Category Archives: Vintage

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

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.”


Interesting video about the Lamborghini LM002 including its development steps through FMC XR311, MTI Lamborghini Cheetah and more

Of course also mentioning the related Tamiya releases.

The Lamborghini LM002 didn’t start out as a Lamborghini at all. It wasn’t much of a Lamborghini at the end. And yet, if it’s the job of a Lamborghini to be outrageous, it’s actually the Most Lamborghini Lamborghini ever.

The LM002, nicknamed the Rambo Lambo at the time, eventually made it onto Time Magazine’s list of the Worst Cars of All Time. But that had nothing to do with the truck itself.

In fact, the truck itself had little to do with Lamborghini — conceived as a project to keep the Sant’ Agata factory running while the company that Ferruccio built fought to stave off bankruptcy. The story behind the development is astonishing: originally conceived as the XR311 by two men while working for Food Machinery Corporation (FMC), they approached the Italian supercar manufacturer for help in building the off-road vehicle as a bid to produce it for a U.S. government contract.

Founding their own company, Mobility Technology Incorporated, or MTI, the men built a prototype in California, which Lamborghini then took to the Geneva Motor Show as a Lamborghini Cheetah.

What happened next was a series of lawsuits, mishaps, misappropriation of funds, and the derailment of the BMW M1 project, resulting in Lamborghini;’s bankruptcy. The company’s savior was a 20-something French billionaire, who made the decision to install a Countach V12 and a luxurious interior, and sell the Lamborghini Militaria vehicle to the Jet Set.

And the car itself? It’s even more fascinating.

Stay tuned for this incredible history lesson on the astounding story behind the Lamborghini LM002, LM001, LM1, and Cheetah.
Source: Hagerty

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