Tomy

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Tomy Company, Ltd.
株式会社タカラトミー
Type Public
Traded as TYO: 7867
Industry Toys, Video games, Baby & Pre-school products, Children's Apparel
Founded March 1, 2006 (Former Tomy, 1924; Takara, 1955)
Headquarters 7-9-10, Tateishi, Katsushika, Tokyo, Japan
Key people Kantaro Tomiyama
(President and CEO)
Products Details
Revenue Decrease¥159,490 million (FY 2010–2011)[1]
Operating income Steady¥10,327 million (FY 2010–2011)[1]
Net income Steady¥8,929 million (FY 2010–2011)[1]
Total assets Decrease¥94,597 million (FY 2010–2011)[1]
Total equity Increase¥48,744 million (FY 2010–2011)[1]
Employees 667 (As of March 31, 2011)[2]
Subsidiaries Tatsunoko Production
Tomytec
Website Tomy Global
Japan
United States
United Kingdom
France
Germany
China

Tomy Company, Ltd. (株式会社タカラトミー Kabushikigaisha takaratomī kabushikigaisha?, Takara Tomy) is a Japanese toy, children's merchandise and entertainment company created from the merger of two companies:  Tomy (founded in 1924 as Tomiyama, changing the name to Tomy in 1963[3]) and long-time rival Takara (founded in 1955).[3] Merged on 1 March 2006, the company has its headquarters in Katsushika, Tokyo.[4]

History and corporate name[edit]

The former TAKARA TOMY logo used primarily in Japan until 2013.

The decision to use the Tomy name in English, yet the Takara-Tomy name in Japanese, was made for pragmatic reasons. Tomy has built considerable brand recognition internationally, particularly in the area of infant and preschool products, where brand trust is very important. On the other hand, most of Takara's international hit products (Microman, Transformers, Battle Beasts, Beyblade, B-Daman, et al.) have been sold and branded by other companies, most notably, Hasbro. Therefore, going through the costly process of registering and or changing the company name in all the countries where Tomy does business would have been expensive and unproductive. Thus, with the merged company's international subsidiaries continuing to use the Tomy name, it seemed appropriate to keep a domestic English name which matched that of the international subsidiaries.

Editorial policies of many Western (English language) business publications is to ignore "merger" declarations and declare one company to be bought by another, often by splitting hairs over the number of board members, etc. Therefore, in much of the English media, the Takara-Tomy merger was characterized as a "take-over" of Takara by Tomy. This assumption was made easier by the adoption of only the Tomy name in English. It is true that several years of losses had put Takara in a financially weakened state at the time of the merger. On the other hand, Takara did in fact have significantly higher sales than Tomy for three years preceding the merger. Yet it is common knowledge that, over the years, the management of Takara and Tomy, which were located less than a kilometer apart in Tokyo and had respectfully competed with each other as they grew side-by-side into world-class toy companies, had discussed merging several times, including times when Takara appeared stronger. Thus, ultimately, philosophically, culturally and legally under Japanese corporate law, the companies agreed to merge on an equal basis.

There has been much post-merger speculation on the control of brands such as Transformers now being with Tomy vs. Takara. Much of this arises due to the new use of the English "TOMY" copyright on all packaging, including former Takara brands shipped by Hasbro. This is simply the natural result of the practical decision to use only the Tomy name in English. In fact, internally, where 99% of the employees are Japanese and speak mainly Japanese, there is only one company, known in Japanese as "Takara-Tomy," and almost all internal departments have a healthy mix of management from both former companies. The fact that the English name is "Tomy" bears little relevance for most employees.

In Japan, Takara-Tomy continues to use the former Tomy and Takara names as distinct brand names on toy lines which originated in each company, but most new toy lines or stand-alone products carry the new Takara-Tomy brand. Staple toy lines from each company are continuing, in many cases gaining synergy from the co-marketing of each other's properties. This merger gave the combined company near parity in domestic (Japan) toy market share to domestic rival Bandai.

Takara purchased a majority stake in Tatsunoko Production in June 2005. The studio then became a complete subsidiary of Takara Tomy, following the March 2006 merger.[5] In 2006, Tomy UK launched a website where consumers can buy directly from Tomy's catalogue online.[6]

In early 2011, Takara Tomy acquired RC2 Corporation and RC2 sub-brand, Learning Curve, which included The First Years, Lamaze, and Compass.

Products[edit]

The Tomy Pocket Game Shooting Gallery was manufactured in 1978.[7]
The Tomy Pocket Game Obstacle Course was manufactured in 1979.[7]

The merged company has manufactured a broad range of products based on its own properties which include, from the Tomy side, Tomica, Plarail, Zoids, Idaten Jump, Nohohon Zoku Hidamari no Tami (aka Sunshine Buddies) and Tomy branded baby care products such as baby monitors, carriers etc.; and from the Takara side, there are Space Pets, Choro-Q (aka Penny Racers), Transformers, B-Daman, Licca-chan, Koeda-chan (aka Treena) and Microman (aka Micronauts). The merged TOMY also produces and/or sells a wide variety of toy and game brands under license, such as Thomas & Friends, Disney, Pokémon, Naruto, The Game of Life (aka Jinsei Game), Rockman (aka Megaman), Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, Kirarin Revolution, Sugar Bunnies and Animal Crossing. Tomy's rights to these licenses vary by region.

One of the first examples of product synergy for the merged company was the combining of Takara's Jinsei Game (Game of Life) license and Tomy's Pokémon license to produce a Pokémon Jinsei Game.

Tomy UK was founded in 1982 for sale and distribution of Tomy products in Europe, and has brought toys such as Zoids and a variety of games like Pop-up Pirate to the West with great success. Tomy UK's slogan has traditionally been "Trust Tomy".

Tomy sells many products worldwide, including baby and pre-school toys, baby monitors, mechanical and electronic games, consumer electronics, children's arts and crafts products, and a vast range of toys suited to girls or boys. They make a large selection of Disney, Pokémon and Thomas the Tank Engine merchandise. They also publish videogames in Japan (mostly based on Zoids and Naruto anime series), and are responsible for the distribution of some Hasbro products in Japan, such as Play-Doh, Jenga and Monopoly. The company was formerly responsible for distribution of the My Little Pony products in Japan before Bushiroad acquired the distribution rights to them starting with the franchise's Friendship Is Magic line (though the animated television series was owned by Hasbro).

They merged with Takara shortly before the bankruptcy of the mentioned company.

List of notable products[edit]

The Tomy Blip was a mechanical Pong handheld released in the '70s.

Video games[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]