Thursday, 16 August 2012

Value of Tomica

Today, Tomicas are made in four different countries. Chronologically, first from Japan, then Hong Kong, then China and most recently, Vietnam.  Since Tomica originated from the land of the rising sun, the value and prestige associated with Made in Japan Tomicas are naturally high.

This brings to light the topic of value in Tomicas. The universal rule that applies to all collecting hobbies is that “Value is in the Eye of the Beholder” regardless of the genre. “To each his own, and one man’s meat is another man’s poison”.. oh well you get the point.

:?: How to approximate the value then?
From my own perspective, to determine value, one should consider:

1. Reflective Price - obtain an indication of current prices from at least three or more sources (online stores, ebay, fact-finding from friends or diecast forum, etc)

2. Condition of Item - price would vary not just with the condition of the model but also the box case. A mint box itself can sometimes equal the value of the vehicle itself. However, collectors may not always find mint condition items due to age and rarity of the model itself.

3. Country of Origin - in descending order of associated values based on the country of manufacture
a) Japan b) Hong Kong and c) China and Vietnam.

4. Production Rarity - more value for limited run productions such as those limited to 3,000 pcs, Special/Commemorative sets/models such as the Osaka Castle or other highly sought models, etc.

5. Vehicle Type - sports cars in general, sedan vehicles and vintage models are usually more popular as opposed to construction vehicles and buses.  It must be said that there are niche collectors for all vehicle types.

6. Value Retention - the ability to retain its attraction, especially for collectors who also “buy for investment” purpose. The classic vintage cars and older models tend to hold their worth better. A complete set in a series also commands a better value than singular cars sold separately.

Customer Service

For this, I am reminded of an article about choosing between a Competent Jerk and a Loveable Fool as a preferred colleague, who will you choose? I cannot stress enough that customer service when buying Tomica is also important. I do not take kindly to unscrupulous scalpers (see other article) or a seller with a bad attitude. I love Tomicas yes but it should be a joy rather than a pain to collect them :up3:


  1. Is there any price reference in the value of each model especially made in Japan ones?
    I have alot of tomica models bought during the 90s that are made in Japan I guess... Only recently I know about tomica collecting and wants to know about the estimated value of the models I own from back then... Are there any websites that list which ones are rarecor sought after and their estimated resale value?

    1. Hi. I am unable to guide you to a price reference resource. Happy collecting!