Category Archives: Vintage

The boom of Tamiya RC – An article from Yasuyuki Maeda

Original source in Japanese language: ITmedia

maeda_pro120Author Yasuyuki Maeda
Ltd. Tamiya model Planning Department design room joined. Responsible for the approach and publicity to the various media in parallel with the same department of the business. Until March 1987 January to 1994, who is also the personality of the TV program “Tamiya RC Car Grand Prix”. Then, he enrolled in the Square (now Square Enix). Co., Ltd. Jay game founded in 2001, through the Rakuten, Inc., belonging to the company’s research and development department Akihabara Research Center as CHO (Chief hobby officer) of the Corporation UEI in 2012.

As a pioneer of the “racer mini four-wheel drive”, Tamiya, which sparked a boom in the mid-1980s radio control (RC Car). Whether the boom went made how. And, I do not talk to the vent that there was the presence of third-party products that are there.

Why commodity of Tamiya is the quality is high. In the previous article , we tried preaching on the basis of the experience that was long involved in the field of product development. 1 genre of hit products that were born from there, was a radio-controlled (RC Car).

That although at the time of Tamiya RC car can not be published here unfortunately about what was shipped much specifically, in 1984 and 1985, a total of four times the bonus plus a special bonus to the normal bonus is paid and the like are, reflections and RC car economy of the market, it had been telling in the way of incentives to all employees.

This time, we introduce the background of since the mid-1980s such RC car boom. So First, in terms of knowing the past of the children of interests, we want We allow me to speak that of myself just a little bit.

The mid-1980s, RC car that cut the off-road buggy popular pilot flame “Mighty Frog (reprint)” (C) TAMIYA

Contact with the author of the model (Plastic model) is, and the stationery store was in the school route, was a liquor store that aunt is engaged. In the stationery store was taking place than stationery in plastic model and a light plane, when it comes to elementary school students in the excuse to buy the eraser and drawing paper, it opened one after another a box of plastic model of the shelf that can reach it, in until you care was expresses his or her appreciation by looking at the parts.

Hotel aunt, although it was for generations inherit quaint shops are such as sold by weight, has been dealing with for some reason affordable plastic model. Thanks to a little quirky shop was in a familiar if at that time there was no such as a convenience store, there was no shortage of plastic model.

From this time, manufacturers there is a burr (unwanted bulge) in the plating parts were shunned. Because much trouble will be cut until the plated part in when you take the burr. This was also tuning classmate have been on bad terms with is. Then you understand the good or bad of the molded article in elementary school doing this, the impression remains deep-seated was holding at that time.

Of course, children of concern at the time is not the only plastic model. Baseball board, nor ray gun SP, of Tiger Mask figure also, Monopoly and other board games such has just been imported also, rushed at all heard that “someone has bought,” “was in the shop.”

However, when it comes to junior high school “everyone” is set to “sparse”, such a situation has disappeared gradually. Sometimes these memory is strong, was the product envy to be pampered in the elementary school for me.

Target was young adults

As the media in charge of Planning Department Design Department of Tamiya, that the time that has been accustomed publishers around. Reader Survey results and on how to use the lottery to some elementary school students medium is counted, showed me the application result of the sweepstakes page. There was no “plastic model” at a higher level.

Coincidentally, Takara (now Tomy) ‘s “Choro Q” is not a big break, production volume had long ago surpassed 10 million units. Model maker several companies, but Yosebaii, in or out until the products that Ayaka’ to this, was not able to face obediently. Elementary school students of “plastic model want is” is, was also Kuchioshi is that what will be lost by doing this.

Example of a kit that was issued from the model maker several companies at the time of the Choro Q boom

But, rather than why a sense of crisis, had committed Kien someday Tamiya it does to the children of the hot topics. From this time, I went also become a work medium by the promotion measures.

Product group of Tamiya, except for some such as “fun work” series, have been said to be matched to the young adult (13 to 19 years old) or more layers than elementary school students, moreover, already from that time to this market It had been also said that mass marketing is no-class. Still, toy makers because each company was the area that had been attacked by wielding a buzzing toward the middle and high school students the IP (intellectual property) of inherent, media about the author also appear side by side in the same table on without being at least overwhelmed by it another attack continued.

Speaking of junior high and high school students read the magazine, there is a great medium of learning magazine (○○ course / ○○ age) until the ’90s, who often cooperate in publicity. But, because once I even media that helped me, to readers knew in the skin around it is not required for most of the hobby and entertainment information, it was cold also editing unit in planning to try there somehow.

Because in addition to there was no unity medium, such as keep grabbed these generations, was only hit one after another medium that captures the middle and high school students layer even a little. It was mainly, professional journals personal computer, game, animation, fashion, and music, and comic.

Specialized information outside of the news because magazine is not much important. Since the ongoing planning can not be expected, at least through to even the foot Shigeku editing unit only pictorial exposure, anyway simplistic attempts to strike a number. However, in the magazine or because of professional information outside of the news is likely to be one enclosed, were often subjected to even general news and inferiority no corresponding information model. Unexpectedly this was lucky.

Nari is provided in series in the planning page of the RC car is a major anime magazine, he said, “(the original) wrote!”, As it is the author lasted until the surrender Tamiya. In addition, there is a major game magazine, often Tamiya information becomes the ingredients of comics, writers were also deployed the cartoon made it into story is spelled out in the addictive and 3 consecutive weeks in the RC car.

Of course, if these movements stuck to where young adults is unclear. However, it went gradually editors of various magazine was Endoka’ the RC car is all the way Shizuoka-filled, more is possible to press ahead with the shooting in the headquarters and Tamiya circuit. A result, has increased dramatically, especially exposure of the RC car in the color page. In terms of the advertising fee the media material on the base, had become a monthly basis for a total of 40 million yen of the volume. Magazine is an extremely healthy from now, there is in each of the big factors also that many in each discipline was the era of excitement to the market to compete.

Although little time is before and after, it was being separately also advanced approach to elementary school students and young adults. Just at the time of Shogakukan learning magazine (first grade – sixth grade elementary school elementary school) is welcomed to the jury late Sakyo Komatsu teacher also there that was organized by the “Plastic Model Photo Contest”, and later, edit and edit part of each school year magazine it had been many to Oho to the person in charge.

On one occasion, I visited the deputy editor of the left Hissage the finished product, “sixth grade elementary school” of RC car that we brought for the coverage of other magazines. Monomonoshii Ikazu also not not say whether the contents of the bag is what, when the show was a prelude to that difficult for elementary school students, asked, “Wait a minute, there still time?”, Outside the shopping mall (lily of the valley He was handed a map of up to certain editorial department in the street). “Go immediately here, now that talk from leave. Contact,” it was said. Here and was the editorial department of the “flop comic”.

Encounter with Colo comic

Already it had visited the editorial department of some of the boy magazine and comic, but a visit to the Colo comic editing unit was the first time. This time RC car that was to bring is, but “Wild Willis” which has already been launched. If you Ichitori and description of the product, containing the consultation about the suddenly RC car series comics at a later date. I started the series of “RC Boy” in June 1983 after its about four months.

Wild Willy was released in 1982 (C) TAMIYA

A little after the time began serialization, containing the request, such as surprising from Colo comic editing unit. Or skip the Wild Willis, I can I want to climb a 90-degree wall? It was stating. And explain the situation to the design room and workshop immediately, but has not been a good face.

There is a contact again in the place where was suffering about two days, and visit in dubious in because me to see because there modeler has made, so homemade winch is running is an assembly kit that was passed in the sample to the finished product that is based not, when multiplied by a hook on the wall, the body has climbed the wall while hoisting it. And, although not fly really, corner like a wing of the buffalo that was mounted on the roof is spread out in a single button, and passed through a wire to the central mechanism that can glide along the it had been subjected to.

Wild Willis to manipulate the hero of radio control Boy, according to the story that appeared in a special machine called “Buffalo No.”, was that you want put a similar realistic finished product in the preface graph. And, “This (to this kind of use), I guess it is not a problem?” He asked with.

This, and reports that the unprecedented remodeling work is never model magazine also be done RC car magazine, growled also Tamiya of all interested parties. They become hot efforts form to our than RC car, tasted the feeling that lost the earnest of the message to the reader more than anything. Whether there has been what kind of reason, was serious soul-searching that I have nothing came to an end in the not put out a hand. Thanks, also became the drugs of design staff and workshop staff is enlivened in collaboration planning of the subsequent publisher. The author is also this thing that became to themselves wear the hand was a chance to modifications of RC cars and mini four-wheel drive.

Price that exceeds the level of boys’ Hobby

In Colo comic of Intro, and such Imejishotto and running scene of the new RC car is to be exposed, the echo of the main readers of the elementary school students (middle and upper grades) has been transmitted well. Even the results of the reader survey, the popularity of RC car was in the top class with the NES over a long period of time. Tamiya nationwide But department store exhibition event that was held in the “Tamiya Modeler’s Gallery”, questions or selling how about RC cars has changed. Also for me personally, but appealing effect to the subject that I wanted you to wake up to work was glad up to much, a big problem also occurred.

Many of which, and that propoxycarbonyl (set of transmitter-receiver) was bought only RC car without knowing that it is sold separately, expensive also become about 35,000 yen When you have made a dedicated battery and charger set and propoxycarbonyl was a complaint to be extruded things as boys’ hobby. After-sales service department of the boss, who sounded the alarm let diligently know the reaction of such users and parents. Correspondence proceeded emphasize that propoxycarbonyl and battery and charger is sold separately, but it was very Nayamashika’ solve other problems.

In Colo comic it was followed by the introduction of massive RC car in Intro Poster (Shogakukan than “four wheel drive mini Historical Guide”)

The author initially, if fulfilled a strategy, such as get to continue to have an interest Have familiar with the Tamiya to elementary school students in the Colo Colo comic, an increasing number of RC car freak when they were equal to or higher than junior high school students, the market also believes that would scale It was. So, turn off does Kana that tone is all sold, RC car had been thorough to show how the image top priority of “cool”.

Nevertheless, and elementary school students that wild Willis want, inquiry from the parents became much unexpectedly. To be honest, wild Willis and Mighty Frog is that headlines the magazine of the Coro Coro comics at that time, it would have been even degree of difficulty is increased Do not work in the elementary school upper grades. 35,000 yen out, should not also be the “not let the assembled not = run”.

In Tamiya, “First in quality around the world” we have raised the absolute priority principle quality that, it was unwavering. Therefore, because it was intended to RC car products pricing commensurate with the quality of until it is made, it was a consultation that can not be possibly such as pricing strategy.

Among such, 5000 yen, or not the RC car of low-priced drastic that 10,000 yen is not put out, I leave to the sense of crisis, report Ya against Tamiya Tokuotto teacher and Planning Department at the time of the design room adviser It was only continue to submit repeat the draft.

Off-road RC car of low-priced off 10,000 yen, in the past, the track record and the base was not without. It was released in 1980 “Holiday Buggy”, “dune buggy” is the it. A small number of parts, and the rear suspension using the elasticity of the FRP plate, (Holiday buggy), such as vinyl chloride-made body of beautiful metallic blue with excellent shock absorption does not need to be painted, epoch as beginners for the machine it was a specific motivation work.

However, in which flagship model that symbolizes the time of the commodity group, in what the flavor of each model, whether the specifications, even singing an inexpensive and for beginners in which information is not spreading, such as, that the launch is weak It did not deny.

Under these circumstances, can symbolize the wild Willis and Mighty Frog, it subjects you are going to stretch the hand is also to have been clearly visible. At least, Holiday buggy, it does not become like a dune buggy is I was able explanation, that the volume zone is in there, Colo comic, learning magazine, were visible from the material that has been shown from the other editors.

Tamiya’s first pricing strategy and characterize

Looking back now, it was amazing rapidity of resolve the problem here. To the Mighty Frog was released in December 1983 was the sale in at 14,800 yen, the new products of Grasshopper in to Hobby Show held in the following year was to be sold for $ 7400. Since it was obvious that grade up version of the 540 motor as a user-oriented at the time is desired, in parallel to develop a “Hornet” (9800 yen), was also decided to line up in the autumn of the same year. And say how much speedy’s, other companies that do a one-year interval, was the glue, such as go Yaritoge in five months interval of the less than half.

By news source has been secured, such as by plans by more than once a teaser planning to release date, publicity of the menu over the next year was also Kume in outline. At a later date, that this speed is the decisive factor of the strategy Gets in Your body and Zushiri.

The presence of NES

Although not the details of the products, two new work as a gateway to success machine of RC cars, extremely reduces the chassis and suspension of the number of parts, the power unit, suspension related parts, other than the body (or styrene resin or polycarbonate resin) by all common, it held down the manufacturing cost of the mold. At the time, very innovative and that was able to RC car debut in the 20,000 yen level, including a dedicated battery and charger set and propoxycarbonyl, it has become a major element of the subsequent movement.

Price of 7400 yen of Grasshopper, was also half the price of the unit price of the “Road Runner” and “Xevious” TV game machine that is popular has been boiling in the topic of “Family Computer” in the same year. Compared to up to it, it can reach (buy) the impression can be given strongly. And, this time NES game software owned by the user of there becoming average 3 to this 4, they were already situation have spent 3 to 4 million yen to the NES. It began to say in a loud voice that only RC car is not a special expensive hobby.

NES that was able image deployment of RC cars until shortly before entering the heyday, the genre of car hobby is can casual undercurrent to the fact of off-the-shelf in the boy magazine, the deployment of the “racer mini four-wheel drive” after easily It will lead to.

RC Spare Body set of car “Super Dragon” (C) TAMIYA

I think the timing of an appearance in the Colo comic magazine of this RC car and the NES, it was a miracle even now. If you have delayed the launch of Grasshopper and the Hornet is six months, RC car would have been completely spoil the NES biased.

Simple body structure of the Grasshopper and the Hornet has been rigorously evaluated from professional journals officials and professional groups, to focus as the product was easy to understand and clear, ran stabbing in witty press officials at the time of interview It was also good of the uke.

In such as reader-friendly events of Colo comic at the time, “Colo Manga Festival”, after that showed a demonstration run, such as the speed of the Hornet stand out, asked to manipulate the normal of Grasshopper in the experience maneuvering meeting, but difficult to users It gave the impression that there is no. As a result, the experience maneuvering the Board was able to train the participants to the extent not end within a predetermined period of time.

When this happens, from a parent who had a look at the children who were with Kiki asked to be “sold at where?”, From the clerk of the venue of the department store is asked “Why not do the product sales?”, Suddenly, a toy of the department store also it happened things like have them delivered from the wholesaler to the sales floor.

This two spreads way to elementary and junior high school students mutually attracted to each other was also found in the skin. The effect of presenting a close choice, if deer On the other hand either become a direct comparison of the upper models, such as the Mighty Frog, you should have narrowed the purchase motivation.

The popularity of Grasshopper and the Hornet, went also kneaded in comic RC Boy story. It hero original machine “Super Dragon” to manipulate it also became an opportunity to appear in later.

RC Car “Fire Dragon (reprint)” (C) TAMIYA

RC Car “Thunder Dragon (reprint)” (C) TAMIYA

RC Car “Saint Dragon (reprint)” (C) TAMIYA

Tamiya, as Spare Body set to match the chassis of the Grasshopper and the Hornet, will be the product of the Super Dragon. Not addressed in the general retail stores initially, it was a flop comic monopoly mail order. But received I thought more of the echo, and eventually also distributed to the general market. Movement Tamiya is to commercialize what IP characters, special effects puppet play of Jerry Anderson was produced in 1968, “JOE 90” series (※ “JOE 90” is, “Thunderbird”, “Captain Scarlet” and worked on the British video works producer, Jerry Anderson, that since “Max car” of special effects puppet show) that worked in 1968, a model of the character that appeared in Japanese comics magazine was the first thing.

In this way then, go one after another commercialized appeared to RC Boy “Fire Dragon,” “Thunder Dragon”, “Saint Dragon”. This fact leads to the birth of the “racer mini four-wheel drive” is, was not so distant story. (to be continued)

Thank you for 10.000 facebook likes – bonus photos of a Tamiyablog subscribers visit to Tamiya Museum in Shizuoka

Just a few days after our 10 years anniversary our much later created facebook page reached 10.000 subscribers. As a small thank you we exclusively present you the fantastic photos of the 2016 visit to the Tamiya Museum in Shizuoka of Meir Overferst, a long time subscriber of our website which we would especially like to thank.

Kihachiro Ueda (who created also boxart for Tamiya) Memorial Exhibition in Shizuoka Hobby Square


In memory of Kihachiro Ueda, who has been passed away on June 18, 2016

It became a carry to plan a meeting with the memorial exhibition to remember with the people and the bereaved family to share memories.

★ Duration from October 1 (Saturday) to October 9 (Sunday) ※ 10/3 (month) is closed day
★ Time between 11:00 to 18:00 (weekdays), 10: 00 ~ 18: 00 (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays)
★ Location Shizuoka Hobby Square
★ Admission fee 500 yen (junior high school or less free)
★ Organized Shizuoka model teaching material cooperatives

※ Remember meeting: October 1 (Sat) 13:00 to 14:00 (sponsored by Ueda house)

About Memorial Exhibition
Kihachiro Ueda Mr. worked a lot of box picture water line Shirisu became a masterpiece from 1971, through the box picture of the model, such as warships and aircraft, is a painter who is loved by many fans. Vehicle, there is a force that can be beautifully depict the figure at the time of the three-dimensional finished just by looking at the excellent once drawing the forces in particular represent a “mechanic”. Excellent talent of mechanical drawing not only draw the background, it was also known as the “man to draw the seven seas” because it split draw a wave of various sea. This time, including the packing box Kihachiro Ueda’s “Shizuoka model teaching materials cooperative” companies we hosted a memorial exhibition was commercialized ordered in the work with Mr. Ueda (package), box art are the property of their respective owners in addition to exhibiting the “original” to be called, will be also allowed to display memorabilia that people with a friendship relationship, such as your family and friends was potluck. Such as through work that are not exposed to the outside usually, but there is a short period of time, prominence feelings to achievement of Mr. Kihachiro Ueda while seeing to everyone, I hope you became a memorial exhibition that bring remembrance.


40 – 30 = 10 Years Tamiyablog Anniversary


In September 2006, when the 30th anniversary Tamiya RC Porsche 934 (#49400, with Valliant scheme and TA05 based chassis) was announced, we started this fan website/blog as a place to gather interesting Tamiya related news and articles. Now, exactly 10 years later, Tamiya released their 40th anniversary RC Porsche 934 (#84431, with Jägermeister scheme and TA02SW chassis) and we have come quite some way from there.

In this period we have posted 941 articles, have had more than 4.000.000 visits and 2000 reader comments in our website and more than 6000 fans in our much later started Facebook page. We have reported live 9 times from Nuremberg Toy fair, presented a couple of dozens of our customized builds and organised an award competition for our readers. Our long term target is to be complete and easily searchable database of older and newest Tamiya related news and articles which disappear in the long run from other websites. We pay to run this site fully on our behalf since we didn’t want to clutter it with ads and also so that Tamiya stays what it always meant to us, a hobby and passion and not a business.

Since Tamiya had released their Bigwig (#58057) in 1986 to celebrate their 10th anniversary of RC, it couldn’t miss in our little 10 years celebration, as also a little self made cake (please excuse our poor cake decorating abilities, thankfully our Tamiya builds and reports are bit better). The biggest change though is the new responsive design of our website which we hope you will find easier to read, also at mobile devices.

A big thank you to all our readers, supporters, members and Tamiya who made us what we are today!

To the next 10 years,
The team of Tamiyablog

The reason why your father is so enthusiastic about the Tamiya Mini 4WD that you run now

Source: ITmedia

maeda_pro120Author Yasuyuki Maeda
Ltd. Tamiya model Planning Department design room joined. Responsible for the approach and publicity to the various media in parallel with the same department of the business. Until March 1987 January to 1994, who is also the personality of the TV program “Tamiya RC Car Grand Prix”. Then, he enrolled in the Square (now Square Enix). Co., Ltd. Jay game founded in 2001, through the Rakuten, Inc., belonging to the company’s research and development department Akihabara Research Center as CHO (Chief hobby officer) of the Corporation UEI in 2012.

30 years from the model manufacturer Tamiya is released racer mini four-wheel drive. Once mini four-wheel drive, which has become a social phenomenon, but now also do you know that the is showing the climax. Involved from the birth of the four wheel drive mini as an employee of Tamiya, Mr. Yasuyuki Maeda was instrumental as a spark of the boom in the nickname of “before-chan” talks about the behind-the-scenes.

Once to enthusiasm the children in Japan, boasts a sales performance of more than 170 million units in total, “Racer mini four-wheel drive.” As the driving force behind a is model-plastic model manufacturer Tamiya has released the first issue of goods racer mini four-wheel drive on the market in May 1986. Just 30 years have passed since then.


Cartoon “Dash! Yonkuro” latest to inherit the “Dash No. 1 Emperor (Emperor),” which became a big hit products like the popular, “Rise Emperor” (C) TAMIYA

And except for the official competition was held in Tokyo on in 2016, also becomes more than 3,000 of the scale in the only entry into the race, it will be held in order across the country. In fact, now, also it has a growing swell of the boom. National events of the summer vacation of Tamiya certified that 1999 had been the last to cut off “Racer Mini four wheel drive Japan Cup” is, it seems to have been resumed from 2012 is one of the great opportunity.

 Competition venues clamor is former elementary school corps, especially the unique atmosphere of the male group of 30’s to 40’s, middle shift of up to stunning (is under firm money on a single machine) can be realized.

 As the author individuals involved over a long time from the birth of the racer mini four-wheel drive as an employee of Tamiya, but it places the situation that has not been captured the mind of today’s elementary school students is regretful, why now even touch on I wonder if this scene is seen I want to place.

Pulsation of 12 years with two cartoon

 Many of the people who react to the racer mini four-wheel drive, cartoon “Dash! There are two undercurrents that generation and “Bakuso Brothers Let’s & Go !!” generation of Yonkuro “.

 dash! Yonkuro until February 1987 to December 1993, Bakuso Brothers Let’s & Go !! until September 1994 June to 1999, long-term series of both Shogakukan boys’ comic magazine “CoroCoro Comic” was. At the same is TV animated in parallel, than it was headlines the magazine Over the 12 years together.

 This in the yesteryear of the reader, is inspired by the cartoon and planning of Colo comic, while the racer mini four-wheel drive in an effort to direct the orientation, not a few people who continued out to the lottery even want to leave the official competition. So, it was a hard even longing for the stage to be played. Many of these people, come true at last wish into adulthood, to reset to the time their own that faces the current race.

 So why is racer mini four-wheel drive, wonder was popular until about this.

In the wake of the “RC Boy”

 Let’s return to the previous a little time. 1983 summer, the toy market Nintendo game console “Family Computer” has appeared. The information of the game software went was immediately taken up in a variety of media soon to.

 Not surprisingly, NES information in Colo comic which was a Bible magazine of the boys will become the lots, but on the other hand, in this year, also started series of cartoon “RC Boy” of RC car (radio control car) It was. This is, it has become in the wake of post-racer mini four-wheel drive of the movement is not surprisingly known.

 Series start reverberation from the very beginning is extremely large, I used to believe that people of editors that still is in the boy “car hobby” is essential. There will be “Wild Willis,” “Mighty Frog”, “Grasshopper,” “Hornet” Even if you were in the “Hot Shots,” “Boomerang” ear the naming of “Thunder shot,” such as RC car.


RC Car “Grasshopper” (C) TAMIYA


RC Car “Hornet” (C) TAMIYA

 However, it was extremely difficult is that to characterize the goods alone of this model on the magazine. For example, in the NES game, easy and character rise instead of the usual person or vehicle, can be user also soak in the view of the world. Every time I see the instruction manual and information page, Hagayuku and there was no way to have sung the well playability (game of).

 Still, is showing off Gekiso scene of RC cars as of each issue in the preface color of Colo comic, I had firmly touch the origin Isaono or machine in the RC Boy story. In addition, at the time of the school year magazine ( “one grade of elementary school” – “sixth grade elementary school”), as can be understood in elementary school, and biologically followed by the characteristics of the machine are introduced, little by little, one 1 is symbolized as a platform of the RC car is “★★ machine”, it advanced to a state close to characterize.


 On the other hand there is also a problem with. That play with RC cars Tamiya of this era, in addition to the machine (assembly kit), purchase propoxycarbonyl and (transceiver and servo set) battery is required separately, a total of 30,000 yen or more also in the low-cost model burden as it takes is larger. And “what is this expensive in elementary school”, it was often heard such a voice inside and outside the company. This was Nayamashika’.

 Era Even though it was the midst of the 1980s bubble, the average pocket money amount at the time of the elementary school upper grades to have checks of less than 800 yen a month, 30,000 yen had tried to hurt how much expensive or. The author is also the time of the junior high school students, and funded the 250 yen that had got every day as a lunch of bread cost, it was Dari poured into Tamiya’s first electric RC car “Porsche 934RSR”. When I was resident in the event venue, I bought a set of the Hornet, the heaviness likely, but a look at the back of the elementary school students to go with gusto, remember that you also became a chest heat dozens of times.

 Under these circumstances, gradually tide has changed. When the elementary school students will become the world commonplace of feeling like having body price 14,800 yen NES game software of about one 4500 yen five or more of the impression that the radio control is the intensely expensive is unawares dilute becomes, such as planning, such as NES vs RC is often organized, 2 large super-expensive hobby has become so rampant in Colo comic and grade magazine. When I think now, the order and timing of this radio-controlled and the NES has appeared on the market can not be said only it was a miracle.


Home-use game machine “Famicom” of Nintendo sold only in the total 19 million or more units Japan

 That said, it is to have no change expensive RC car. Problems to it of what to in order to impress the more widely handily RC car, became to feel in even skin many stakeholders. In response to this, in a snap-kit that has been already sold in one set of 500 yen at the time (self-contained kit that does not use an adhesive), the four wheel drive mini series of palm-size of one of the 32 minutes of live-action, Tamiya RC car mascot (Junior) is the were supposed to line up.

 However, to say that the same four wheel drive mini series, was to be different from the characteristics completely design and up to four wheel drive mini it. In chassis layout of the image of the RC car at the time, and full-time 4WD shaft drive, that it is the choice of gear ratios, high-speed stable running a full-fledged miniature that was realized was completed. The first issue of this racer mini four-wheel drive, to No. 2, “Hornet Jr. (Junior),” “hot shot Jr. (Junior)” as the name of the RC car are marked, such situation is in the background of such from it.

 Layer supporting the competition of the current mini four-wheel drive in central is, wide and from radio-controlled boy also know that in the mid-40’s father generation, until the young of the late 20s known only Bakuso Brothers Let’s & Go !! the is because the birth of a racer four wheel drive mini boom is a RC car with the source as described above.

The best-selling mini four-wheel drive machine?

 Relationship between the author and the four wheel drive mini was the Planning Department Design Office employees Tamiya at the time was close. While in charge of some of the decal (seal put on the model) design of the initial model, it came to media development is also in charge because there was no publicity section. And the repetition of being kicked out of the rough draft of the chassis design and grade-up parts of four wheel drive mini to designers, prototype of modifications and grade up parts themselves are deployed in Colo comic, and, until the publicity work It had become.

 It did raised much mini four-wheel drive is in such 1980s and 1990s. Let Itadako with the image in the rough-hewn number of sales and event visitors.

Sales quantity

 According to the announcement of the most recent Tamiya, now four wheel drive mini series sold more than 175 million units total. # 1 sales in successive machine is to have been released in December 1988 “Avante Jr.” (Type 2 chassis).


It was recorded successive number one sales “Avante Jr.” (C) TAMIYA

Event visitors

 To give the number of the only national event “Racer Mini four wheel drive Japan Cup” to decide the 1988 – and 1999 a total of 12 times which was held in Japan of racer mini four-wheel drive, competitors hope the number of persons in 1989 (the second during the summer vacation period of time tournament), and the maximum 150 200 entries in the 16 venue. Attendance to the venue is, during the summer vacation period of Bakuso Brothers Let’s & Go !! 1996 anime broadcast was the start of the (9th tournament), 304,000 people in the 14 venue becomes the maximum. (Source: from “four wheel drive mini Historical Guide” Shogakukan August 2012)


Was held around the country since 1989, “Racer Mini four wheel drive Japan Cup”. Many of the children were rushed to the venue (C) TAMIYA

Not a toy

 I wonder was born to do what is such a four wheel drive mini boom. But this condition to mention three in outline the factors.

 Not a toy, it was Tamiya.

 The four wheel drive mini series, Once “This toy is ……” from the beginning has been approach to the recipient and the like, adults might was evaluated as “it is well able to toy”, the boys of elementary school upper grades, which was the target It would have murmured as “do not need if toys”. Children hate to be treated as “children’s natural”.

 Tamiya’ve been game the adult to the other party to it, molded products of quality, design accuracy and durability of the drive train, the competition of the regulation and management of know-how, it poured as it is generous even for racer mini four-wheel drive believes that was a big factor to attain to differentiate itself from competitors. To certain manufacturers of the series was at that time hit product, but there is a case that had been using the recycled plastic, Tamiya is not any such thing. In addition, to clarify the difference between publicity and the AD (advertising), it was also conscious perhaps in that a child is not a “money of smell” is another of the elements that cause anaerobic.

Colo comic & Shogakukan grade magazine

 Be deployed in Colo comic, linked planning of [comic strip] + [Hobby] + [events] + [television program] is, from the elementary school, would some sort of form (hardness to grab firmly the middle upper grades of mind, especially at that time ) there is. In recent years, such as “Yokai Watch” and “Beyblade” I would hit on it.

 Even if there is no integration with the television program, for example, Takara (now Tomy) that appeared in 1982 in the “Choro Q” also, decoration to Intro graph, cartoon “Zeroyon Q bold” has been serialized, “Choro Q Certified Pentathlon “by, for example, is the event expanded, such as, went led to the explosive boom.

 In addition, grade magazine, literally in the media that can reach for each grade of elementary school, at the time there is a thing that has been provided to class library of each classroom of elementary school. Therefore, the height of what to say even if Kaidoku rate was Tanomoshika’. Because the magazines also make the planning that prospect a span of one year, for example, by putting the elements of the seasonal, softened in a good way the stoic of the Tamiya is controversial, easy-to-understand to children, can be deployed is planning to tell the well-friendly nuance It was.

Uniform and, in life-size, it provides continuous information

 For any product information in Tamiya, it provides uniformly in any medium, were uniformly interviews. Things like leaking a separate information on the particular media had done nothing.

 So that the people of the editing unit of the information providing destination of the medium and its responsible get to cook the Tamiya of the material until it interesting, did not disturb the stance that cooperation in all possible measures, if necessary. No fake, without the image effect, really or run on water and snow, or skip towards the sky, was pulling the vehicle. Thoroughly remodeled, the challenge of how much speed is put out, the effort results have been reflected in the realistic as it is to the magazine. The flip side, however was the only thing it.

 Also it is an example that people of the editing part and often a game of endurance race in the apt. I think such, also adults was go tell in life-size to the children of the readers whom a have become serious, and it one of the factors that led to the popularity.

 For this successful three factors, I want to mention in the next and subsequent more detailed thing.

Why does Tamiya continue to create high-quality products? An article from Yasuyuki Maeda

Source: ITmedia

maeda_pro120Author Yasuyuki Maeda
Ltd. Tamiya model Planning Department design room joined. Responsible for the approach and publicity to the various media in parallel with the same department of the business. Until March 1987 January to 1994, who is also the personality of the TV program “Tamiya RC Car Grand Prix”. Then, he enrolled in the Square (now Square Enix). Co., Ltd. Jay game founded in 2001, through the Rakuten, Inc., belonging to the company’s research and development department Akihabara Research Center as CHO (Chief hobby officer) of the Corporation UEI in 2012.

It was introduced last time about what four wheel drive mini boom is how happened, but the height of the product quality of Tamiya is its maker was one of the factors. So why is this time to make the product development having excellent Tamiya, I would like to touch on the background.

In the last of a series of articles , about what went finished in how the four wheel drive mini boom, was to talk about the behind-the-scenes from the point of view of one person concerned. “Not a toy, was Tamiya” One of the factors of success in it said that from.

So this time, high-quality and how the company is that Tamiya, and whether doing product development rich in creativity, I want to touch on the background.

Tamiya to culture creators

After joining in Tamiya, the Planning Department design room that I was assigned, was followed by assigned destination training and weekly challenges even after completion of the new employee training. The camera training of preparation for interviews and product photography, not only to the procedure of the shooting, the development of in the dark, solid grilled, is hammered to the paper baking. Weekly challenges, drawing + wash, lettering, had to submit a newspaper advertisement manuscript of Li layout, black-and-white photographs that were imposed a theme.


State at the time of the Tamiya Planning Department Design Office

The submission destination, as an advisor of the design room, produced the all design, such as package design from the star of the mark of the logo, Tamiya of ci (corporate identity) was established Tamiya Tokuotto (Masao Tamiya) ‘s teacher. If the challenge of the can’s not so good, but scolded been caught off pillar painfully, I was able to get injects its know-how and a sense in front of the eye, it is to be shown an interest in anticipation of a few steps away given the opportunity as “doing take a”, was a presence, such as a parent who then tries to stretch the talent of one person one person staff.

And direct relations between the apex and the base involved in the creative, depending on the environment to try to properly raise the working level, to the end of the field, “Tamiya design” is was going to be filled (emphasis).

Here, in addition to also super-realism of illustration that symbolizes the Tamiya of the product package is produced, slide mark production of and decal (seal to stick to the model immersed in water), a comprehensive catalog, document photo book, including the Tamiya news print of the original production and editing is performed. In addition, ID, such as a finish-up of RC cars and the four wheel drive mini body design (industrial design), have boasts also human resources in charge of the venue layout and display of such events and exhibitions, Tamiya product planning, print, promotional a set of artwork related to was the has worked consistently.


The author of the training work (lettering, drawing & wash)

Design room, mold making, wooden production, such as the workshop, artist management of other departments are also education from scratch in-house, there is also because the seniority of in a good way still remained, familiar to the range of craftsman framework, such as Ikeru and was equipped.

While it comes to framework incidentally, in the set factory to package the finished molded article (part), but he quality control room to inspect the deliverables from the molding plant in carton unit, scratches and dirt, as well as to the specimen and return all to point out the administrative state of the mold, even in only been traces of mold release agent, such as invisible and do not rely on a little light (after) is confirmed. This work is on the road that passes through in new employee training, the essence is injected to determine the molded article. Here, most of the employees he can be provided with the eyes to see severely the state.

Tamiya of branding, with the unlike it after that trying to build contemplates the brand, that has been established by the corporate culture and corporate qualities serving these stringent, some years while hear the status of the other companies and other industries it was realize the have passed.

As an aside, package illustrator of the design room for the author, it was one of the “star staff” in the department. In the first year rookie, every morning, also of white porcelain paint dish what tens of illustrator team has used the day before, put water, firmly wash the brush kind, tailored to each of the bench until the morning meeting of 7 hour 55 minutes from the start of apprentice task that leave had been the current natural. While continue this, there was also the date of thinking of such as “Will come the day when one day I also maker of package illustration?”. However, the stain on the body can not skill to keep up in less than half a year, is overwhelmed by the degree of perfection and speed of our predecessors that can work, had just sunk and confronted him. The author I was falling behind obviously.

Media support

Every Monday morning, the announcement by one staff (talk) had been imposed in the rotation. Document to be prepared with the topic, which were free as long as it is related to the design room of business and industry, and not well organized rookie nor uniform veteran, was shot down and plunged in the haste to Tamiya Tokuotto teacher It was.


Tamiya headquarters

The announcement of our predecessors, and what you want to share the trend of domestic and foreign third-party products, but discussion of concerns within the industry there were many, because the author of the rookie no stock of what knowledge, at the time of designer brands and daily necessities manufacturer of customer acquisition for goods, raking a novelty, verification of its aim and promotional effect, such as cited PR measures in the case of approach to the media If you find the new book magazine, did dare heresy proposals.

A period of time, was ordered to accompany the sales department responsible for the wholesale and secondary stores on a monthly basis. To understand the other companies’ product information and sales activities, because feedback towards the design room and design room has been obtained. Because now that can not be or take a quick in the smartphone so, while taking notes in a single-mindedly “sneak mode”, I had to copy the company’s product information (printed matter) to be supplied to the retail store.

In addition, other companies of the box plate of just negotiation has finished (Hakoita: package sample) and white box: borrowed until (Shirobako sample of products that are not contained in the makeup box), in Kikikon a wholesaler evaluation of each company’s products directly, the and report to the company by exposing the harvested tangible. Spy was just like. Not knowing you what is evaluated, was moving in the momentum to go pick up all the information that lying to wherever they go.

After a while, that was supposed to be in charge in parallel with the day-to-day business was a media support. Tamiya product of the shooting for the finished product was the Design Office jurisdiction. Because I was doing the window of the loan request from a variety of media, different like I thought, “that either work to be angry When you are broken?”. To create a smooth path to the media and editors team, was a work that dare to spread the dropped far from Tamiya of information.

Characterize and media strategy of products at the time of the toy maker had waged also was envious a concern for me. NES (game), while that was also gradually beginning the movement of media strategy, media strategy of Tamiya is poor, and I’m lost in this industry to be able to expose the same about the model in the same table as toys and NES, cocky even It was arbitrarily considered.

Classic media strategy and RC Car

So First of all, we started from the relationships making the model professional journals and RC car magazine with a friendship for a long time. Especially in Ida Akiraro’s “Model Art” (current chairman), nothing thanks to the author in the publishing situation was also taught me to frankly speaking also edit circumstances did not know, various theory went down to off.

Next, in the production that you want to edit the mook, such as Encyclopedia series, which had been published in another genre of hobby (this in the middle of the magazine and book), because the movement of the information is accumulated new book is released was remarkable , it poured into the news and often Oho. And, and high hobby planning and affinity magazine, and will be able to directly approach the models and radio control to personally favorite editors, is asked to directly touch the pre-launch of the finished product handling the impression in the publicity frame which I was asked. This is soon, will become a model of the finished product tailored to the special features of the medium (modifications) and diorama was manufactured by Tamiya side, it to be come true-depth collaboration, such as the magazine deployment.


Tamiya RC car “Wild Willy”

In the barter of the report article, provides a test kit of pre-launch of the RC car to publishers such as a plurality of automobile magazine, each editorial department get Kyoji to race over the Pride “press against race” is also around this time I was planning to expand from. Result is also rising tension of the editing work as was good publisher, it was found that going up to ensure interest in models and RC car in the editorial department.

Model = There were also purely show planning that it is a display …, more active RC car also in pictorial is uke is well, began to get even treat high interest as a target for coverage. Until Shizuoka Tamiya circuit came to be commonplace done also get interviewed by expedition. At this point in time, but not lead to to get an direct impact on the elementary school students and young adults of the market, compared to up to it, the exposure of information about the Tamiya RC car has increased dramatically. It started see a popular swell to the RC car in the market, also increases the image as a main product of Tamiya, will lead also to the airing of the TV program “RC Car Grand Prix” (October 1984 ~).

Equity bill does not, such as infrastructure, such as can be news delivered in person. Author as one person in charge of the manufacturers, and to bring the information before the public hear the various editing part, many will be welcomed to tolerance, Ya opinion to the products that which mixes the publishing industry and the editing of the circumstances It began to get let the request. By moving more to steady the propagation of product information to take an appointment to the publisher, it was also often was era what you get.

It had become “Mikawaya” of Tamiya

It will be public relations department also Propaganda Department is at the time of Tamiya, began to use the author goes on for a while so as to visit the publisher and its affiliates and the business card seems to it that the “publicity department design room”. Because it was a classic publicity activities such as to Oho to multiple editing unit as efficiently as possible in the business trip of the day, to Tokyo from Shizuoka, multiplied by the RC car bag of finished goods entering the shoulder, lower the material set in both hands Shinkansen I got into. Many case, business trip became the pace of two to three times a week.

Despite the suggestive business card, because it does not ask them to grasp any Nante advertising budget, with a pure publicity that you disconnected all the AD (advertising), how to “model” to effectively expose, each of the readership I was struggling or get interested in.

Of course, or it is Monzenbarai at the stage of the approach, as soon as I found that not a story of pre-neatly even each other to convey the purpose advertising, was also or is leave hit the suddenly tongue. There were various, contact with many who have publisher editing, publicity, from the members of the ad, that to be able to know ask the marketing measures and the know-how of the media by (another target), it has been useful even now there are many.

On the other hand, from the editor-in-chief of a magazine there was a thing called “It seems Mr. Mikawaya”. Rather than was called in the trade name of the Kabuki actor to see the face, was the meaning of the order-taker. With the understanding all of here purpose, is Rowa a thing survive more than advertising, it was told me to come in every month regularly. It became a word to tackle with confidence to this work.

In fact, intended there AD by Ki of collaboration was same cross-sectional. It does not stand also reason to produce cooperation if it is not planning of the editorial department the main drive, if advertising odor is applied to the planning of the Hobby genre, because good in both image had been considered not to arrive. Tamiya had done a planned advertising in the timing and the medium to put out, but the production cooperation multiplied by the cost far greater than the amount in terms of advertising costs had many times. Even in the publicity, it did not rather pull out the hand.

Would recall with but, at the time of these activities in Tokyo, 9:00 in the morning out of the Shizuoka Place the luggage contained in the Tokyo advertising agency, was there to base. Return is usually not ride in the final of the bullet train, now was a pattern to get to 26 o’clock in Shizuoka on the other missing Tokaido Line Ogaki bound for. When I missed in it, Have put on the car of the editor of the automobile magazine called the next day there is a coverage at Suzuka, was sometimes get down in Shizuoka Inter dawn. Anyway, had to be the office is also in 55 minutes at 7 what happened.

If a request or response from the Oho destination of the editorial department and the editor is fed back to the soon Tamiya Tokuotto teacher, flew instructed as one after another arrow. Directive to other departments flew. Heavy internal adjustment to underling, such as the author, which joined to Less than many years, became often get moving with the entire design room. Imperceptibly “publicity” is the other departments, the company, went involved.

Against this backdrop, RC car, and fateful encounter that leads to a big hit of the racer mini four-wheel drive came after. (to be continued)

Flashback Friday – Tamiya 1969 Apollo Models – Lunar Spacecraft, Command Module & Lunar Module

Source and more

July 20, 1969, the human race at the Apollo 11 stood for the first time month. Just 30 years since then, let’s introduce the memorable kit. The world’s first space flight success of Soviet Gagarin astronaut, President Kennedy was impatience. What remains there is no support, “the United States is committed to! To return to and safely stand a man on the moon in the 1960s,” I had declared. February 1966, the rocket of the Apollo program will start is complete experiment. But next January 1967, astronaut occur accident on the ground test of the Apollo 1 are all dead, you will stumble from the beginning. October 1968 after a review of the significant planning, manned test flight is resumed by the Apollo 7, will head to the moon in the Apollo 8. It topped for the first time the atmosphere in the human race, through the success of Apollo 8, which was traveling around the splendid around the moon, finally July 1969, the human race at the Apollo 11 is to stand on the moon. It is President Kennedy said, “the 1960s” was the last chance. Just real-time in the United States as well, took place is very Apollo boom in Japan.

Plastic industry various kit just to be among good company as “Apollo” and the name is sell it with from each manufacturer comes out into the world. Meanwhile, Tamiya news Vol. 18 on the inside front cover of the (1969 / November) for the “importance as a wake-up call and science model teaching materials to the simplistic model of” message rests, that Tamiya confidently awaited was spun off this kit is. Was that just after 2 months from the success of Apollo 11. The Apollo series There are three types. It is the “command ship”, “lander” and the combined two “spacecraft”. Scale 1/70, but I think that it ought to have to 1/72 if anyway at that time it seems did not worry too much. The exact scale down is of course that, but the troubled is Tamiya is power gimmick is the mainstream at the time. In order to reproduce the movement in space, I chose the form of a ceiling hanging flight. Command ship body in a built-in RE-14 motor, it was with a small propeller of transparent acrylic plate to protrude the shaft to the rear. Of course, even when combined with the lander is possible “flight”. Command ship is ¥ 300 of the single item, lander is ¥ 250, but does not match the calculation for a moment in this spaceship is ¥ 700, which coalesced, exhibition and the distal end portion of the Saturn 5 rocket, named space craft is here table marked with. Probably you can see those who have seen the movie “Apollo 13,” but, for the success of Apollo 11 was just too sensational, then interest of the people will go away from the rapidly Apollo program. Model industry just as it is, this kit is also what makes the production stopped in 1971. Just life for two years, contrary to perfection as a model, also because “no longer sell” seems to have been fatal. But also look at the current eye proportions and the moon diorama base of “lander” is I think sufficient pass, age did not allow it.

As an aside 1/100 space shuttle will be launched in February 1979, after 10 years, initially contrary to this also great can seems did not sell as much model. However become a topic ironically to at the time of the accident and Japanese astronaut et al., Of the 1986 Challenger it seems to have quite sold. This such as reflection and science and technology model sales to easy manufacturing stop learned in Apollo will be felt Shunsaku president’s policy of social obligations as a model maker. This is It is a reason to go to the heat-resistant tiles of genuine Japanese version of the space shuttle HOPE. But a chance to even the day falls on a hapless kit of this Apollo came to after 25 years. In 1995, the movie “Apollo 13”, which boasts a huge hit. Came out in the movie is exactly in that this kit, it says that there is talk of limiting resale in Tamiya house was up course. But pain unfortunately die violently part, resale has been shelved. Or the other of you think that a significant number were sold if this time sold about you ?? As can be resold in the resale impossible and said the 1/12 roller T-70 also refurbishment also sorely is mold, I think that can not somehow Apollo resale can be what this year’s 30th anniversary (1999)?