One thing that makes collecting Tomica fun is that you don’t have to shell out megabucks to get your hands on an old casting. Like this one - the old #27-1 Toyota Crown Fire Chief.

This casting goes all the way back to the earliest days of Tomica in 1970. It was launched in the civilian version as the 3-1 and the Police version as the 4-1. The Fire Chief appeared in 1971. And as these cost a bit - an MIB example will go usually over US$ 100.00.

But help is at hand with the various re-issues over the years. Like this one - an example made for the Japanese retail chain Ito- Yokado, True - it is made in China, but that doesn’t mean it is of low quality. Instead of the paper stickers of the original models, you get nice gold colored tampos. You get painted front and rear fascias, tail lights and bumpers.

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And the paint jo is certainly glossier than anything you got in 1970. And all that for a measly $5.00 - that’s a pretty nice deal if you ask me.

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And because I really like these old castings, I have another one in my collection. This one is a 30th Anniversary Edition from 2000 - also Made in China. This one has the yuge siren at the front as well - but it does lack the tampos. And it came with a replica “back box” - nice.

So it’s possible to enjoy an old Tomica without breaking the bank - which makes me think: Next year Tomica will turn 50. I’m wondering if more re-releases are on the cards?