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My Tomica World - Introductions
(01-06-2021, 04:25 AM)chrisjo Wrote:
(01-06-2021, 12:04 AM)Plarail Man UK Wrote: 'Lightning/Lightening Express' [Furano Express]
'Animal Express' [Meitetsu Blue Liner]

Do you have an authoritative source that refers to the Tomica World release of the Meitetsu Blue Liner as  'Animal Express'? The only Tomica World release of this train was in Super Deluxe Set No.7423, where on the back of the box it says:

"The trains are - the Lightening Express, with its sleek modern carriages, and the Fun Train with its wacky pictures on the carriages."

To further refine your list, the Kintetsu 21000 in the Tomica World Large Set No.7421 is referred to on the box as the 'Hi-Speed Express".

I mean, i've seen it referred to on Ebay by sellers as the 'Animal Express' a couple times [I suspect because of the animal designs], so that's what I generally refer to it as [out of habit more than anything] although I knew it was called the Fun Express on the actual set box, I managed to find that, as well as the Furano Express's 'Lightening Express' [gotta love that typo lol  Big Grin ] in the process of looking for it's Japanese origins as the Meitetsu Blue Liner, being very surprised to discover that it had the animal designs IRL, I thought it was something made up for the Tomica World line initially... I'll edit my list accordingly  Wink

Also, good to know about the Kintetsu 21000 being the 'Hi-Speed Express' - I figured it would have some kind of re-name for Tomica World but having no access to a box, I wasn't able to check. When I talk about it with my [less railway-savvy] uni colleagues, it's gained the moniker of the 'Japanese HST' since we all agree it somewhat resembles the HST when looked at from the front or side [evidently TOMY agreed as they produced their Virgin Trains HST using the same mould; Even so, seeing an 'HST' with pantographs still cracks me up as a B.R enthusiast  Big Grin ]

Actually, a bit of trivia about the Tomica World Virgin HST; it's class/type number, as printed on the model is 82 100; anyone from the UK knows that the HST series [until recently with new formations] only ever carried the class/type numbers 43, or 253 [43 refers to the HST loco on its own, 253 referred to a complete HST consist with coaches].

However, the number 82 is a number applied to two types of equipment used by B.R, and latterly the private railways; the first was the B.R Class 82 loco of the 1960's, which looks nothing like the HST, and never served with Virgin, and second was the B.R Class 82 DVT, which did end up serving under Virgin, and latterly many other railways [including Greater Anglia, my local lines].

The 82 DVT itself looks like the front car of an InterCity 225 unit, but crucially has no engine, and no pantograph; It's basically a guards van with a driving cab that operates the loco from the other end of the train, removing the need for turn-around facilities.

My assumption for what happened in this case was that when Virgin contacted TOMY [or vice-versa as the case may be], Virgin sent pictures of their various fleets [in that era, that would have been West Coast and CrossCountry], which probably would have been a mix of the B.R Class 86/87 electric locos, B.R Class 47 diesels, HST's, and B.R Class 82 DVT's [which would probably be paired with either the electrics or diesels depending on compatibility/need]. All carried the same livery of black & red with Virgin logos; for those that had been repainted out of B.R livery. This would mean that a picture of a DVT carrying an 82 series number was likely in the mix.

Interestingly, the real Class 82 numbering series begins at 82 101, so the Tomica World unit, assuming the number is a reference to the 82 series DVT's, is a non-existent unit anyway, and as already noted, would also not have a pantograph either if it was a DVT Tongue

In the event, it's probably safe to assume that TOMY most likely picked the HST as the basis for their Virgin Train, since the HST is probably one of the more iconic InterCity units in the UK and could re-use the 21000 Series shell, and maybe picked the number off a DVT to use as a fictional class number - again, this is all speculation on my part, I only looked into this as the HST is one of my favourite B.R era units, so I was curious to decode the Tomica World version's history, as far as possible Big Grin

Another bit of trivia would be with regards to the TGV; The two colour variants I would assume were meant to represent the then two distinct models of TGV in service under the SNCF around the time of Tomica World's release. This was the original Sud-Est [named for the LGV Sud-Est, France's original high speed line] from the 1970's, and the later Atlantique [named for LGV Atlantique] that was built in the late 1980's - The Atlantique was the first to carry the silver and blue livery that would become firstly a TGV standard, and then eventually the SNCF corporate standard livery until recently.

The Sud-Est, as built, carried the iconic orange livery that is now so associated with the TGV, later being painted silver to match the Atlantique [with the side-effect of rendering them indistinguishable to the untrained eye]
Both trains are mechanically very similar, and externally are virtually identical; so there was a logic to producing both liveries under Tomica World/Plarail since all that was needed was a different paintjob.

As a final kink in the TGV saga, the TGV mould is still in production [in a slightly modified form] for the Korean Plarail range, as the Korail KTX-1 [pictured]; This was possible since the KTX-1 is a somewhat modified TGV 'Reseau', which was the third variant of TGV in France, and again used virtually the same loco bodyshell shaping as the Sud-Est/Atlantique.

[Image: 51jcCeK5pcL._AC_SL1000_.jpg]

I suppose on that note of checking boxes/history, I should check my City Set box to see what they named the E3 Shinkansen, as I know it defo wasn't referred to as that in the West, not even on it's re-release in the Tomica Hypercity line...
Been building Plarail worlds since 2001; still building in 2021 - Not bad really  Cool
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  • DalaGStanator
(01-06-2021, 05:17 AM)Plarail Man UK Wrote: I suppose on that note of checking boxes/history, I should check my City Set box to see what they named the E3 Shinkansen..
I'll save you the trouble, it's not named on the box.
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Well, there you go  Cool  I found that out by checking my box, literally at the same moment that you posted, but thanks for checking anyway Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin

Well, I guess in the Tomica World spirit of giving all their exported Japanese trains English names, I'll just have to give it one myself  Cool

I therefore officially dub the Tomica World E3 Series Shinkansen as the 'TOMY EF65 Super Hyper Silver Inter-City Hi-Speed TGV Lightening Fun Zoo Animal Virgin Express Eurostar Bullet Train'

Think that covers all bases [or all export models lol]  Wink
Been building Plarail worlds since 2001; still building in 2021 - Not bad really  Cool
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(01-06-2021, 04:06 AM)chrisjo Wrote: The Tomica World set with the red C12 and the Animal Express wagons was item number 7560, and was indeed sold as "Zoo Train".

Am I wrong in assuming that the Zoo Train with the Red C-12 was only released on the UK or possibly Australia too?
[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
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Yes Super. I'm not sure if it was released in Australia but I know for a fact it was released in the UK
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Thanks Thara
[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
7560 Zoo Train was indeed also sold as Animal Express
[Image: Screenshot-20210106-111320.jpg]

The cars from it, as well as the Percy set mentioned before and several other Thomas wagon packs which have modified versions of the elephant in particular, come from this Plarail wagon three pack
[Image: 20210106-111215.jpg]
Some elephant remoulds: 
[Image: s-l640-17.jpg]
[Image: 10131268a.jpg]
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Thanks Duck
 Thats an interesting box as the Animal Express version. I don't think I have ever seen the Wagon Three Pack before called the Animal Circus, seen all the variations of these 3 just don't remember them as Animal Circus.
[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
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[Image: DSC-0003.jpg]

OK, guess I'd better add a 2020 James to the fleet list  Cool

As I kind of mentioned in the 'fleet list' post; my mum's plan for Christmas 2020 was to get me a Plarail James; In the event, a Plarail Thomas was sent, and that's what I ended up getting. Well, about 2 weeks after Christmas, and a package, suspiciously Plarail sized, and postmarked Aichi Prefecture shows up, and lo & behold, it's the Plarail James  Big Grin  Neither of us are sure how, as on discussion, it seems that the James was [according to Amazon] never even sent out; so it's a nice surprise for both of us lol

Fine by me anyway, as like with Thomas, if I can get the original Tomica World James running, I'll have a pair; One of the 'model era' design, and one of the 'CG era' type.

Speaking of eras, my Thomas era was the model era in the early 2000's, but mostly I remember the original 1980's and 90's episodes since I was mostly watching the show on VHS anyway [Indeed, much of the TV I watched was on VHS as opposed to broadcast; one of the earliest things I distinctly remember learning to do was operating the VCR by copying mum and dad, so I could put videos on for myself  Tongue ]

Interestingly, I never remember who my favourite engine was, although I'm fairly sure it was Thomas [basic choice I know Cool ], which goes a way to explain how he's one of the engines I held onto all these years, but I also liked Diesel 10 [still got him as Plarail as well], again, not totally sure why, but nowadays I'd say it's because the idea of a B.R Warship with an inexplicable claw appendage just seems too curious to ignore [maybe that was going to be B.R standard issue kit for Warships, but never made it to production  Tongue ]

Ah well, time to hit that edit command  Cool
Been building Plarail worlds since 2001; still building in 2021 - Not bad really  Cool
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Starting 2021 on a lucky streak P-Man Smile
[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
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Just a quickie Cool

This afternoons job, after a few bits of uni paperwork was to attempt a motor transplant on the Tomica World James that I had from an Ebay box of 'non-working' trains, to see if I could get him working.

This box had some 6 complete trains along with a bunch of parts and some chassis units, including a Hypercity E3 Series, a Tomica World 21000 Series (Hi-Speed Express), 3 Thomas engines and a Tomica World James. Of all the parts, everything except the James actually worked first go, although one of the Thomas engines had an awful sounding gearbox that barely got a train round the track.

Well, I used the awful sounding Thomas as a donor, as after exhaustive testing, I had concluded the motor in TW James was totally dead, so I dismantled the dodgy Thomas, and discovered (unsurprisingly) that several of the gears were completely shredded and missing several teeth, but that the motor itself was in fine working condition.

So, after de-soldering the old motor out of TW James and re-soldering the donor in, he came to life almost immediately, and after a good run on the layout, appears to now be in perfect mechanical order Big Grin

So, as with Thomas, I now have a pair of working James engines, the model era version and the CG era version. Job well done I reckon, now to sit back and let the good times (and engines) roll Cool
Been building Plarail worlds since 2001; still building in 2021 - Not bad really  Cool
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Excellent job, its a good feeling when a repair turns out to be successful Smile
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