Over the years, the availability and quality of die-cast cars has increased greatly, due to increased exposure via the Internet and tooling methods used. It is now possible to cheaply attain high quality, highly accurate representations of a lot of cars, in particular classic Japanese ones.
A good demonstration of this in the 1:64-72 range is the TOMY Tomica “Limited”. The accuracy and detail of these vehicles is usually quite high.
If you’re interested in what’s currently available new in the “limited” range then visit the TOMY website; Sadly, it’s all in Japanese so unless you can read it, you’re likely out of luck, translation tools will miss most of the site in that it’s mostly images as opposed to standard text, though with a bit of perseverance you should find your way around fairly well.
Of course you could always get something from the TOMY Tomica standard range, their detail suffers a little but the range of cars available is quite a lot larger.
I should apologise now for the lack of variety in the models shown, they’re all from my own collection which is predominantly Skyline based.
Another type to look out for are the TOMY sets, they’re usually filled with cars from the regular range but getting them in appropriate sets and packaging does add to their appeal.
Beyond the average car sets are the more specialised ones, ie. the Masahiro Hasemi “Skyline History” set, as shown below;
Outside of the TOMY range, Konami released a few different volumes of “Nostalgic” cars, again the accuracy is quite high given the size and the range they’ve covered over the sets make lovely additions to anyone’s collection.
Getting away from the contemporary standard look cars. Aoshima released a series of modified, “bosozoku” or “garuchan” type of vehicles, the initial release was a selection of Toyota’s though there’s been a few more since then, that include the staple C210 Skyline Japan, amongst others.
As you can see, each car came in three different colour schemes and wheel options, all wheels from the SSR range MkI, II & III.
Not to be out-done in accuracy and quality is Kyosho. Though they’re now quite hard to get from shops directly in NZ due to problems with distributors, they are still available through Australian and Japanese websites.
Going beyond the smaller “matchbox” scale; Kyosho, AutoArt, Biante and Minichamps make some fantastic 1:43 & 1:18 scale cars;
Here’s a few shots of a small section of a collection that belongs to a friend of mine;
If you’re interested in this sort of thing and have no luck finding anything locally, then a good place to look for many die-casts, especially those out of manufacture is any number of online auctions sites like eBay, trademe, Yahoo! Japan, etc. Of course if you’re more interested in buying new and the manufacturer websites don’t have an online store facility then you’re best to visit other websites, such as;