Saturday, February 25, 2012

#121 TOMICA – NISSAN FAIRLADY 280Z-T and NISSAN SKYLINE 2000 TURBO GT-E-S (Nr. 15 and 20) (1979)

This article is the first of a series of two articles dealing with the history of the Japanese manufacturer Tomica, and the different series of 3'' models that can be found, while I show some Japanese cars they made. These models are very rare to find, since the European manufacturers never produced them (as far as I am concerned), and should only be available by Japanese manufacturers.

I’ll start with two Nissan models, the Nissan Fairlady 280Z-T and the Nissan Skyline 2000 Turbo GT-E-S both from 1979. About casts, wheels, interiors and practicable parts will deal next article.

Headlights are painted by myself

Tomica toys are still in production and are very popular in Japan. They produce many car models from the Japanese market, but also European and American cars. Tomica is the die-cast car line from Tomy. Tomy was founded in 1924, but it wasn’t until 1970 that it started producing scale cars under Tomica name. Tomy merged Takara (the other great Japanese toymaker) in 2006 and the company’s name is now “Takara Tomy”, although the English name is only Tomy. Some products are released just with the Takara brand, while others just with Tomy, and some other with both. About Takara and Tomy, we will talk some other time.

There are Tomica cars in several scales, although the most famous and best sellers are the 3’’ models (what we call here 1:64). There are many series from these “regular” Tomica, including the domestic series (Japan), foreign series and common series.

The “domestic series” started right from the beginning in 1970, and consisted only of Japanese cars. The initial assortment consisted of 6 cars, although the 7th model was released that same year 1970. The line grew until 109 models in 1978 (nos. 1 to 108 and 110, 109 was designed but not produced), including other types of vehicles apart from cars. New models issued from that day on, replaced an older model taking than its reference number. A few years earlier, Tomica started exporting its models to other countries, first to the U.S.A. and Canada (since 1974) and later to Europe. Since the Japanese models were not well known in America and Canada, they didn’t sold very well, so Tomica decided to produce new foreign models too, starting thus the “foreign series”. This series comprised 70 models numbered F1 to F70.

The “common series” came later, in 1988, when Tomica decided to combine its two series in just one. They took 80 domestic models and the first 40 foreign models, that were renamed with its original number plus 80 (that’s F1 turned to be 81; F2, 82 and so on).

There is also a "Limited Series", featuring cars made with higher detail than the other ones, rubber tires and more, but since this series started in 2001, it is not interesting for TFTP.

Almost every Tomica model has practicable parts

The domestic series were sold in boxes with black background, while in the foreign series, the box was white and blue, and included a flag of the country in which the model was produced. The common series were sold in a red and white box. To Spain, however, many of those models came in blisters (an entry showing Tomica blisters will be published sometime in the future), at least in models made after 1993. In 1990 the first models produced in China were brought to the market, to reduce manufacturing costs. Three years later, the whole production had already been moved. Through the history of Tomica, the only models that were not produced in Japan, were 6 models made in 1971 and 1972 that were made in Hong Kong.


FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: NISSAN FAIRLADZY 280Z-T and NISSAN SKYLINE 2000 TURBO GT-ES (NR. 15 and 20)
  • Scale: 1:61, 1:65
  • Year: 1979
  • Company: Tomica (Japan)
  • Size: 6 cm

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