Review by JoshB
I've been aware of the Tomica line for a while now but I never really gave it a chance until just recently. For me, the Tomica line has been associated with the line of diecast cars similar in size and scale to Matchbox and Hot Wheels. But now the Tomica line in the states encompasses diecast cars, trains and playsets, all blended into one coherent line.
In Japan the Tomica line of diecast cars is compatible with the Plarail line of trains. This line is HUGE in Japan, with entire aisles devoted towards it in toy stores. But here in the states, it's relegated to a small section in the little kids area.
I saw this in Toys R Us and I knew I had to have it. It wasn't just a train. It was something more.
Lets get into it.
This is the Storm Runner, part of the Hypercity Rescue line. In Japan it's part of the Tomica Hyper Series (トミカハイパーシリーズ) that consists of three distinct sub lines:
- Hyper Rescue
- Hyper Builder
- Hyper Blue Police
The reason I mention it is because while the line is called RESCUE in the US, this particular vehicle is out from the HYPER BLUE POLICE line.
Anyway, this thing is very cool. I mean look at it. It's a cool carrier vehicle that evokes designs from Ultraman and Cyber Formula GP.
Here's a tease with the combined form. It's bulky and solid and full of fun. Like a toy should be.
The jet / car hybrid vehicle is awesome on its own. It's technically got 3 forms – submarine, jet and futuristic sportscar.
There's some neat features in this mode. For fighter mode the wings pop out when you hit the button behind the cockpit, and the wheels get rotated back around the back and become jets. There's a neat feature where you can rotate the panels on the wheels to become propellers.
In car mode the wheels flip out and the car rolls freely. Unfortunately they don't click in to the body.
The cockpit opens and a small figure sits inside.
You'll notice connection points on the top and bottom of the vehicle. This is a standard connection point common to all of the toys in this line so each toy can connect to each other in some fashion.
The flying wing thing sports two cargo containers and has wheels to roll around on.
Two cannons attach to either side of the ship, and each has extending tips.
The containers pop open with the push of a button and each fit a standard Tomica vehicle (which I don't own, so Hot Wheels will have to stand in). The containers also release the bottom half for when they are connected to the larger Super Sonic Runner vehicle.
The third component is a small bullet train. Because why not?
The train is all plastic and the front and rear compartments open. There are spots on either side that are designed to fit a Tomica mini-figure. The train also has a connector on the top. It's worth noting that the train is not included in the Japanese release.
So now the three components combine. The Jet clips on top of the wing and the wheels fold under. Under the jet nose a connector pulls down and then the train clips onto that.
So here we are. A sturdy, honest-to-goodness kids toy from the Japan market, brought to the US.
Why is this awesome? Let me count the ways.
- It's got a sticker sheet, old-school style.
- It is sturdy as hell.
- It's inexpensive.
- It's a triple changer that combines with a flying wing and a bullet train while holding cargo containers.
- The mini figure is awesome.
- It combines with other toys from the series.
- It's got an amazing design.
- Opening cockpit.
- Spring-loaded wings.
I cannot stress enough how cool this thing is. If I have only one complaint it's that Tomy has not released the rest of the Hyper Blue Police vehicles in the US. Storm Runner is 03 in the series, and there are a TON of great vehicles like helicopters, cars, semi-trucks, hovercrafts and others that you can combine together. To get an idea, check out some of the videos from Tomy:
|Posted 23 November, 2012 - 22:54 by JoshB|