One of the coolest and most popular displays at this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon wasn’t from an automaker, tuning house, or aftermarket parts company. In fact, it didn’t feature real cars at all. Instead, it was a lineup of miniature kaido racers, customized from 1:64 scale diecast cars from the likes of Tomica, Tomica Limited Vintage and Aoshima.
These Tomica and Aoshima 1:64 diecast were customized to replicate rare and sought after 1:24 vintage kits that came in period as kaido racers depicted by the box art images. Others were customized to replicate iconic racers from manga such as the seminal Shakotan Boogie.
Skillfully sculpted from putty, sheet plastic and aluminum, bubble flares, deppa chin spoilers, and takeyari exhaust pipes adorned Soarers, Celicas, Zs, Skylines, and RX-7s, just like their 1:1 counterparts. More intricate modifications like handbuilt chassis, engines and opening body panels were also showcased. Scale replicas of famous vintage barrels were cribbed from countless Aoshima 1:64s or were resin cast from scratch. The crowning touch are beautiful motorsport inspired and candy metalflake paint jobs just like the real thing.
One section showed how wrecked Tomica could be repurposed into street machines. A lavender Savanna RX-3 was chosen by G-Works magazine as a particularly noteworthy custom to acknowledge their involvement in the exhibit. Incredibly, almost all these builds (with the exception of a few) were built by Tetsuro Sato, who has a monthly column highlighting his techniques in G-Works magazine.
Tomica also showed off a series of four exclusives available only at the Auto Salon, a gold Subaru BRZ, purple Nissan GT-R, baby blue Lamborghini and the Gazoo Racing Tomica 86. Though the bodies were stock, the colorways proved the typically conservative company was fully aware of Auto Salon hijinks.
Though Tomica didn’t offer anything with which to customize your minicars, they offered something with which to customize yourself. Previously, they’d only sold children’s apparel, but now they’re branching out to the adult otaku who have strong allegiance to classic Tomica which this line is inspired by.