In another life, the only car I could have reliably named on the road was a Volkswagon Beetle but my husband has managed to pass on his passion for vehicles down to the next generation and now if I DON’T know the cars around me, I’d be totally outnumbered in the family. So I try to be way more aware and I’m definitely more discerning about the cars that I like. Like I know I’m into cars with electricity and I’m dying to drive the Toyota Mirai. And even with the mini car variety that the kids play with, I prefer that cars have doors that open and close.
Why don’t more little cars have doors that open and close? I don’t think things can get more basic than this but I see so many with doors just painted on. HOW IS ANYONE SUPPOSED TO GET IN OUR OUT?? It makes me claustrophobic just thinking about it.
So I really love a brand of cars we find in Japan called Tomica. These cars have moving parts like doors that work, or brakes that shoot sparks, and other intricate details that add to more imaginative car play.
I never imagined that Tomica might have a stand alone toy store but on our last trip the guys were bugging me about getting more Tomica cars and I wanted to go to a new-to-us toy store on the trip and I stumbled upon the Tomica website and according to their website it seems like they have not just one but FOUR standalone stores that we have never been to. We were lucky enough to find one of the two they have in Tokyo. (I think the other one is near the Sky Tree.) This shop is part of Tokyo Character Street inside the Tokyo Station and there are tons of ‘toy’ stores nearby. My kids and I could have spent way more time here than we did and I hope we come back to Japan again before they outgrow this stage.
The highlight at this store was being able to MAKE our own Tomica cars. The kids picked out some parts then went to a window where they got to help put their own cars together in a mini-factory type exercise. If you have been reading awhile, you know I LOVE seeing stuff get made so this was a dream. (For my kids, of course. It’s always for them….) There was also a small play area in the back where kids could play with a bunch of the Tomica cars too.
I’m not sure how much longer my guys will play with these toys so I’m glad we had a chance to stop here this trip. I know when my guys say they want to go back to Tokyo one day, a big part of it is because of the Tomica car shop.
(PS. If you or your kids are into trains the Plarail store is right next door.)