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Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Tins Toys 1:30th scale pullback vehicles




There are well-know diecast manufacturers like Mattel, Greenlight, M2 Machines, etc... and then there are those who are out there but barely seize to exist in our collections.  While we pride ourselves to find what's new or missing in our collections from the former, we get some great (and some not-so-great) surprises from finding the latter.  I have run across a few that are very impressive for their details, and then i've seen some that really didn't bother to try hard.  When Wal-greens started to get a display for pullback vehicles they had the usual from Kinsmart, Welly, Maisto, and Jada Toys, but what got my attention were a few vehicles from a brand called Tins Toys.  Never heard of them and try finding information about them without coming up with a lot if tin-based toys!  Here are just a few that i've managed to find with the Lexus GS sedans saved for a separate story.







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BMW Z3 Coupe

The first vehicle that I found was a nice stock Z3 Coupe that was not an M version like the Majorette version that I reviewed a few weeks ago.  Most common and offered in an array of colors the Z3 was nicely done.  The black paint was preferred because it was easy to hide some common nicks on this casting (and a few more flaws of these toys).  A lot of the vehicles presented were from the 1990's though there are a few that were made in the 2000's.  The front has the round nose with twin-kidney grilles, swept-back headlights, and lower bumper with foglights.  Note the added details that I made to really make these castings pop out more.  The side profile has the clean, hatch-like coupe profile of the Z3 coupe, while the rear has L-shaped taillights and dual-tip exhaust to the left.  The 5-spoke wheels look great on this car, but as you'll see in a bit it's a pretty common wheel to use.








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The doors open to reveal the interior with seating for two and a pullback motor that does not hamper much space in the back.  I added silver trim to the center stack and it has the correct seats and steering wheel, though the shifter end is missing.  The base underneath shows most of the drivetrain up front and the exhaust, while the engine is the 2.8L DOHC I-6 backed by a five-speed manual transmission.  The finesse and accuracy of details really caught my attention and paid more focus onto more from this brand.







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1993 BMW 325i Cabriolet

The next item was a BMW 3-series cabriolet in a nice silver-purple color that really looks good on this car.  While trying to take off a smear on the hood I soon learned that the paint is really thin and comes off easily.  I corrected this major mistake by using a black Sharpie to add a sporty black stripe on the hood.  Also this is the only car in the group without any opening parts though that allows detailed door panels to go inside the doors.  The seats are correct and supportive, the dashboard has that proper look with the center gauges angled a bit toward the driver, the shifter, and three-spoke steering wheel.  The rear seats are filled with luggage to conceal the pullback motor, while the tonneau cover is very realistic.  The exterior is nicely done if it has a few quirks of its own.  The front has the rectangular headlights with twin kidney grilles, a bumper stripe with license plate front and rear, and a lower bumper that lacks foglights.  The sides show a nice clean profile with the correct trim details and those common 5-spoke wheels with tires that look too narrow for this car.  The rear has the square taillights, plate that is stamped into the metal trunk, and a lower bumper with black stripe and exhaust tip.  The base shows off the detailed suspension and drivetrain system, again primary focus is up front.  Now there are a few nice 3-series convertibles out there but for the price this Tins Toys version has a few nice touches despite the few quirks.










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2000 Ford Focus ZX5

Now to the Ford Family with the first-generation Ford Focus.  Yes a lot of diecast companies have done the hatchback Focus, but how about the five-door hatchback?  In European-spec trim?  Tins Toys has you covered, though the paint colors tend to be on the bright and odd side (luckily this yellow-green color is closer to stock).  Once again there's those 5-spoke wheels and yes they look great here.  The lower trim seems to be a bit too much and the rear quarter windows are part of the metal body (I used a silver sharpie to flush out the look), but otherwise its a nicely done casting.  The front headlights are sharp and nicely done, the best for a first-generaton Focus replica!  The small grille with Ford logo is above while the signal lights are in the bumper along with the foglights and Focus plate.  The sides have the proper flare to the fenders and the rounded hatch look, while the rear has the D-pillar taillights and Focus plate.  The reverse lamps are on the lower edge of the bumper and it is here where the gap and visible motor is the major downside of this casting.







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The base is not worth mentioning as it has the improper rear-wheel drive layout for a front-wheel drive car!  The interior is pretty snug tight thanks to a dashboard that is pushed far forward and blocks the shifter.  Otherwise it has the correct details from the 4-spoke steering wheel to the angled gauge cluster to the center stack area.  As usual the rear seat is blocked by luggage covering the pullback motor.  Despite its shortcomings the unique 5-door ZX3 hatch makes this one Focus that stands out from the crowd.








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Tins Toys Ford Police Crown Victoria 1995 Ford Mondeo

Then there are the misstakes, literally.  Only a knowledged car expert would tell the difference between a Ford Crown Victoria and this 1995 Ford Mondeo.  The giveaway is the shape from the front and rear lamps and inside it has the same dashboard layout as the Modeo, but the trunk badge (in which I erased) and the base say "Crown Victoria"!  Otherwise this is one sharp-looking Mondeo in black with silver 5-spoke wheels that add some sport to this otherwise mundane-looking car.  The front has the round headlights with outer orange signal lights, round grille with Ford logo, and a lower oval grille in the bumper.  The casting is the largest of the group with a pretty standard sedan profile on the sides.  The rear has the taillight bar that goes across a trunk that opens, the only Tins Toys casting in the group that has this feature.









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The opening trunk is nice, though it comes with uncommon hinge placement: secured by the rear window.  The doors open to an interior that is roomy thanks to a dashboard that recesses in too far forward.  The dashboard is typical early 1990s Ford with the rising section for the gauges and controls, a two-spoke steering wheel, and a shifter on the console.  The rear seats have a small group of luggage to cover the pullback motor.  Adding some black details separates the otherwise all-gray interior.  While nice, if a bit large or plain-looking, they should at least do more research to get the correct model name for the casting.







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1990 Acura NSX

One of the biggest question marks of the 1990's was diecast manufacturer's lack of advancement on the new and highly-praised NSX sports car from Honda.  If there was any replica's it was either only a few in small scale or some high-end and high-priced collectible.  Now thanks to the JDM fanfare and the return of the NSX for 2017 the original first NSX replica's are starting to appear more often.  Some must wonder where was this Tins Toys version?  It has a perfectly stock look with the right lines that show off the NSX's great looks.  Offered in silver with a black roof it has the correct look of the actual car, right down to the chrome multi-spoke wheels not shared with anyone else.  The front has the slender profile with hidden headlights, signal lights just below, and a lower grille with foglights.  The side profile shows off the correct door handle placement with NSX badge, exterior mirrors, and side scoops.  At the rear is a perfectly stock rear spoiler with a taillight bar that wraps around it at the bottom and dual exhaust pipes.  This is one beautifully-done NSX casting!









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The downside is that the rear engine area is concealed with dual speakers, but then again this covered engine bay area is common on stock NSX's.  Even more amazing is the interior with dual bucket seats that sink you in like the real car.  The 3-spoke steering wheel is correct as well, along with the four round gagues under the pod, the angled stack of the radio and HVAC controls, and the shifter on the console.  Only the doors lacking any inner panels ruins the otherwise fantastic interior (I resolved that by using a black sharpie to hide out the siver door panels).  With the colors that I also saw in red and yellow this is one fantastic casting of a stock NSX that i have ever seen on the low price end of the spectrum.







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1999 Toyota 4runner or Hilux Surf

The final vehicle in this group was a bit of a surprise:  When I first found it I thought it was another replica of a 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee with a more rugged look for pure off-roading, but as I looked more closely it was vastly different and has a Toyota logo: this is the 4runner SUV, or Hilux Surf known elsewhere.   This is one of the very few off-road vehicles that Tins Toys has done and this SUV looks great.  The dark green with silver bumpers really set off this casting.  The front has flush headlights with a black center grille featuring the Toyota logo and a lower bumper with signal lights, foglights to the outside of them, and a 4runner plate.  The hood has the hood scoop that a few 4runner models offered, while the sides have flared fenders, running boards, and large tires on chrome wheels.  On the real 4runner the silver is also connected on the lower sides between the bumpers so I carried the effect on this one with a silver sharpie.   At the rear is tallights with integrated signal and reverse lamps, 4runner badges on the tailgate, roof rack in black on top, and an aggressive exhaust tip.








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On the base the exhaust placement is questionable as it runs where the fuel tank should be (note the gas filler door on the left-side), while the rest of the drivetrain is nicely done despite the small space.  Inside the interior has seating for five with the rear seat foot space interrupted by a cover for the pullback motor.  The rear cargo area has a nice touch of luggage and a possible tent for camping.  The dashboard has the proper 4runner look with the 4-spoke steering wheel, dual airbags, center controls, and the shifters for the 4-speed automatic and two-speed transfer case.  Even the door panels are separate panels and are nicely done.  4runners are designed to go off-roading and this one looks the part with excellent details and a very rugged look.










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There are winners and there are losers when it comes to the model selection and execution from Tins Toys, but if there is one thing all of them have common is a diecast body that has the correct attention to details to the real model.  Just wish this company would create more vehicles and make them visible to everyone else.

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