I sort of stumbled upon Tomica 1/64 models quite a while back. Over the last few years, me and Mrs have done a fair bit of travel to SE Asia – one of our favourite parts of the world. One of the places I love the most in SE Asia is Singapore. Whilst the Mrs is off in Charles and Keith searching for even more handbags that will not be used, I make the quick dash to the nearest TRU.
One of the main lines available out there is the Tomica 1/64 line. When I first saw them, I loved the artwork on the boxes – reminiscent of the original Lesney Matchbox that started it all…..although today they are a bit more glossy. The models are mainly centred around the real cars and vehicles that are available in the Japanese domestic market. Such models have been avoided by the European big hitters (Siku, Majorette, Norev), and MB & HW. I suppose the one thing that does strike you are the thiness of the wheels, and the fact that there are about two types ever used on any road car. But the more sporty versions have a racing type version, which goes very well – have a look at the pictures of the Civic Type R 4-dr, and the Crown Athlete.
But this is where the appeal is: weird and wonderful names like the Nissan Wingroad, and Toyota Probox. And classics like the Toyota Crown Athelete, Mark X, and Nissan Gloria are all re-created here within the range. What I also really like about the series is that if you collect the models over a period of time, they give a commentary on the Japanese domestic car market – and for someone who loves Japanese cars, this is perfect as a “living reference”.
I have to admit, I don’t collect all of them – first of all after I have selected the first 20 initial ones that I want, I then realise how much it will set me back! Secondly, I am not a fan of the oddities like Steam Rollers, and such – so those are firmly left on the shelf.
TRU in Singapore have a fully stocked section of these in most of their stores around Singapore. HW are sporadic, and MB – well, forget it – a forgotten brand. However, Tomy are making in-roads with the Hypercity range of sets within the UK. Shops haven’t seen the 1/64 scale models – and I am not sure that they will ( can a kid ever relate to a Subaru Sanbar Mail Coach ??). But it is a good start, and one can only hope that these great little cars are introduced into Europe.
Below are a selection of models from by 2010 haul from Singapore. Am secretly hoping to convince the Mrs that as a treat we should have Afternoon Tea at The Fullerton…..AGAIN!