Friday, April 12, 2013

The Wonderful World of Tomica Limited Vintage...

We all collect for different reasons.  And as much as many of us, including (from what we can tell) most Lamley readers, appreciate realism in the models we collect, realism may not be at the top of our list.  If it were, we would probably be more into 1:18 scale models.  That is not to say we don't appreciate realism.  Certainly we do.  When Hot Wheels botches a model we all know it, and we are all a little disappointed.  But there are other factors that make us gravitate to 1:64.

With all that said, we do like it when our little collectible toys look as close as possible to the real thing.  We like it a lot.  And that is where the kings of 1:64 realism, including Kyosho and Tomica Limited Vintage, take over.

Just a few days ago we got in a mini shipment of more of one of these realism-focused brands.  So we had our mini collection out, and took some photos.

Take a look:

Nissan Skyline Van

Nissan Skyline Wagon

Datsun Bluebird 1600 SSS

Datsun Fairlady 2000

Datsun Fairlady 1500

Nissan Fairlady 260Z 2by2 Police

Nissan Laurel 2000 GX-6

Toyopet Crown

Toyota Crown 4Door Hardtop

Toyota Celica 1600 GT-R

It is nearly impossible to find any fault with these models, and I am willing to bet it would take some effort to convince someone that these are actually photos of model cars that are smaller than most Hot Wheels.

Tomica Limited Vintage is on a roll.  Not only is the execution second to none, but their choices of autos to replicate is wonderfully eclectic.

It starts with Tomica's origins - Japanese cars.  Yes, we will be the first to admit that we would never argue with a TLV take on the Kenmeri GT-R or Hakosuka racers, or maybe even a Toyota 2000GT for that matter.  But in a way, aren't we to a "been there, done that" place with those cars?  It is now Hot Wheels' job to take these to the masses, and we could not be happier about it, but TLV serves a different purpose.  They take on the unsung and somewhat ordinary.  At least we think they are ordinary until TLV helps us appreciate each car that we probably scanned past numerous times when they filled the streets.

It's like "Better Be Good To Me" by Tina Turner for my generation.  That song was on the radio ALL THE TIME and all I remember was turning the station every time.  I was sick of it.  But when you listen to it now, you realize that is one great f#*king song (my generation's words, not mine).  You are embarrassed that you didn't give Ms. Turner's genius the proper due when you were twelve.

And that is what Tomica Limited Vintage and Tomica Limited Vintage - Neo does for Toyota sedans, 80's-era Celicas, early Galants, and non-AE86 Corollas.  Yes, there is a rapidly growing contingent of JDM fans that are learning to appreciate these cars more and more, and thank goodness TLV is right in line.  But so many are others are to older Japanese cars what I am to Tina Turner.  It takes a little kick in the pants to help us appreciate their awesomeness.

Of course Datsun Roadsters and 1968 Porsche 911's don't need TLV to help people appreciate them, but we are sure glad they are doing them too.  And lately they have been doing more and more non-Japanese treats, like the the aforementioned Porsche and Mercedes-Benz 190E.  TLV's aren't cheap, but they are well worth it, and a bit addicting once you have them in hand.  But you won't be mad at yourself for starting a collection, we can promise that.

I am sure that as you look at what TLV and TLV-N have done so far, several ideas for future castings come to mind.  Me too.

The two I would love to see?

1982 Honda Accord sedan and hatch:

And the "non-GT-R" stock Nissan Skyline C110:

(Yes, I said the Kenmeri was a "been there, done that" model, but not the stock version, although Kyosho did a very nice 4-door version...)

We have more TLV's coming here at Lamley, and we will surely show them off.  We will also keep our readers up-to-date on the best places to find them, no matter where in the world you might be.

(Right now you can find a select few at Daboxtoys, as well as a huge variety on ebay.)

Be careful, these models are highly addictive...

Some other photos of our favorites:

And to push that realism theme even more, they try to stay true to scale as well:


  1. "Just a few days ago we got in a mini shipment"

    hahahahahah, did you now!

  2. Just want to say that I'm loving every bit of detail on every single one of these cars. Excuse my English, but for me that Skyline Wagon is one little fugly sonabitch. But like you mentioned, we all collect for different reasons, so, to each his own. My favorite car however, is those Fairlady Roadsters. Those are absolutely, positively, gorgeous. Wish I had at least one.

    Thanks for all the pictures though! I really do appreciate it!

  3. These cars are great. It is hard enough to collect all of the Hot Wheels I want, and now I am being subjected to THIS?!?! Gotta get some of them. So clean and well designed, and in scale.

  4. Would love to see a U13 Nissan Bluebird ATTESA. I know they do a U12, but I want U13