Meet our new resident Tomica expert, Jay Kho, and revel in these awesome vintage Tomicas…

Well this fills a hefty gap.  There are a few brands that haven’t gotten much coverage on Lamley, and while that will always be the case, I have always thought there was a place for standard Tomica.

Obviously Tomica Limited Vintage is my gig.  I have a whole wall dedicated to those beauties, as well as a closet full of Kyosho, Matchbox, and Hot Wheels, with a smattering of Aoshima, Greenlight and Auto World.  That is a lot for one collector, and I want to keep it that way.  But I have always thought that standard Tomica would be a great topic for the blog.  The problem is, that is a very deep hole I don’t have the space to jump into.

Enter Jay Kho, Lamley’s new Tomica expert.  And by expert I mean he likes them and collects them.  That is all the qualification he needs.  That and the fact he knows Jeff Koch, who knows everything but has his own writing assignments to worry about.  Jay has a hankering for vintage Tomica, so I asked him to drop a feature here and there for Lamley.  Thankfully, he agreed to do so.

Most of you are probably already familiar with Jay, whether you know it or not.  He is active in the diecast world, especially on his IG feed (@jester702), but it is that DR30 Skyline he owns that has brought a great deal of attention his way.  You have seen it on Speedhunters, here on Lamley, and it was the star of the Japanese Nostalgic Car booth at JCCS in September.  It even made me look cool during a late night scamper in Vegas a couple of months ago.  That is no small feat.

When it comes to all things true scale auto, Jay knows his stuff.  He is also one helluva guy.  Plus if I call him an expert in something maybe he will give me another ride in his cool car.

For now, enjoy his first post of hopefully many…

(Thanks Jay.)

As a car enthusiast, there are tons of cars lined up in my head that I would love to own, and yes even though my name is Jay the unfortunate side my last name is not Leno, so I resort to miniaturizing them to a 1/64 scale so that I don’t have to sell my soul to a loan shark somewhere in downtown Las Vegas. 

So what do I collect? Well, I only grab the cars I would dreamed of being parked inside my tiny garage to be drooled at, and frankly most of them are made in Japan. I look at them, analyze the small details, at how the casting has captured the lines of the real car, and then push them around the house and go vroom vroom while I tell my kids not to play with them. 

As much as I love Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Kyosho, Aoshima and the like, I always get excited and giddy every time I receive my long awaited box of goodies that I ordered from Japan Booster (insert shameless plug HERE), containing the one that tops them all: some nice minty fresh, well packaged Tomica Limited Vintage to add to my collection. 

Tomica cars pretty much took a page from the Matchbox playbook back then and followed the same gimmick: the box container it came with, the realistic take on cars with close to a factory colors, opening doors, and even that small tow hook in the back. 

So let’s take a look back on a few early examples of Tomica models which led the company to produce such highly detailed cars up to date. 

Back in the 1971, Tomica was producing their die-cast with 2 piece wheels known as 1E – 6 spoke chrome wheels were used until 1977.  Some say…the company had to halt the production due to new child safety laws regarding chocking hazard material.  Some say…they just did it because it was cost effective to just produce a 1 piece mold.  (Stig knows but he won’t say.)

Luckily I was able to acquire such rare beauties from our good friend Jeff, better known as @the_toy_pimp on IG, who you can also catch selling an array of diecast at the Japanese Classic Car Show every year. 

So…let’s cut to the chase and get on with the show! Taking you back in time with a  (C130) Nissan Laurel, a Mazda Savanna GT or RX3 and a Nissan Sunny 1400GX all with the said 1E wheels. 


C130 Nissan Laurel

Mazda Savanna GT (RX3)

Nissan Sunny 1400GX

15 Replies to “Meet our new resident Tomica expert, Jay Kho, and revel in these awesome vintage Tomicas…”

  1. Amazing feature. I was drooling over what looked like Celica XX from the first pic, then I saw the real life Skyline. *drools* I'm with John that vintage Tomicas(not TLVs) are not the hole I want to get into, but/and also hoping that this is the first of many posts from Jay. Great job!

  2. Both cars look great! I eagerly await more of this feature.

    I have my own opinion after reading about the “hubcap” wheels. I believe it was a cost-cutting measure, as even the most played-with Tomicas I see with these style wheels still have all four or more of them.

  3. Great to see some older Tomicas being reviewed. I loved the models from the 70's. Back then I bought them off the pegs as Pocket Cars brand in the US. Would love to see more of this.

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