Category Archives: Tamiya Company

The 89 year old Tamiya chairman Shunsaku Tamiya speaks powerfully at the Shizuoka Hobby Show about the current state and future of the model industry


On May 8th, the Shizuoka Hobby Show, one of Japan’s largest model trade fairs where domestic hobby manufacturers announce new products, opened at Twin Messe Shizuoka in Suruga Ward, Shizuoka City (Duration: May 8th – 5th). 12th of the month). In 2024, which was the 62nd time, approximately 100 companies exhibited, the largest number ever. It was crowded with many buyers from the first day.

On the first day, which is the day when vendors are invited, the customary event is an interview with the media by Shunsaku Tamiya (Chairman and President of Tamiya) of the Shizuoka Model and Teaching Materials Cooperative, which hosts the hobby show. Chairman Shunsaku Tamiya, who was born in 1934, will be 89 years old this year and once again this year he spoke in powerful words about the current situation of the hobby industry and its future prospects. For several years up until last year, the impact of the new coronavirus had been a major concern for media personnel, but at this year’s hobby show, which has almost escaped the coronavirus pandemic, reporters asked questions about the historic depreciation of the yen.

Q.The yen is at a historic low. What is the impact on the industry?
<Shizuoka Model Teaching Materials Cooperative Chairman Shunsaku Tamiya>
“Exports and foreign products are based on dollars, so it’s definitely cheaper in Japan. It’s good because the quality is good and it’s cheap. However, the Japanese domestic market is still a weak yen.” It’s very difficult, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. I thought things would get better now that the governor of the Bank of Japan has changed, but things are still as bad as ever.

Q. Is the weaker yen a positive thing for the model industry? Is it negative?
<Chairman Shunsaku Tamiya>
“Of course it’s negative. However, the coronavirus was not a headwind for our industry. On the contrary, it’s a follow-up window. However, from now on, life will become difficult. The model industry is all small and medium-sized enterprises, so it will have an impact. There’s no way they won’t. That’s why I want them to stop this trend of yen depreciation.”

Q. Is it because domestic people’s wallet strings are tight that is a negative for the industry?
<Chairman Shunsaku Tamiya>
“I’m sure you’re adamant, of course. I’m not just saying that people will buy the model because the yen is weak. But the yen is too weak. That’s what it is.”

Q. How can the model industry overcome this crisis?
<Chairman Shunsaku Tamiya>
“Companies in the same industry are doing this in their own ways. The factory that Tamiya opened in the Philippines in October last year can operate at full capacity with 500 people at night and 500 people during the day. This is not possible in Japan. 500 people are working at full capacity at night. We’re taking measures for each of them. In our case, it’s fine, but it’s still better if the yen isn’t weak.

In October 2023, Tamiya started operation of a new factory of its manufacturing subsidiary “Tamiya Philippines” in Cebu province. At the hobby show venue, a model of the new factory is also on display along with panels explaining the new factory. This new factory is important not because of the weak yen, but because we are looking at future global expansion and ensuring a stable supply of products.

Q.What is your intention in holding workshops for children?
<Chairman Shunsaku Tamiya>
“Governor of Kawakatsu Prefecture, who recently resigned from School Children’s Day (a day for inviting elementary, junior high, and high school students), made the decision for us, but we were hit by a blind spot. Children in Shizuoka need more models. I thought I was making things, but I wasn’t. I want them to develop the habit of making things with their own hands.”

Q.What changes in children when they make things with their hands?
<Chairman Shunsaku Tamiya>
“Please see it once. You can’t understand how excited I was to see the model I made running. I was in the 5th grade of elementary school when the war ended. I made the motor myself (from materials) and used dry batteries. I was so satisfied when I hooked it up and started swinging it. Even at this age, I can’t forget that.

The “elementary, junior high, and high school student invitation day” during the hobby show was started as an idea by Shizuoka Prefecture Governor Heita Kawakatsu (retiring on May 9th). This is an opportunity for children in Shizuoka Prefecture to deepen their understanding of the local industry of plastic models through hands-on plastic model production experiences.

Q. Do you feel there is a possibility that the overseas market will expand in the future?
<Chairman Shunsaku Tamiya>
“It’s expanding. However, it depends on the manufacturer. I went to America when I was 31 years old, and I’ve done it every year for over 10 years. I leave on January 20th and come back in March. I studied a lot of things overseas, and the conclusion I came to was that “Japan is a small country.” Another problem is that “Japanese people also think small.”

“Don’t think about Japan in terms of Japan. Think about it from overseas. That’s why people from other countries came here to get people to come here. It took 65 years to get to this point. I’m 89 years old now. Yes, I will do my best! Thank you.”

In 2023, Chairman Tamiya answered reporters’ questions while sitting on a chair, but in 2024, he stood for a 15-minute interview. He sometimes answers reporters’ questions with sharp tongues and “Shunsaku-bushi,” and even at the age of 89, it seems that his power has not diminished, but has even increased.

Chairman Tamiya concluded the question from SBS with the reassuring words, “We will continue to do our best!” The legend of the plastic model world will continue to lead the hobby industry in Shizuoka, Japan, and the world.

Source in Japanese language: Shizuoka Shimbun SBS

Dream Tamiya Japan Holiday video

A fantastic video about Tamiya including a visit to the headquarters.
Thank you also for kindly naming us a source of your research.


Fulfilling my dream and sharing the experience of visiting Tamiya HQ in Shizuoka, Japan; explaining Tamiya’s history and documenting the great static & R/C models on display and so much more. Fortunate to bump into Mr. Shunsaku Tamiya, the great man himself. Hopefully this video not only serves as a resource & record of Tamiya in 2024 but also introduces the hobby to new scale modellers & R/C enthusiast.

Video Chapters
00:00 – Introduction
03:49 – The Lobby
05:19 – The Archive Room
05:40 – Tamiya’s History
09:19 – Tamiya Branding
10:52 – Educational Models
11:12 – Military Models
14:52 – Aircraft Models
16:04 – Ship Models
19:17 – Car Models
21:56 – Motorcycle Models
23:24 – Mini 4wd
24:44 – Other Static Models
25:21 – R/C Models
44:05 – Meeting Mr. Tamiya
47:54 – Vehicle Display Area
49:15 – The Showroom
01:01:05 – Tamiya Shop
01:02:33 – Tamiya Headquarters
01:03:20 – Fulfilling My Dream

Source: T-StudioWorks

Tamiya’s new flagship “Tamiya Plamodel Factory Tokyo” will have a grand opening in the Shinbashi/Toranomon area on Friday, May 24, 2024


Tamiya’s flagship antenna shop “Tamiya Plastic Model Factory Shimbashi Store” will be relocated to the Shintora Yasuda Building (location: Minato-ku, Tokyo), which has been completed in front of the current store, and will be renovated from Friday, May 24, 2024. will be newly reopened as “TAMIYA PLAMODEL FACTORY TOKYO”.

“TAMIYA PLAMODEL FACTORY TOKYO” is based on the concept of “Tamiya’s current state is here.” We collect products such as the latest plastic models, mini 4WD, RC cars, craft series, etc., and provide a spiritual enrichment that can be obtained through “manufacturing”. It is a flagship base for disseminating unique experiences and “model culture” to the world. We aim to create a space full of fun and new discoveries, whether you are a model fan of all kinds, or just starting out, visiting alone or with your family or friends.

■ A large sales floor surrounded by new and nostalgic models
An overwhelming selection of approximately 6,000 Tamiya products. The large shelves, which are approximately 4 meters high and approximately 100 meters long, zigzag around the store, arousing the curiosity of visitors as if they were in a hobby room surrounded by many models, and it also has the atmosphere of a nostalgic “town model shop”. We will create an exciting sales floor that makes you feel the same.

■ 1/1 scale “Mini 4WD Aero Avante” on permanent display.
The actual Mini 4WD, which has an overwhelming presence with a total length of 4.65m and a total width of 2.80m, will welcome you in the cafe space.

■ Various hands-on events will be held at the event space “MODELERS SQUARE”
In addition to exhibitions of model works, competitions and trial sessions for moving models such as mini 4WD and RC cars, as well as craft classes, workshops, seminars, and talk shows. Such. We will hold various events.

■ We also have a cafe space where you can casually enjoy specialty coffee We sell specialty coffee and soft drinks such as juices from
the popular coffee shop ONIBUS COFFEE . There is also a space perfect for taking a short break or meeting up.

■ Opening event “TAMIYA HISTORY EXHIBITION (tentative name)” and new product exhibition “TAMIYA SHOWCASE” The
“TAMIYA HISTORY EXHIBITION (tentative name)” will be held at the wall exhibition space “Gallery Wall” in the sales floor.
In addition, “TAMIYA SHOWCASE” will be held at the store at the same time, allowing you to be the first to see the new products announced at the Shizuoka Hobby Show in May.

■ Store Overview
Store Name: TAMIYA PLAMODEL FACTORY TOKYO
(pronunciation: Tamiya Plastic Model Factory Tokyo)
Address: 1F Shinbiyasuda Building, 4-3-1 Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0004
Business hours: Weekdays 11:00 ~20:00/Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays 10:00-19:00
Opening day (grand opening): Friday, May 24, 2024
Floor area: Approximately 483㎡

■ Official information
Official X (old Twitter): @T_Shimbashi
official Instagram: @TAMIYA_TOKYO
official website: https://www.tamiya-plamodelfactory.co.jp/

▼ TAMIYA PLAMODEL FACTORY TOKYO is recruiting new staff. For more information, please visit the official website.
▼ The old store, Tamiya Plastic Model Factory Shinbashi store, will close on May 6, 2024.

Yasumasa Matsui has been appointed as Tamiya Co., Ltd. Model History Research Advisor


“I became Research Advisor for Tamiya Corporation Model History.
I will not only do what Tamiya asks me to do but will continue to actively make proposals and hold discussions.
I will continue to make steady and dynamic efforts to summarize the history of Tamiya.
Tamiya’s history, which is well-known worldwide, will be compiled steadily and dynamically.”

Source: https://twitter.com/Matsui_Yasumasa

“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

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.

[Donator]
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.

[Recipient]
Hikaru Inaba, Director of Economic Affairs Bureau, Shizuoka City

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.

Original drawings by illustrator Shigeru Komatsuzaki have been digitized and an online “museum” is now open


Original article by Itsuhiro Suzuki

The Shigeru Komatsuzaki Online Museum has opened , which digitizes the original drawings of Shigeru Komatsuzaki (1915-2001), an illustrator who lived in Kashiwa City , Chiba Prefecture , and makes them available online. Approximately 150 works are available for viewing for free, and if you become a paid support member, you can also view works that change every month.

Komatsuzaki’s works total approximately 20,000 pieces, including magazine illustrations. In addition to her representative works, such as paintings on plastic model boxes and frontispieces for boys’ magazines , she also includes landscape paintings , drawings, and oil paintings. In addition to “ Battleship Yamato ,” which was published in Weekly Shonen Sunday and became a masterpiece, “ Space Colony II” , which became a masterpiece of fantasy painting , and “ Sensoji Niomon ” , which has strong realistic elements, are available for free (some charges apply). It has been published.

After Shigeru’s death, his grandson Noriko Komatsuzaki (43) took over many of his works and later became the official copyright heir. Exhibitions were held all over the country, but opportunities to show to the public have drastically decreased due to the coronavirus pandemic. Noriko felt a sense of crisis, saying, “If we don’t do something, Komatsuzaki’s works will be forgotten along with her era,” and so she and her husband, Minoru (44), have been making preparations to open an online art museum. Ta.

Minoru said, “Based on the support we received through the online art museum, we will collect and maintain the original paintings that have been lost, and hold exhibitions, so that a wide range of people can see Shigeru Komatsuzaki’s works.”

Link of the Shigeru Komatsuzaki Online Museum https://shigerukomatsuzaki.com

Source of the article in Japanese language: Asahi Shimbun