Tomy – a Japanese company, formed in 1924. In 1982, the European branch, Tomy UK, was founded for the sale and distribution of their products in Britain and Europe. It became knows in Britain i.a. for Sylvanian Families toys. In 2006 Tomy linked with Takara.

The company had rights to release Sylvanians in the UK from 1987, and many other countries around the same time, with the first 6 families being released as the Timbertop Brown Bears, Evergreen Grey Bears, Wildwood Brown Rabbits, Babblebrook Grey Rabbits, McBurrows Moles and Thistlethorn Grey Mice.

The range followed a similar pattern as the Japanese, however Misty Forest and Urban Life ranges have been exclusive to Japan. In the USA, Tomy distributed Sylvanian Families from 1985 until the early 1990s. When a lawsuit meant that the name "Sylvanian Families" could not be used to sell products in the US, Tomy continued to release figures under the name "Calico Critters" until 1999/2000, when International Playthings took over production. The American range is very confusing as although most figures are identical, some would receive new surnames, for example the Honeybear Tan Bears became the Huntington Tan Bears whilst the Waters Beavers became the Babblebrook Beavers, despite Babblebrook Rabbits existing in the USA's range. Some families gained new members, for example the Huntington Tan Bears gained Grandparents and Older Siblings who are all extremely rare, and Babblebrook Beaver babies had teeth unlike the UK and JP equivalents. Various other sets are exclusive in America, but most are identical or very, very close to those sold in the UK, maybe with a slight variation to clothing and the obvious packaging designs[1].

References Edit