Toyota 4Runner, Tacoma, and Tundra: Toyota Toy Trucks
Practicing paint schemes, dreaming of the truck you used to know, reenacting epic off-road adventures on your coffee table — toy versions of Toyota trucks have a multitude of uses. You don't have to justify wanting one to us, but you may have to explain why the rent is late because you spent so much money on eBay Japan.
This article applies to the Toyota 4Runner, Tacoma, and Tundra.
If you are like me, you love your truck. You love driving it. You love washing it (occasionally, but not as much as you love getting it dirty). You love working on it. You even love looking at it just sitting there in your driveway or garage. Luckily, most Toyota trucks and SUVs have been popular enough over the years to allow you to find smaller scale toy models, so you can dream of the awesome mods you are going to do or places you are going to drive while sitting at your desk, or stuck doing paperwork. These die cast replicas are also great for remembering the truck you never should have sold or aspire to own one day. You can use them to practice paint jobs too, before committing to the full scale version.
If you own a Tundra, you can take your pick from the generations, sizes, and modifications applied to your toy truck. Most are not expensive, though you have to wonder about the quality being shipped direct from China for $20. If you want a 2007-2013 version, there is a very nice 1:32 scale version complete with opening doors, lighting headlights and engine noises (Figure 2). The cool regular cab NASCAR version is readily available as well (Figure 3). Perhaps the neatest one is the Hot Wheels Baja trophy truck model, with removable body and fully detailed chassis (Figure 4). The Hi Story 1/43 version is perhaps the best detailed, most accurate replica of the 2nd generation Tundra, but it can sell for over $100 (Figure 5).
Surprisingly enough, it is harder to find scale replicas of the smaller Tacoma than the full-sized truck, but perhaps that is because they don’t get the same truck in Asia that we get here in America? There is a Matchbox version of the lifeguard truck (Figure 6), similar to what was featured on Baywatch, and a Hot Wheels version of the Pikes Peak “Tacoma” (Figure 7). Very rare (less than 1000 produced) is a special promotional model in conjunction with the "Back to the Future" Tacoma Toyota made (Figure 8). There was also a readily available Tacoma sold at Dollar General stores (among others) and made by MotorMax, but you may be looking for a while to get one of those (Figure 9).
Toy Early Trucks
If you are a fan of the “Hi-lux” or the pickups of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, there are affordable models available. If you like to build it yourself, there is an official plastic 1:20 model kit of the Baywatch truck (Figure 10), as well as various other Hilux trucks from all the generations. As far as die cast toys go, you can get a Marty McFly 1987 Toyota Pickup (Figure 11), or a totally '80s beige with orange and black stripe version (Figure 12).
Maybe because these vehicles are more aspirational in Asia, there are plenty of toys available in different scales. If you are looking for a 4Runner, remember that it is called the “Hilux Surf” in many countries and you’ll find plenty.
The LandCruiser is very well represented as well, but be careful when you start shopping on eBay sites from Japan, Korea and Australia because your wallet will hate you in the morning. It seems every generation and scale of Cruiser you could want is out there, even some oddballs.
Do a little searching on eBay (make sure to search worldwide, not just in North America) or a general Google search, and you are certain to find a truck similar to your pride and joy. Don't blame us when the time comes to pay the bills!