Model: Tomica Dandy Hino HE and tanker trailer (Nippon Oil)
Line: Tomica Dandy
Ebay link: Tomica Dandy
Tomica’s Limited Vintage Hinos have been some of the most desirable 1/64s of the past few years. Monsters, full of tiny details, opening trailers and oozing with retro Japanese chic. And the demand has been high, prices have quickly risen to the point where to some of us they have fast become unobtanium. But today we’re not going to be serving up any more (highly deserved) hyperbole on those. We’re taking a little step back into the Japanese brand’s back catalogue (and a trip to my local petrol station) to look at the one of the ancestors of the modern TLVN Hinos.
Tomica have been replicating heavy vehicles way before the Limited Vintage lines and, as they are now, they were brilliant at it. Case in point is the road transport vehicles from the 1980s Tomica Dandy line, one of which I am incredibly lucky to own: the Hino HE tractor unit and tanker trailer in the colours of Nippon Oil.
It’s a big bit of kit (the scale is 1/50 for those who are interested) and it’s proof that Tomica’s superb finishing skills aren’t just a modern thing. There’s rubber tyres, sprung suspension, and details like the Hino emblem cast into the metal body look great. The whole thing feels solidly put together as well. Even with the tanker trailer ,where the majority of the construction is in plastic, you can feel it’s been well stuck together.
On the trailer itself the landing gear legs are workable and the trailer coupling has been well designed meaning these things will have provided hours of fun rolling around Japanese living rooms I am sure!
And the Nippon livery with the Kanji script is a instant cool.
Mine sits on display in my garage, sitting rather fittingly on an empty race fuel barrel. I picked it up at a stall at a local classic car show last year, and I couldn’t believe my luck when I stumbled across it.
I frequent shows and autojumbles often and there’s regularly stalls with diecast present. The seller hadn’t a clue what it was or where he had obtained it but let it go for £12 as he insisted he didn’t want to take anything back home with him. I felt like I had found a Hot Wheels STH. It proved not only that there is a great deal of luck involved with this hobby, but also that it’s always worth looking out for the bigger local car shows and autojumbles. You never know what you might find.