Wednesday, June 3, 2015

First Look: Tomica Limited Vintage Toyota Century...

At first I want to say this model is an acquired taste, but after thinking about it a bit more there is no such thing.

It is, in typical Tomica Limited Vintage fashion, and perfect miniature of a Japanese car.  But this isn't an obscure Japanese car.  It's an icon.  The Toyota Century could be compared to some Cadillacs, or some Lincolns, and many other flagships.  But it is more than that.

Maybe think Rolls Royce.  The Century is THE Flagship.  It isn't "the family is growing and we need a bigger sedan" car, it's all about status.  One doesn't walk in to a dealership asking to test drive the Century.  Not even to give it a sniff.  Still today, proof of sufficient social status is needed to even get a brochure.

And like a classic watch or jewelry, there is no need for it to change.  The look of a Rolex hasn't drastically changed at all over the years.  Same with the Century.  There is no need.  Imagine visiting the Cadillac dealership, and among the CTS's and Escalades sits a brand new 2015 Sedan Deville that looks almost exactly like it did nearly 50 years ago.  That's the Century.

The Toyota Century hit dealerships in 1967, and outside of some minor aesthetic changes and obvious technological advances, looked essentially the same until 1997.  The new Century made its debut after that, and still didn't deviate too much from the original.  How awesome is that?

So while JDM fanboys might get themselves giddy over TLV's upcoming 2-door 510, the Century is a significant new model.  TLV rolled out the red carpet for this one, with special packaging just like the Nismo GT-R's, an incredible amount of detail - just look at the wheels - and even fender mirrors you need to add on (we will do that later).  Both models, in signature black and gray, are the diecast equivalent of the real thing.    

And that is why Japan Booster can barely hold onto them.  Those in the know want them, and they sell out quickly.  For our friends in Japan, these are must-haves.  Same for us at Lamley...

Tomica Limited Vintage Toyota Century:


  1. I guess that if you're a Tomica completest then you have to pick these up. But, all I can think about these is, "how plain can you get?" Anything w/ a Century name plate on it seems pretty damn plain, be it a Buick or a Toyota. Not sure why they'd make a diecast model of this one.

  2. I get the allure. But I'd rather the heavy fenders and luxury spirit of a 50 year old Could SeVille. Still...a nice model. Seems to me the metal flake is a tad heavy...imho..should be more subdued and glossy..

    There is a reason American Luxury is sought after in Japan. We don't necessarily make the best cars in the world...but we do know luxury.

  3. The Toyota Century is indeed a very luxurious vehicle.

    In Japan, only The Emperor and the Japanese Royal Family use it.

    There are several videos on youtube of the motorcade of the Japanese Emperor. The vehicles of the Royal Family and their security detail are Toyota Century sedans (except the police detail).

    1. They are limited production vehicle, but are also used by corporate, government & other VIPs. Sometimes, even as hearses.

    2. Is there a wagon version of the Century?

      If not they are forced to use stretch limo versions for the hearse role...

    3. As far as I'm aware, all stock Centurys are sedans. In Japan, hearses are heavily modified, and while I'm not sure how they go about it, try copying & pasting this on google for images: センチュリー霊柩車

      That says Century Hearse in Japanese. I think you'll see what I mean by "heavily modified". lol

  4. I have the black one on the way. I much prefer the original, or any of the earlier models, but new Century is better than no Century. :D If they decide to also do the Nissan President, they better not bother with the current model.

    1. When the old Tomica Limited line was still in existence, one of the last models that was done was an older model Nissan President unmarked police car. That vehicle is terribly out of scale...

      After a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X 2-car set the old Tomica Limited line ended for good. This segment still had the opening doors on regular Tomicas, but had more detail and some models used clear plastic headlights.

    2. I had no idea. Police car based on Nissan President.... a VIP car, just like Toyota Century(even more so with the older gen.). I had to google this Tomica before I could believe that they made such a casting. lol Thanks for the interesting info, Brian!

    3. One Tomica Limited model I ended up getting in a high quantity was TL-0154, a Toyota Crown Patrol Car. I got a total of 5 of those, with one ending up in the scrap pile due to a customising accident, and another having it's hi-rise bar replaced with a standard one, to depict a traffic police unit...

      They also did cars like the Nissan GT-R SpecV and even the Honda Civic Type-R. One memorable multi-car pack I got from the TL line was a pack of 5, Lexus LF-A's.