[REVIEW] Tomica Toyota MP-1

Tomica time, Land of the Rising Sun-day, is upon us once again. Today we examine Tomica 97-2, the Toyota MP-1. This casting entered the range in September 1977, and is an idea that presaged the future:

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First off, yeah, I didn’t choose the best background - everything else in this group uses the same background, I just chose a pile of models, lined ‘em up, and took pics. As I was cropping them, I realized the contrast here wasn’t the best. Oh well. Anyway, some will recall a few weeks ago, I featured a wacky concept car. This is also a concept car, but is wacky in a different way - a somewhat snub-nosed van with unusual details. Exhibited at the 1975 Tokyo Motor Show, this Crown-based “MultiPurpose vehicle” is kind of a minivan-crossover mix, and hints at something like the early Sienna seen more than 20 years later. As we expect from Tomica of this era, fine line casting detail is easy to find, with the cast-in model identifiers on the rear quarters being a nice touch. Scale is claimed to be 1:65, likely accurate. The decals on the side have survived the decades as-new. This model features the crisp glazing and springy suspension we enjoy, but not the expected snappy door action, more on that later. From all angles, it’s....a lower riding van kind of thing:

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Front and rear have similar detail, the front chrome piece looking like something off slightly later Tomica, and the rear featuring curtains in the window is a nice touch:

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The base is plastic, also something seen more frequently in later models, and features technical and identifying detail:

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This example is fortunate enough to live in its original black box (I don’t believe it existed in blue in either diecast or full size versions):

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And now on to why there’s no snappy door action - the rear hatch opens. I suppose it has a snap, and provides some play value and access to the detailed interior:

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I am happy to have this unusual thing in my collection. It’s obscure and I think it was relatively inexpensive, two big pluses for me:

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Images of the 1:1 show car from allcarindex.com:

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Yep, still in the 70s:

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