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Wheels deals highlight Tomica 40th anniversary

Date Posted: 2010-12-16

Childhood memories for little boys in America and Europe evolved around Matchbox cars; in Japan the name Tomica has been equated with magic memories for youngsters for four decades.

Tomica’s now celebrating its 40th anniversary, and it’s much much more than the limited series and sets of cars once available. Today Tomica has more than 120 different varieties of cars ranging from sports to fire and rescue to passenger vehicles, and they’re still favorites with the young set. Cars, cargo haulers, trash trucks, ambulances and other emergency response vehicles, and SUV’s are all on the shelf waiting to evoke dreams from a youngster.

The anniversary celebration extends beyond the sales showroom. There’s a Vehicle Series Festival going on, with parents and children participating as a family. Simulators put the child—or family—behind the wheel of a vehicle for a realistic drive that includes sounds, winds and a sense of speed, and traffic reactions. Beyond that, there’s a section where repairmen are standing by to fix up one of the original favorites, or purchase the car parts to be a shade tree mechanic at home.

The Vehicle Series Festival has varying days over the coming holidays, before ending January 10th. The festival will be closed for the New Year’s holiday January 5th ~ 7th.

The festival is open daily noon to 7 p.m., with last entry at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for junior high school students and adults are ¥600, while elementary school age children and youngsters to age 3 are ¥400. Children under 2 are free. Additional information in Japanese is available at http://www.takaratomy.co.jp.

Tomica Festival is held in the Tomiton Shopping Center second floor in Toyozaki, Tomigusuku, located in the new town area roughly halfway between Naha Airport and Itoman City. From Kadena and Foster take the Okinawa Expressway south following signs towards Naha Airport. At the third traffic light after the end of the expressway – Tomigusuku Police Station is n the right – take a left. Tomiton Shopping Center is on the left after crossing a long bridge.

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