Toyota sports up its kids' car concept with the Camatte57 roadster
Toyota introduces the Camatte57 at the Tokyo Toy Show
Last year, one of the more interesting designs in a solid year of concept cars was a toy car from Toyota. The Camatte revealed at the 2012 International Tokyo Toy Show was a realistic children's car designed to stimulate the imagination, foster an early love for automobiles and encourage family time. For this year's show, Toyota has refreshed the concept with a sporty roadster.
Most small children would probably forgive the pedestrian minicar look of the original Camatte the minute they stepped behind the wheel, but there's a handful that would be thinking: That was fun, now I want a fast, red sports car! The Camatte57 isn't red, but the red racing stripes definitely convey a sense of speed and fun that the original Camatte lacked. The new concept also uses an airy, open-doored convertible design that is sure to add to the fun driving experience.
In addition to its sportier design, the Camatte57 is also more customizable than the original. It encourages children to get wrenching with 57 removable body panels that children can mix and match to personalize their ride.
Like the original Camatte concept, the Camatte57 uses a 1+2 seating layout designed to foster bonding among family members. It can be driven by both parents and children thanks to an adjustable front seat and pedals.
The original Camatte concept at Auto Shanghai 2013
Toyota hasn't announced any plans to sell either Camatte variant, but we hope that it's considering it. We'd be awfully jealous of today's seven-year-old, but the Camatte is an interesting product idea that could be educational and fun for kids and adults alike.
The Camatte57 is on display in the Kids' Life Zone of this week's Tokyo Toy Show, which takes place at the Tokyo Big Sight in Koto Ward, Tokyo.
About the Author
Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.
All articles by C.C. Weiss
So in the near future I can look forward to being bowled over on the pedestrian walkway by some rich snot who can afford one of these.
Elementary schools should have these and closed courses to get kids used to driving over a period of years. It'd reduce teen driving fatalities.
They should pitch this as a full-blown adult-driven concept. I'd shell out 10K for a sub-compact car that could be manipulated into anything you feel like driving.
Reminds me of what makes the old VW bugs so awesome: "Make it what you want". From off-road to drag-racers.
Looks like Toyota's goofin' on us. It's a golf cart with a new market angle! Get hip, parents: There are hundreds of thousands of golf carts out there, new and used. If yer kid is interested in cars, save yourself some dough-re-mi and get him/her one of those. Heck, let the bugger design his or her own body and have a glass fiber shop build it. Beat Toyota at their own game. Now all you retirees get out the way. We've been watchin' out for you all these years. Now you and the rest of us can watch out for Little Johnny or Janie!
OK, scale it up 50 per cent, add side doors, and add battery drive, and you will sell millions!
The amusing thing about these toy cars is that they will probably last longer than their parent's car.
Given the increasing sedentary play of today's electronic games kiddie-cars should have to be peddled.
I fully agree with Milton, Toyota should aim this at the Adult market as well - create a small registrable EV city car which is fully customisable by the individual. With the ever increasing amounts of regulations on car customisations it's now almost impossible for the individual to easily and legally customise their car (especially new cars!). If a large manufacturer could produce what is effectively a "kit car" however all the design-rule specific components of the build are already engineered and certified and the user had the ability to dramatically change the look of the interior or exterior of the car simply and cheaply without re-engineering by purchasing alternate factory panels, aftermarket panels (or even better - panels they make themselves) then that would be something I (and many others I believe) would be interested in!
I remember reading an article somewhere concluding that the current generation prioritises the ownership of a phone over a car and perhaps this could help re-invigorate that passion - cars are turning more and more to be just ways to get you from A to B with customisation limited to the checkboxes you tick at the dealer. For me my passion arose from being able to play with the car, and make the car my "own".
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