Without Tamiya, I don’t believe I’d be the designer am I today – Here’s how & why I am just so grateful to the little ‘toy makers’ from Japan

We can never forget the things that have shaped us, moulded us and inspired us

I was instantly drawn to making my own model cars as young as 7 years old, I would venture into what was known in my family as “The Model Shop” I loved all things small and detailed, and Tamiya seemed to me to be the ultimate in construction toys

Tamiya had the best artwork on the box – Even the Tamiya Branding was cool, everything about Tamiya was cool…

I was officially obsessed. My love affair would last until girls, music, graffiti, photography and art school became more important. Yet here I am and, yes I am a grown man with a small Tamiya collection in my workshop, alongside all the real cars. I can say today that Tamiya has been one of the greatest influences on of my childhood, an influence that has endured. I became a Creative Director because of my commitment to ‘making things‘ this undoubtedly came from all those hours spent in the Tamiya world – A world of amazing artwork, stunning information design,  attention to detail and above all else a real sense of fun. I believe we all learn more when we are actually enjoying ourselves – I learned more from Tamiya than I could have possibly ever imagined

Again I have to thank my Father, for Tamiya…

I started off with small, simple 1:25 scale electrically powered beach buggies and off-road trucks. These made more sense to me as they were capable of running about in the garden. Very quickly I realised that although a great lesson, ultimately every single one of these simple kits never survived…

Almost as soon as the first “test drive” was completed – work started on modifying…

This always involved my Father, he had more knowledge and a workshop full of “things”. These things were, soldering irons, nickel cadmium batteries and a very mischevious way about him

We set about fitting the ‘Ni-Cads’ as I used to call them, in parallel, not series as dictated by the instructions. This I have to say was a one-run mission – The buggy went off like “a two bob rocket” to quote my grandfather at the time. The buggy sprinted up our gravel drive, through a flower bed and into a small tree. Where it proceeded to chew up its plastic gearbox and melt all the wires in the battery box fusing the batteries together as one big mess

It was glorious, and it fucking ripped, it ripped itself apart – I was enthralled! the still smouldering chassis held aloft as a triumph of a Father and Sons ingenious shenanigans!

Not long after that it was my birthday, and my very first 1:10 scale remote control Tamiya, Yep I had earned my slot, I had finally graduated to the big boy club. All alloy constriction, brass gearbox and a world of aftermarket bolt-on “hop ups” – Modification heaven. This was the first of many Tamiyas shelves and shelves of them….

Even now, every Christmas I take time out and build myself a Tamiya kit. This helps me no end, it’s a great leveller – a reset button. It keeps me grounded – focused on what helped me get to where I am today. It’s with gratitude for who I was as a child and acceptance of myself as the man I have become – That’s why I build

Again I have to thank my Father (and of course mum too) they believed in me, and importantly could see that Tamiya was a great influence on me. My Father really encouraged me, to learn through experience – Tamiya was and still is to this day – Without a doubt – Tamiya, I don’t believe I’d be the designer am I today – I am just so grateful to the little ‘toy makers’ from Japan

 

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