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Wonder how many different cars they made?
Depends upon who you mean by "they."

Takara in Japan was the originator and license-holder for the vast majority of bodies you see sold as "penny racers." Matchbox licensed some of their molds, Tonka licensed some of their molds, and around the world in other markets, many other companies did too. Then there are the many overseas companies who simply copied the molds without buying them from Takara. Takara itself has hundreds and hundreds of different cars they have made since the late 70's, but most of the licensees have purchase only a limited set of their earlier molds. For instance, Tonka made about 20 of them.

Takara (now owned by Tomy, of course) is still releasing many new models every year under their traditional ChoroQ brand. Most are very accurate (but deformed) replicas of real cars. Several other Japanese and Korean companies have produced their own line of deformed-scale pull-back cars (i.e. 'penny racers') to compete with ChoroQ/Takara/Tomy.

You have to look at the markings on the bottom. A real Takara will say so on the bottom (Either Takara or ChoroQ, depending upon its age). Similarly, the Tonka and Matchbox versions were also properly labled. Unlicensed knock-offs will have an unmarked bottom or one the simply reads "China."
 

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I said "about" 20 but I wasn't counting the big "4x4" trucks. The commercial that plays on YouTube mentions 32, but that was including the 4x4's. I only collect the cars so I usually forget about those.
The 4x4 trucks are numbered 100+
The highest numbered car right now on eBay is 45, there is a 48 showing in the sold.


Also, you might want to check out your local TRU, they had a three pack of ja-ru (iirc) pull back racers for $1, but I haven't seen any more at the local one since I bought their last three packs a couple months back :wave:
 

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The 4x4 trucks are numbered 100+
The highest numbered car right now on eBay is 45, there is a 48 showing in the sold.


Also, you might want to check out your local TRU, they had a three pack of ja-ru (iirc) pull back racers for $1, but I haven't seen any more at the local one since I bought their last three packs a couple months back :wave:
Unfortunately, we don't really have a 'local' TRU anymore. All the ones in my neighborhood were closed about 5 years ago.

I haven't looked at my ChoroQ collection in a long time. I went through my records and it turns out I have 28 TTT castings, with the highest one being numbered 48. In addition, I have about 750 different ChoroQ singles and sets, but never bothered to count how many unique castings that represents.
 
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