Being born in the 70s in America, and thus a child of the 80s, I was raised on Hot Wheels. Remember those bendy blue plastic tracks? Little did I know that 10,000 kilometers to the left of me there were kids playing with die cast metal matchbox cars made by Hot Wheels Japanese brother, Tomica (known as Tomy in North America).
And this year they turned 40.
To celebrate their 40 years manufacturing playthings, they’ve set up a small set of exhibits and activities on the 7th floor of the HsinYi area Mitsigoshi Building. For NT$150 kids can participate in 3 different activities in which they can win new matchbox cars, including “old” new models. The 3 games are:
Matchbox pachinko. If you win this, you get a classic Tomica car, manufactured in past decades. One of my sons won this golden bus, made when I was his age.
Make Your Own Car. You pick the chassis, the interior, and the wheels, then a white-gloved attendant helps you assemble it into a custom Tomica car. The choices are limited, but it’s still something special for kids.
My kids creations.
Finally, there is car fishing. It’s exactly what it sounds like.
Beyond the games, there are a few displays. One of particular interest is a timeline display of all Tomica cars from 1970 up through the current year.
My kids showing off their bounty.
Some final photos from the activity floor.