Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars

Tomica time is here again, always on Land of the Rising Sun-day. Today we examine a Tomica model of a German vehicle, which I suppose also makes this Land of the Rising Sonn-tag. This is Tomica F43-2, the BMW 320i (E21). This casting entered the range in December, 1980, and was in production until at least 1986, as my reference book stops data updates at that time, as it was published in 1987. As one can see, it is definitely a representative example of period Tomica quality:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Tomica BMW 320i
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Tomica BMW 320i

Detail is quite fine, as expected. There are a few color and livery variants for this car, but most I have seen are maroon or green. There are a few cool Alpina trimmed variants, and some competition versions, the latter appear to be quite rare. This casting claims to be 1:62 scale, likely accurate. I think the proportions of this might be off by a small margin, as to me, the roofline/greenhouse looks slightly too low. Either way, it doesn’t detract, and as there are very few other small scale E21s out there, if you like it, this is as good as it gets. Of course, this model features the crisp glazing and snappy door action we all enjoy from old Tomica. One may notice this car sits kind of low, so suspension isn’t as springy as on less sporty cars, but it is still there. From all angles, there’s no mistaking what this is:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Tomica BMW 320i
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Tomica BMW 320i
Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Tomica BMW 320i
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Doors open to reveal a detailed interior and accurate steering wheel:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Tomica BMW 320i
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Front and rear feature similar detail:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Tomica BMW 320i
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Tomica BMW 320i

The base is metal, which adds a bit of heft and quality feel, while providing ample detail:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Tomica BMW 320i
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I will note that there’s another Tomica casting number for this car, F23-3, introduced in February 1986. I have yet to determine why this was changed, maybe a simple numbering change where F23 took over for F43. Almost all non-competition liveries had these wide racing wheels, while the competition and Alpina variants had button wheels - not sure why. The Alpina model would look excellent on these wheels. Here’s a short post I made about my Alpina version some time ago:

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I am definitely glad to have this in my collection. These cars were ignored for a long time, and there aren’t many small scale versions of these - this is before BMW was really trendy, and 3ers weren’t cast much until the E30. This is also not a rare model, so if one wants an example, they are out there and affordable - these were sold as Pocket Cars. It’s a nice casting:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Tomica BMW 320i
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And some 1:1 images from smclassiccars.com and pinterest - these have become a darling of the stancebro set, finding a correct/stock one isn’t getting easier:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Tomica BMW 320i
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Tomica BMW 320i
Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Tomica BMW 320i
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Tomica BMW 320i
Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Tomica BMW 320i

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