truck.

 Tomica Renault Alpine. I traded in for this Renault with my Subaru Redbull BRZ for this.

 Mr. Craft Tomica Lancia Stratos. Although a China made variant, this is one of the nicest Stratos variant available.

 Tomica Hino Dump truck. Price is dear but worth every cent of it.

 Tomica Super Wing series. I would say this is a steal among my purchase.

 I don't really agree with the build quality of this Beetle but the GCG version is pretty cool.

 Guisval Renault 12 wagon. I bought quite a number of these Spanish cars and this is one of my favourite.

 Another Guisval I like to share. Simca 1200.

Konami Toyota Vitz. First time seeing this, pretty neat because the car has a opening hood and it has suspension too like Tomica.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

2014 Tomica and Toy Car Adventures in Tokyo

Today is 13th Dec 2014, midnight. This begins my another exciting adventure to Tokyo. This time I brought a new travelling partner, Yeo Yinseng. This is his first time to Japan and my first time taking Scoot.

We are supposed to fly by Singapore Airlines but I managed to buy SQ return trip only, therefore, I had to take Scoot. We scoot to Tokyo and SQ back to Singapore.

First day is a rush day for me. We took the Narita Express Train (NEX) from Chiba to Tokyo. We had to rush to Metropolitan Hotel in Ikebukuro by 1pm to leave our luggage at the concierge. I had to collect the portable wireless I rented from hotel and collect my rental car near the hotel.

Yeo was hungry during the journey on the train.

I was kind of a good planner in a way. Managed to collect my car on time at 1:30pm. Drive to Hobby-Off in Higashiyamato and arrived at 3pm.

Here we are at Hard-Off.

We are welcomed by a good selection of vintage Tomica.

More toy cars of different scales and brands.

Different series of Tomica for you to choose from.

Tomica Foreign series

Some more here.

They have also good selection of other vintage toys.

Here are some more vintage toys of the 70s.

Model kit department.

Anyone likes Gachapon? Crazy selection here.

 The Sylvanian Families in loose condition.

Tons of junk toys selling in packs at an affordable price.

Gachapon toys everywhere in the store.

Can't control myself whenever I see the Glico ice-cream vending machine.

Saw a nice Fairlady near the store.

After our toy car shopping, drove to a nearby Denny's restaurant. I didn't had anything the whole day.

Now you see it.

And it's gone.

Drove to a 7-i on the way back. Gotta stop by to buy some drinks and check out what's in store for me.

On the way back to Ikebukuro to return the car before checking into hotel.

Home sweet home. Very tired after a long day of travelling on plane, train and driving. Got to wake up early tomorrow to travel to Yokohama the next morning.

The next day, after an hour ride on the train to Yokohama, arrived at Wonderland venue at 9am. The queue has already formed as usual.

Highlights for me at Wonderland are "what cars will be on display today?". A nice Fiat 500 at the event.

At the 84th Wonderland, I saw a Toyota 2000GT. This is the 90th Wonderland and there is a Toyota 2000GT convertible. Wow... only 2 in the world for 007 movie. Then my friend, Jeff, told me that it is a Mazda MX5 in disguise. A little disappointment for me but still cool as it managed to fool me for a while.

Does it look like a MX5 from this angle?

A real MX5 was there too.

Then I saw a stall with no cars but Ultraman. A little weird for me as this is a toy car show so I decided to check it out.

The suit actor for Ultraman is there and I requested to take a photo with him. He is the real hero fighting monster and a part in destroying miniature sets of Japan. His "manager" told me that he played monsters in a suit at times too. He got me excited for at least half a day. I am so excited that I forgotten to ask for his autograph. How often do you meet a real Ultraman?

He gave me a printout of him when he was young and an Ultraman in suit. He is the one on the right in the photo.

After all the Ultraman commotion, time to check out the stalls at the event.

Using my broken Japanese to communicate with stall owners when I saw something of my interest. Lots of Diapet, Corgi, Schuco, Dinky and a little of everything this stall. Did not manage to get anything here though.

Lots of Tomica at the event too.

Here are some more from the same stall.

My Japanese friends Akito and Atsushi came at 10am and I just had to take some photos with them.

Jeff Koch, known him for years and finally I had a chance to meet him in person.

Team Singapore reporting at the event. Let's Play Chern Liang joined our team at 12pm.

Jeff started his hunting after selling some of his stuff.
All these Tomica are cater for the auctioneers. There is a fierce competition between team Hong Kong (Ken's Garage and Hung Hing) and team Japan.

See anything you like here? I wanted many but I didn't join in the fun.

Don't really collect Hot Wheels but managed to get a gift from Wonderland.

Back to Tokyo on the very day in Gulliver. Who is that hiding from my camera?

It's...... it's.......

Ok... you know who. Busy buying Tomica.

Some Tomica at Gulliver.

Some 1/43 detailed models in the shop.

After a hard day's work, we went for dinner. One of the best ramen I have tasted in Tokyo. I frequent this shop too whenever I visit Tokyo.

Next morning, we travelled to Disneyland. To be honest, this is my first time to Disneyland although I didn't buy ticket to go into the theme park.

The Mickey Mouse bus.

Shopping starts here although I am seriously not a fan of Disney Tomica. Well, since I am here, why not start a small collection. Small damage to my wallet.

To some this is heaven, to me, this is not really a core for the trip but I still need to make a trip there.

Nissan Note patrol for police town set. Phew, not what I want. I don't want to buy another big set for a Tomica.

Tomica UFO catcher.

Bought some factory Tomica. This month features the Mitsubishi Triton.

Next we travel to Nakano, tried to sell our Tomica there. Their offers are not so attractive to us so, No Sale!

A shop with many toy cars of various brands and condition.

Alf, another shop that sells rare Tomica variant. Yeo was looking for the Suzuki Carry but none was found.

Many junk Tomica and toy cars here. They are stacked on top of one another. Need to have sharp pair of eyes to hunt down what you really need.

Alone in Lotteria fast food restaurant waiting for Akito. We agreed to meet for dinner as Wonderland is too short time as I need to focus on my hunting.

We had Chinese food for dinner. We are using Japanese and English to comminicate. I seriously need to brush up my Japanese more.

Tuesday arrived. Chern Liang will be going home today while we visit Asakusa today. Tokyo is raining almost whole day today.

Finally had the chance to use my umbrella I brought along to Japan.

Lot of food stuff available here for tourists.

At Senso-ji temple, did my prayers. Everytime I got a good divination from the sticks. This time I had a really bad one.

My favorite machine and I didn't score well this time. Bad luck.

We headed to II Ado to see if there are good cars to hunt down.

Indeed there are always something worthy to buy here.

Shu-Stock next. As usual, Shu-Stock broke my wallet deeply.

Some Tomica in their shop.

In my opinion, most shops in Tokyo has lesser stuff now including Shu-Stock.

The Ferris Wheel in Odaiba. We went there to buy Glico stuff mainly.

Bought 2 of these because we don't have similar in Singapore.

Giant pocky. Gotta get one.

So I bought the rainbow one.

Another of my favourite shop in Tokyo. They have huge collection of Diapet and Dandy. I bought 3 Diapets here and a Dandy which I really like that the boss gave me a Diapet pin.

I prefer Diapet cars over Dandy cars.

But I prefer Dandy trucks over Diapet trucks.

More Dandy.
I have no intention to buy a Dandy but the trucks are simply irresistible.
See what I mean. This truck is nice.

This one too.

This as well.

And this.... I just had to bring one back.

And I have to take photos of those I like as I can only bring one back.

Wanna guess which one I bought?

I spent about 2 hours in Ken-Box practicing my Japanese and Yeo need to get his Suzuki Carry. This is his last hope in Tokyo as this will be the last shop with discontinued items. It's pretty good if you know a little Japanese, you made friends easier in a way. I am glad that I took up the language and I am surprise that I still keep myself going after a year.

I wanted this van, the red one, but I have no money to buy it.

Yeo was a little disappointed as he couldn't find his Suzuki Carry variant he wanted. Just one more to complete the collection.

I love Diapet 1/30. My favourite is the Cedric taxi but I have it already. I like to have a Crown or if there is a Celica 1600GT for this series.

Loose cars. Bought quite a number of them at the Wonderland from Ken-Box and Shu-Stock. I picked a few more here to fill my luggage.

So did Yeo manage to get the Suzuki Carry he need? Yes he did, the boss sold him his own collection. Yeo commented that Ken-Box is the best shop in Tokyo because only Ken-Box has the Tomica he need. Well, my opinion is, Ken-Box is indeed a very good shop and any collectors should not skip it but it shouldn't be based on just a Suzuki Carry truck. I spoken to Kenichi San during the 2 hours stay there. I told him honestly that his price is the highest amongst all shops in Tokyo. He agreed and said that his shop is only 4 years old while other shops are more than 30 years. His price is highest also probably due to condition of cars. I have to agree with him because his Tomica are priced high as they are really mint. The lowly priced ones are maybe with play wear or small paint chips. I also told him about my blog and he asked if I can feature his shop. I told him, 大丈夫,sure I will do it for him even if he didn't say so. People who are reading my blog, please support Ken-Box if you are in Tokyo, tell Kenichi San that you know his shop through Go! Go! Tomica, buy a lot and you might get a good price from them. You may start a conversation by saying "Go! Go! Tomica's Julian send regards to Kenichi San and the beautiful lady at the shop"

This trip I realized that all shops in Tokyo has lesser toy cars or shrink down in size. This is Minicar Ikeda. New location which made me confused for a while as I used to know them located on 2nd floor in another building in Nippori.

Finally I found Epoch Mtech cars. I gacha 2 of them.

A small selection of Tomica here. I bought some cars here.

Plus some expensive and really good cars which are beyond my budget.

Ending my trip in Nekorobi, a cat house.

Entrance fees of 600yen for cat lovers.

Finally found this little guy, I love this cat.
Well, not so much for this one but he looks like king of Nekorobi. All right, will try to update what I bought before the year ends. Bye for now and Merry Christmas.