What is Tomica?

As I am documenting the recent buys I got in Singapore, some folk out there will not understand what Tomica is all about. OK, they make diecast, but what is the history of the brand and how have they arrived where they are today?

More importantly, most of the text on their website is in Japanese……..but I have done some digging –

I hope it gives you the reader a better insight and why Tomica /Takara Tomy just makes Mattel look daft and amateurish……….

From the Tomica website:

What's Tomica

Tomica. Little vehicles carrying big dreams.“The Mission: Japanese Diecast Mini-cars for Japanese children”
 The Tomica story starts back in 1970, when model cars mainly referred to imported 1/64 scale models of foreign cars or larger 1/43 scale models of Japanese cars for collectors. It was then that Tomica’s founders embarked on their mission to give the children of Japan small diecast cars based on the vehicles produced by Japan’s own automobile makers. Tomica products were refreshingly different: modeled on made-in-Japan vehicles, they came in sizes that fit easily in the palm of a child’s hand. Diecast bodies gave them an authentic feel, and they were painted using the same baked enamel finish used on real automobiles. With these features, plus extras such as precision suspension and ultra-smooth performance, all at a very reasonable price, Tomica’s popularity grew rapidly. Today, around four in every five Japanese children under the age of eight own at least one Tomica product. Times have changed since the birth of Tomica, but the childhood love of vehicles has endured, and Tomica has grown into a long-selling brand enjoyed by children and parents across three generations. These days, there are 140 models in the Tomica diecast lineup at any one time. The lineup is continually being refreshed with the release of a new model on the third Saturday of each month.
Fits in the palm of a child's hand. Looks just like the real thing!Open and close the doors, discover other gimmicks *Some Tomica models  have no gimmicksA new model is released on the third Saturday each month! 140 models available at all times

Tomica by the Numbers

How many models have been sold since Tomica was launched?Number of models: More than 800
Cumulative total units sold: More than 554 million!
If you lined up all the Tomica cars sold since the brand was launched, bumper to bumper,
they would reach all the way around the Earth!
*Figures correct as of March 2011

Just how popular is Tomica?

Measuring Tomica’s popularity

  • 92.6% of boys in Japan two to seven years of age recognize the Tomica brand.
    Recognition among parents is almost universal at 99.7%.
  • Brand recognition and ownership rates are particularly high among children aged 3 and over.


*From a nationwide survey of 2,000 boys aged 2-7, commissioned by Tomica and conducted by market research firm Macromill in November 2010.

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