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A Look At A New Entry In The Collectible Toy Car Market

Aug 17, 2007
The diecast marketplace gained a new member seven years ago with the unlikely appearance of Jada Toys. The beginner brand began humbly but swiftly gained astounding interest due to the development of its style and trendy new design concepts. You might ask, what drove the company into the spotlight of the industry? The answer is simple: adding flashy new designers Luis Tanahara and Kevin Thaxton to the payroll.

One half of the new design team, Luis Tanahara first joined Jada Toys solo after leaving Mattel in 2001. He exposed Jada Toys founder Jack Li to the new and upcoming trend of "dubs". The term "dubs" referred to the addition of large wheels to smaller cars that had been lowered for aesthetic effect. Following the dubs trend, more and more car customizations began to take place ranging from massive music systems to fancy DVD players installed into the headrests. Luis Tanahara applied this notion to diecast cars and the concept took off into a new line called "Dub City", modeled after the dub phenomenon of car customization.

Soon after Luis incorporated custom diecast car design into Jada Toys, his long time friend and colleague Kevin Thaxton joined the Jada family. As high school classmates, Luis and Kevin started as sketchers and from there moved on to more sophisticated art forms such as airbrushing. Years later they were professionally reunited and their synergy skyrocketed the success of Jada Toys. Together they took diecast to the next level of exquisite design and flare. Working from their extensive design experience together, the two made a stellar design team and utilized a well built process of diecast car production.

Luis and Kevin start the proverbial ball rolling by sketching their own paper designs of custom diecast cars. After extensive editing, the designs are applied to a three dimensional model from which realistic versions soon arise. The refining process continues until the designers are satisfied with their creation. From computer to reality: both clay and resin models are formed to allow for further design cultivation in a practical matter. Finally, a metal copy is updated, painted, and sent off to Hong Kong for factory production and visually enticing packaging meant to attract consumer attention. After mass production these cars find their way into the hands of car lovers and collectors around the globe.

Success stories are inherently good natured, and this story is no exception. With the addition of two artistic high school buddies, Jada Toys was able to launch itself right into the mix of the diecast world. What began as a sketching hobby blossomed years later into a successful design career that earned diecast cars a nice fit in the pop culture scene.
About the Author
Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about this as well as a diecast collectible cars at http://www.diecast-racing-collectibles.com
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