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

Go! Go! Tomica Facebook Group:



  1. (sigh)
    I wish Tomica make a Suzuki SX4 S-Cross! Well, or anybody else...

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  5. That was a fun post, thank you! I love comparisons and lists such as this, and frequently feature similar content in my own diecast blog (johnccarroll@blogspot.com).

    I agree that several of these would also be my choice for contenders for the best Tomica of the last decade, including the 2 forklifts, the crane, the Jimmy, the Land Cruiser, etc.

    However a few of your choices were pretty surprising, perhaps no more so than the uninspired CIMA (I love models of large Japanese luxury sedans, and have been very pleased by some of the Crowns that Tomica has made over the last 20 years, as well as a casting of the PREVIOUS generation Cima (no. 104)).

    I started looking through my collection to see which Tomica I felt SHOULD have been I included, but of course the list quickly grew much too long, and it became too difficult to narrow the list down to just a few... (Sigh...).

    Anyway, thanks again for an interesting read - keep up the good work!

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