Collecting Posts

1976 Apple Computer Sells Close to $1 Million… What Did We Toss Out?

Values of rarities are only perceived figures and are subjective to the beholder. Only two people have to have this perception, the buyer and the seller. At a recent auction, both parties were apparently pleased at the price for a 1976 Apple computer at almost a million bucks.

vintage computerBonham’s groundbreaking History of Science Auction held in New York in 2015. Offered were 288 lots including items ranging from 18th-century pocket globes to the ilk of 20th-century tech.

The star of the show was a motherboard retaining a label reading, “Apple Computer 1 / Palo Alto, Ca. Copyright 1976. Let’s face it, not a pretty object, but historically very significant in the digital world. The bottom line is when the bidding ended and the dust settled, Apple 1 sold for an astonishing $905,000.

 Will Vintage Computers/ Video Games be the Next Antique?

There is a definite surge in the collecting of old computer equipment and early video games, as well as video game consoles. MAkes you wonder what he threw out in the 1970s. Tossing out obsolete items is nothing new, and actually part of the puzzle that makes something collectible. We connect with different sorts of things depending on our place in time. Generally people who used early computers and played video games early on couldn’t wait to get the latest and rid of the passé’ clunkers. As time moves on, some of us relate to these objects from the ‘good old days” and become enamored with our previously disregarded Atari or Commodore 64 (fill in the blank).

A laptop Bill Clinton used to send an email to astronaut John Glenn in 1998 sold for $60,000. This is only the beginning, there will be more auction records set as time goes on.

Can a Discarded Computer Save Your Life?

In an unrelated recent story, the short answer is, yes. Just a few years ago a Siberian man was at a local dump scavenging for scrap metal to sell, at the same time a large bear was also scavenging for food. As their paths crossed and the bear attacked him. The unnamed man picked up an old discarded computer and bashed the bear on the head with it, sending the tech-challenged bear fleeing.

It’s never a good idea to hoard, but if you have something unique, yet outdated in the tech world, think twice before making it become landfill. If you are not lucky enough to watch it go up in value, you still may be able to ward off a hungry bear or two with it.

Tomica 1/64 Cars Went From JDM to Worldwide Since 1970

Tomica started as a brand of scale models of Japanese cars for the Japanese market. But in the early 1970s, the brand expanded worldwide, and soon, Tomica 1/64 cars represented many European and North American models. Here’s a brief history of their production and expansion during the decade. By the way, Tomica designed their cars to be roughly the same size and stamped the actual scale on the chassis of each. We use “1/64” as shorthand for cars of about that size.

Tomica models made since 1970 by the TOMY Kogyo Co of Katsuka in Tokyo, Japan. The scale is about 1/60 or 2 ½ “inches long to fit a standard box size, similar to Matchbox or Hot Wheels diecast).

The first Tomica dieacast: #1 Nissan Bluebird SSS coupe (green in image above, last produced 1974), #2 Toyota Corona Mark II 1900 HT (yellow, ast produced 1975), #3 Toyota Crown Deluxe (brown-gold, last produced 1974), #5 Toyota 2000 GT (white, foreground, last produced 1981), #6 Nissan Fairlady Z (white, rear, last produced 1976), #7 Honda 1300 Coupe 9 (red, last produced 1975)

tomica police car

#4 Toyota Crown Deluxe Police Japan car (last produced 1972)

For 1971 they added 23 cars (20 cars was made in japan, 3 cars made in Hong Kong)

The Hong Kong models: #10 Honda NIII 360 (last produced in 1974), #11 Toyota Corolla Sprinter 1200 SL (last produced in 1974), #12 Mazda Capella Rotary coupe (last produced in 1974). Three cars made Hong Kong (new models at 1972) #30 Mitsubishi Galant GTO (last produced in 1975), #33 Nissan Cedric (last produced in 1975), #42 Datsun 1300 Truck (last produced in 1975)

In 1973 Tomica added 20 new models, in 1974 added 18 new models, in 1975 added 35 new models, and 1976 added 29 new models (15 new models of Japanese cars “black box “and 14 new models foreign cars “blue box”). The blue box line included more German, Italian, French, English, and American models.

tomica blue box

Japanese black box and Foreign blue box designs

After 1975, two models above (#11 Toyota Corolla Sprinter 1200 SL and # 42 Datsun 1300 Truck)  were made in Japan, while the 4 other cars were made in Hong Kong.

For 1977 they added 18 new JDM cars and 24 new model foreign cars.

Until 1988 there were 114 models of foreign car and 297 models of Japanese cars. By then, most of Tomica’s diecast models were made in China. But Japan still produced a few models.

tomica 1977 box

New box designs for 1977 Tomica vehicles.

In 1989, Tomica combined Japanese and foreign range still stands at 120 models.

tomica new box

Tomica offered 120 diecast vehicles in 1989.

Tomica grew every year after 1989 , they produced 12 new models car (12 new models, and 12 old models cars ). Their catalog shows 120 number car

At 2000 Tomica has celebrated 30 years of diecast. They produced reissue from the old models, with different boxes.

tomica anniversary box

In 2000, Tomica reissued some original designs in retro packaging.

In 2009 Tomica moved production to Vietnam, with a new logo “TAKARA TOMY”.

Tomica made cars under other names for toys shops, Ikeda ( Nissan Bluebird SSS coupe made in japan)

Besides colors and tampos designs, there are many variants of Tomica models:


The original wheels from Tomica are called 1A wheels (japan production)

tomica 1a wheels

The original wheels from Tomica are called 1A wheels (japan production)

tomica 1e wheels

Second Japan production wheels there name 1E wheels ( japan production).

tomica 1f wheels

Tomica 1f wheels

tomica 1b wheels

Hong Kong Wheels have named 1B wheels (Hong Kong production)

tomica 2f wheels

2F wheels (left) and 2FG (Japan and China production)

tomica 18 alg wheels

The Construction Terex wheel loader has wheels name 18ALG (LG = Light Green)

In Japan, China production

tomica 1h wheels

The most popular wheels in Tomica 1 H wheels ( japan and china production)

tomica 12f wheels

Fat wheels we can found at some truck-like chevy pick up 12F and 12FW (W=white)

tomica 15a wheels

This Lamborghini Cheetah has 15A wheels.

Lancia Stratos 1 J wheels (left) and 1 K (notice the different, tampo too).

tomica 12f wheels

Fat wheels we can found at some truck-like Chevy pickup 12F and 12FW (W=white)

Tomica 10c 10d wheels

For truck the wheels 10 C, Japan only production (old wheels ) and 10 D (new wheels ) Japan and China production.

Like Matchbox Tomica offers some variation likes variation window, interior, or type model of lamp…

tomica poilice fire cars

Some variations include emergency lights (Cadillac) and sirens (Toyota Crown)

tomica landcruiser

Variaints of the Toyota Landcruiser by Tomica

tomica citroen h truck

Citroen H truck with variation in window, lamp, and color door.

tomica cadillac ambulance

Different color lights on these Cadillac ambulances

tomica toyota hiace

Different variants of the Tomica Toyota Hiace

tomica honda city

Honda City variants with interior color

tomica nissan bluebird

Tomica made cars under other names for toys shops, Ikeda (Nissan Bluebird SSS coupe made in Japan)

Tomica also offered a number of two wheeled vehicles.

tomica motorcycles

Models of motorcycles (Honda Dax, Suzuki Gemma, Suzuki Van Van, Yamaha TX 750, and Honda CB 750 F)

In 1975 Tomica began producing gift sets. Tomica made some themes, like transportation gift set, construction gift set, race car gift set, supercar gift set, police gift set, emergency gift set, etc. A very special and huge gift set is the 80 pieces Tomica Osaka castle gifset, ”Super Gift Set” issued to commemorate the 400 year anniversary of Osaka castle. Another rare one is the Wedding gift set. This was issued ONLY to guests at the wedding of the son of Tomy President in April 1983. The set comprises of eight pieces: Toyota soarer, Toyota Celica, Nissan Skylines, Nissan Skyline Silhouette, Honda City Turbo, Hino skeleton bus, Ford truck, and chevy van.

tomica gift set 1

Police gift set (made in Japan) and Transporter gift set  made in Japan)

tomica gift set 2

An British car gift set (made in Japan ) and Food car gift set (made in China)

tomica gift set 3

A Race car gift set  made in china) and Delivery Truck gift set (made in china)

As of today, Tomica has produced over one thousand models of car and over million variations.