Takara Co Ltd (toy manufacturer)



2015-06-26 10:51:09

Takara Co Ltd was a Japanese toy manufacturer founded in 1955. It today exists as Takara Tomy Co., Ltd after merging with fellow prominent toy company, Tomy, on 1st March 2006.

The company had – and as Takara Tomy still has - strong relationships with Hasbro. The latter has distributed Takara's hit products such as Transformers, Beyblade, e-Kara and Battle B-Daman internationally.

The Takara brand originated in Osaka, Japan in 1955. In 1957, Osaka’s Takara Belmont Co expanded into the US toys market.

Company history

Action Man

The G.I. Joe figure was released in 1964 and licensed to UK company Palitoy who renamed it Action Man. Palitoy in-turn sub-licensed it to Takara.


Designer Kojin Ohno started his career at Takara, working on the Microman and Diaclone toy lines which would later become one of the inspirations for Transformers. Mr Ohno created Sunstreaker, considered the first “car to robot transforming toy”.

Ohno takes great pride in being the person who designed the largest Transformers toy from Generation 1: Fortress Maximus.

He also helped design toys for both live action Transformer movies.

While working as an editor for Marvel Comics in 1983, Bob Budiansky named and wrote the personality profiles for most of the first 20 or so Transformers characters.

Both men were inducted into the Transformers Hall of Fame by Hasbro in 2010.

Battle Beasts

In 1984, Battle Beast were created by Takara. Kojin Ohno was also instrumental in the introduction of Beast Wars Transformers for the Japanese market.

Tomy Takara still owns the worldwide rights to the property. The toy’s heyday was during the period when it was licensed to Hasbro for distribution outside of Japan, with Hasbro making toys in America and elsewhere.

Although the toys were marketed as a spin-off of Transformers by Takara in the Japanese market – even named BeastFormers - heir tie-in to the Transformers universe was not part of the Hasbro’s marketing. Four series were released overall, with the fourth renamed Laser Beasts.

Merger with Tomy

Takara and Tomy’s merger became effective on 1st March 2006 after prior announcement on May 13, 2005. The company’s were Japan's second and third-largest toy makers, respectively. Gamespot UK reported that the merger would “create Japan’s fourth largest toy and game group, with combined sales of 189.7 billion yen ($1.79 billion).”

Nikkei Journal reported that Takara and Tomy planned to create a content-development firm that will explore online distribution of toy-themed software.

Notable sales

A pair of original Getter-1 and Geag Superhero Figures with original boxes sold at Morphy Auctions in Pennsylvania, United States, for $350 on 30th March 2006. Measuring 8” and 9”, the figures were made by made by Popy and Takara Japan.

An "American Doll" Barbie by Takara from the Hiromichi Nakano collection appeared for sale at McMasters Harris Auction Co of Columbus, Ohio, United States, in December 2008. With blonde hair, blue eyes and a “stylish ensemble” it sold for $350.

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