Sunday, March 29, 2020

Best Tomica For The Past Decade - 2010-2019

This will be the 2nd time I am doing this little award for Tomica. This time I have gathered a panel of "judges" who are also into Tomica collecting. Their scores will composite 10% of the total points awarded. How the nominees are selected is based on what I have done on annual Best Tomica awards for the past decade. The winner of each year will qualify as an eligible nominee for the selection and 5 wild cards will be chosen among all the past years 1st and 2nd runner up. The following are the list of selection.

Past Year Champions:
  • Toyota Geneo Hybrid Forklift (2010 Winner)
  • Kobelco Rough Terrain Crane Pantherx 250 (2011 Winner)
  • Lexus IS F CCS-R (2012 Winner)
  • Nissan Cima (2013 Winner)
  • Lotus Exige R-GT (2014 Winner)
  • Toyota Land Cruiser (2015 Winner)
  • Toyota L&F Geneo Forklift (2016 Winner)
  • Morita Fire Fighting Vehicle (2017 Winner)
  • Nissan GT-R Nismo GT500 (2018 Winner)
  • Suzuki Jimny (2019 Winner)

Wild Cards:
  • Lotus Exige S (2011 2nd Runner-Up)
  • Jeep Wrangler (2015 1st Runner-Up)
  • Mercedes AMG GT  R (2017 2nd Runner-Up)
  • JSDF High Mobility Vehicle (2018 1st Runner-Up)
  • Mitsuoka Rock Star (2019 1st Runner-Up)

Here are the top 5 cars based on my panel of judges. The ratings are done individually without any discussion. No influence among each judge so that each individual can rate accurately how they feel about each vehicle. I do give them a reminder to choose the best build over personal preference.

  1. Suzuki Jimny (2019 Winner)
  2. Toyota Geneo Hybrid Forklift (2010 Winner)
  3. JSDF High Mobility Vehicle (2018 1st Runner-Up)
  4. Mercedes AMG GT R (2017 2nd Runner-Up)
  5. Nissan GT-R Nismo GT500 (2018 Winner)

Without further ado, here are the result for the Best Tomica For The Past Decade.

Here are the "Honorable Mentions" that nearly made it to the Top 10.

Car: Lotus Exige S
Award: 2011 2nd Runner-Up
Tomica Score:75.30

It's not bad casting to begin with, in fact, even after 9 years, it still looks good and I don't mind buying multiples of this to keep them. It miss out from the top 10 due to the not-so-pretty detailing on the head lamps.

Car: Nissan Cima
Award: 2013 Winner
Tomica Score: 77.50

2013 was a really bad year for Tomica regular cars. There were no exciting nor memorable models released that year. The only way to choose the best that year was to choose the car with little flaws. The Cima and Atenza that year looked the best but doesn't really stand out if to compare models releasing after 2017.

Car: Lotus Exige R-GT
Award: 2014 Winner
Tomica Score: 79.50

2014 isn't a good year for Tomica as there were making repeat casting, shrunk down models or cutting corners. I have to compliment Tomica for making the Lotus looking very Lotus so they have 2 cars in the top 15 list. This colour variant is special because the black and gold accent suggested Johnny Player.

Car: Mercedes AMG GT R
Award: 2017 2nd Runner-Up
Tomica Score: 85.20

I could have place a Toyota 86 or Subaru BRZ instead of this AMG. These cars are made pretty similar, doors that open and that horrible painted small window after the B-pillar. The AMG make it here because of a nicer grill and 86/BRZ had too many variants that you feel nauseous seeing them. I was surprised that my friends rated this into the top 5, it narrowly miss out the top 10 position and I am glad.

Car: Mitsuoka Rock Star
Award: 2019 1st Runner-Up
Tomica Score: 85.50

This was not in my original list at all. I replaced the Suzuki Catering truck with this Mitsuoka at the very last second after serious consideration. The car has very nice detailing mainly it is a Mazda MX5 trying to look like a old Corvette. Lots of detailing from bonnet to the boot and if you look a little lower, the front/rear bumper plus the side skirts. Tomica love making Mitsuoka although there are hardly any fans but this one looks neat. 


Rank: 10th
Car: Lexus IS F CCS-R
Award: 2012 Winner
Tomica Score: 85.70

I know many would disagree on this model. I heard too many negative comments which I don't quite agree. This model is underrated for sure. I would really love to see a lesser model which is the IS 250 road car using button wheels without that huge GT wing. Base on Tomica made for first 30 years, this is a really good proportion, not over or undersized. Some collectors tend to favor big casting but do you really want a Tomica to look like Siku? The proportion is perfect and the livery is nice and accurate. Period.

Rank: 9th
Car: Jeep Wrangler
Award: 2015 1st Runner-Up
Tomica Score: 86.50

Some of you might be asking why didn't you include the Mercedes G Wagon if I include the Jeep? Well, the G Wagon is really nice but I just can't forgive Tomica not giving it a proper rear window so it didn't make it to top 3 even on the year it released. The first colour for Jeep is yellow which is great, the regular colour, Sarge Green, was kind of odd choice. Everything is well executed but could be better if it is done in red or white. Dark colours just doesn't do justice to this car.

Rank: 8th
Car: Morita Fire Fighting Vehicle
Award: 2017 Winner
Tomica Score: 90.10

I can bet with you guys that nobody took a second look at this model. I am seriously not a fan of fire trucks too. These Fire trucks needed to be well made enough to catch my attention. The most significant "feature" is the weight of the vehicle at 84 grams. Then on closer inspection, you will realize how much detailing was done on the truck itself rather to have tampo printing or sticker treatment. This is one of the most deserved but unexpected models being the best made Tomica.

Rank: 7th
Car: Nissan GT-R Nismo GT500
Award: 2018 Winner
Tomica Score: 91.80

The GT-R is well executed although little flaws here and there but we shouldn't ask for the sky when we are paying economy class for something this good. The excellent livery reminiscent of the real race car. That right door is the most prized feature of this car. I can forgive the painted rear window considering this is a race car which need no rear view. I can forgive the omission of suspension for better cornering. I can forgive that flimsy GT wing which will distort during improper storage. All are good otherwise.

Rank: 6th
Car: JSDF High Mobility Vehicle
Award: 2018  1st Runner-Up
Tomica Score: 93.40

I am surprised that the runner-up of 2018 edged out the winner of the same year by a bumper. This is one car I can't resist myself from playing and it seems to be growing on me by the day. The paint was deliberately finished thicker than usual because this is how real military vehicles are painted. The one feature that attracted me most is the suspension. I am aware that most Tomica are equipped with suspension but most seems to be donor from a FD2R on current Tomica. They were so stiff that they don't bounce. The suspension for this vehicle reminds me of a Japanese made Tomica. This should be my personal favorite of the pack.

Rank: 5th 
Car: Toyota Land Cruiser
Award: 2015 Winner
Tomica Score: 93.60

This Tomica was initially launched as a promotional item from Toyota to commemorate 30th anniversary of J70. Toyota sold both the J70 (van) and J70 (pick up) in 2014 throughout Japan dealers . If a Tomica was made as a promo, the build quality usually will both be top notch. 

Rank: 4th
Car: Toyota L&F Geneo
Award: 2016 Winner
Tomica Score: 94.28

I am glad this forklift is produced in Toyota trademark colour. This can be used in S scale diorama as it looks accurately sharp. It can also passed off as an promo item of Toyota easily. In Singapore, you will see this 8 tonner in PSA for heavy duty lifting. 

Rank: 3rd
Car: Suzuki Jimny
Award: 2019 Winner
Tomica Score: 94.50

Suzuki hardly win any awards in Tomica world as they made mainly "Kei" cars which hardly anyone outside Japan will appreciate. Before the release of the Tomica Jimny, I was already keeping a close lookout of the real thing. I required to change a car in 2019 so this will make a good candidate since I love how it looks. This Jimny has a "Kei" car version as well as the larger 1.5 global version. After knowing the selling price of $103k SGD for a brand new unit that comes without much features and poor 3 star NCAP, I dropped the idea without much thinking. It makes more sense to go for a 10 year old FD2 Type R which is much powerful, same depreciation and more car for metal. For 2019, many Tomica models dropped opening or movable features. The Jinmy for this scale had better do without opening doors since the doors are huge. The casting alone is attractive enough to wow fans. I didn't expect that this is ranked 3rd among the 15 models but it's a feat for Suzuki.

Rank: 2nd
Car: Toyota Geneo Hybrid
Award: 2010 Winner
Tomica Score: 95.48

This forklift has been replaced twice, first by the Mitsubishi Outlander then by the Lamborghini sharing the same release number. I wanted to buy more of these they are not available in stores anymore. I am a person who don't focus on what is being replaced so I loses out if I want to get more discontinued models. If you are working in light industries, you might get connected to one of these 3.5 tonners. I have bought a Tomica gift set just for the sake of the orange variant since it's their trademark colour. I don't have to elaborate how nice this model is since my panel also rated it highly.

Rank: 1st
Car: Kobelco Rough Terrain Crane Pantherx 250
Award: 2011 Winner
Tomica Score: 95.80

It's hard to choose the winner for this decade especially between 6 particular models. This Kobelco crane has been around way before the official release because it is a promo model for Kobelco. It beat its closest competitors because of the nice detailing on the cabin area. The production has been ongoing for 9 years. In fact, many construction vehicles has the tendency of long production years, just look at no. 63 crawler crane. This is one of the best crane Tomica has ever made. If you have not got one yet, buy it while it is still available.

I hope you like the result but if you don't agree, you are free to join my Face Book group to share your views

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Sunday, January 26, 2020

Best Tomica of 2019


This year marks the 50th Anniversary for Tomica. Times really flies as I vaguely remember that they were just celebrating 40th birthday when I started this blog. For 2019, we see that Tomica has once again undergone another "restructuring". I wouldn't say it's a good or bad change or should I say it's kind of like good lousy. Most of the Tomica released in 2019 has no opening parts but the music to everyone's ears is most Tomica comes with proper rear windows now. The rating for this year becomes a little wearying because most Tomica fit and finish are almost on par. It now voices down to personal preference. Here we go starting with round 1 of elimination.


December 2019 McLaren Speedtail

The 3rd McLaren by Tomica. This might be the worst of the 3 models done by Tomica. I don't know if it is the shape of the car or Tomica. The design of this McLaren is totally unappealing, perhaps that explains why this car doesn't appeal to me (or most petrohead). What made it worse is, there is no opening parts or even suspension. This is one car I know it won't win beauty contest or any Tomica award from the start.

July 2019 Honda CRV

I boot this out because of the rear window. Period.

October 2019 Suzui Spacia Gear

I love this car, don't mind own one for its cuteness. Everything from the front till C-pillar is good, everything after C-pillar is a no no for me. I have to applaud this model for its front design. I realized most of the Tomica in 2019 has improve on grill and even the colour of the headlights used looks more convincing now.

November 2019 Mitsubishi Delica D:5

Eliminated due to painted window after C-pillars. Treatment on front and rear looks an improvement though.

December 2019 Volvo XC60

Applaud Tomica for making the first Volvo but why not a S60 or S90? There are so many SUV or Minivan in the range already. I don't really fancy XC range as well but what land this car here is because of its rear painted window.

June 2019 Toyota JPN Taxi

Sat in one a few times when i was in Japan. Love the space and love Japanese taxi. Regret to see windows from C-pillars are all painted.

May 2019 Subaru Forester

Its an improvement over previous model but rear windows painted so I couldn't let it pass the next round.

Round 2
This round getting tougher now. Judging based on personal preference as most Tomica fit and finished as almost on par with no major blunder.

May 2019 Toyota Coaster Kindergarten Bus

Nice livery of a kindergarten bus. Just doesn't connect with this casting.

April 2019 Isuzu Sign Car

Too many variants of Isuzu trucks and doesn't really connect with this one.

February 2019 Lamborghini Urus

2nd SUV Lamborghini made into a Tomica.

August 2019 Hino Profia Katsushika Truck

Retains the opening "gull wings" opening doors on the cargo area. Nice touch although not a fan of Profia trucks.

August 2019 Toyota GR Supra

Always look at it as a BMW, casting a little too simple, can be better if the svelte style doors could open.

September 2019 Toyota Century

Toyota Century loses its Japanese flavor looking similar to a Rolls. 

November 2019 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ

Nice proportions comparing to a number of Lamborghini made by Tomica Could be better if the spoiler can be a separate piece.

September 2019 Toyota Camry Sports

One of my Camry in recent years because I am never a fan of Camry. Will be nicer if wheels used are those from Airwave or Axio sedan.

July 2019 Nissan GT-R NISMO 2020 model

We have seen too many GT-R so unavoidable that we expect more from this model. This is the only model that doesn't have opening doors.

March 2019 Pizza-La Delivery Bike

Nicely made delivery bike you see daily in Tokyo. They even made accessories to complement the bike. An improvement over the old pizza bike made 30 years ago.

January 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

Only model in 2019 that has opening doors. Not much flaws for a regular Tomica at this pricing. Not many people can connect with American cars in Asia. Wanted to rank it into top 5 but have to give it to cars which I personally prefer.

March 2019 Toyota Hiace

Tough choice as I wanted to rank it higher as this is one of the best van made in recent years. If this van is painted in lighter colours, I might placed it in top 5. Black just isn't a good choice for commercial van as most people buy them in white or silver usually.

Finally round up to last 5 models. This is just my personal preference for 2019 as mentioned that Tomica has improved over the past few years. Only let down is the omission of opening doors for recent models. It's a good year for Tomica overall although no Tomica stand out to be the clear winner for 2019.

January 2019 CoCo Ichibanya Kitchen Car

I never imagine a Toyota Townace could be made into this CoCo curry rice livery. Townace is a nice truck but justice was not done on its earlier casting. They managed to remodel into a nice kitchen car somehow. CoCo Curry House is also one restaurant I will patronize if I visit Japan.

June 2019 Enzo Ferrari

Among all the recent Ferrari made by Tomica, this is my favorite comparing to LaFerrari or the 488. Proportions are well executed and not easy to emulate if a car has too many curves or rounded ridges. The overall result is pretty sharp.

3rd Place: February 2019 Isuzu Giga Trailer House

I love the idea of a house being "piggyback" by a trailer. I don't recalled a house being carried by a truck in Tomica history. The house is nicely model which is the main reason why I am giving this vehicle high points. Will be great if more variant are produced.

2nd Place:  October 2019 Mitsuoka Rock Star

I am surprised myself too for ranking this 2nd place. I am never a fan of Mitsuoka with exception of the Viewt. I love Viewt and even thought of owning one. Rock Star is actually a MX-5 in disguise and supposed to make it into a classic Corvette look-alike. The detailing such as bonnet vents, grill and  front/rear bumper are nicely crafted onto the car. If the doors are able to open, it will be perfect. 

1st Place: April 2019 Suzuki Jimny

When I know Tomica is releasing the Jimny, I was really excited. This Tomica could passed off as a promo model as what Tomica been doing for some models in the past. This is also a reminiscent of how Tomy made Tomica back in the 80s. If you collect or play with Tomica since 80s, the quality build reminds of a Japan made Tomica. The overall lines of this car is pretty simple but everything is on point.

I will be doing Tomica of the decade soon since last done that in 2010. If you like to join my Facebook group, please do search for Go! Go! Tomica.