TAMIYA is without any doubt one of the most acknowledged brands in modelism world. Just a few brands have reached their level of excellence andhave remained on the top for so long time.
Tamiya, the most popular and influent hobby brand in the world, was born in Japan in 1946 (Shizuoka City), a country drown by the defeat in the Second World War. Its founder, Yoshio Tamiya, opens a sawmill in order to transform and distribute wood in a market in need of building materials, with the name Tamiya Shoji & Co.
Only two years after, the brand developes and sells its first models, great quality scale wood boats , starting then the path that gave it worldwide fame. The succes was so big, that, in the early 50s, Yoshio Tamiya decided to close the sawmill (after an accidental fire) and focus on scale model production. Those years the ship modelling market was increasing and the business grew up quickly.
In 1960, the brand takes a new step, manufacturing its first plastic model, the japanesse battleship Yamato. Few months after, they introduce their first 1/35 scale plastic model, a german Panther from the Second World War. This is how was born, almost casually, the most standard scale in militar modelling.
As recalled Shunsaku Tamiya in his book ''Master Modeler: Creating the Tamiya Style'':
"After the success of the Panther, I thought it would be a good idea for us to produce other tanks from different countries in the same scale. I measured the Panther and it turned out to be about 1/35 of the size of the original. This size had been chosen simply because it would accommodate a couple of B-type batteries. Tamiya's 1/35 series tanks eventually got to be known around the world, but this is the slightly haphazard origin of their rather awkward scale."
Soon, Tamiya models had a great acceptation between the modellers, being considered a quality and fidelity guaranteed product. His motto is a great reflection of it: “First in Quality Around the World”. In the late 60s and early 70s, Tamiya began to assemble car, motorbike and truck models, without leaving the militar thing.
The year 1976 arrived with a new succes for the company and for the hobby world in general, wiith the launching of Porsche 934 Turbo, the first radiocontrol model made by Tamiya. This is how the RC departament was born in the company, still being a reference company nowadays.
The eighties decade was the great commercial expansion time for the company. First they built the building which is still today the head quarters In Shizouka (Japan), and then its delegation in USA (Los Angeles) and Europe (Germany). In that time, the company takes its current name: Tamiya Inc. Corporation.
But it is in the year 1982 when Tamiya startsthe production of its one of the most succesfull lines: Mini 4WD Vehicles. The succes of these not radio controlled engine vehicles was so big that thirteen years later they reached the number of one hundred milllion sold units... incredible but true!
In the ninetees, they moved most part of the industrial production to Philipines, a country which will be very important in the recent history of the brand. The factory in Cebu has an extension of four hectares and it employees more than a thousand workers. From there, they produce more than the 90% of the models and RC cars from the Tamiya Catalog, which end up in the hands of modellers allover the world. Of course, before entering the distribution chain (importers and shops), the production goes to Japan, where it is distributed.
Tamiya enters in the XXI Century as one of the biggest modelling manufacturers in the world. In november of 2000 they introduce the "Tamiya Fair", which has become a reference modellers meeting, and which, in its last edition, had around 25.000 visitors. They also started the production of 1/16 scale RC tanks, with the model Tiger I, which caused great impact with its realistic movements, sounds and "fire" capability.
In 2015 is released the most spectacular and crazy project from the brand, the Mini "4WD Aero Avante", manufactured in 1/1 scale.
And that is how we get to the present, with Shunsaku Tamiya as president of Tamiya since 2017, with the mission of keeping the "family" enterprise on the top. The "Tamiya Standard" is still today, maybe more than ever, a reflection of the huge reputation that this brand has between the modellers from allover the world, reaching through the years an incredible care of its designs and fabrication.
The evolution of the Tamiya logo is also a reflection of its own growing and modernization. We can split in 4 ages, some of them overlap, because different logos coexisted depending on the production line that they were identified by.
1. The first age goes from 1953 to 1960, and it is the time when they only produced wood models, and its corporative image was represented by the earth globe with the acronym TMK (Tamiya Models Material in Japaneese).
2. With the launching of the first plastic kit in 1960, (the Yamato that we menctioned before), the design team developed a new logo that would be used for the first time on the box of this naval model. We can already find the two stars that remained as brand image. A red line on the exterior side joining to a black vertical bar on the left side, pretending to draw a P (plastic, refering to the new production line with this material).
3. At the same time, it appears an ephemeral logo linked exclusivly to slot models line, that remained untill 1968, on it we can see the Tamiya name in katakana writing.
4. In 1966 they created the logo that remains untill nowadays, and that unificates all the fabriction lines of the company. Still today, more than 50 years after, it shows a fresh and current image, proving that it was a right choose.
Nowadays, Tamiya keeps on its extended catalog different production lines. Now we are going to list some of the most popular.
- SATIC MODELLING.
- KIDS SERIES, TOOLS, PAINTS AND PUBLICATIONS.
Being Tamiya as it is, a referent in static modelling world, its importance and presence in "El taller del Modelista" is more than justified.
In our online catalog you can find the most part of the references from the military models or civil vehicles from Tamiya, except the RC models, that for now we are not working with them. We also distribute the acrylic paints and sprays, with an excellent quality, as well as the complemets for the assembling and finishing the models, like glue, masking tape, sandpapper, primer, wash and barnish.
On this link you can find all the Tamiya products on our catalog.