Tomica Returns to US Market, Featured at JCCS

JNC readers of a certain age will remember pegs at Toys R Us filled with Tomy Pocket Cars, highly detailed diecast models blister packed against a denim background. They were the US brand name for Tomica, Japan’s most popular line of toy cars.

Arriving in 1974, Tomy initially figured kids probably wouldn’t really care what kind of cars they were playing with so they simply offered what was available in Japan —Japanese cars. Turns out, kids cared a lot about which makes and models they were smashing up on the kitchen floor and sales lagged behind Hot Wheels and Matchbox. Keep in mind, this was years before the average American had heard the words NissanMitsubishi or Subaru. Tomy eventually added Corvettes and Lamborghinis to the mix, but only lasted until 1987 in the US market.

Now, 23 years later, they are making a comeback! The Tomy USA website has only two items for now, but the company promises licensed cars from Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Subaru and more. And if you are going to the Japanese Classic Car Show this Sunday, they will offer an exclusive look at their upcoming products.

For a trip down memory lane, visit Tomy Pocket Cars.

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9 Responses to Tomica Returns to US Market, Featured at JCCS

  1. E-AT_me said:

    wow! this is great news. every time i go into target or walmart i head to the toys section. my wife thinks i’m crazy. hopefully they will carry them, and i will be able to stop buying whatever fast and furious hot wheels are releasing. although, matchbox is pretty good with the euro classics.

  2. DerrickS said:

    Agree with E-AT_me on this. The Japanese releases from Hotwheels and matchbox suck! Usually done up with numbers and stripes, and often depicted with some FandF body kit. My J-tin line of hotwheels and matchbox is very small compared to the Italian, US, and UK side of my display. This is a market that needs to be addressed in my opinion. How about a Datsun 1200 or 240z without flares and spoilers?

  3. LTDScott said:

    Hemmings of all places beat you on this?!

    http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2010/08/13/tomica-returns-to-america/comment-page-1/#comment-765708

    I grew up in Australia but my dad worked in the airlines so I got to travel to Indonesia and Singapore a lot, and my fondest memories of those trips was picking up a Tomica or two while we were there. A lot of my adoration for older Japanese cars comes from playing with lots of JDM Tomicas. So this is great news!

    Unfortunately the newer Tomicas aren’t as detailed and nice as the older ones (in my opinion) but I’ll definitely pick some up.

  4. Toyotageek said:

    haha…. the reason Hemmings beat them to it is because the writer is a diecast enthusiast with connections… and he helped to arrange to have TOMY at JCCS!

    The Tomica return to the US news has been out since early this year. The first stuff appears to be playsets aimed at kids. If all goes well, maybe we will see a return of single car to our shores! I think the target release date is around September 26th and that is when the exclusive retailer is supposed to be announced.

  5. LTDScott said:

    I know Jeff Koch – he wrote the feature article for my Ford in Muscle Machines a couple of years ago – and he just told me today that he was the one that arranged Tomy to be at JCCS. Very cool. I will be there as well.

  6. Tyler said:

    Come on, Leone. Come on, Leone. I hope the do lots of nostalgics, because I couldn’t care less about new cars, foreign or domestic.

  7. Bob said:

    Cool, I’ll try to make it out there. They even have a facebook page now. http://www.facebook.com/tomy.tomica
    Anyone knows when it comes out?

  8. Toyotageek said:

    Well, the Tomica USA crew were supposed to have a booth at JCCS, but due to some shipping troubles they didn’t get their display in time. They did have sets for us to give away as raffle prizes though. For anyone interested, I have pictures posted at http://www.tomicafanclub.com