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New Studio Ghibli Howl’s Moving Castle die-cast toy cars on sale today, new preview pics shown

Nov 18, 2023

Fans get a second chance to get their hands on Calcifer Tomica.

The name Tomica is practically synonymous with toy cars in Japan. Produced by toymaker Takara Tomy, Tomica is basically Japan’s equivalent to America’s Hot Wheels, a detail-oriented but affordable line of automobile miniatures that’s been loved for generations.

But over the past few months Tomica has been partnering with Studio Ghibli to produce a collection of four-wheeled pieces of art inspired by the Hayao Miyazaki-founded anime studio. We’ve known for a while that the next two entries in the lineup are going to be from Howl’s Moving Castle, and with them officially going on sale just a few hours from now, Ghibli specialty store Donguri Kyowakoku has shown off a new batch of preview photos.

Up first is the moving castle itself, with motion provided by a set of wheels attached to the underside of the die-cast figurine. Unlike some toy cars which look best when viewed from a distance, here you’re rewarded for going in for a closer look at the magical architecture’s mad mix of creases and curves.

The asymmetrical design also gives you a perfect excuse to “drive” the car around. You’re not just playing with a child’s toy, you’re rearranging the piece so that the designers’ full range of aesthetic choices can be appreciated.

▼ Perhaps while grappling with such high-browed artistic questions as “Should I be saying ‘Vroom vroom!’ or “Clank clank!’ while playing with this?”

The other new Ghibli Tomica also isn’t a car, and it’s even less of a conventional means of transportation than a moving castle. It’s a cooking pot.

An unusual choice for a toy car, to be sure, but one that’s completely permissible since it means we get to look at this adorable rendering of fire spirit Calcifer.

Here too, the paint and coloring really help sell the visuals. Calcifer in particular is made of a material that catches the light in such a way that really makes him look like a glowing flame.

Takara Tomy started accepting pre-orders for both models back in September, but they don’t officially go on sale until the start of the business day on November 18, with Donguri Kyowakoku opening sales through its online shop at 10 a.m. That’s especially good news for Calcifer fans, since the Takara Tomy e-store is already sold out of the Calcifer car, but Donguri Kyowakoku has its own, as-yet untapped inventory.

Both cars are priced at 1,320 yen (US$8.80), with the moving castle model available here and Calcifer here.

Source: Donguri Kyowakoku
Top image: Donguri Kyowakoku
Insert images: Donguri Kyowakoku (1, 2)
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