Category Archives: Honda

Takara Tomy – Cars for Kids

The closest thing to the old Matchbox 1-75 series available today is the Tomica range of “fit the box” models.  Sadly they do not appear to be sold officially here in the UK and imports from the Far East make them much dearer than Mattel’s Hot Wheels or Matchbox models. But the uniform red and white boxes with drawings of the cars on front are popular with Japanese children with  a model being released every month and 140 kept in the range at any time.  Like old-fashioned Matchbox the models are a variety of scales with everything from large construction vehicles to the smallest of cars all fitting in the same box though Tomy do print the scale on the front for your information. They also print a lot more on the box but speaking no Japanese I cannot translate it.  The range was started in 1970 and has always aimed to cover the output of the Japanese car firms, though some foreign cars have also been included in the range. The models are made in Vietnam rather than China nowadays.

Here I look at two cars that would appeal to kids in the UK as well as Japan. As Japan also has right hand drive cars the home market cars are often little different to the ones we see here. Though many of the cars made by Tomy are never exported to the UK though they may be seen in Australia and New Zealand where many are imported second hand..

#50 Toyota Prius

The Prius is a well known hybrid car frequently used as a taxi or private hire car here in the UK.

The printing of lights and black areas on these models is not particularly neat but quite a bit of effort has gone into the badging. The rear window on the Prius is actually painted on.

The wheels are very like Matchbox speed wheels.

Play value is provided as the hatch opens. The hinges are very thick presumably to meet toy safety standards.

The profile of the model is fairly accurate though paint is very thin at the panel lines .

 

#76 Honda Civic Type R

Lots of black paint to highlight the spoiler and intakes but not particularly fine masking! The opening bonnet gives the model play value but the huge hinges take up most of the engine space!

The shape of the Civic is nicely captured.

The Honda badge on the front is printed well and gives the front end a nice balance against all the matt black.

At the rear the Honda badge again looks good as does the tiny printed Civic badging.

From the side the black printing shows as a bit crude in outline. The large plastic spoiler has been very well modelled. Even the speed wheels are a diffrent type with fashionable coloured wheel rims.


It is nice to think that Japanese children might be being given these models as pocket money toys in the way that I was given Lesney Matchbox models by my Mum. Perhaps this will make sure that diecast collecting stays alive at least in Japan.


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Atlas Dinky Deluxe – 1408 Honda S800

By Maz Woolley

Photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

The new Atlas Deluxe Dinky subscription series in the UK has now shipped #1408 Honda S800 to me and several other model collectors whilst others had the Honda some while ago and have already had the Simca Break which follows it in the collection.

The Deluxe series appears to be likely to be almost entirely French Dinky toys as created for the French Series Dinky™ Toys de mon enfance, la saga des ouvrants.  Luckily the 1960s and 1970s when the models with opening features were made were a period when Dinky in France generally made models to scale, and to a high standard not always seen on the UK models.

The Honda S800 Coupé produced by Atlas is in the original bright yellow shade and is a faithful replica of the original model. This model has only one opening feature, it’s bonnet. Once opened this reveals a simplified but generally correct depiction of the canted over 4 cylinder engine fed by four carburetors.

The original Dinky had a lot of modelled in detail which was not picked out such as the large Honda badges on the wings which are neatly replicated as well as indicators on the front and rear wings. The Dinky was only produced in one colour and only appeared in the catalogues in 1969 and 1970 making it a very short production run.

The S800 was a masterpiece of engineering featuring a four cylinder 791cc engine with four carburetors. Based on Honda’s motorcycle technology, this engine was capable of revving up to levels unheard of by its competitors like the MG Midget or Fiat 850 and could compete with sports cars with much higher engine sizes.

The front grille is nicely modelled and the model sports French number plates which I believe indicate that the car was registered in Paris. Just the place for a trendy foreign car.  The bonnet correctly features the off centre bulge needed to clear the carburetors.

Inside the interior is in red and fairly simple but shows the dashboard and steering wheel, two seats and luggage area well.

The rear of the replica is neatly done showing lights and the hinged “hatchback” door with Honda lettering replicated but again not picked out in silver.

This is a nice replica of one of the excellent models from Dinky France in the 1960s


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