Event Report : Shizuoka Hobby Show 2014

The Shizuoka Hobby Show is mostly an event about RC and model kits, but scale models manufacturers are also present. Here is a little tour.

1/64

Not many manufacturers fight in the 1/64 arena, but they all try their best to deliver quality products. Tomytec, Kyosho, Spark and F-Toys revealed new items at the Shizuoka Hobby Show. Aoshima didn’t have any scale models, focusing exclusively on model kits. Interallied (Oversteer) was sadly absent.

Tomytec

The Tomytec booth was mostly occupied by the Tomix train line. Only two tall cabinets and a little section special Seibu Keisatsu were dedicated to the Tomica Limited Vintage. Tomytec keeps quality levels very high and displayed the best looking 1/64 cars from the show. A bunch of ChoroQ Zero were on display as well as 4 prototypes.

Kyosho

Kyosho had one of the largest booths, with tons of RCs. The minicar section was very narrow and crowded. It was difficult to approach the models on display manufactured by Kyosho or by other brands that Kyosho distribute in Japan. The coming Subaru Minicar from CircleK/SunKus was there and the models look very good, one of the best CircleK releases. Those cars, exclusively sold through the CircleK network, cost less than 700 yen. How do the cars from the new Kyosho Original resin line compare to them at a whopping 4500 yen? They have chrome stickers on the mirrors, but at best they are just as good looking. The Crown Athlete and the Vellfire are below Kyosho’s 1/64 standard, hopefully the samples on display are pre-production prototypes and not the final product. The N-One looks good and the prototype of the Skyline is gorgeous. Are they really worth 4500 yen? Absolutely not. Kyosho is trying something, putting the customers to the test and seeing how much would be the highest acceptable price for a 1/64 scale miniature. Rai’s 64 lead the way, with 2500 yen models selling like hot cakes, justifing the price with a limited production number (undisclosed). It will be interesting to see how well the Kyosho Original resin line will sell next month.

Spark

The new Spark 1/64 line is making a buzz recently and everybody hopes they will be as good as the 1/43 line. The models on display have minor issues, but they are probably pre-production samples. The Deltawing already looks very good. The TS030’s paint job is poorly done above the windows. The 901 needs some fine tuning on the headlights and the windows. Retail price is still unknown. The packaging looks cheap, hopefully the cars will be too.

F-Toys

In the past, F-Toys collections quality was between passable and okay. The “cheap plastic” feeling doesn’t help to forge a good reputation amongst collectors. This new line focusing on Japanese classic car seems to raise the overall level of quality with good looking models and nice work on the engine. One of the good surprises of the show.

1/43

1/43th is the scale of choice for many car enthusiasts. Many manufacturers displayed their new products as well as recent releases. Some of them kept their release pace and price range, some of them pushed the limits of accuracy (and price). The good thing is that none are bad. But a few are – clearly – better.

Ignition Models

This was my first time seeing the Ignition models in person. I’m glad I took many pictures so I’m sure it was not my imagination ! Those 1/43 scale models are just incredible, from absolutely perfect proportions to an extreme level of detail matched by no other. No need trying to describe them, they have to be seen in person. These pictures don’t do justice. Retail price range from 10 000 to 15 000 yen. Are they worth it? Absolutely !

MakeUp

MakeUp/Eidolon is the only manufacturer that can challenge Ignition Model on the level of detail. Both lineups are complementary and, despite beeing a bit more expensive than Ignition Model, MakeUp delivers very high quality.

Mark43

New brand launched by Hobby Japan, Mark43 tries to fill the gap between regular and high-end 1/43 models and they do it pretty well. The price is kept well under 10 000 yen but the overall quality is very good.

Century Dragon

The minicar shop Gulliver distributes the Chinese brand Century Dragon in Japan and had a few of them on display at their booth.

Ebbro

Ebbro had two exclusive editions of the SuperGT 500 Nissan GT-R and many models on display.

Kyosho

Kyosho had its new 1/43 models on display as well as models from the brands they distribute in Japan like Frontiart, OldTimer, Hot Wheels, Minichamps and True Scale Miniature.

DISM

The 1/43 collection by Aoshima only had three models on display. Small presence with very disapointing products.

Spark

Many 1/43 scale models in the Spark’s booth.

OTHER

Many other brands had a few models on display targeting the Japanese market. They are distributed in Japan by Kokusai Boeki Kaisha.

Stay tuned for more pictures of the 1/18 scale and smaller, as well as model kits, and customs by expert modellers !

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