Japan

Tinplate toys were very important products of the Japanese toy industry until the 1960s. Bandai, Ichiko, Haji, Alps, Marusan, Nomura, Taiyo, Yonezawa and many other companies released tinplate models of foreign and domestic cars. Later many manufacturers replaced tin by plastic: Plastic model kits by Tamiya, Fujimi, Aoshima or Hasegawa have been spread worldwide. Since the 1950s diecast model cars have been produced and collected in Japan, too. These models have been made by manufacturers such as Tomica, Diapet, Eidai Grip, Asahi, MTech, Shinsei and Sakura. In most cases the finish of the Japanese diecast models is excellent. For a long time, most of them were models of current Japanese cars. But in the meantime, model manufacturers like Kyosho and Ebbro have showed their interest in Japanese motoring history. Like most products currently released by Japanese model manufacturers, these models are made in China. In recent times detailed model cars in small scales made by manufacturers such as Tomy, Aoshima, Kyosho and Konami, which are boxed in a way that the purchaser is unable to determine the contents (so-called "Gashopon" models), have become quite popular among Japanese collectors. The collector doesn't know which model he has bought until he has opened the package, so for everybody who looks for a particular model or who wants to acquire a complete series of models, trading with other collectors becomes important.

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