Imagining What Could Have Been With a Tomica F8 Tributo

Mattel’s loss of the Ferrari license is one of the most frequently told stories in the world of diecast, and for good reason.  The Ferrari brand holds a ton of significance for car enthusiasts all over the world, myself included.  I used to love collecting Hot Wheels Ferraris, and I certainly wish they were still available today.  Of course, things aren’t all bad – the absence of Ferrari in Hot Wheels’ lineup made room for new supercar brands like McLaren to enter the diecast aisle.  That variety is a good thing!  On some level, we maybe even have the loss of Ferraris to thank for the current JDM craze…but I have found my relationship with Ferrari diminishing over the years, and I think the lack of diecast is part of the reason.  I’m less up-to-date with the models Ferrari has released, I have a harder time identifying a Ferrari on the street, and I no longer lust after them in the same way I used to…

Hot Wheels is not the only diecast brand though.  While Mattel’s brands have always dominated my collection, I’ve recently been making an effort to check out other brands, and I had the opportunity to pick up this F8 Tributo from Tomica for a reasonable(ish) price.  I’m impressed. 

Though I love the way they make the world look, I think it’s time I remove my rose-tinted spectacles for a moment.  While I loved the Hot Wheels Ferraris as a kid, I have to acknowledge that they were not always particularly well executed.  This 458 Spider is a perfect example: the wheels are smaller on the front axle which gives the model a weird stance, and the wheel design is nothing short of atrocious.  We get no rear detailing, despite the beautifully simple rear end design of the 458.  In comparison, the Tomica is much better proportioned – it has wheels that are the same size so the model sits level, the front end has more height and depth, and the whole model appears lower and wider.  

It must be said that I’m not a huge fan of the Tomica’s wheels (that’s one area where Matchbox in particular excels).  Frankly, they just look a little too basic for a supercar, and they’re a bit smaller than I would like.  Unlike the wheels, the paint color is stunning.  There’s lots of metal flake and the color changes when the light hits it, accenting the lovely curves of this casting.  The Hot Wheels paint just looks flat in comparison.

The highly detailed back is definitely the highlight of the Tomica though.  Where the Hot Wheels lacks any tampo detailing, the Tomica has a prancing horse on the back and the Ferrari script at the base of the engine cover.  These tail lights are gorgeous too, as they are a separate piece which makes them really stand out!  Just like the front end, there is a ton of depth to the vents and spoiler, as well as the exhaust tips that stick out from the rear valence.  

Unfortunately, this F8 Tributo has the same problem as all Tomica models in the US: price.  Since Tomicas are generally not sold in the US (officially, at least), they end up costing $10-15 each by the time you pay shipping.  To say that’s steep would be putting it generously.  I prefer this Tomica to many of my old Hot Wheels Ferraris, but is it really ten times better?  More importantly, this Tomica is nowhere near as detailed of a model as the supercars we’ve seen from MiniGT.  For that reason, I think I’ll be selective with the Tomicas I add to my collection…but don’t be surprised to see a few more Ferraris in that select group.  Now, where’d I put those glasses…?

One thought on “Imagining What Could Have Been With a Tomica F8 Tributo

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  1. Great read! Another area I feel Tomica really excels in is how well they capture the “energy” and “spirit” that I believe a 1/64 scale model should have. These are tiny cars after all! The designs have a certain character about them that just feels perfect in this scale. I guess you could compare that to the realism of a brand like Tarmac Works. Are their models stunning? Absolutely! But being that ultra-realistic in such a small size I sometimes feel (in some cases, certainly not all cases) takes away from the more fun, lighthearted nature of little castings. I think the Mattel brands do a really great job of this as well. Looking forward to seeing more of your Tomica collection!


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