Monday, October 28, 2013

Toyota's Family Car

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Introduced in 1961, the Publica is a small family car that was made by Toyota. It was only available as a two door vehicle. The name "Publica", was chosen by Toyota, referring to the english term, "public car". The car was made to fulfill the national car concept requirements of Japan. The car's target market was the general public. It was also the smallest Toyota car during that period that had a simple and economic design. This is a small car that has some similarities to the East German car, Trabant 601.

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Above is the Toyota Publica Toys Club version that was released in February 2005 along with two other cars, the Isuzu Bellett 1600 Sport and the Hino Contessa taxi. The Toys Club version is a racing version of the Toyota Publica.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Prince Gloria Super 6

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Prince introduced the S40 Gloria in 1962 and it was a much larger car than the previous cars that Prince released. It cannot be classified as a compact car anymore under Japanese vehicle classification regulations because of the engine exceeding two litres. This car was no longer based on the Skyline sedan and was also the first six cylinder car that Prince made. Tomica released the Prince Gloria S40's in January 2004 and the Prince Gloria Fire Chief in February 2004. There is also a Prince Gloria Fire Chief car that was released in February 2004 that was part of the Toys Club three car set. (The other two cars are the Toyopet Crown Police and the Nissan Cedric Taxi).

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Racing Glorias

In 1964, the Prince Gloria Super 6 entered in the Japanese GP T-VI class race (1601 to 2000cc) and managed to secure both 1st and 2nd place. The pole position record was also made by a Prince Gloria at 2 min 56.4 sec. (Toru Ikusawa). When the Gloria's Super 6 engine was installed in a Prince Skyline, it won the second T-IV class race.

I had a hard time getting this rare boxed set that Tomica released way back in 2004. The cars on this boxed set are made well. The tampos are all printed well and the wheels look great. However, I think, being an old release, it is not up to par with the Tomica Limited Vintage cars that were released recently. Still, this boxed set has already been out of production and it would be a fantastic addition for Nissan and Prince model car fans.

Kei Sports Car

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I saw this sports car at a local car show just a few months ago. It was very small but it was one of those cars that screamed attention. A Datsun designer, Shozu Sato, and a Toyota designer who was also a World War two aircraft designer, Tatsuo Hasegawa, designed the aerodynamics of this car. The Toyota Sports 800 was one of the first sports car to incorporate the targa roof design (which Porsche would eventually have on their sports cars). When the aluminum targa roof is not in use, it can be neatly stored in the trunk of the car.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Toyota Carina Road Runner II

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I bought this car a few months ago and I wouldn't have purchased it, had it not been on sale (which would have been a huge mistake!) To be fair, the model car itself looks fantastic. I mean, what's not to like? The details, as usual, are impeccable. The paint job is excellent. The only thing I did not like was the color (but that itself is a personal choice). This was the last rear-wheel Toyota Carina.

This is the third generation "special" version that Toyota released in 1982. It was released to commemorate the three class victory in the 1982 Paris-Alger-Dakar rally, which surprised the French and thus gave the car the monicker, "flying Carina". This model car would look really good in a Hino car transporter which will be released on the first quarter of next year.

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Saturday, October 5, 2013

The All About Tomica Limited Vintage Book

The All About Tomica Limited Vintage Book was released by Neko Mook publishing a few years ago. It's a nice book that features all the Tomica Limited Vintage releases from January 2004 until February of 2009. The book even has a section on special releases like Tomica shop and Toys club Japanese exclusives. There are also sections on upcoming model cars, a sneak peek at the Tomytec factory in China and detailed descriptions of various TLV model cars. The book is a must-have for the Tomica Limited Vintage collector, even though if the text is all in Japanese. Sad to say, this book is now hard to find and is already out of production. I really hope Neko Mook makes a sequel to this fine big format book. A book that will feature model cars and trucks from 2009 to the present.

 photo scan_03_zpsabf11356.jpg Tomica released this Toyota Corona RT40 in August 2008. Pictured here is the actual product and the prototype

 photo scan_02_zps45a32ec3.jpg A sneak peek in Tomytec's factory in China

Thursday, October 3, 2013

More upcoming models

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I'm sure that a lot of people are waiting for this Hino car transporter model to be released. It looks good with all the Toyota Carina Road Runners in it. The painted prototype looks awesome and it comes in two variants! Can't wait to get my hands on one. From the previous book that was released by Neko a few months ago (All About Tomica Limited Vintage), There were pictures of car transporters there, that I think, are also in the works. Among them are the Nissan C80 and the Nissan T650 car transporters.

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It was a pleasant surprise to see that Tomytec has plans to release a streetcar in their Limited Vintage line very soon. This would look great on a small Japanese street diorama.

Some prototype images were borrowed from these websites:

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

First Generation Carina

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The first generation Carina was introduced as a four-door version of the Celica. The basic model featured reclining seats, a clock, a radio and servo assisted brakes. The Carina was an affordable and reliable vehicle aimed towards the younger market. Tomica did an excellent job on the car's interior. I like how they painted the two-toned seat covers. The rear lamps were also done well. The Carina's name was based on the Carina constellation, which is latin for the keel of a ship.

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