Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Tomica - Toyota 2000GT New Year/Spring 2012 Gift Set Version



This is Takara Tomy - Toyota 2000GT 2 Models (New Year 2012 Gift Set) also known as Tomica Shou Shun (Early Spring) = 初春トミカ 頌春(しょうしゅん)





First we will have a look at the beautiful box;



The front of the box - as you can see from the above picture, you have to read it from Right to Left and then from Top to Bottom - and this is the translation;

On the first column on your right = "Hatsu Haru Tomica (Early Spring Tomica)"

On the middle column, the 2 big characters = "Shou Shun" (something like Wonderful Spring or Great Spring or something like that)

On the last column on your left = "Heisei 24th year" (the current common Western year of A.D. 2012 is basically the 24th year of Japan under the rule of Emperor Heisei - the current emperor of Japan. If you are one of those Kamen Rider series fans, you should familiar with those terms of Showa Riders and Heisei Riders - something like that)

I asked my friend to do the translation for me - he was in Japan for 3 years so he know this stuff. I just brought the box to him and tell him to explain to me the meaning of all those Japanese characters coz I have no clue about it apart from the number of 24 which is similar to Chinese characters ^__^







Now onto the inner part of the box....

On the "Blue Side" (your Left), it says the same thing as on the cover but this time they follow the typical ABC style, from Left to Right.

While on the "Red Side" or is it light red or maybe orange - what ever, I prefer to just call it "Red Side" LOL (on your Right) - it says "Heisei 24th Year - Dragon". In Japanese dragon is "ryu" while in Chinese Mandarin, dragon is "long".

So that means this part is referring to the 24th year of the current emperor "ruling" Japan and this year 2012 is the year of the dragon for Chinese and I think should be the same for Japanese as well. I don't know much about the "Lunar Years" animals or beast symbol for Japanese but for Chinese, I do know for sure that there are 12 and Dragon is one of them.






And now further look on the exterior of the box;









Since this is my first ever Takara Tomy/Tomica stuff with such special and purely Japanese orientated box/packaging - I'm totally blown away with it - I personally feel that this is awesome to the max level.... I would love to always get such item if I have the opportunity for it. This is emphatically mesmerizing and exceptional.....


But now, it's time to see the contents;






The color scheme or the decals scheme on these cars are based on "kimono" - the traditional Japanese costumes - you've probably seen a lot of it if you ever watched tradition/historical based Japanese anime/movies like "George of The Jungle" or maybe "Iron Man" LOL...... that's not it, but surely you know what I mean.....



Now a little bit of information about the legendary "Toyota 2000GT";

The Toyota 2000GT is a limited-production, front-engine, rear-wheel drive, two-seat, hardtop "coupé grand tourer" designed by Toyota in collaboration with Yamaha. The 2000GT was manufactured under contract by Yamaha between 1967 and 1970 and only 337 units were produced within that period timeline.

The 2000GT is the father of Japanese "super cars" and in a way, the father for the current super car from Toyota under their luxury "Lexus" brand, the magnificent "Lexus LFA".

This car proved (at that point of time period) that Japanese auto manufacturers could produce a sports car to rival those from Europe like Ferrari, Porsche and so on.

Today, the 2000GT is an expensive collectible Japanese car and I think you do need to have lots of money to be able to get it and other that you may need extra money for transportation to your home, maintenance and spare parts can be problematic but then again, if you have the money, you get the honey.... LOL.

Much of the work was done by Yamaha, with many credit the German-American designer Albrecht Goertz, a protégé of Raymond Loewy, as inspiration for the car. He had gone to Yamaha in Japan in the early 1960s to develop a two-seater sports car for Nissan. A prototype was built, but Nissan decided eventually not to pursue the project. Yamaha also worked for Toyota, then perceived as the most conservative of the Japanese auto makers. Wishing to improve their image, Toyota accepted the proposal, but employed a design of their own penned by Toyota designer Satoru Nozaki.

The 2000GT design is widely considered a classic in its own right. Its smoothly flowing bodywork was executed in aluminium and featured pop-up headlights, as well as large plexiglas covered driving lamps on either side of the grille similar to those on the Toyota Sports 800. The design scarcely featured bumpers at all, and the plexiglas driving lamp covers in particular are rather easily damaged.

The car was extremely low, just 45.7 in (116 cm) to the highest point of the roof. In 1969, the front was modified slightly, making the driving lamps smaller and changing the shape of the turn signals. The rear turn signals were enlarged at the same time, and some alterations were made to modernise the interior.

The last few vehicles were fitted with air conditioning and had automatic transmission as an option. These cars had an additional scoop fitted underneath the grille to supply air to the A/C unit. Two custom open-top models were built for the James Bond film "You Only Live Twice", but a factory-produced convertible was never offered during the car's production run.

The interior offered comfortable, if cramped, accommodation and luxury touches like a rosewood-veneer dashboard and an auto-seeking radio tuner.

The engine was a 2.0 L (121 in³) straight 6 cylinders (the 3M) based on the engine in the top-of-the-line Toyota Crown sedan. It was transformed by Yamaha with new double overhead camshaft heads into a 112 kW (150 hp) sports car engine. Nine special MF-12 models were also built with the larger but SOHC 2.3 L 2M engine. The car was available with three different final drives. Fitted with a 4.375 ratio axle, the car was said to be capable of reaching 135 mph (217 km/h).

The engine was longitudinally mounted and drove the rear wheels through a five-speed manual transmission. A limited slip differential was fitted as well as all-round power-assisted disc brakes - the first for a Japanese car. The typical emergency brake gripped the rear disc directly.

Naturally, not many of us can afford or willing to buy the real version of this car now but then again, thanks to Takara Tomy, we can at least buy the "free maintenance" miniature die cast car model version of "Toyota 2000GT" at affordable price ^__^

So for now, let's see this miniature replica produced by Takara Tomy and we start with the one that have green color scheme on it - "Shou" - the meaning, is the same as I mentioned earlier.













Features of this car (in fact both of the cars) are those unique decals on their body with those Japanese characters on it;






The Japanese word or character "Shou" but only on this part of the door, not on both sides... I don't know why....





The openable door on both sides of coz;






Some decent interior though I dislike the white color scheme. I personally prefer it to be in black coz the white color make it feel so "toys"....





Both cars are at 1/59 scale;





And now we have a look at the "Shun" with the almost red or maybe maroon color scheme;












Same features - unique decals and with Japanese characters/wordings on the car;






The other external detailing is quite good.....





The identical gimmick of openable door;






The interior color for this one is maroon... again, not to my liking... but that's that, like or not, live with it....







Overall, as I mentioned earlier, for financial and logical and logistic reason, not many of us can afford or willing to buy the real "Toyota 2000GT" but somehow we can still owned the toy version of it without breaking the piggy bank.








As a gift set for "New Year 2012 - The Dragon Year", from toys or die cast car collectors point of view - I think this is extremely amazing. If I ever get such item as a gift, I think I will shout out loud "Yahoooooooooo!!!!!" - then again, that is just a pure fantasy coz I don't get this as gift but rather have to buy it accordingly and in a way I still consider my self as lucky for being able to obtain this item at all. Most of the time, this item is "finished" by now and the only place you can get it is thru those "shark seller" from E-Bay.... LOL

I'm really impressed with the box and the packaging style. The theme of the gift and the selection for the car's decals/colors scheme is quite unique and all the more make this item interesting. The final finishing of the 2 cars are outstanding and adhere to the typical high standard of Takara Tomy of Japan.




If you are lucky to suddenly found this item on any of your local toy or hobby shop, don't hesitate, just buy it coz it will take another 11 years before we go thru another "dragon year" and probably by that time, they may have different design of packaging and decals again. Additionally, if you are one of those collectors who love to buy and sell it later after several years of keeping it, I can assure you that the value for this item will increase further though personally for me, I don't really like to sell my own collections unless if I really have too many of it and lost love for it, otherwise, I don't really like to sell for a mere profit reason.

And apparently, if you really want to buy this as a gift item, you can also download the wrapping paper designed by Takara Tomy from their website below;

http://takaratomy.co.jp/products/tomica/new/images/1201/02.pdf





end

4 comments:

  1. firstly, i wanna thank you for taking the time to explain your reasons for the preference of Takara Tomy’s diecast (known for me as Tomica simply)...

    secondly, i must admit that this set, the box, model selection and deco is better than the regular Tomicas i have seen and as a limited edition, is something to consider seriously as collectible...

    thirdly, as i mentioned in the post of my JL Toyota 2000 GT, the resemblance of the Jaguar E Type in this model is undeniable and indeed it was created 2 years before (1961) than the Toyota and even Enzo Ferrari had to admit that the Jaguat E type is the most beautiful car ever made, so that’s something...

    P.S. i like very much this set, but Tomica will not be in my wishlist LOL XD

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  2. Chris, it's OK, if you don't like Tomica, no body can/will forced you to buy it anyway, you should just stick with what you like the most, being a hybrid collectors like Shewsbury Land we tend to only buy what we like and it seems that we like many things, at the end it's your money and your decision... good luck.

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  3. The packaging reminds of those Japanese cakes usually presented as gift. I felt a Zen feeling for those. Very Unique...

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