There’s some great news for fans of Japanese diecast. Tomica cars will soon be available in the United States, at Walmart stores. “Having sold more than a half a billion units around the world, Tomica is known for luxury premium design, stylized details and more moveable parts than other diecast collectibles,” Tomy International’s PR team’s Scott Goldberg said in an email. It’s true Tomicas often have opening doors and great detail, but the for the current generation of collectors, unlike in the 80s, the real draw is the subject matter — Japanese cars.
This isn’t the first time in recent memory that Tomica has tried to make inroads to the US market. In 2010, they made a return to the US market after a 23-year absence, but they were exclusive to Toys R Us stores, but the iconic toy retailer was gutted by investors in 2017. Before that, Tomica were available in the us from 1974-83, rebranded as Pocket Cars.
For the initial Walmart roll-out, Tomica will be available in two waves of six vehicles each. According to Tomy International’s website, three of them will be a Subaru BRZ, Suzuki Swift and, unaccountably, an Isuzu Giga Fried Potato truck. According to Mac Ragan, the three remaining cars in the first wave include the Mazda CX-5, Toyota GR Prius, and Nissan GT-R. UPDATE: the second wave will include: Mitsubishi Outlander, Toyota C-HR, Lexus RC-F, Nissan Note, Subaru Impreza, Hino truck with pandas.
Of course, that’s a far cry from the 120-vehicle lineup that is available in Japan (and that’s just the basic cars, to say nothing of the endless special editions, premium, and Limited Vintage cars). This is likely a “testing the waters” scenario to see if there’s a future for Tomica in the US. The cars will retail for $4.99 each and will be available this month.