Today, we have here a BMW 320i.

This one comes in a variety of color schemes. The Japanese ones tend to come in black, blue, or red on skinny wheels with Alpina livery, while the US ones come in maroon or green with wide wheels.

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Here is the US-variant in maroon, which is also the most common variant out there:

Being a US-market model, this maroon version was never sold with a box. Ironically, it is this very variant that the Japanese box depicts.

Note that there is no Japanese translation for the name of the car on the box. I guess “BMW 320i” translates as “BMW 320i” in Japanese as well.

As for this yellow version that I’m featuring today, I bought it blind - all I was told was that it was yellow and red, so I was expecting to receive this slightly more common variant in the mail. Needless to say, I was really surprised when the color scheme was the exact opposite of what I was expecting! Also, prior to this, I have never seen this color scheme.

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Having previously shared this on another Tomica discussion board, I have learned that this is quite a rare variant and that it came as part of a gift set. This means that the box, while authentic, did not originally come with this car!!!

Someone at some point must have made a mix-up in their inventory/collection...

But that’s alright. In many cases, boxes can be worth more than the car. If you think about it, back in the day, most people tend to throw out the box immediately and keep the car. Furthermore, boxes are more difficult to maintain in good condition than the car itself. Also, factor in the fact that export models were sold in blister packs only. So... the population of surviving cars greatly exceeds the population of surviving boxes. Ebay prices agree with me on this one!

Back to the review... front fascia is accurately depicted here. Given the performance lineage and the Alpina association, my only complaint on this one is that the skinny wheels look a bit out of place. Fat wheels would have been a better choice.

This model depicts the Euro-spec version, as you can tell from the skinny bumpers and the bumper-mounted rear license plate.

Definitely glad to have this rare color variant in my collection. :)