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Jorgen

Tamiya production Japan vs. Phillippines

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Does anyone know when Tamiya moved their production from Japan to the Philippines?

I guess all the Re-res are made in the Philippines?

Cant find any info online

And is there a difference in quality from back then and now?

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This had been discussed before a year or so ago and it got a bit heated. 

Suggest you take a look at this.

https://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/china.htm

Also, from my personal experience in the static world, some of the best kits these days are from China.

Having said that, I had a rere Frog and am kind of disappointed with its quality, but that is due to tired old moulds more than anything else. 

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6 hours ago, Jorgen said:

Does anyone know when Tamiya moved their production from Japan to the Philippines?

I guess all the Re-res are made in the Philippines?

Cant find any info online

And is there a difference in quality from back then and now?

Tamiya plant factory in Cebu has been up since the early 90s.

https://www.tamiya.com/english/tamiya/tamiya_02.htm

Not everything is made in the Philippines, some still remain made in Japan.

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I verified just now that my recent Egress black is still made in Japan.  

 

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Sounds like premium products are still being made in japan. (Which i find it interesting because Casio actually does the same thing. High-end products are still made in japan, but mid-low tier ones are made in thailand / china)

Though my cc-01 Amarok is made in Japan (Not sure when it was manufactured, but not recent for sure).

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28 minutes ago, Sogogi said:

Sounds like premium products are still being made in japan. (Which i find it interesting because Casio actually does the same thing. High-end products are still made in japan, but mid-low tier ones are made in thailand / china)

Though my cc-01 Amarok is made in Japan (Not sure when it was manufactured, but not recent for sure).

Yeah, my MR-G/MT-G/GravityMaster are made in Japan.. :D   so are my 1:1 Subaru’s .. I guess.  However my Toyota made in Austria.. :ph34r:

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I've just checked a few kits I have close to hand:

Japan: Monster Beetle, Tope Force Evo, TD2 Astute

Phillipines: Blitzer Beetle, Saint Dragon, Wild One Blockhead

I was expecting the TD2 and Evo to be Japanese, but the Monster Beetle surprised me.

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As long as they are built to spec all is good, I like the built in Japan though.

 

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20 hours ago, alvinlwh said:

This had been discussed before a year or so ago and it got a bit heated. 

Suggest you take a look at this.

https://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/china.htm

Also, from my personal experience in the static world, some of the best kits these days are from China.

Having said that, I had a rere Frog and am kind of disappointed with its quality, but that is due to tired old moulds more than anything else. 

What disappointed you with the quality of the frog?

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3 hours ago, Willy iine said:

Yeah, my MR-G/MT-G/GravityMaster are made in Japan.. :D   so are my 1:1 Subaru’s .. I guess.  However my Toyota made in Austria.. :ph34r:

So you are a gshock fan! Hehe

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4 hours ago, Sogogi said:

Sounds like premium products are still being made in japan. (Which i find it interesting because Casio actually does the same thing. High-end products are still made in japan, but mid-low tier ones are made in thailand / china)

Though my cc-01 Amarok is made in Japan (Not sure when it was manufactured, but not recent for sure).

When I worked at Honda, we made Civic Type Rs here in the UK and shipped them to Japan to be sold there. They even had a little Union Jack on the back as it was somehow seen as being  a good thing for it to be UK made!

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1 hour ago, graemevw said:

What disappointed you with the quality of the frog?

 

21 hours ago, alvinlwh said:

that is due to tired old moulds more than anything else. 

Now, if you do not understand what the above means, well, tired old plastic moulds tends to wear out and become less "precise", leading to two halves being "off", and the parts having flash. It is most often with static models where the same moulds are being sold off to a different company and continued to be used to produce kits. Which is why some companies, when they produce new kits of a subject that they had produced before will clearly advertise "new mould" on their packaging.

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4 hours ago, alvinlwh said:

It is most often with static models where the same moulds are being sold off to a different company and continued to be used to produce kits.

haha yeah, I swear some are still using molds 50-60yrs old inherited from companies the parent company swallowed up in The Great Niche Modelkit Manufacturer Extinction last decade. 
 

That said, have handled more than fair share of rere & OG Frogs - can’t say T’s plastic moldings have degenerated to any noticeable extent. I still have a rere kit from first batch (2005?); LHSes just got restocked with Frogs again in oz so I assume the factory has pumped out a fresh lot recently.

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I don't know about the quality of the plastics used in the re-re kits, but to me they feel a bit waxy and a little softer compared to the originals.
There has been a bit more flashing than I was used to but the precision was still there.

Off the top of my head I have a Monster Beetle, Frog, Fox and Wild One re-re's.

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5 hours ago, WillyChang said:

haha yeah, I swear some are still using molds 50-60yrs old inherited from companies the parent company swallowed up in The Great Niche Modelkit Manufacturer Extinction last decade. 
 

That said, have handled more than fair share of rere & OG Frogs - can’t say T’s plastic moldings have degenerated to any noticeable extent. I still have a rere kit from first batch (2005?); LHSes just got restocked with Frogs again in oz so I assume the factory has pumped out a fresh lot recently.

Tamiya does that themselves as well, throw in a few new bits and rebox it, but the core of the kit is still from 1972.

https://www.scalemates.com/kits/tamiya-35283-88mm-gun-flak-36--133246

Regarding the Frog, it is more of an expectation thing. Perhaps I am a new comer to this hobby and had started off with modern kits before building the Frog so seeing the difference is jaring. 

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10 hours ago, Elbowloh said:

it was somehow seen as being  a good thing for it to be UK made!

It is a far East/Asian thing (I am Asian) to hold western made cars in higher regard, until they had experienced a Rover/MG. 

The only good Rover that I had was called a Concerto. This was of course like 2 decades ago and I am not sure about the UK Civics quality though.

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13 hours ago, alvinlwh said:

 

Now, if you do not understand what the above means, well, tired old plastic moulds tends to wear out and become less "precise", leading to two halves being "off", and the parts having flash. It is most often with static models where the same moulds are being sold off to a different company and continued to be used to produce kits. Which is why some companies, when they produce new kits of a subject that they had produced before will clearly advertise "new mould" on their packaging.

I understand that, I just didn't see any problems with the rere frog I built recently, or the other orv kits I built about 8 years ago. They seemed identical to my vintage monster beetle.

 

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3 hours ago, alvinlwh said:

It is a far East/Asian thing (I am Asian) to hold western made cars in higher regard, until they had experienced a Rover/MG. 

The only good Rover that I had was called a Concerto. This was of course like 2 decades ago and I am not sure about the UK Civics quality though.

Yeah, i do kind of get it (Mini's being cool too). I'm only half Asian (half Chinese-malaysian).

It's just that having worked in the factory, i know how bad some of the work was. My job was to do quality investigations into any cars that came off the production line that had A-Grade faults (won't start, won't stop, won't turn, catches fire!).

Having said that, the Type-Rs for the Japan market did seem to get an extra level attention to care!

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7 hours ago, Elbowloh said:

Chinese-malaysian

Going off topic now, but my wife is Chinese Malaysian.

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21 hours ago, alvinlwh said:

 

Now, if you do not understand what the above means, well, tired old plastic moulds tends to wear out and become less "precise", leading to two halves being "off", and the parts having flash.

 

8 hours ago, graemevw said:

I understand that, I just didn't see any problems with the rere frog I built recently, or the other orv kits I built about 8 years ago. They seemed identical to my vintage monster beetle.

While Tamiya does likely re-use some of their molds, they are updated and changed over time as well.  In the case of the rere frog, almost all plastic parts have physical differences from the original.  Is this a new mold then, or just a change?  Hard to say.

With some molds, it's easier to see where they have just changed aspects (i.e. removing the "Made In Japan" logo, adding a material designation stamp, etc), while keeping most of it the same.

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I'll add that I've always felt (even originally) the ORV moldings were a little less...impressive shall we say, than later, more complex ones like the Hotshot. I just chalked it up to the earliness of its plastic design. Before the ORV, I think only the Wild Willy series and Holiday Buggy series of vehicles used mostly plastic chassis components. Most of the other earlier off-roaders relied on diecast. In fact,  in close study, I think the quality of the moldings (or rather how they were designed to be neater) went up from just the Frog to the Grasshopper and dramatically so to the Hotshot. There's still a lot of stamped metal in the ORVs where Tamiya might have surmised plastic wouldn't do. Inexperience I guess. The ORVs always seemed transitional to me from diecast to all plastic.

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