Tomica Posts

Tomica Diecast Returns to North America

tomica UOS 2019Tomica packagingAfter a long absence from the U.S. and Canadian market, Japanese diecast giant Tomica is coming back. An initial wave of 6 models recently started showing up at Walmart stores, followed soon by half a dozen more.

Tomica has been in the diecast business since the early 1970s, and are the biggest brand in Japan as well as many other countries. Since the U.S. market was originally a big part of their plans, their offerings have included a lot of American marques and models. The relaunch includes specifically modern Japanese cars and trucks.

tomica opening features

Most Tomica cars feature opening doors, hoods, or hatches.

Tomica is generally known for well-detailed, realistic models of actual cars, as opposed to unlicensed fantasy designs or extreme customs and hot rods. Their cars are around 1/64, but are usually scaled to take advantage of existing wheel sizes. So they might range from 1/50 to almost 1/100 for something like the 1970s Winnebago camper. Tomica cars are marked on the packaging and on the baseplate with the exact scale. Despite the scale differences, Tomica’s well-proportioned, sensible vehicles have been popular as scenery on model railroads.

Tomica gtr

From Wave 1: Nissan GT-R, Subaru BRZ, Suzuki Swift.

The first wave of cars to hit the pegs at Walmart include a Nissan GT-R, Subaru BRZ, Suzuki Swift Sport, Mazda CX-5, and Toyota Prius. The second wave includes a Mitsubishi Outlander, Toyota C-HR, Lexus RC-FNissan Note, and Subaru Impreza. These should be familiar to U.S. buyers as they most of them are offered in 1/1 scale.

tomica cx5

Wave 1: Mazda CX-5, Toyota Prius.

The new release also includes a pair of Japanese trucks: in wave one, a Isuzu with a payload of giant french fries, and in wave two, a Hino with a family of pandas sitting on the back. So they do get whimsical sometimes. (Other fun past offerings have also included vehicles similar to the Hot Wheels Character Cars, based on such Nippon legends as Godzilla.)

tomica panda truck

These trucks are part of Tomica’s 2019 return to North America.

Their cars also feature premium features like working suspension and opening doors long after those features have disappeared with other brands. There are usually lots of painted details such as lights, trim, and even elaborate grille badges and nameplates. The packaging has a very international feel with lots of Japanese text, and inside the blister is a box reminiscent of the designs the cars have traditionally come in over the years.

Wave 2: Mitsubishi Outlander, Toyta C-HR, and Lexus RC-F.

The cars are set to retail for around $5 slotting them in between Hot Wheels premium lines and Johnny Lightning’s latest offerings. The initial dozen will be followed by more of their other current castings as Tomica celebrates their 50th anniversary in 2020.

Tomica subaru

Wave 2: Nissan Note, Subaru Impreza.

What’s your favorite Tomica diecast? Let us know in the comments!

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.