A manufacturer of electronic and mechanical toys, established in Japan in 1924. Responsible for a huge variety of ultra-cool products in the 1980s, including Screwball Scramble, Aargh, Popup Pirate, mechanised Pachinko-style pocket games, Zoids, and of course the Tomy robots. These ranged from wind-up keychain-sized things to hulking motorised R2D2-alikes, replete with remote controls, sensors, tape decks, articulated limbs and voice control. Against the all-conquering onslaught of videogames and the dwindling of interest in robotics, Tomy have focussed instead on toys for younger children. Their range now includes deplorable rip-offs of Buckaroo and Operation!

It is tempting to think that if they had continued to focus on robots, they would almost certainly have managed to construct a complete, sentient android indistinguishable from a human by now. Their japanese site has a museum section describing all of their products since the 1950s: www.tomy.com

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