In case you didn’t know, Choro-Q’s Qsteer range of mini remote controlled racers are a cult in Japan for Japanese kids and adults alike. What they do is, they get off the train, rush to the nearest toy store and grab the latest range of Choro Qs.
They range from just out of the box entry levels to full on limited edition custom paint scheme in special boxes. Motors and little pinion gears from casual play to race versions.
Other ranges even comes with plastic drift tyres for mini drifting.
When you go to a Japanese toy store that’s all you see. Mini Tomy toys are everywhere!.
More about Choro-Q from Wikipedia:
Choro-Q (チョロQ, Choro-Q?) a condensed and abbreviated version of the words “Choroi” [Simple] Quality is a series of Japanese 3-4 cm long pullback toy cars first made by Takara in 1978, and known in the US as Penny Racers. The Choro-Q car designs are largely based on illustrations by Yasuhiro Nakamura (中村安広) who also design its covers for books and videogames.
All Choro Q feature real rubber tires (usually with fatter ones on the rear) and the characteristic coil-spring pullback motor. Also, each Choro Q is a “cute” squeezed design caricature of the actual vehicle it represents. What is also distinct about the cars is the slot at the rear, where a small coin can be inserted for the wheelie effect. Remote Controlled (IR) models, called “Digi Q” have also been produced by Takara.
The toy line is highly popular and has become collectible, even outside Japan, due to its low price and its merchandising line which includes JGTC and various licensed car editions and has also spawned a series of videogames bearing the same name. The toy line has also lent its moulding to the Transformers line of toys.
In addition to “Penny Racers,” Choro Q pullback cars were also marketed under the Tonka branding in the late 1980s as “Tonka Turbo Tricksters.” “Penny Racers” in the US are still marketed by Funrise, but are less popular for collectors compared with their true-to-life counterparts marketed elsewhere, and versus the ones formerly sold by Tonka. “Penny Racers” tend to be garishly colored and given silly names, ignoring the actual names of the makes and models, and marketed for US children, whereas the Choro Q in the far East are made to a much higher quality standard and many are specifically designed for the adult collector, with high detail and/or tiny, incredibly detailed racing graphics and occasionally other realistic gimmicks such as fold-out headlights.
Originally produced in Japan, the manufacture subsequently has occurred variously in Taiwan, Macau and China. The models represent various makes and models of all kinds of actual cars, trucks, trains, and even planes and military and construction vehicles. There are even versions representing just about every bus and train line in Japan. Choro Q are also produced in limited special runs for promotional purposes. Models are licensed and produced for automotive manufacturers and dealers, or as tchotchkes for marketing of other products and services. They even released a Major League Baseball line.
The first Choro Q cars were more geared toward children, with primary colors and low detail. They have grown more sophisticated over time and now are for the most part cast in a uniform clear, colored or smoked resin plastic which is then painted, thus leaving the windshields and headlights, etc. transparent for added realism.
Unusual Choro-Q which have the wheels and pull-back motor but are not modelled after vehicles are also common, often sold as special collectibles. This includes Choro-Q in the shape of common regional symbols such as carved wood bears of Hokkaido and popular symbols from other regions such monkeys, salmon eggs, sea urchin, etc. sold only in certain regions and marketed at local domestic tourists.
The Choro-Q brand has been extended, often with a small name change which is a pun on the original name, to cover other small toys or novelties, both with and without the wheels and motor, including
- Digi-Q: Electronic remote control versions of Choro-Q cars which used infrared technology instead of radio control. These products were developed in conjunction with Konami.
- Choco-Q: Chocolate egg with a small capsule toy inside
- Puka-Q: Bath salts compressed into an egg shape, which, when dissolved in the bath, reveals a small toy inside
- Choro-Ju: (“Ju” means monster in Japanese)Small monster toys which moved with a friction motor and had other gimmicks such as sparks shooting from the mouth.
- Choro-Chu (“Chu” means insect in Japanese): Realistic plastic and rubber figures of various beetles, with wheels and a pull-back motor for movement.
- Jumbo Choro-Q: This is a large-scale version of the small toys but approximately 30 cm in length. They have the same pull-back motor gimmick and the hood also opened to reveal a storage space for standard sized Choro-Q toys.
- Q-steer: A more inexpensive remote control version of Choro-Q cars than the earlier Digi-Q, this line was first released in 2006 after the merger with TOMY. Throughout 2006 and 2007 it remains one of the best selling toy lines in Japan.
- CQ Motors: The most ambitious brand extension of all, this wholly owned subsidiary of Takara, founded in 2002, manufactured and sold actual single-passenger, electric automobiles modelled after the toy cars. The cars are street-legal (though not permitted on highways), require a standard driver’s license for operation and have a top speed of about 50 km/h and a range of about 80 km on a single charge. Several models were sold, priced in the 1-1.5 million yen range. Although sales have been discontinued, as many as 500 were sold in all. In a country known for the prowess of its automobile industry it is remarkeable that at one point, Takara, a toy company, had the highest share of electric cars on the road in Japan.