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The First Six Tomica

Tomica is the line of die-cast toy vehicles and related products produced by Takara Tomy Co. ofJapan(formerly known as Tomy Co.). This is not the same as Tomica World, which is a line of motorized trains and vehicles and accessories that Tomy Co. of UK has produced since the late 1990s. Tomica World motorized trains and track systems are based on Plarail, which is the brand of motorized toy trains that Tomy Co. of Japan has produced since 1959[1], but Tomica World more heavily focuses on Thomas & Friends trains. However, the motorized vehicles of Tomica World are the same as Motor Tomica, which will be explained below.
Tomy Co. of Japan (referred to as “Tomy” for the rest of this article) was founded in 1924[1] and produced various toys throughout its existence, but it was not until 1970 when they realized the surge of interest in die-cast cars that they started to produce Tomica. Although Tomica of various scales have been made, the term “Tomica” when used alone refers to the 3-inch models. Regular Tomica refers to the mainstream Tomica sold at the regular price—domestic series, foreign series, or common series, depending on the time of release.
Following a rich, 40-year history of mass success in Japan, the much-loved TOMICA line of die-cast cars, trains and accessories by TOMY Corporation is making its North American debut in 2010. The collectible line of 27 SKUs will include seven die-cast cars, three train sets, six accessory sets, six destination sets and five deluxe play sets. All elements of the line can be merged together to create a TOMICA city with limitless building and exploration opportunities. The TOMICA car and train system features a robust combination of auto- and locomotive play that teaches kids the rules of the road and encourages creative construction and role playing, allowing for endless fun and imaginative playtime. 
Initially, Tomy only produced Japanese cars. This started out with the concurrent release of 6 models in 1970. The seventh model was issued later in 1970. From then on, the Tomica line grew in number until there was a total of 109 concurrently-sold models in 1978—no.1 – 108 plus no.110. The first no.109 model was proposed and seen in catalogue but was never realized. The variety of models also expanded from the initial coupes and saloons to taxisbuseslorries, work vehicles and other commercial vehicles, to even steam engine and an ocean cruiser. As new models were issued, each was assigned a number within 1 to 110, thus replacing the existing model. The replaced model was called a discontinued model. In the early 1980s, Tomy experienced financial difficulties. Subsequently, the domestic model line was down sized to only 80 models (no.1 – 80) in 1983. These models were mainly packaged in picture boxes. At first, the boxes used a black background. Since 1984, each new model came with a new style box with red-and-white background, while existing models issued before 1984 kept using the older style box with black background until 1988, when all boxes were updated to the new style. Hence, domestic models are commonly referred to as the “black box” or “red-and-white Box” models depending on their boxes.
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