A contemporary compact crossover isn’t the kind of thing I usually jump at buying, but this Tomica 14-7, the Suzuki Escudo, made a compelling case.

Well, it was mostly the colour, but the rest of the cast is fairly sharp and well done, considering that Tomica has put out quite a few overly-soft casts recently. That probably has to do with the cost cutting accompanied by the move to production in Vietnam from China, and from Japan before that.

The Escudo/Vitara was originally a very small SUV introduced in late 1988 above the Jimny/Samurai, and made available in North America as the Suzuki Sidekick for 1989. Countless rebadged versions of the first (1989-1998) and second (1999-2005) generations were offered by GM via their partnership with Suzuki. While the previous 3 generations from introduction to 2014 were proper compact SUVs, the all-new version introduced for 2015, depicted here by Tomica, is now a compact crossover.

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Tomica has managed to retain a moving part in most casts they offer, and this Escudo has an opening hatch. The compromise with all opening hatches on current Tomicas is that the rear quarter windows and rear window are all painted black to disguise that they aren’t made of clear plastic, a necessary evil for strong and inexpensive opening parts.

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Exterior detail is nice, with clean Suzuki logos, black wheelarch trim, clear headlight lenses, and an accurate grille.

The rear taillights are just a solid colour, like most current Tomica casts, but the Suzuki logo and Escudo badge are both legible despite the very tiny script.

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The colour is the standout here though - the metallic aqua-blue shines and is paired with a metallic black roof, both of which are flawless on my example.

Interior detail isn’t very visible, since the glass is tinted and the interior is black. Dashboard, centre console, and seat detail is good, but only really visible with a flashlight. Like most Tomica models with an opening rear hatch, the rear seat is positioned forwards to allow room for the hatch mechanism, at the expense of a bit of realism. It’s not too far forwards here, and the seats aren’t cut down (i.e. only half the normal height) like some other models.

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The underbody detail is quite good for a modern cast, with engine, exhaust, and suspension detail in the grey plastic base. The scale listed is 1:63, which appears correct for the size of the cast.

I picked this one up while in Japan last May - I’d seen it on card and liked the colour, so I waited to pick one up in box.

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