Big things with little cars

Land of the Rising Sun-Day: TDM Lockwonder

Yes, this will take some explaining. Let’s start with “TDM”. That stands for “Tomica Dream Motors” - which is not to be confused with the “Dream Tomica” or even the “Toys Dream Project”. With the 2001 launch of “TDM”, Tomica started to co-operate with actual designers to come up with ideas for cars for the future. Cars that they felt should be built. And quite often, concept cars with a sense of humour. And this is one of those.

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The “Lockwonder” is a Traffic Police car with a special trick up its sleeve. From the front it seems to have been inspired by the Panther 6 - which Tomica also did years ago.

But, the Lockwonder has those 4 small front wheels for a reason - it needs the extra space. The rear? A bit of Chrysler Crossfire perhaps? I don’t know...

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But so - what is so special about this one? What makes it different from any other Police car? Well, here’s the fun bit. Those black things at the front - they are fangs - to catch speeding cars!

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Speeding R34s? Gotcha! A Mastretta running riot? We can now stop that!

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Young kids hooning in a Subaru Brat? No longer a problem!

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A three headed monster attacking Japan? We now can fight it off!

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Ok, that last one is a bit far fetched.

But you ask - why haven’t I seen these TDM models before? The reason is that they never have been part of the regular Tomica line-up. only a few of the TDM designs have made it into production at all. And even these are only sold at the Tokyo Motor Show and Tomica Special Events. And so they are hard to come by and can be expensive. Looking for bargains is the name of the game if you want one. Below is a short clip showing the Tomica Stand at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show.

So what else have TDM done? Here’s a taste of some that so far have not appeared as models - and I really would like to see some of those. My favourite first - the “1/2" - as in “Half”:

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Yes, that’s half a Mk1 Golf - sliced in half length ways. The Tomica website gives a short description of each - but Google Translate really struggles with Japanese: “Bose ‘s car , based on the Volkswagen Golf , deformation in the front and rear 2 seats . Maneuverability even worked , even nuisance of the street parking half ( ? ! ) That , dream car that combines reality .”

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Ok - I sort of get that. Here’s another one I like - the “Bad Furniture” designed by “Mr Fish”:

“FISH Mr. design that deals with graphic design , such as Hysteric Glamour . FISH Mr. himself , has realized a dream car that already sofa with an engine that runs like a car , a scaled down the actual vehicle . Vehicle Similarly , seat leather upholstery .”

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With this one, Google Translate loses the plot entirely: “Form the theme of the book “ economics to survive the annual income 3,000,000 era “ , “ in Binbo in the B -class , I ‘m an idiot , Beautiful “ was shaped like the initials “B” . Since we must maintain in annual income 3,000,000 yen , when riding in one person , the center has become so rear is out with , energy use can travel at half”

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I am guessing it is an ironic look at the economic problems facing Japan - but who knows? Anyway, you get the idea - these are concept cars that don’t take themselves too seriously. But one TDM design got a very special treatment indeed - the “Convoy 88":

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This Electric Vehicle not only made it into model car form - it made it into 1:1 car production! And which Japanese company do you think would do such a thing? Mitsuoka of course.

The whole car was painted like a Tomica box - and came standard with an exclusive Tomica model. And that was the ONLY way you could purchase this Tomica model - by buying the 1:1. Yeah, good luck finding that one on ebay!

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So, it is perhaps no coincidence that the only car our Lockwonder couldn’t nab tonight was a Mitsuoka Orochi. No rear spoiler to hook on to, you see...

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