Tomica - Subaru Sanbar Mail Coach

This is a 1/52 scale die cast model of Subaru Sanbar Mail Coach produced by Takara Tomy under their "Tomica" series. Actually, the correct name should be "Subaru Sambar" but I don't know why on the packaging Takara Tomy use the name "Sanbar" instead, probably translation or typo error, who knows, but for this review purpose however, I will just use the name they put on the packaging which is "Sanbar".

Subaru Sambar is an automobile built by automaker Subaru for the Japanese market. It is Japan's first Keitora (軽トラ), shorthand for "kei class truck" and is still in production. The Sambar is available in both microvan and Kei truck (Pickup truck style) to fulfill the Kei car guidelines. Still popular in the domestic market, the Sambar continues to be produced in Japan, China, Korea, as well as in Finland with a joint venture with Elcat Automotive.

The name "Sambar" comes from a deer native to India commonly used to carry small loads.

Since its introduction, the Sambar has used a rear engine, rear wheel drive format (with optional 4WD from 1980 on), with the first two generations using the air-cooled engine from the Subaru 360, and later generations using the water-cooled engine from the Subaru Rex, Vivio and the Pleo.

The current 2008 Subaru Sambar model is still using the Sixth Generation chassis and body with updated fascia. It was the first Kei truck in Japan that used a cabover design, with the passenger cabin over the engine.

Apparently, this item is a birthday gift for me from my staff. I happen to like the gorgeous "Japanese Kei truck" concept and when I got this, obviously I'm a very happy with it. However, my staff got this from one of the local departmental store and they happen to put the price sticker label on the front part of the box and thus she struggles to remove the sticker label (since it's a common understanding that it's not nice to give a gift with price label on it - isn't it?). At the end, as you can see from the box/packaging picture below, it's kind of messed up;

Anyway, it's OK, no big deal, it's not that I wanted to re-sell this item anyway so I don't mind to just throw away the box. Most important is the item inside is nice.

So for now, let's have a look at this gorgeous red mini truck;

One of the reason I like this particular item is that it's a vehicle owned and used by the Japanese post office so in a way this is not only a tribute to the particular vehicle model but also to the Japanese post office. I always order items from Japan, be it toys, CD, DVD and many other things and 90% of the time we use EMS (Express Mail Service) provided by Japanese post office and also available in our country here as well as many other countries that support the EMS network. Depending on your country location, EMS can be as fast as courier service and tracking are available as well and so far I have no problem with it and I do really appreciate this service a lot.

Other than that, I also happen to love the red color (obviously I love red anyway). This item also comes with some stickers of Japanese Postal Service on it;

Another interesting features on this item is the openable rear latch as you can see below;

Not much to inside, quite empty but I'm happy with the openable latch.....

However, I'm a little disappointed that Takara Tomy didn't give any interior detailing at all on the cockpit part, it's basically empty - zero, nothing to see at all;

Overall, this is quite a decent miniature replica of "Subaru Sambar" or rather "Subaru Sanbar" (as it says on the box). I love the red color scheme and the openable rear latch but the lack of interior cockpit detailing is disappointing. However, I still can like this gorgeous red mini truck and I'm grateful that I got this as a birthday gift.

Side by side with the Subaru Sambar Noodle Truck - which is one of my most favorite item from Tomica series so far;



  1. these tiny wagons happen to be ugly in some people’s taste (like me, for example XD), but somehow they’re cute... now watching the side by side with the noodle truck i prefer the latter... a gift from your staff, man you’re the boss, right ??? HAHAHA... i wish i could have a stuff to be given like you =P


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