Monthly Archives: February 2024

“It’s important to make it with your own hands.” Interview with Tamiya Representative Director and Chairman Shunsaku Tamiya

The interview was held by Seiji Nakamura on May 10, 2023 at the 61st Shizuoka Hobby Show

The 61st Shizuoka Hobby Show, Japan’s largest model exhibition sponsored by the Shizuoka Model Teaching Materials Cooperative, opened on May 10th at Twin Messe Shizuoka.

The union’s customary joint press conference was held from 10 a.m. on the first day, and Shunsaku Tamiya, chairman and president of Tamiya, who serves as the chairman, answered questions from the media.

Mr. Tamiya said that the model market has actually grown due to demand from people staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic, but that the market is too small in Japan alone, so it is necessary to go global, and that overseas buyers are becoming more active. It was mentioned that the Southeast Asian market is promising. As a concrete initiative, Tamiya is currently constructing a new factory in the Philippines, which is expected to be completed in October.

In addition, in response to a question from the media about the definition of “Japan’s largest,” the company answered, “It’s not about the number, but the content.” Admission is free, elementary, middle, and high school invitation days have been set, and the Self-Defense Forces have been participating for over 10 years, making it meaningful as a public relations venue. Bushi Tamiya is still alive and well, pointing out things that he approves of and chiding him, saying, “Please study those things.” Shizuoka’s world-class model show was fully promoted. In this article, we will report on an individual interview conducted at the Tamiya booth after the press conference.

–Chairman Tamiya, please tell us about your thoughts on “models.”

Mr. Tamiya: Characters from manga and movies are now popular, but we make the models ourselves. That’s the important part. Professors at Shizuoka University are also supporting us in moving this forward. Making models in school education. I think this is a modest but important initiative.

–How do you plan to grow the model market in the future?

Mr. Tamiya: The model market is modest compared to the rapid growth of manga and movies. However, it is now slowly spreading in Japan, as well as in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Regardless of whether or not this will become a big business in the future, I think it is important to encourage not only Shizuoka University but all universities with educational departments across the country to participate.

Children these days are increasingly being given finished products, and it is important that they make them with their own hands. There are also refugees from Ukraine in Shizuoka, and when they tried out the mini 4WD, they were thrilled to see that they were able to build it with their own hands and drive it themselves.

–I would like to ask you as the chairman of Tamiya. What are the hottest items this year?

Mr. Tamiya: It’s not a tank or a fighter plane, it’s a radio-controlled car. It’s all fun.

–That was a surprising answer.

Mr. Tamiya: Is that so? The reason train models went out of fashion in the past was because they wouldn’t run unless you pulled the rails. Radio-controlled cars can be driven remotely. This is the charm. Tamiya is the company that made electric radio-controlled cars popular in America. Until then, it had been running on dry batteries, but we sold it with a Sanyo battery that can be recharged 300 times. It sold like hotcakes at the time.

–I thought Chairman Tamiya would definitely mention tanks and fighter planes first.

Mr. Tamiya: No, no. German tanks are not popular in Germany, the home of European models. There is a history of being violated. Speaking of tanks, it’s Dr. Porsche, but Japan currently doesn’t have a leader like Dr. Porsche, so Japanese tanks are not good.

–Looking at this year’s Tamiya lineup, you can clearly sense Chairman Tamiya’s unique commitment, but to what level is Chairman Tamiya involved in the development of new products?

Mr. Tamiya: That hasn’t changed. If it’s a tank, start by going to see the actual tank.

–So you’re going to interview tank museums in places like Bovington and Saumur, right? Is Chairman Tamiya himself doing this?

Mr. Tamiya: Yes. There’s also one in Aberdeen, Maryland. Talk to the curator there and see the tank. This is important. In return, please make a donation. We’re doing that all over the world.

–There was a Tamiya Hall in Bovington.

Mr. Tamiya: I believe we donated about 30 million yen. Something like this happened at the Smithsonian Museum in the United States. The Smithsonian said, “Mr. Tamiya, your company has expanded its business in the United States and achieved success. Therefore, you are eligible to donate to the Smithsonian.” I won’t ask you to donate (lol). Because of this background, you cooperated with the Smithsonian in restoring the surface fighter Seiran, which was carried by a Japanese submarine. This is not an advertisement (lol).

–Tamiya is known for its models, but as Chairman Tamiya, are there any new objects you would like to model in the future? Or do you feel like you’ve already done everything?

Mr. Tamiya: No, no. That’s not true. Not at all yet. Check out Tamiya’s fun craft series. There you have the answer. The fun craft series is also an excellent teaching material for school education. This is not a virtual world like Nintendo. You can assemble it with your own hands and actually move it.

 This initiative has also been praised in Germany. This is because there are no similar teaching materials in Europe. In German educational settings, these kinds of teaching materials are more important than the currently popular virtual ones. This is because the teachers in the field are solid. Germany rejects the 6-3-3 system (6 years of elementary school, 3 years of junior high school, and 3 years of high school) that was imposed on the United States after the war. The history of education in my country is longer than the history of your country, so there is a sense of pride among Germanic peoples.

–What are your future goals as Tamiya chairman?

Mr. Tamiya: It’s about making the company bigger. As I mentioned briefly at the press conference, we are currently building a factory in the Philippines. It will be completed in October of this year, and will allow us to meet even more demand. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, despite the large demand, we were unable to deliver enough products to our customers due to a lack of production capacity. This will be improved. looking forward to it.

–How much will production capacity increase once the new factory in the Philippines is completed?

Mr. Tamiya: About 20%.

–Can we expect the shortage of Tamiya plastic models to be resolved?

Mr. Tamiya: To be honest, I think it’s still not enough. We would like to build a factory in Japan, but the cost will increase. My hourly wage has also increased, which makes it difficult.

–In that sense, do you have any plans to build more new factories in Southeast Asia?

Mr. Tamiya: There is a possibility. Southeast Asia is a powerful market. However, there are some unstable places such as Myanmar, so we are thinking carefully about that.

–You mentioned that you want to strengthen your overseas operations, but which regions do you want to focus on in the future?

Mr. Tamiya: China is receiving strong inquiries. However, there are some things that I don’t know about China. It’s not a democratic country. We don’t have any branch offices in China yet, only distributors. We also had an agency in Russia, but it is no longer active.

–What is the situation in Ukraine?

Mr. Tamiya: Just like in Russia, business is difficult. However, it seems that some enthusiastic model-related people are coming to Shizuoka on a private basis.

–The Ukrainian-spec Leopard 2 was a timely product.

Mr. Tamiya: Well, that was a direct request from the Leopard company. Thanks to you, 6,000 units were sold instantly. There is a shortage of products.

–I’m looking forward to the “Ukrainian specification series” such as Challenger 2 and Abrams in the future.

Mr. Tamiya: I think you can look forward to that. Rather, what I think is that each tank has a different fuel. The engines are different, and the bullets are similar, but there are some differences. The cartridges are also different. I’m worried about whether I can fight with that.

–It’s sad that the Japanese Type 10 tank is not included in that tank alliance.

Mr. Tamiya: No, no. Japan’s Type 10 is completely useless. That is a tank from a country that does not wage war. Not bulletproof enough. You can’t actually fight.

–Please give a message to model fans.

Mr. Tamiya: Tamiya’s models are of the highest quality in the world. Unfortunately, we have not had enough supply capacity so far, but we are currently building a factory, so once it is completed, we will be able to deliver our products to everyone. Please look forward to our supply capacity. Nowadays, there are many distributors coming from overseas, but the ones that have become Tamiya distributors are all developing. Coexistence and co-prosperity; it is no good for us to become big on our own. Some of our agencies have been with us for over 50 years. I turned 88 years old last December, but I’m really enjoying myself now.

–After hearing your story, I realized that you are not thinking about retirement at all (lol).

Mr. Tamiya: Active throughout his life. I’m not retiring. Because if I don’t work, I don’t get paid (lol). There’s nothing wrong with my body. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with my head, and I don’t think I’m stupid either (lol). 88 is still a passing point. I will do my best. Thank you for your continued support of Tamiya.

–thank you very much.
Source of article in Japanese language: Hobby Watch

Official product video of Tamiya 58577 Novafox

Back on the Track!
This is an update of a popular 2WD buggy model which was a stablemate of the famous Hotshot in the late 1980s. The elegant, slim polycarbonate body brings to mind the image of a full-size racing buggy, and its markings take inspiration from the original model. Jazzy gold color metal-plated wheels are fitted with front ribbed and rear oval block tires for excellent off-road performance. The model includes a driver figure to install in the cockpit.

Updated Rear-Wheel 2WD Off-Road Chassis
This classic model retains its highly dust-resistant monocoque frame and 4-wheel independent double suspension, while also receiving updates to make it suited to the modern R/C world. Dog-bone type drive shafts are added, as is a stabilizer to help neutralize roll. Sealed gearbox and rear uprights now include a total of 8 ball bearings as standard, providing even more effective power transmission.

●Length: 425mm ●Height: 133mm ●Width: 225mm ●Weight: 1,140g (Not including R/C equipment and battery pack) ●Wheelbase: 260mm ●Tread: 198mm (Front), 183mm (Rear) ●Tire Width/Diameter: 23/83mm (Front), 38/88mm (Rear) ●ABS Resin Monocoque Frame ●Rear-Wheel 2WD ●3-Bevel Differentials ●4-Wheel Double Wishbone Suspension ●CVA Oil Dampers x3 (Front & Rear Total) ●Gear Ratio= 8.7:1, 7.25:1 ●Type 540 Motor ●Requires Electronic Speed Controller (sold separately) ※Cannot be used with Tamiya LF3700-6.6V Racing Pack (sold separately)

Separately Required Items
●2-Channel R/C Unit with ESC ●Battery Pack & Charger ●R6/AA/UM3 batteries for transmitter

Official product video of Tamiya 58547 Midnight Pumpkin Black Edition


A Timeless Classic
This R/C assembly kit features a highly detailed pick-up truck body that is reminiscent of the classic 1950s American designs. Decked out in black accentuated by the metal plated front grille, overhanging fenders, dampers and roll bar, it cuts a sharp figure on top of big 115mm diameter tires.

2WD Chassis Mounted on Big 115mm Diameter Tires
The durable and easy-to-assemble 2WD chassis employs a box type frame, front swingarm independent and rear rolling rigid suspension. Big 115mm diameter semi-pneumatic tires on yellow wheels offer dynamic running on even the toughest of surfaces. The sealed gearbox protects diff gear from dirt and sand during off-road driving and a rear mounted wheelie bar enables wild wheels in the air stunt driving.

●Length: 385mm, Width: 290mm, Height: 260mm ●Weight: 1,560g (not including R/C mechanism and battery) ●Wheelbase: 207mm ●Tread: 212mm (Front), 216mm (Rear) ●F/R Tire Width/Diameter: 115/71mm ●ABS Box Type Frame ●Rear-wheel 2WD ●Suspension: Independent Swingarm (Front), Rolling Rigid (Rear)
●F/R Friction Dampers ●2-Piece Steering Tie-Rod ●3-Bevel Differentials ●Gear Ratio: 14.7:1 ●Type 540 Motor
●Requires an Electronic Speed Controller (sold separately)

Separately Required Items
●2-Channel R/C System w/ESC●R6/AA/UM3 batteries for transmitter
●Battery Pack & Charger

Tamiya donated 1,500 plastic model kits, etc. to Shizuoka City

A presentation ceremony in which 1,500 plastic model kits and other items will be donated to Shizuoka City by member companies of the Shizuoka Model Educational Materials Cooperative Association and the Shizuoka Branch of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone West will be held on February 16, 2024 in the lobby of Tamiya Co., Ltd.’s headquarters in Shizuoka City. I got it. Last year, NTT West Shizuoka Branch took the lead in a fundraising campaign to support town development using plastic models.This time, with the cooperation of Shizuoka Model and Teaching Materials Cooperative Association member companies, the donations were turned into plastic model kits and sent to Shizuoka City. It was donated. The gifts will be used for things such as manufacturing education experience kits for elementary school students in the city and Hobby Show downtown tour programs.

Chairman of Shizuoka Model Teaching Materials Cooperative Association
Tamiya Co., Ltd. Representative Director and President Shunsaku Tamiya Director Aoshima
Bunka Kyozai Co., Ltd. Representative Director and Chairman Norio Aoshima Director
Hasegawa Co., Ltd. President and Representative Director Katsuto Hasegawa
Director Aoshima Bunka Co., Ltd. Daisuke Aoshima, Representative Director and President, Kyokuisha Toshiyuki Bansho,
Branch Manager, Shizuoka Branch, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone West Co., Ltd.

Hikaru Inaba, Director of Economic Affairs Bureau, Shizuoka City

Official product video of Tamiya 58737 Hotshot II (2024) 4WD Buggy

Tamiya welcomes a re-released and updated version of the 4WD buggy Hotshot II, the original of which was first released in 1987, following Tamiya’s first 4WD buggy Item 58047 Hotshot released in 1985 and Item 58054 Supershot released in 1986. The Hotshot II was a lightweight design thanks to its use of plastic parts.

  • This is a 1/10 scale R/C model assembly kit. Length: 390mm, width: 235mm, height: 160mm.
  • The shaft-driven 4WD gives speed and stability off road, and through corners.
  • The 4-wheel independent double wishbone suspension employs CVA oil dampers (II) (one for front and two for rear) with a front stabilizer to help get the most out of the 4-wheel drive.
  • Dynamic body and rear wing are lightweight polycarbonate (0.7mm thick), and use a colour scheme featuring orange lines on a black base. Polycarbonate body is pre-cut and pre-painted in black.
  • Gearboxes are sealed to keep out dirt and sand, and contain differentials for smooth cornering.
  • Sections such as ABS monocoque frame and suspension arms feature reinforced plastic for high durability.
  • Semi-pneumatic oval block / pin spike hybrid tires are paired with large-diameter one-piece nylon wheel.
  • Includes updated stickers
  • Includes 540 motor and ESC

Tamiya’s scale model and RC car won the annual model award from a German model magazine. Tamiya models receive awards from prestigious German magazines!

The results of the 2024 “Model des Jahres (Model of the Year)” selected by the German scale model magazine “Modell Fan” have been announced. For this award, the best model in each genre will be selected from among the new models announced in Germany in 2023 by a selection committee made up of “Modell Fan” magazine readers’ votes and editorial staff. This time, the winners were the 1/24 GMA T.50 and 1/72 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II. In addition, the German miniature model magazine “Modell-Fahrzeug”, which deals with a wide range of scale models of cars and motorcycles, RC, die-cast, slot cars, etc., won the “1/10 RC Porsche 911 GT3 ( 992)” was selected, and was also awarded “Premium Brand 2023 (Best Brand of the Year)” in the model category and RC car category.

Prestigious Awards for Tamiya
The results of the latest Modell des Jahres (Model of the Year) awards were recently announced by German magazine ModellFan! Tamiya is delighted to report that two of our models – 1/24 GMA T.50 and 1/72 Lockheed Martin® F-35®A Lightning II® – were honored in the awards, which are chosen by the magazine’s staff and readership.

This news follows German scale and R/C auto model magazine Modellfahrzeug honoring our 1/10 R/C Porsche 911 GT3 (992) (TT-02) model with a Modellfahrzeug des Jahres award, and naming Tamiya a 2023 Premium Brand in both the R/C and static model genres.