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 !

Event Report : Toyota History Garage – Shotaro Kobayashi Exhibition

The current attraction at the Toyota History Garage (situated in Toyota’s own MegaWeb complex in Odaiba, Tokyo) is an exhibition of photographs by Shotaro Kobayashi, creator of Car Graphic magazine, about pre-WWI automobiles.

Photos and comments by the author can be found around the authentic cars preserved in the museum. Here is a little tour of the featured models, as well as pictures of other cars parked all around the MegaWeb complex.

Event Report : Wonder Festival 2014 Winter

This huge event is held twice a year in Tokyo and is all about Japanese scale figures and collectibles toys. There are also a few model cars thanks to Good Smile Company.

The number one Japanese figure maker owns a Super GT racing team and has already released some high-end 1/43 scale models. This year the latest 3D scanning and printing technologies will be used to made a super detailed 1/12 scale Lamborghini Countach based on an authentic Countach car.

In both 2013 editions of the Wonder Festival Good Smile Company had a Lamborghini Countach at its booth. First was a green LP400, then a red Walter Wolf, and this year is a black LP500R next to the Kyosho 1/12 scale replica.

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The two 1/12 LP400 by Good Smile Racing were also on display.

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These two amazing models will be available next october for 120 000 yen each and feature opening parts, functionning retractable head lamps and functionning interior light (turned on/off when the door open/close).

Preorder the Good Smile Racing 1/12 scale Lamborghini Countach LP400 through 829 Japan and save USD150 from the retail price, free EMS delivery worlwide included ! Check out the Reservations page for details.

Also on display at the GSC booth : the 1/43 and 1/32 scale replicas of the Good Smile Racing Super GT car BMW Motorsport Z4 GT3 “Hatsune Miku”.

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Tomytec was present at the event, working in collaboration with Good Smile Company to release new Nendoroid figures, and with Azone to produce 1/12 scale accessories for dolls and action figures. Including this Honda Gyro Canopy.

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That’s it for the model cars at the Wonder Festival 2014 Winter edition !