Category Archives: Vintage

Why does Tamiya Mini 4WD continues to be popular? Why is there high support for over several decades across generations?

The first mini four-wheel drive that appeared in 1982. It is a long life hobby that reaches the 37th year in 2019. Why does this make people so addicted?

A toy that gets hooked with two AA batteries

There is a regular boom in children’s play, and the trend is getting obsolete. Under such circumstances, the toy that is addicted to many children for about 37 years from its first appearance is the “Mini 4WD.”

Beyond the real world, the mini 4WD has also appeared in manga many times. At that time, children who were children grew up to be adults, and the “Mini 4WD World” has been passed on from parents to children. Why is it getting popular after overcoming the epidemic?

The first Tamiya Mini 4WD “Ford Ranger 4×4” and “Chevrolet Pickup 4×4”

Even now, in addition to serializing in a number of manga, the Mini 4WD, which is held in numerous competitions throughout the country, is the “Ford Ranger 4 × 4” released by Tamiya, Inc. in 1982 and the “Chevrolet Pickup 4 The history starts from × 4.

At that time, Ford and Chevrolet pickup trucks were popular models and appeared as the first mini-four-wheel drive featuring a four-wheeled runnability. Then, in 1987 the theme of the mini 4WD manga ‘Dash! Shikichiro] (Tokuda Zaurus / Shogakkan) has started serialization and will gradually gain popularity as it is animated in 1989.

At the same time, we held the “Japan Cup”, a national tournament for mini 4WD, and promoted it in various ways including the appearance of the original character “mini 4 fighter”, but the end of the animation and mini 4WD With the growth of the main layers of the first mini 4WD boom comes to an end.

After that, the manga “Batsunichi Brothers Let’s & Go !!” (Tetsuhiro Kotatsu / Shogakukan), whose serialization began in the middle of the 1990s, reignited again and became popular again nationwide. This is the second boom of the Mini 4WD.

After that, with the various effects such as the end of animation, the growth of children, and the play of other genres as well as the first boom, popularity has fallen and the second mini 4WD boom will end again around 2000. Since 2000, although the popularity has fallen, the mini 4WD genre has been established by the holding of official tournaments and various activities at various places, and supported by some fans.

In around 2010, the third mini 4WD boom will be the result of major layers that were enthusiastic at the time of the 1st and 2nd returning to the Mini 4WD again and reselling products from that time etc. It’s coming.

Around this time, we will establish a business model as a “Mini 4WD to be enjoyed by parents and children,” such as showing the children’s interest in the Mini 4WD in addition to the main group at that time.

In addition, the sales strategy targeting the father of the company return seems to be successful by opening Tamiya’s official shop “Tamiya plastic model factory Shimbashi” in 2008 near Shimbashi station in Tokyo.

The Mini 4 Fighter explains about the still popular “Mini 4WD” as follows.

About Mini 4WD that children and adults can enjoy

It is a racing hobby with a total length of about 15 cm that incorporates two AA batteries and one motor. With a limitless possibilities within a small size, such as customization with upgraded parts to pursue driving performance and a contest expressing individuality, as of April 2019, we have sold approximately 180 million units in total. You are

More than 300 types of Mini 4WD and more than 400 types of upgraded parts have appeared in 37 years from the first Mini 4WD in 1982 to 2019, and a steady walk with customers of Mini 4WD users as Long Life Hobby I have repeated it.

About the secret of the popularity

Communication that talks about Mini 4WD on SNS through the Internet and smartphones is increasing regardless of the country or age. In addition to sharing and exchanging the fun of Mini 4WD, many users and communities that host and host races can now be seen.

Among them, the contents and scales are diverse, from small-scale ones such as “manufacturing workshops” to large-scale race events such as hundreds, and they show miniaturities different from official competitions. The way to enjoy 4WD is even more widespread.

In addition to making announcements of such events on Tamiya’s official website and official application, we are supporting by renting the tournament banner. In addition, we hold event hosted by mini-shikashi station of permanent store of circuit with approximately 500 stores in the whole country and hold thing more than 2,000 times a year when we put thing of Tamiya sponsors together. By making contact with local dealers and customers, we are activating the Mini 4WD.

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Mini 4WDi supports the popularity of traditional toy-only children’s toys, which have evolved into community tools that involve adults.

From the mere “play” in pursuit of speed, “miniaturism 4 mini” that “connected fun” also became an element of the play triggered by various aspects. In the future, there will be a “mini 4WD app” that can be enjoyed on smartphones, and there may be an arrival of the fourth boom.

Source in Japanese language: Kuruma News

Full scale real Pontiac Firebird “Knight Rider” with the design scheme of Tamiya Mini 4WD Magnum Saber


Source in Japanese language: http://goteking.jp/

Tamiya 63696 The History of Armor 100 Years book

Released March 18th, 2019 4860 yen

One volume to look back on the history of the Department of Athletics of the Ground Self Defense Force 100 years
We introduce the history that spans many years from Taisho to Heisei, with detailed materials and photographs. In addition, there are also many columns that make the tank unit feel more familiar. The activities of the Ground Self Defense Force can be understood well from a different point of view. In addition to the mark and origin of all tanks and reconnaissance units, a QR code that allows you to listen to the company song is also included. A4 size, 160 pages, issued by Defense Home Newspaper, 4,500 yen (excluding tax). It can not be purchased at general bookstores. Please contact Tamiya Shop Online or Defense Home Newspaper.

Number of pages: A4 size 160 pages all color
Publication: Corporation Defense home newspaper company

Flashback Friday – Tamiya Mokei Thunder Bolt from 1961

I have kept you waiting so long, it is resuming research in earnest. Our laboratory has been delayed in updating for about 1 year due to the editing of “Tamiya model whole job”, but for the time being we will update mainly the information compiled in the editing course. Tamiya ‘s first term kit “Thunderbolt” that we switched to a plastic model maker will be picked up this time.

Release is about June 40, 1961, almost 40 years ago. Speaking half a year ago from that Panther Tank’s release, you will find out how old it is. In May 1960 Tamiya launched the first plastic model battleship “Yamato” but lost to rival Nichimo and have a big deficit. The situation that I could not recover monetarily for a while, and I had to return to the wooden model against the era, I am familiar with the “Tamiya model work”, but the first story made by Styrofoam kit made into a product by struggle High-speed “boat is also released in June 1961, exactly this” Thunderbolt “is a product of a difficult age.

In conclusion, this “Thunderbolt” is the second work of a shining plastic model product following the battleship “Yamato” in Tamiya. Tamiya who lost after the business failure of the virgin battle ship “Yamato” could not set out the second work of the plastic model requiring a huge initial investment in the mold and replaced the boxed battleship “Musashi” (1960/10 ) And “Baby Truck” (1961/05) in the mold we received from the toy maker, we will barely connect the intention to switch to the “new material” plastic model. In the meantime, we continued to announce new products of wooden models of tanks and cars one after another. In the January 1, 1961 issue of Japanese Model Newspaper, Tamiya model teaching material company president Yoshio Tamiya said “… It is not an exaggeration to say that it is at a crossroads for wood manufacturers by the current plus offensive …. Please continue to look forward to my wooden model for a long time in 1961 … “and I feel the sense of urgency in the end.

And almost one year after the release of the battleship “Yamato”, this Thunderbolt will be released to the world. For the battle ship “Yamato” which is the first work of the complete Tamiya original, the second work in a situation where failure is totally unacceptable has become a copy kit is an unreasonable story from the point of the initial investment amount . It was the monogram “firebolt” that became the basis. There is a thing that is compatible with the Nautilus submarine of Marsan around here, but Tamiya has made its own major improvement on the driving system. The original of the monogram was also made of plastics, but the grip power is much different, replacing it with a real rubber tire. Furthermore, although the original uses propulsion by corotorion or solid fuel (!) As propulsive force, this is improved to the driving form using TKK Mabuchi 15 motor and gear box which Japan boasts boast. In the advertisement of those days, I sang up a high degree from the original (though most kids did not even know its existence) that “rubber tires fit in plastic foil caps and around good-fit legs around the style” Gear, Mabuchi Motor No. 15 AA 3 dry cell battery with 2 trios, the power surface is perfect. “We will show you the confidence of the part cultivated with the wooden model.

Actually Tamiya has modeled over this “firebolt” for over a year. It appears in the wooden model “Firebird” which was released in September 1960. As I already had the all-plastic model battleship “Yamato” in the world, it seems that this wonderfully designed “firebolt” was naturally developed in the same form, but for the reasons stated above it is obviously impossible to comprehend that it is inevitably a wooden model itself I made it into a kit. With a wooden model with difficult curved surface processing, its reproducibility did not wait for a theory, probably it was released with a desperate thought, it also appears in a box painting. Unfortunately we do not own this wooden model “Firebird”, but we have exhibited both boxes and finished items at the Tamiya History Museum in Shizuoka and introduced it to p154 of “Tamiya Model Task 2” So please have a look if you have one.

Let’s return the story to “Thunderbolt”. The book “Tamiya model whole job” is a book that sticks to putting all of the kit’s “finished product” and “box art”, but “finished goods” of this Thunderbolt is not in Tamiya History Museum in Shizuoka. So my assistant handmade a kit owned by our laboratory. It was supposed to keep the basic principle of editor-in-chief of Hirano “painted painted to tell the state of the time, without remodeling”, but sometimes you have to put a decal on the top and bottom of the body, putty putting and surfacer (In this respect, Saji 1 of p147 which is the work of the editor-in-chief of Hirano leaves the original completely and is a wonderful thing with things finished with delicate painting).

Deadline On a night when it is dangerous, Mr. Takami of the product which is in the cat which praised its purpose and assembled his own kit pleasantly, he visited with “Bluebird” which is not in the history hall again, It became a commemoration shoot of. After that, after finishing the studio shooting, when the next “Tamiya model whole job 3” visit to Shizuoka, the assistant himself brought it and decorated it in a corner of the historic hall show window. Is drawing to their close one of your helps was the in and feel the moment of bliss (* ^ _ ^ *)

By the way informed of the pagination of the “Tamiya model all work 2” when I was in the kit production, this “Thunderbolt”, ” Bluebird ‘finished color photos are too big compared to other kits so we protested to Hirano Editor-in, “I’d like to stick to one series with a double-page, this book has too much information Since I’m stuffed, I’ve been impossible at various places in the page layout, but I just wanted to stick to this page as a conscience as editor-in-chief “and it is up to it. Um, that ‘s why I did not become a big picture because my family made it separately.

By the way, there are excellent courses in contemporary Mini 4WD and Dangun Racer, and old slot racing cars had a wonderful course, but as a way to play this straightforward single spear sudden monk Speed ​​Record Breaker, Is introduced. Actually, the kit has mold threading holes for rotation for the left side and straight for the lower part of the car body. How many children really played like this? It is an interesting place.


Source in Japanese language

Tamiya Special Racing Buggy and the Terminator movie

Tamiya radio control gearbox has been diverted (right and left) to the most distinguished name “gobcha meka” at the head of the end skeleton. The one owned by T – STUDIO is a 21st – century version (some old specifications must be obtained one day …) with some specification changes. Because many Japanese parts made of plastic parts have been diverted inside, so also on occasion.

What makes movie props fun is that these ready-made items are diverted. Twenty years of hardship to identify this part …. I found out that it is still available in home country, and ordered in large quantities. Until now, we have made our own by guessing the dimensions, but at last this “finally the same spec as authentic” comes true. A world of complete self-satisfaction.

Parts that should originally play the core of radio control, parts that should play an important role of tank …. In the early 1980s, they might have felt “It was not born to be used like this” at the beginning of Hollywood’s studio in the head and chest of the terminator. However, it gains “another existence value” and it is now proud as a part of the symbol of masterpiece movies [complete]

The basic silhouette is handmade by clay, but ready-made items are being diverted in detail parts where sharpness is required

Source: T-STUDIO Hatanaka Makoto @ Twitter

While waiting for the Toy Fair 2019 – Retrospective of past TamiyaBlog visits to Nuremberg Toy Fairs 2008-2018


The arrival of Nuremberg Toy Fair wakes up the child in us, it’s our yearly chance to visit, admire, meet and talk to our favourite model maker, TAMIYA, INC. While looking forward to the fair next week, looking back in our archives we saw that it will be already our 12th visit in a row, so we thought we would like to revisit few of the highlights of the previous years 2008-2018, hope you will enjoy them too.

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018


All detailed original articles can be found easily by using our site search function with the keyword Nuremberg and the corresponding year.

Tamiya 66036 News File


Tamiya news has also reached the 600th issue in total, so we are introducing Tamiya news file here.
In the 1970s for Tamiya news hardcover files were made by other manufacturers that had metal fasteners, and if you keep it for a long time, the closed part and the back part tend to get dirty with rust etc. . However, this file has plastic fasteners and there is no worry about rust. It is also recommended for those who have collected Tamiya news for a long time, as well as those who want to start collecting new Tamiya news.
Source: Tamiya Plamodel Factory – Shimbashi

Mr. Shunsaku Tamiya looks back “Why was the Mini 4WD popular in the age of video game”


Mr. Shunsaku Tamiya

Heisei* 30 years marked the 60th anniversary of the birth of a domestic plastic model. Plastic model was born in 1945, I joined the “Tamiya Shoji jointly-owned company” (Shizuoka city) my father developed in that year. Shizuoka was originally a land of wood industry, and my father’s company was also making wood-based models for teaching materials, and models of warships and tanks. At that time the model was a wooden model. However, around the time he entered the company, the domestic plastic model began to be released, and it was a big boom in a blink of an eye. Unlike the previous wooden model, the plastic model does not require Kanna and fleas, it is completed by separating the parts from the frame called runner and attaching it with adhesive. Easy to make for children. Reproducibility of detail and real feeling were precise things not found in the wooden model.

The first hit was Panther Tank

Instantly the wooden model can not be sold and we have decided to switch to a plastic model maker. However, it was not so easy to create a plastic model that is supported by children. We repeatedly failed and released Panther Tank of German tank in the New Year of Showa** 37. The model of this tank runs well on a futon or a sandbox with a motor. We finally got confidence that we will be doing as a plastic model manufacturer as well. This “to run with a motor” may be called the origin of Tamiya.

After that, following tanks, I made various models such as zero fighting and Yamato. “Tamiya’s kit is wonderful” received high praise from home and abroad. Particularly noteworthy from overseas was the 1/12 precision scale model of Honda F1 released in 1964. But in the Showa 50’s when video games began to spread, children began to see games that can be enjoyed simply by pressing buttons, and the plastic model departed. So, once again, I repeated planning meetings inside the company to make a plastic model that even elementary school students can return to the origin and enjoy. It is around the end of Showa era.

Reason why Mini 4WD got used to children

And it was a mini 4WD that was completed. The mini 4WD is a simple model with a motorized four-wheel drive car model that runs with AA batteries built in. This also repeatedly trial and error, it became accepted by children several years later. Children feel great joy in running on motor with what they made with their own hands. And I was very interested in being able to compete among children.

To make a mini 4WD, all the basic work processes such as cutting, shaving, opening a hole are included. As children make mini 4WD, we will master how to use tools such as cutters, drivers and drills. There is also a process that is not in the instruction manual, such as thinking and remodeling by myself, increasing the performance.

The first boom of Mini 4WD was around Heisei** 2 from the end of the Showa era. Next time a big wave came from 1996 to 1998. Recently it has become a series that can be sold steadily at all times. Because it is also prevalent in countries in Southeast Asia.

At our company, we are holding a mini 4WD racing competition as much as we can say weekly. When going there, children try to think for themselves and try to run as fast as 0.1 seconds. Sometimes there are ideas that adults can not think of. I think that children are a genius of play again after all.

At that time we come to the venue with family members and we often see parents who are tune up. We thought that we developed a mini 4WD in that we sold it to children, but adults are also crazy about it. It was evolved into a thing to play with family as a matter of fact. This was a fresh discovery. Such pleasures are making the analog plastic model (= mini 4WD) popular in the digital age.

Solar car purchased by Dr. Hawking

Aside from the mini 4WD, the solar car that the employee in 1991 figured out was also talked about a while ago. It was the world’s first model car running on solar power. In this year alone it became a big hit product to sell 200,000 sets, and received various awards. In addition, I was very happy when Dr. Hawking who visited Japan at the academic year in the year when he was told that he bought this solar car at the Tiannihodo in Ginza. This made us realize the possibilities as a teaching material of the plastic model. As in the case of former wooden model, may not it be possible to have a teaching material set of plastic model for children. With that kind of thought we released a work series.

This is prepared with various gears, battery boxes, remote control boxes, plus plastic boards, plaques, etc., in order to let children shape ideas inspired by their heads. By combining these, you can make remote control robots to move solar cars, arms, walking robots that respond to sounds, and so on. Thanks to you, employees may be called to school business trips and teach. In 1990, we taught the work using mini 4WD at the royal school of Saudi Arabia.

Meaning to make analog things in the digital age

In 2007 we made a cam program robot. Although this is a robot that moves with the built-in motor, you can move it as you want by inserting a bar programmed by yourself in the center of the torso. As you develop the program bar, you will gain logical thinking and creativity. It is unknown how this robot evolves, but at the next stage it may get stuck with PCs and foundations.

In this digital era, children will learn various things and grow by making plastic models including analog mini 4WD. A plastic model is indispensable for Japan’s tradition of manufacturing. Tamiya will continue to support the children from now on.

Source in Japanese language: Bunshun Japan
* Heisei period https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heisei_period
** Shōwa period https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sh%C5%8Dwa_period

Rally legend Walter Röhrl gets a Tamiya RC Lancia 037 for Christmas

It seems like it’s totally cozy in there.

Here are his translated wishes:

Dear friends, I wish you all a Merry Christmas Eve and Happy Holidays. Take your time for family or friends and enjoy these relaxing Christmas holidays. We just had some presents and our Maxi was already eating his treats. But what he likes most is the gift box. We wish you a Merry Christmas.

Our Maxi will probably stay in there for Christmas….


Source: Walter Röhrl official facebook page