Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Tomica Cars


The Tomica (トミカ) brand of diecast cars was introduced by Tomy in 1970 to produce small scale Japanese cars for their domestic market. Tomica only made its North American and European debut in 2010, but their red-and-white boxes are familiar to most diecast car collectors today.

Like their Matchbox and Hot Wheels counterparts, Tomica cars are box scale, with a few models here and there suitable for use with 1/72 miniatures.

My first Tomica model was a 1/72 Mitsubishi Canter Garbage Truck (Tomica Common No.47). This model was produced prior to the merger between Tomy and Takara (now Takara Tomy) in 2006. The tailgate door of the model can be opened, and the body of the truck can be tipped back.



Dump truck, wrecker, and gully truck versions of the Mitsubishi Canter were also made, but are either difficult to find in good condition or expensive.

The Mitsubishi Canter is possibly (I believe) the only 1/72 model in the Tomica line-up. It is now out of production, and should not be confused with the current Mitsubishi Fuso Canter, which is apparently of indeterminate scale.


The other Tomica cars that I have are not actually 1/72 scale, but that's okay, since it's doubtful that they will ever be produced by another company. I picked up the following three models on a recent trip to Osaka.

Yanmar Tractor YT5113 (Tomica Common No.83). Stated to be 1/76 scale, but the interior looks awfully roomy.


Toyota Land Cruiser (Tomica Common No.103). This 1/71 scale model is the double cab version of the truck, so it will require a bit more work for those who want to convert it into a technical.


Morita Fire Fighting Ambulance (Tomica Common No.119) in 1/74 scale. The passenger side rear door can open to reveal the interior of the truck.



If you are interested in getting Tomica cars, make sure that you don't confuse them with the similar Pocket Tomica (ポケット トミカ) brand. I thought I got a great deal on a fleet of garbage trucks, but ended up with these tiny guys... orz



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