Taking Tokyo By Swarm
Photograph: Yuriko Nakao/Reuters/Corbis
As a child, did you ever hold a toy car and fantasize about getting behind its steering wheel? You can now. Well, sort of. For a couple of years, toy giant Takara Co. in Tokyo has been producing adult-size versions of its popular Choro-Q toy cars. So far, about 500 of the cars have been sold--enough to make the subsidiary that builds the cars, Choro-Q Motors Co., Japan's biggest seller of pure-electric vehicles to general consumers. The lead-acid-battery cars, called Q-Cars, are charged from a regular outlet, have an 80-kilometer range, and can go up to 50 kilometers per hour. [For a lineup of Q-Car models (in Japanese), see http://www.cqmotors.co.jp/lineup/catalog_f.html.] They sell for about ¥ 1.25 million, or roughly US $11 500, and can be rented in several Japanese cities for $50 for six hours. To mark the 25th anniversary of the toy cars, the company gathered Q-Cars on 30 March, as shown, for a parade through the streets of Tokyo. A race is planned for later this year.