Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars
Illustration for article titled Land of the Rising Sun-Day: Taxi!

If you’ve ever caught a Taxi in Tokyo or Hong Kong, chances are that you found yourself in the backseat of a Toyota Crown Comfort. And this is one car that does exactly what it says on the box - it transports its passengers in a most comfortable way.

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Illustration for article titled Land of the Rising Sun-Day: Taxi!

It lacks the sleek roof line of most modern sedans - but it sacrifices style in order to give its passengers maximum head room and to allow easy access. Likewise, you have acres of leg room. It has been in production almost unchanged since 1995, and comes with two different length wheel bases and a choice of petrol or diesel engines.

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Illustration for article titled Land of the Rising Sun-Day: Taxi!

And for today, I have assembled models from three different makers. First up is the Tomica. This particular model comes from a set of Hong Kong Taxis where Tomica made one for every actual Taxi in Hong Kong. It even comes with a little licence telling you which Taxi licence is yours. Well, supposedly...

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Illustration for article titled Land of the Rising Sun-Day: Taxi!

The blue colours denotes it as a Taxi from Lantau. The green ones are from the New Territories, and the red (and most common) ones are from Kowloon.

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Illustration for article titled Land of the Rising Sun-Day: Taxi!

On the Tomica casting, only the left rear door opens. Why only the left? Because that’s the only rear door you can open on a Tokyo Taxi. The other one is permanently locked. Trust me, I’ve tried to get out of the right side. Much to the consternation of the driver. Only a stupid gaijin would do such a thing.

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Illustration for article titled Land of the Rising Sun-Day: Taxi!

The next model if by Taccar or Targa - both names are used on the box, and I’m not sure why. Anyhow, it came from a series of Tokyo Taxis that seemingly tried to capture every king of Taxi livery in use.

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Illustration for article titled Land of the Rising Sun-Day: Taxi!

The model has a lot of nice detail about it, though the stance of the front wheels looks a bit wrong.

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Illustration for article titled Land of the Rising Sun-Day: Taxi!

The fit and finish is a bit so-so, and I don’t like handling the Taccar / Targa too much as you always get the feeling that something is about to fall off. They are just a bit flimsy.

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Illustration for article titled Land of the Rising Sun-Day: Taxi!

And the third model is from Gulliver, which is one of those obscure Japanese concerns that pop up every now and then and then disappear again. They appear to have made some 1/43 and airplane models as well, but that’s all I know.

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Illustration for article titled Land of the Rising Sun-Day: Taxi!

I think it’s the best of the trio here - nicely detailed and nicely put together. The paint job is very well done, and like the Tacccar, Gulliver made all kinds of different Taxi liveries based on their Crown Comfort casting.

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Illustration for article titled Land of the Rising Sun-Day: Taxi!

If you are wondering about the white interior of the Taccar and the Gulliver, this is actually correct. Not that the Japanese are insane enough to put white upholstery into their Taxis - these are crisp linen sheets fitted over the seats. And they are always spotless and changed daily. Obviously, the people of Japan behave a lot better in their Taxis than we do here...

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