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Source: ITmedia

 

maeda_pro120Author Yasuyuki Maeda
Ltd. Tamiya model Planning Department design room joined. Responsible for the approach and publicity to the various media in parallel with the same department of the business. Until March 1987 January to 1994, who is also the personality of the TV program “Tamiya RC Car Grand Prix”. Then, he enrolled in the Square (now Square Enix). Co., Ltd. Jay game founded in 2001, through the Rakuten, Inc., belonging to the company’s research and development department Akihabara Research Center as CHO (Chief hobby officer) of the Corporation UEI in 2012.

 

30 years from the model manufacturer Tamiya is released racer mini four-wheel drive. Once mini four-wheel drive, which has become a social phenomenon, but now also do you know that the is showing the climax. Involved from the birth of the four wheel drive mini as an employee of Tamiya, Mr. Yasuyuki Maeda was instrumental as a spark of the boom in the nickname of “before-chan” talks about the behind-the-scenes.

 

Once to enthusiasm the children in Japan, boasts a sales performance of more than 170 million units in total, “Racer mini four-wheel drive.” As the driving force behind a is model-plastic model manufacturer Tamiya has released the first issue of goods racer mini four-wheel drive on the market in May 1986. Just 30 years have passed since then.

 

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Cartoon “Dash! Yonkuro” latest to inherit the “Dash No. 1 Emperor (Emperor),” which became a big hit products like the popular, “Rise Emperor” (C) TAMIYA

 

And except for the official competition was held in Tokyo on in 2016, also becomes more than 3,000 of the scale in the only entry into the race, it will be held in order across the country. In fact, now, also it has a growing swell of the boom. National events of the summer vacation of Tamiya certified that 1999 had been the last to cut off “Racer Mini four wheel drive Japan Cup” is, it seems to have been resumed from 2012 is one of the great opportunity.

 

 Competition venues clamor is former elementary school corps, especially the unique atmosphere of the male group of 30’s to 40’s, middle shift of up to stunning (is under firm money on a single machine) can be realized.

 

 As the author individuals involved over a long time from the birth of the racer mini four-wheel drive as an employee of Tamiya, but it places the situation that has not been captured the mind of today’s elementary school students is regretful, why now even touch on I wonder if this scene is seen I want to place.

 

Pulsation of 12 years with two cartoon

 

 Many of the people who react to the racer mini four-wheel drive, cartoon “Dash! There are two undercurrents that generation and “Bakuso Brothers Let’s & Go !!” generation of Yonkuro “.

 

 dash! Yonkuro until February 1987 to December 1993, Bakuso Brothers Let’s & Go !! until September 1994 June to 1999, long-term series of both Shogakukan boys’ comic magazine “CoroCoro Comic” was. At the same is TV animated in parallel, than it was headlines the magazine Over the 12 years together.

 

 This in the yesteryear of the reader, is inspired by the cartoon and planning of Colo comic, while the racer mini four-wheel drive in an effort to direct the orientation, not a few people who continued out to the lottery even want to leave the official competition. So, it was a hard even longing for the stage to be played. Many of these people, come true at last wish into adulthood, to reset to the time their own that faces the current race.

 

 So why is racer mini four-wheel drive, wonder was popular until about this.

 

In the wake of the “RC Boy”

 

 Let’s return to the previous a little time. 1983 summer, the toy market Nintendo game console “Family Computer” has appeared. The information of the game software went was immediately taken up in a variety of media soon to.

 

 Not surprisingly, NES information in Colo comic which was a Bible magazine of the boys will become the lots, but on the other hand, in this year, also started series of cartoon “RC Boy” of RC car (radio control car) It was. This is, it has become in the wake of post-racer mini four-wheel drive of the movement is not surprisingly known.

 

 Series start reverberation from the very beginning is extremely large, I used to believe that people of editors that still is in the boy “car hobby” is essential. There will be “Wild Willis,” “Mighty Frog”, “Grasshopper,” “Hornet” Even if you were in the “Hot Shots,” “Boomerang” ear the naming of “Thunder shot,” such as RC car.

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RC Car “Grasshopper” (C) TAMIYA

 
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RC Car “Hornet” (C) TAMIYA

 

 However, it was extremely difficult is that to characterize the goods alone of this model on the magazine. For example, in the NES game, easy and character rise instead of the usual person or vehicle, can be user also soak in the view of the world. Every time I see the instruction manual and information page, Hagayuku and there was no way to have sung the well playability (game of).

 

 Still, is showing off Gekiso scene of RC cars as of each issue in the preface color of Colo comic, I had firmly touch the origin Isaono or machine in the RC Boy story. In addition, at the time of the school year magazine ( “one grade of elementary school” – “sixth grade elementary school”), as can be understood in elementary school, and biologically followed by the characteristics of the machine are introduced, little by little, one 1 is symbolized as a platform of the RC car is “○○ machine”, it advanced to a state close to characterize.

 
NES vs RC
 
 On the other hand there is also a problem with. That play with RC cars Tamiya of this era, in addition to the machine (assembly kit), purchase propoxycarbonyl and (transceiver and servo set) battery is required separately, a total of 30,000 yen or more also in the low-cost model burden as it takes is larger. And “what is this expensive in elementary school”, it was often heard such a voice inside and outside the company. This was Nayamashika’.
 
 Era Even though it was the midst of the 1980s bubble, the average pocket money amount at the time of the elementary school upper grades to have checks of less than 800 yen a month, 30,000 yen had tried to hurt how much expensive or. The author is also the time of the junior high school students, and funded the 250 yen that had got every day as a lunch of bread cost, it was Dari poured into Tamiya’s first electric RC car “Porsche 934RSR”. When I was resident in the event venue, I bought a set of the Hornet, the heaviness likely, but a look at the back of the elementary school students to go with gusto, remember that you also became a chest heat dozens of times.
 
 Under these circumstances, gradually tide has changed. When the elementary school students will become the world commonplace of feeling like having body price 14,800 yen NES game software of about one 4500 yen five or more of the impression that the radio control is the intensely expensive is unawares dilute becomes, such as planning, such as NES vs RC is often organized, 2 large super-expensive hobby has become so rampant in Colo comic and grade magazine. When I think now, the order and timing of this radio-controlled and the NES has appeared on the market can not be said only it was a miracle.
 

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Home-use game machine “Famicom” of Nintendo sold only in the total 19 million or more units Japan
 
 That said, it is to have no change expensive RC car. Problems to it of what to in order to impress the more widely handily RC car, became to feel in even skin many stakeholders. In response to this, in a snap-kit that has been already sold in one set of 500 yen at the time (self-contained kit that does not use an adhesive), the four wheel drive mini series of palm-size of one of the 32 minutes of live-action, Tamiya RC car mascot (Junior) is the were supposed to line up.
 
 However, to say that the same four wheel drive mini series, was to be different from the characteristics completely design and up to four wheel drive mini it. In chassis layout of the image of the RC car at the time, and full-time 4WD shaft drive, that it is the choice of gear ratios, high-speed stable running a full-fledged miniature that was realized was completed. The first issue of this racer mini four-wheel drive, to No. 2, “Hornet Jr. (Junior),” “hot shot Jr. (Junior)” as the name of the RC car are marked, such situation is in the background of such from it.
 
 Layer supporting the competition of the current mini four-wheel drive in central is, wide and from radio-controlled boy also know that in the mid-40’s father generation, until the young of the late 20s known only Bakuso Brothers Let’s & Go !! the is because the birth of a racer four wheel drive mini boom is a RC car with the source as described above.
 

The best-selling mini four-wheel drive machine?
 
 Relationship between the author and the four wheel drive mini was the Planning Department Design Office employees Tamiya at the time was close. While in charge of some of the decal (seal put on the model) design of the initial model, it came to media development is also in charge because there was no publicity section. And the repetition of being kicked out of the rough draft of the chassis design and grade-up parts of four wheel drive mini to designers, prototype of modifications and grade up parts themselves are deployed in Colo comic, and, until the publicity work It had become.
 
 It did raised much mini four-wheel drive is in such 1980s and 1990s. Let Itadako with the image in the rough-hewn number of sales and event visitors.
 
Sales quantity
 
 According to the announcement of the most recent Tamiya, now four wheel drive mini series sold more than 175 million units total. # 1 sales in successive machine is to have been released in December 1988 “Avante Jr.” (Type 2 chassis).
 

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It was recorded successive number one sales “Avante Jr.” (C) TAMIYA

 

Event visitors

 To give the number of the only national event “Racer Mini four wheel drive Japan Cup” to decide the 1988 – and 1999 a total of 12 times which was held in Japan of racer mini four-wheel drive, competitors hope the number of persons in 1989 (the second during the summer vacation period of time tournament), and the maximum 150 200 entries in the 16 venue. Attendance to the venue is, during the summer vacation period of Bakuso Brothers Let’s & Go !! 1996 anime broadcast was the start of the (9th tournament), 304,000 people in the 14 venue becomes the maximum. (Source: from “four wheel drive mini Historical Guide” Shogakukan August 2012)
 

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Was held around the country since 1989, “Racer Mini four wheel drive Japan Cup”. Many of the children were rushed to the venue (C) TAMIYA
 

Not a toy
 
 I wonder was born to do what is such a four wheel drive mini boom. But this condition to mention three in outline the factors.
 
 Not a toy, it was Tamiya.
 
 The four wheel drive mini series, Once “This toy is ……” from the beginning has been approach to the recipient and the like, adults might was evaluated as “it is well able to toy”, the boys of elementary school upper grades, which was the target It would have murmured as “do not need if toys”. Children hate to be treated as “children’s natural”.
 
 Tamiya’ve been game the adult to the other party to it, molded products of quality, design accuracy and durability of the drive train, the competition of the regulation and management of know-how, it poured as it is generous even for racer mini four-wheel drive believes that was a big factor to attain to differentiate itself from competitors. To certain manufacturers of the series was at that time hit product, but there is a case that had been using the recycled plastic, Tamiya is not any such thing. In addition, to clarify the difference between publicity and the AD (advertising), it was also conscious perhaps in that a child is not a “money of smell” is another of the elements that cause anaerobic.
 
Colo comic & Shogakukan grade magazine
 
 Be deployed in Colo comic, linked planning of [comic strip] + [Hobby] + [events] + [television program] is, from the elementary school, would some sort of form (hardness to grab firmly the middle upper grades of mind, especially at that time ) there is. In recent years, such as “Yokai Watch” and “Beyblade” I would hit on it.
 
 Even if there is no integration with the television program, for example, Takara (now Tomy) that appeared in 1982 in the “Choro Q” also, decoration to Intro graph, cartoon “Zeroyon Q bold” has been serialized, “Choro Q Certified Pentathlon “by, for example, is the event expanded, such as, went led to the explosive boom.
 
 In addition, grade magazine, literally in the media that can reach for each grade of elementary school, at the time there is a thing that has been provided to class library of each classroom of elementary school. Therefore, the height of what to say even if Kaidoku rate was Tanomoshika’. Because the magazines also make the planning that prospect a span of one year, for example, by putting the elements of the seasonal, softened in a good way the stoic of the Tamiya is controversial, easy-to-understand to children, can be deployed is planning to tell the well-friendly nuance It was.
 
Uniform and, in life-size, it provides continuous information
 

 For any product information in Tamiya, it provides uniformly in any medium, were uniformly interviews. Things like leaking a separate information on the particular media had done nothing.
 

 So that the people of the editing unit of the information providing destination of the medium and its responsible get to cook the Tamiya of the material until it interesting, did not disturb the stance that cooperation in all possible measures, if necessary. No fake, without the image effect, really or run on water and snow, or skip towards the sky, was pulling the vehicle. Thoroughly remodeled, the challenge of how much speed is put out, the effort results have been reflected in the realistic as it is to the magazine. The flip side, however was the only thing it.
 

 Also it is an example that people of the editing part and often a game of endurance race in the apt. I think such, also adults was go tell in life-size to the children of the readers whom a have become serious, and it one of the factors that led to the popularity.
 

 For this successful three factors, I want to mention in the next and subsequent more detailed thing.

Posted on August 22nd, 2016 at 10:23 AM by admin

Source: ITmedia

 

maeda_pro120Author Yasuyuki Maeda
Ltd. Tamiya model Planning Department design room joined. Responsible for the approach and publicity to the various media in parallel with the same department of the business. Until March 1987 January to 1994, who is also the personality of the TV program “Tamiya RC Car Grand Prix”. Then, he enrolled in the Square (now Square Enix). Co., Ltd. Jay game founded in 2001, through the Rakuten, Inc., belonging to the company’s research and development department Akihabara Research Center as CHO (Chief hobby officer) of the Corporation UEI in 2012.

 

It was introduced last time about what four wheel drive mini boom is how happened, but the height of the product quality of Tamiya is its maker was one of the factors. So why is this time to make the product development having excellent Tamiya, I would like to touch on the background.

 

In the last of a series of articles , about what went finished in how the four wheel drive mini boom, was to talk about the behind-the-scenes from the point of view of one person concerned. “Not a toy, was Tamiya” One of the factors of success in it said that from.

 

So this time, high-quality and how the company is that Tamiya, and whether doing product development rich in creativity, I want to touch on the background.


Tamiya to culture creators

 

After joining in Tamiya, the Planning Department design room that I was assigned, was followed by assigned destination training and weekly challenges even after completion of the new employee training. The camera training of preparation for interviews and product photography, not only to the procedure of the shooting, the development of in the dark, solid grilled, is hammered to the paper baking. Weekly challenges, drawing + wash, lettering, had to submit a newspaper advertisement manuscript of Li layout, black-and-white photographs that were imposed a theme.

 

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State at the time of the Tamiya Planning Department Design Office

 

The submission destination, as an advisor of the design room, produced the all design, such as package design from the star of the mark of the logo, Tamiya of ci (corporate identity) was established Tamiya Tokuotto (Masao Tamiya) ‘s teacher. If the challenge of the can’s not so good, but scolded been caught off pillar painfully, I was able to get injects its know-how and a sense in front of the eye, it is to be shown an interest in anticipation of a few steps away given the opportunity as “doing take a”, was a presence, such as a parent who then tries to stretch the talent of one person one person staff.

 

And direct relations between the apex and the base involved in the creative, depending on the environment to try to properly raise the working level, to the end of the field, “Tamiya design” is was going to be filled (emphasis).

 

Here, in addition to also super-realism of illustration that symbolizes the Tamiya of the product package is produced, slide mark production of and decal (seal to stick to the model immersed in water), a comprehensive catalog, document photo book, including the Tamiya news print of the original production and editing is performed. In addition, ID, such as a finish-up of RC cars and the four wheel drive mini body design (industrial design), have boasts also human resources in charge of the venue layout and display of such events and exhibitions, Tamiya product planning, print, promotional a set of artwork related to was the has worked consistently.

 

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The author of the training work (lettering, drawing & wash)

 

Design room, mold making, wooden production, such as the workshop, artist management of other departments are also education from scratch in-house, there is also because the seniority of in a good way still remained, familiar to the range of craftsman framework, such as Ikeru and was equipped.

 

While it comes to framework incidentally, in the set factory to package the finished molded article (part), but he quality control room to inspect the deliverables from the molding plant in carton unit, scratches and dirt, as well as to the specimen and return all to point out the administrative state of the mold, even in only been traces of mold release agent, such as invisible and do not rely on a little light (after) is confirmed. This work is on the road that passes through in new employee training, the essence is injected to determine the molded article. Here, most of the employees he can be provided with the eyes to see severely the state.

 

Tamiya of branding, with the unlike it after that trying to build contemplates the brand, that has been established by the corporate culture and corporate qualities serving these stringent, some years while hear the status of the other companies and other industries it was realize the have passed.

 

As an aside, package illustrator of the design room for the author, it was one of the “star staff” in the department. In the first year rookie, every morning, also of white porcelain paint dish what tens of illustrator team has used the day before, put water, firmly wash the brush kind, tailored to each of the bench until the morning meeting of 7 hour 55 minutes from the start of apprentice task that leave had been the current natural. While continue this, there was also the date of thinking of such as “Will come the day when one day I also maker of package illustration?”. However, the stain on the body can not skill to keep up in less than half a year, is overwhelmed by the degree of perfection and speed of our predecessors that can work, had just sunk and confronted him. The author I was falling behind obviously.

 

Media support

 

Every Monday morning, the announcement by one staff (talk) had been imposed in the rotation. Document to be prepared with the topic, which were free as long as it is related to the design room of business and industry, and not well organized rookie nor uniform veteran, was shot down and plunged in the haste to Tamiya Tokuotto teacher It was.

 

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Tamiya headquarters

 

The announcement of our predecessors, and what you want to share the trend of domestic and foreign third-party products, but discussion of concerns within the industry there were many, because the author of the rookie no stock of what knowledge, at the time of designer brands and daily necessities manufacturer of customer acquisition for goods, raking a novelty, verification of its aim and promotional effect, such as cited PR measures in the case of approach to the media If you find the new book magazine, did dare heresy proposals.

 

A period of time, was ordered to accompany the sales department responsible for the wholesale and secondary stores on a monthly basis. To understand the other companies’ product information and sales activities, because feedback towards the design room and design room has been obtained. Because now that can not be or take a quick in the smartphone so, while taking notes in a single-mindedly “sneak mode”, I had to copy the company’s product information (printed matter) to be supplied to the retail store.

 

In addition, other companies of the box plate of just negotiation has finished (Hakoita: package sample) and white box: borrowed until (Shirobako sample of products that are not contained in the makeup box), in Kikikon a wholesaler evaluation of each company’s products directly, the and report to the company by exposing the harvested tangible. Spy was just like. Not knowing you what is evaluated, was moving in the momentum to go pick up all the information that lying to wherever they go.

 

After a while, that was supposed to be in charge in parallel with the day-to-day business was a media support. Tamiya product of the shooting for the finished product was the Design Office jurisdiction. Because I was doing the window of the loan request from a variety of media, different like I thought, “that either work to be angry When you are broken?”. To create a smooth path to the media and editors team, was a work that dare to spread the dropped far from Tamiya of information.

 

Characterize and media strategy of products at the time of the toy maker had waged also was envious a concern for me. NES (game), while that was also gradually beginning the movement of media strategy, media strategy of Tamiya is poor, and I’m lost in this industry to be able to expose the same about the model in the same table as toys and NES, cocky even It was arbitrarily considered.

 

Classic media strategy and RC Car

 

So First of all, we started from the relationships making the model professional journals and RC car magazine with a friendship for a long time. Especially in Ida Akiraro’s “Model Art” (current chairman), nothing thanks to the author in the publishing situation was also taught me to frankly speaking also edit circumstances did not know, various theory went down to off.

 

Next, in the production that you want to edit the mook, such as Encyclopedia series, which had been published in another genre of hobby (this in the middle of the magazine and book), because the movement of the information is accumulated new book is released was remarkable , it poured into the news and often Oho. And, and high hobby planning and affinity magazine, and will be able to directly approach the models and radio control to personally favorite editors, is asked to directly touch the pre-launch of the finished product handling the impression in the publicity frame which I was asked. This is soon, will become a model of the finished product tailored to the special features of the medium (modifications) and diorama was manufactured by Tamiya side, it to be come true-depth collaboration, such as the magazine deployment.

 

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Tamiya RC car “Wild Willy”

 

In the barter of the report article, provides a test kit of pre-launch of the RC car to publishers such as a plurality of automobile magazine, each editorial department get Kyoji to race over the Pride “press against race” is also around this time I was planning to expand from. Result is also rising tension of the editing work as was good publisher, it was found that going up to ensure interest in models and RC car in the editorial department.

 

Model = There were also purely show planning that it is a display …, more active RC car also in pictorial is uke is well, began to get even treat high interest as a target for coverage. Until Shizuoka Tamiya circuit came to be commonplace done also get interviewed by expedition. At this point in time, but not lead to to get an direct impact on the elementary school students and young adults of the market, compared to up to it, the exposure of information about the Tamiya RC car has increased dramatically. It started see a popular swell to the RC car in the market, also increases the image as a main product of Tamiya, will lead also to the airing of the TV program “RC Car Grand Prix” (October 1984 ~).

 

Equity bill does not, such as infrastructure, such as can be news delivered in person. Author as one person in charge of the manufacturers, and to bring the information before the public hear the various editing part, many will be welcomed to tolerance, Ya opinion to the products that which mixes the publishing industry and the editing of the circumstances It began to get let the request. By moving more to steady the propagation of product information to take an appointment to the publisher, it was also often was era what you get.

 

It had become “Mikawaya” of Tamiya

 

It will be public relations department also Propaganda Department is at the time of Tamiya, began to use the author goes on for a while so as to visit the publisher and its affiliates and the business card seems to it that the “publicity department design room”. Because it was a classic publicity activities such as to Oho to multiple editing unit as efficiently as possible in the business trip of the day, to Tokyo from Shizuoka, multiplied by the RC car bag of finished goods entering the shoulder, lower the material set in both hands Shinkansen I got into. Many case, business trip became the pace of two to three times a week.

 

Despite the suggestive business card, because it does not ask them to grasp any Nante advertising budget, with a pure publicity that you disconnected all the AD (advertising), how to “model” to effectively expose, each of the readership I was struggling or get interested in.

 

Of course, or it is Monzenbarai at the stage of the approach, as soon as I found that not a story of pre-neatly even each other to convey the purpose advertising, was also or is leave hit the suddenly tongue. There were various, contact with many who have publisher editing, publicity, from the members of the ad, that to be able to know ask the marketing measures and the know-how of the media by (another target), it has been useful even now there are many.

 

On the other hand, from the editor-in-chief of a magazine there was a thing called “It seems Mr. Mikawaya”. Rather than was called in the trade name of the Kabuki actor to see the face, was the meaning of the order-taker. With the understanding all of here purpose, is Rowa a thing survive more than advertising, it was told me to come in every month regularly. It became a word to tackle with confidence to this work.

 

In fact, intended there AD by Ki of collaboration was same cross-sectional. It does not stand also reason to produce cooperation if it is not planning of the editorial department the main drive, if advertising odor is applied to the planning of the Hobby genre, because good in both image had been considered not to arrive. Tamiya had done a planned advertising in the timing and the medium to put out, but the production cooperation multiplied by the cost far greater than the amount in terms of advertising costs had many times. Even in the publicity, it did not rather pull out the hand.

 

Would recall with but, at the time of these activities in Tokyo, 9:00 in the morning out of the Shizuoka Place the luggage contained in the Tokyo advertising agency, was there to base. Return is usually not ride in the final of the bullet train, now was a pattern to get to 26 o’clock in Shizuoka on the other missing Tokaido Line Ogaki bound for. When I missed in it, Have put on the car of the editor of the automobile magazine called the next day there is a coverage at Suzuka, was sometimes get down in Shizuoka Inter dawn. Anyway, had to be the office is also in 55 minutes at 7 what happened.

 

If a request or response from the Oho destination of the editorial department and the editor is fed back to the soon Tamiya Tokuotto teacher, flew instructed as one after another arrow. Directive to other departments flew. Heavy internal adjustment to underling, such as the author, which joined to Less than many years, became often get moving with the entire design room. Imperceptibly “publicity” is the other departments, the company, went involved.

 

Against this backdrop, RC car, and fateful encounter that leads to a big hit of the racer mini four-wheel drive came after. (to be continued)