TOMY CORPORATION • TAKARA USA
Established in 1955 and first listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 1991, Takara Corp. is a Japanese responsible for introducing many “firsts” to the toy industry. Throughout the years, Takara has carved out its own niche by specializing in the creation of innovativeand “lifestyle” products like the hugely successful Beyblade, Transformers, Penny Racers and e-Kara karaoke, and through advanced research and development, continually seeking to challenge the limits of present-day technology. Takara is committed to pushing boundaries and bringing the “impossible” within reach, as seen in products like the groundbreaking “Bowlingual” and Q-Car, a life-size Penny Racer. Exploring new ways for both children and adults to have fun, Takara has also created a new “life entertainment” market with the introduction of products that spark the imagination and change the way we “play.”
In 2000, Takara Corp. president Keita Sato pioneered the creation of the “life entertainment” category after observing the shipwrecks of other companies that had been "…shackled by their existing markets, sales channels and fixed ideas," impeding further growth. While the impetus to expand into a "life entertainment" category was an effort to reach new markets and consumers, it also reflected a desire to move beyond the traditional concept of designingfor children to create products that would enlighten, amuse, educate and fascinate. Accordingly, all products designed under the "life entertainment" rubric must meet certain criteria - the products must be unique, have an element of fantasy and bring fun into the everyday lives of both adults and children. Takara sustains this creative vision in an environment that nurtures innovation and inspiration by actively encouraging the exchange of ideas among employees at all levels.
Takara’s "life entertainment" products have already delighted consumers in Japan with the introduction of the Tu, a motorized folding bicycle which functions as both bicycle and motorized cycle and the U, a single-seater electric car, both from Choro-Q Motors Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Takara Co., Ltd.. Both products follow the introduction of the's highly successful Q-Car, an electric single-seater convertible that is roughly one-third the size of a standard car and is modeled along the lines of a Penny Racer, Takara's appealingly cartoonish children's toy car. Still other “life entertainment” products available in Japan include the Aquaroids, a line of robotic, voice-activated fish, jellyfish, turtles and an ammonite and a helium-powered dirigible called The Sky Ship.
In the United States, the introduction of the Bowlingual, a device that translates into English a dog’s barks and body language through voice print analysis, follows on the heels of the already successful e-Kara karaoke, a popular home karaoke unit which simply plugs into a television set. In the years ahead, Takara looks forward to introducing new products to delight and amaze, reshaping how we think and how we play.