Part of the beauty of collecting Tomica is that there are always models you’ve never heard of. Part of the problem with collecting Tomica is that there are always models you’ve never heard of! A completist Tomica collector is brave, indeed.
Not least because I’ve never lived in a country where the full Tomica range is sold, I decided long ago that I’d just buy what I liked, if and when I saw it for sale. That rarely includes Japan-only exclusives but, to refer you back to the opening sentence of this article, sometimes you stumble upon cool stuff when you least expect it.
A couple of months back I came across some Japanese-market Tomica for sale on eBay UK. For some reason the bidding was pretty slow, so I was able to get two new race cars for my collection for a great price.
The first is an R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R in BP/Advan deco from the 2000 Super Taikyu endurance championship. So far as I can tell there wasn’t a wider Super Taikyu series of models that year, but I may be wrong.
The box says the model was produced by iiado, the diecast shop with branches in Tokyo and Osaka, presumably as a Code 1 promotional by Tomica. My guess is that the car would have been sold at iiado as well as at the track.
This won’t go down in history as the world’s most accurate R34 replica – the stance is way off and you either accept the familiar Tomica racing wheels or you don’t – but I like it all the same. It comes in a fantastic box that has photos of the real car.
I prefer it to my only other Tomica R34, which is the regular range #40 in Unisia JECS colours, I believe as raced in JGTC in 2000 (please correct me if I’m wrong). These two castings are not the same: the JGTC version is rightly much more modified than the Super Taikyu, where Skylines competed in a specification closer to stock.
There are a bunch of other R34s out there if you’re interested, some much harder to find than others!
Newcomer number two is a model of the Yellow Hat YMS Tomica Z (Nissan Fairlady Z Racing), as raced in the 2006 Super GT series. Same comments as above apply regarding stance and wheels!
Yellow Hat is a Japanese car parts retailer. Again, I’m guessing this was a promotional model that was sold both in-store and trackside. Either way, the corporate colour makes for a great deco. The model was reissued in 2007 with an updated scheme for that season.
I already had a more detailed Tomica Calsonic Impul Z from the 2005 season but despite the two models sharing bases, this Yellow Hat version is actually a different casting. You have to look closely at the bodywork and front splitter/rear diffuser to see the differences.
The final new arrival is a little less exotic and a lot easier to find, having only been released last year. It represents a car that I consider to be nailed-on as a future classic.
The Tomica Toyota GR Yaris isn’t a model of an outright competition car like the Skyline and Z shown above. But this production car was developed using motorsport experience in a way that goes far beyond the usual marketing interpretation of that concept. It is also intended to be a homologation special for a future WRC contender and is designed to be used in its own right as the basis for privateer race and rally cars. That’ll do me.
I particularly wanted the First Day Colour of red for this model rather than the regular white and my friend Nick (IG @nickb27) happily had a spare to sell me. It went from him to another friend in the UK who was putting a box together for me, and on to Calgary.
I absolutely love this 1:61-scale replica. The ‘Scarlet Flare’ red paint really gleams (the pictures don’t do it justice, sorry) and the front vents and grille, rear spoiler and roof are all picked out in matt or gloss black, with front and rear tampos for good measure. Awesome!
Here’s the GR Yaris with some of my other Tomica Yaris models. I owned a 1:1 dark blue Mk.1 for many years, and it was a terrific car. Sadly, I’ll have to leave Canada if I’m ever to buy a GR Yaris as it’s not sold in North America!
Hope you enjoyed this quick walk through a very welcome mail call. Thanks for reading!
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