Tomica has been a leader in innovation since it opened its doors for business in 1970. One of the highlights of Tomica die-cast models is the Dream Tomica Series, which are models inspired by popular children’s characters.
Dream Tomica Series: Pokemon
One of the most well-known Dream Tomica Series product lines in Japan is based on the hit anime franchise Pokemon. Short for Pocket Monsters, the characters originated as a Game Boy series owned by Nintendo. It has been used in dozens of merchandising products from garments to trading cards.
Tomica signed an agreement with Toyota in 2012 to create die-cast model cars that would resemble Pokemon and other characters in the game. The result was presented in the 2012 Tokyo International Toy Show held in the nation’s capital. There were three Pokemon models presented with a scale of 1:64, and they were titled: Tomica Pokemon.
The three Toyota models used for this series were the Alphard (showing a Pokemon mural) and two Toyota Porte models for Oshawott and Pikachu. Eventually other characters were represented in the Tomica Pokemon line like the Prasel car, Minun car, Naetle car, Hikozaru, and Pochama car.
All Tomica Pokemon models had designs that made the car model look like the character, such as the yellow Pikachu car with stylized hubcaps, long ears, and a mouth and cheeks on the front bumper.
Dream Tomica Series: Batman & Transformers
The Tomica Batman car series includes two Batmobiles which were sold at double the price of a regular Dream Tomica car. Number 146 is the 1989 Batmobile driven by Michael Keaton. This was one of the top selling Batman movies so it’s not surprising that it is included in this series. The second Batmobile is #148 and the model resembles the car used in The Dark Knight, which stars Christian Bale as the titular character. Of the two Batmobiles, #148 is much rarer.
The Tomica Transformers set is another thrilling part of the Dream Tomica Series. Number 142 is Bumblebee based off the 2008 Camaro, while #147 is Optimus Prime. While these models are not designed to mechanically transform, they are a good investment as their prices continue to rise, just as with the Batmobiles.
Other Popular Character Cars
Other Dream Series models that can be had are Hello Kitty, Rilakkuma, and Super Mario Kart. Hello Kitty (#152) is a cute little design. Its body is made of metal while the wheels are plastic. The front of the car is the face of Hello Kitty and the rear has a tail. Other cars in the Dream Tomica Series include Snoopy and Super Sonic Runner.
Tomica began in 1970 under the company banner, Tomy Kogyo Company Inc. Its business product was die-cast model cars for children, and the head of the company was Eijiro Tomiyama. Tomiyama has seven patents as an inventor, including a motor driven rolling toy (1972), a toy parking garage (1972), and a track device for toy cars (1972).
From the very beginning, Tomica was recognized as leader in detailing and craftsmanship of die-cast cars. The car models were attractive and well-made. The company initially came out with only six car models. These were the Toyota Corona Mark II, The Datsun Bluebird SSS Coupe, the Toyota Crown police sedan, the Toyota Crown Super DL, the Toyota 2000 GT, and the Datsun Fairlady.
Tomica Proves Itself in the American Market
The average scale for Tomica models is 1/65 although there were models that had a scale ranging from 1/154 up to 1/25. At the time of the Tomica launch, Matchbox, a competing die-cast toy business owned by British company Lesney products, was suffering in competition from the American toy company Mattel and its Hot Wheels. This was in 1969; and in 1970, Matchbox introduced its Super Fast line with racing tracks. In short, in 1970, there were two major die-cast toy companies ruling the market and Tomica was ready to step in as a new challenger.
By the end of the 1970s, Matchbox was almost bankrupt and Tomica was enjoying tremendous success. They launched about 180 cars in total and entered its peak, also known as the “finest hour for Tomica lovers.” In 1980, Tomica released additional models, totaling 260 since the time the company began operations. This period did not last long as Matchbox was sold and production moved to cheaper factories in China, which allowed the competing brand to be sold at a price much lower than Tomica. Eventually, Tomy had to downsize to 120 models and has kept to this number ever since. The company would remove some models and replace them with new products, and since the company’s inception in 1970, they have created over 800 models and sold more than 554 million units. Brand recognition of Tomica in Japan is over 99 percent and continues to appeal to young boys beginning at age three all the way up to adults.
The Tomica Limited (TL) series were produced from 2001 to 2013. The target of this series was collectors and true lovers of Tomica. The detailing on the TL series is impeccable with realistic-looking parts like rubberized plastic tires, emblems, and color schemes. Many of the cars in the TL series were popular in their day, discontinued regular models, or new models like the Toyota AA, the 2004 MINI Cooper, and the Nissan Skyline GTB. There are also a couple of models that are not found in the regular series like the Lexus GS300 and the LFA Super Car, as well as racing versions and other types of variations on regular models like the 0035 Mazda MX-5 Eunos Roadster.
Identifying Tomica Limited Models
All TL models were given new numbers starting at 0001 and released every fourth Saturday of the month during the series’ production run. In 2004, Tomica also published a collector’s book which featured the TL series. The last of the TL models was the 0156 Subaru Legacy B4, which is an unmarked police patrol car. It was released in June 2013 making the TL series collection a total of 156 models.
The packaging of the TL series is a simple open cardboard black box with clear plastic on all sides. This allows the owner to display the models without having to take it out of its original packaging. The early models came with a metal name plate but after model 0051, the metal name plates were discontinued.
Under the TL series, there are three sets: the regular, box, and S-series. The regular TL series is the most common and easy to find. The box set is bundled in groups of 2–12 models while the S-Series are larger in scale and extremely detailed. The S-Series is the most difficult to find because only 10 models are included in this set.
The big question is would you favor collecting the TL series?
Why collect Tomica's TL Series?
For some Tomica loyalists, the TL series is just a more expensive version of the regular series with a few changes. Except for some models, Tomica used the old moulds in recreating the TL models. In addition, the accuracy in detailing can be rated at about 8 out of 10 because some models have smaller wheels.
For Tomica enthusiasts and those who love collecting, the TL series is a worthy investment. In Tokyo, the TL Vintage models can cost anywhere from 3,000 to 12,000 yen, each depending on the model and its condition.
Pokémon figures are made by or for different companies for purposes other than to promote the Pokémon game. For example, the Chibi Poke Models by Tomy Takara was made for the Nagatanien Company Limited in Japan in 2007 to help promote their instant food products. The Chibi Poke Models were tiny figurines with intricate detailing of the Pokémon characters from Gen 1 and 2, namely, Johto and Kanto.
Other Pokémon figures that are in demand up to today as part of a collection or hobby
The Chou Getto figures were sold from the Bandai gashapon machines, the Japanese version of coin-operated machines. They were tiny Battle Museum/ Full Color/Stadium/ Full Color Advance encapsulated Pokémon figures considered by many as rare and expensive in the second-hand market. These figures are usually released as part of a set and came out with the Pearl and Diamond games.
Pokémon, a Japanese media franchise owned by Nintendo, was launched in 1996 and is a contraction of Pocket Monsters. On its launch year, the Pokémon plush toys were also introduced like the Bell Plush or the Suzunari Pokémon Plush. This was a series of 3 sets totaling 49 plush toys by Banpresto which stopped production in 1997. These plush toys are about 3 inches high and are sold with a cord and a bell. Many collectors consider these 49 toys to be the rarest of all Pokémon plush toys. In fact, they are now selling for as much as $150 each.
In the beginning, Pokémon trading cards were made by Wizards of the Coast in the U.S. in 1999 but as the cards began to gain popularity, Pokémon Company decided to publish the cards themselves. The following year, the Game Boy trading card game was launched and took the trading game to a whole new dimension and global success. This eventually led to trading card collectibles and the top 10 rarest Pokémon cards.
#10 Pokémon Full Art EX Cards
Not all Full Art EX Cards are worth a lot of money or hard to find but there are a few like the Mew EX and the Lugia EX cards that are now being sold for as much $26 and the Diox (Deoxys) EX card that has sold for over $37.
It is undeniable that there are owners of Tamiya Mini 4WD who want to upgrade their miniature car in order to achieve full speed. Fortunately, there are ways to improve the speed and stability of a Tamiya Mini 4WD. How? Simply by replacing their standard parts with upgraded parts. There are many available upgraded parts that are sold in the market.
If you are into anime series and car racing tournaments, then do not dare to miss Dash! Yonkuro. It is an anime television series that was based on the Tamiya Mini 4WD. For those who do not know about Dash! Yonkuro and what the Tamiya Mini 4WD is, this article will help you to understand about both.
What Is the Tamiya Mini 4WD?
The Tamiya Mini 4WD is a miniature car produced by Tamiya, a Japanese company. It is the world’s most popular miniature car, first produced in the year 1982. Due to its popularity, many companies in the United States, Singapore and Russia, to name a few, have ventured into the idea of mini cars as well. There are different types of Tamiya Mini 4WD available in the market.
Though there are only six categories of the Tamiya Mini 4WD, it does not mean that there are only six designs of the miniature car. Each category is a series, which has a wide variety of designs that you can choose from. The pictures shown below are the selected models of each Tamiya series.
Tamiya Mini 4WD Pro
Tamiya Super Mini 4WD
Tamiya Aero Mini 4WD
Tamiya Mighty Mini 4WD
Tamiya Mechanical Mini 4WD
Tamiya Mini 4WD Limited Edition
What Is Dash! Yonkuro?
Dash! Yonkuro is the very first anime series that was based on the Tamiya Mini 4WD. There was in fact a sequel to Dash! Yonkuro that was based on the Tamiya Mini 4WD called Bakusou Kyoudai Lets & Go!!
In Dash! Yonkuro, Yonkuro Hinomaru, the protagonist, and the Dash Warriors, Yonkuro’s friends, are all crazy about the Mini 4WD. It is all about climbing to the top and participating in the championship with the top performance of their Tamiya Mini 4WD.
Some of the Tamiya Mini 4WD models that you can see in the anime series are:
- Dash-1 Emperor (model number 18012)
- Dash-2 Burning Sun (model number 18015)
- Dash-3 Shooting Star (model number 18019)
- Dash-4 Cannonball (model number 18023)
- Rising Bird (model number 18017)
Aside from these miniature car models, tune-up parts and first chassis were also featured in this anime. The chassis that were introduced in the Dash! Yonkuro anime series are the Type-1 chassis, Type-2 chassis and Type-3 chassis. Without a doubt, this anime has definitely served its purpose.
The Growth of Tamiya Mini 4WD Sales After the Anime
It cannot be denied that the Tamiya Mini 4WD was already very popular, even before the release of the two anime series. Nonetheless, the two anime series featuring the miniature cars, certainly gave sales an extra boost.
The popularity of the miniature cars led to the boom of racing tournaments. However, racing nowadays is no longer about driving a car. It has now become about, tuning up your Tamiya Mini 4WD and letting it race on its own at a certain track. Tamiya Mini 4WD races do not rely on the skills of the driver, instead, it relies on the parts of your miniature car.
If you are looking for a specific Tamiya Mini 4WD model, be sure to check out From Japan!
The Tamiya Mini 4WD has been one of the most popular creations since the day it was produced by Tamiya, a Japanese company, in the early 1980s. Tamiya manufactures radio-controlled cars, plastic model kits, sailboat models, solar- and battery-education models and other modeling supplies and tools. The Tamiya Mini 4WD is a miniature car model that has become popular not just for young kids, but for adults as well. This article will unveil the successful history of Tamiya Mini 4WD.
Note: Japanese subcultures can be considered vintage, since many of them are inspired by the past. They have distinguishing features from the 1960's all the way up to the 1990's. The American Art Culture plays a big part in Japanese subculture fashion till this day.
- Yamanba-kei. Considered the rarest amongst Japanese fashion subcultures. This look requires the wearer to apply heavy dark brown makeup to the face, which has also already been tanned along with the entire body. The wearer must then apply white makeup around the eyes and long lashes; some Yamanba actually paint theirs on. The hair is big bright and colorful with large flowers or bows. As for lipstick, any color will do, as long as it's neon and bold. The overall outfits have to be bright and the shoes are usually boots or platforms. Accessories are also bright and layered on heavily. There are men who dress in this style too.