It all started in 1946, when Mr. Yoshio Tamiya, the founder, opened a saw mill and lumber business in Shizuoka. Tamiya ventured into modeling in 1948, with a scale wooden ship model kit. Since then, Tamiya has continued to grow, producing models known as “First in Quality Around the World”.
May: A sawmill/lumber company is founded in Oshika, Shizuoka-City, Japan and named Tamiya Shoji & Co.
Apr: A wooden model department is organized within the lumber company.
Jun: Sawmill is closed, and Tamiya becomes a specialized wooden model kit maker.
May: Tamiya releases a wooden motorized tank, whick becomes immensely popular.
Mar: A boom in wooden ship models allows Tamiya to become widely known.
May: Tamiya begins producing plastic model kits, with 1/800 Scale Battleship Yamato.
Dec: Tamiya releases the first 1/35 scale motorized tank, Panther.
Dec: The Tamiya Plastic Kogyo Co. is founded as a plastic molding company with a capital of 4 million yen.
Jan: Tamiya introduces the following categories: 1/21 Scale Deluxe Tank Series with M4 Sherman, 1/50 Scale Japanese Aircraft Series with Type 52 Zero Fighter, 1/72 Scale Aircraft with Type 32 Zero Fighter.
Mar: Tamiya goes into slot-car production with the release of 1/24 scale Jaguar D type
May: Tamiya ventures outside of Japan by exporting to countries abroad, such as the U.S.A., Australia, Europe and South East Asia.
Dec: The 1/25 Scale Military Tank Series is introduced with the German Panther tank.
Jan: The first issue of Tamiya News is published.
Aug: The first issue of Tamiya Junior News is published.
Oct: The 1/12 Big Scale Series is introduced with the Honda F-1 racer (RA273).
Jan: Tamiya participates in the German Nuremberg Toy Fair for the first time.
Apr: The Tamiya Plastic Kogyo Co. builds a new factory. Capital increase to 10 million yen.
Jul: The 1/35 Scale Military Miniature Series is introduced with a WW2 German Army Tank Crew.
Dec: The 1/100 Scale Mini-Jet Series starts with the Mig-19.
Aug: The Tamiya Plastic Kogyo Co. is renamed the Tamiya Plastic Model Co., and capital increased to 14 million yen.
Dec: 1/18 Scale “Challenge” Series is introduced with the Porsche 910.
Jan: Tamiya organizes their first photo album contest.
Dec: 1/6 Big Scale Motorcycle Series is started with the Honda CB750.
May: 27 European agents gather in Shizuoka for the first Tamiya agent meeting.
Nov: Tamiya releases their first R/C model, M4 Sherman tank.
Nov: Yoshio Tamiya is awarded The Fifth Order Of The Sacred Treasure, by the Japanese Government, for his commitment to the industry.
Nov: Tamiya releases the 1/12 R/C Porsche 934 Turbo that triggers the R/C car boom.
Apr: The 1/24 Scale Sports Car Series is started with the Porsche 935.
Apr: The 1/20 Scale GP collection is started with the Tyrrell P34.
Nov: A shipping facility is completed next to the production factory. Tamiya’s first R/C Racing Circuit is completed.
Jul: 1/350 Scale Ship Series is started with the German Battleship, Bismark.
Oct: A new Tamiya Circuit is completed near the production factory. Tamiya Plastic Co. Ltd. is founded.
Feb: Tamiya releases 1/100 Scale Space Shuttle Orbitor.
Dec: Begins construction for headquarters office.
Jan: Tamiya News becomes a monthly issue.
Dec: Finishes the 6 story headquarters building.
Mar: Celebration for completion of the new headquarters office.
May: 72 Tamiya agents gather in Shizuoka for a meeting and celebration of the new headquarters.
Jul: 1/12 Scale Motorcycle Series is introduced with the Yamaha YZR500.
Jan: The production facilities are automated and expanded for better productivity.
Mar: Tamiya Shoji & Co. completes a 3 story warehouse and paint storehouse.
Feb: Tamiya releases the Sound Activated Temple with great success.
Mar: Tamiya Shoji & Co. establishes Tamiya, Inc. with a capital of 50 million yen.
Oct: Tamiya sponsors a televised R/C car racing program that stimulates the market. R/C off-road cars become big sellers.
Mar: The first issue of Tamiya Model Magazine International is published.
Nov: Tamiya Plastic Co. Ltd., completes its own injection molding factory.
Mar: 1/32 Scale Mini 4WD Racing Series is started with the Hotshot Jr.
Oct: The 1/24 Scale R/C Tamtech Series is introduced with the Porsche 962C.
Oct: Begins the expension of the headquarters facilities. Tamiya News clebrates its 200th issue.
Nov: More than 10 million 1/32 Scale Mini 4WDs sold.
May: 1/14 Scale QD (Quick Drive) Series is introduced with the Thunder Shot QD.
Jul-Aug: The first Mini 4WD Racing Japan Cup is held at 16 locations around Japan.
Dec: Tamiya sponsors a private team “ACP” to compete in the 11th Paris-Dakar Rally.
Jan: More than 23 millions Mini 4WDs sold.
Apr: The 8 story east wing addition to the headquarters building is completed.
May: Tamiya America, Inc. is established in California, U.S.A.
Jun: Tamiya Europe GmbH. is established in Neuss, West Germany.
Dec: More than 44 million Mini 4WDs sold.
Dec: Tamiya again sponsors a private team “ACP” to compete in the 12th Paris-Dakar Rally.
Feb: Tamiya, Inc. completes its Abe factory.
Apr: Tamiya, Inc. completes its second shipping facility, a 5,317m2 in Oshika, Shizuoka.
Jul: Monetary Donation to Tank Museum Bovington England. New hall named “Tamiya Hall”.
Jul: Sales of Mini 4WD exceeds 50 million kits.
Sep: 1/24 Scale Sports Car Series reaches 100 cars with the Honda NSX.
Mar: Tamiya becomes a sponsor for Team Lotus’ 1991 F-1 Grand Prix Season.
Apr: 1/35 Military Miniature Series reaches 150 items with the creation of U.S.Navy PBR 31 Mk.II “Pibber”.
May: First solar powered item, Solar Car Assembly kit is released, starting the Solar Mechanics Series.
Oct: Tamiya ties exclusive contract with McLaren International for replication of F-1 cars.
Nov: 1/28 Mini F-1 Series is started with Lotus 102B.
Nov: 1/10, 1/12 Radio Con-trol Car Series reaches 100 cars with the release of “Top Force”.
Jan: Tamiya Model Magazine International becomes bi-monthly.
Feb: As the year before, Tamiya sponsors Team Lotus’ F-1 season for 1992.
May: R/C racers from 12 countries across Eu-rope gather for the Tamiya Euro Cup R/C Cham-pionships.
Jun: The die-cast Lotus 102B is released as the first model in the 1/20 Collectors Club.
Jun: Headquarters for Tamiya America is founded, a 6,800m2, two story complex in Aliso Viejo, Ca-lifornia.
Sep: “Solar Eagle”, the first solar battery powered R/C car is released.
Sep: The All Japan R/C Championships is held, using only Tamiya cars. Qualification races are held around the country, and winners are invited to Shizuoka to determine the best R/C driver in the country.
Jan: It is decided that Tamiya sponsorship of Team Lotus’ F-1 season will continue through 1993.
Jun: 1/32 Super Mini 4WD is kicked off with “Liberty Emperor”.
Jul: 1/14 Scale R/C Tractor Trucks Series is started with “King Hauler”.
Jul: The Dinosaur Diorama Series is started with the first set, “Chasmosaurus”.
Sep: “Yamaha Round the World” starts the R/C Yacht Series.
Oct: The R/C Glow-Engine Car Series is strated with the TR-15T.
Mar: 1/12 Scale Master’s Coachwork Series is started with the Caterham Super Seven BDR.
Jul: 1/32 Fully Cowled Mini 4WD Series is started with “Magnum Saber”, which goes on sale at this year’s Japan Cup.
Sep: Tamiya Philippines is established.
Mar: TamiyaCon, a U.S. national scale modeling contest sponsored by Tamiya America is inaugurated.
May: Tamiya Philippines production facility is established on Cebu Island, Philippines.
Aug: Radio Controlled gli-der, “Peak Spirit RU”, is released and the R/C Aviation Series is started
Dec: Total Sales of Mini 4WD exceeds 100 million units.
Dec: The 1/12 Scale Collector’s Club Special Series is started with the release of the die-cast Honda F-1 RA272.
May: Kakegawa Circuit, a 320m race track for R/C cars is opened in Kakegawa City, Shizuoka. As well as being open for public use, it serves as a testing ground for development of new R/C cars.
May: Winning modelers from American scale modeling contest “TamiyaCon”, are invited to the Shizuoka Hobby Show to display their creations at a modeling club exhibition.
Jul: Popularity of Fully Cowled Mini 4WD explodes. Over 300,000 people in 15 venues across Japan take part in Mini 4WD Japan Cup.
Jul: “Spin Cobra” starts 1/32 Scale Real Mini 4WD Series.
Nov: United States (TCS) and European R/C Championships (Euro Cup) are held, and winning drivers are invited to Japan to participate in the World R/C Championships.
Dec: 1/43 Scale Collector’s Club-Mini, which features metal die-cast models, is started with the Kure Nismo GTR.
Apr: Tamiya establishes scholarship for students of San Carlos University, Philippines.
Sep: Tamiya Philippines production facility receives ISO9002 certification.
Oct: 1/10 Scale R/C Boy’s 4WD Racer Series starts off with release of “Voltec Figther”, which comes complete with R/C system and battery.
Feb: The 1/32 Scale Aero-Mini 4WD Series is started with “Max Breaker”.
May: Additional production plant (8,000m2) is added to existing Tamiya Philippines facility, further improving production capability.
May: 1/32 Scale Mighty Mini 4WD Series is started with “Dyna Hawk”.
Nov: Tamiya R/C World Championships adds the Asian R/C Championships to the Japanese, American and European events, expanding the challenge of R/C driving to an international level.
Oct: Subaru Impreza WRC ’99 marks the debut of the new QD (Quick Drive) Sports Series, which features pre-assembled 1/10 scale R/C cars for entry level users.
Nov: For the first time, Australian drivers attend R/C World Championships, which this year is held concurrently with “Tamiya Fair in Shizuoka” hobby exhibition.
May: Fully operational 1/16 R/C Tiger I, which sets a new standard of sophistication in R/C tanking world, is revealed at the Shizuoka Hobby Show.
May: “Flash-Trigger”, first car of the 3-D track racing, Dangun Racers Series, is also introduced at the same show.
Sep: XB (Expert Built) Series, which features R/C built-up and ready to run versions of existing Tamiya chassis, is inaugurated with the 1/10 Scale Mitsubishi Pajero.
Source: Tamiya, INC.