RIP: Was surely a talented guy, some of his 50s kustom cars beacame "classics" in the Kustom Kar world...Love or hate feelings will surely arise about the self proclaimed "King", indeed self promotion/claims/credits for a few designs was his strong point, guess its the name of the game when you're... King!...: TD most famous.... Barris Design:
Heres one of my "fast" builtup, MPC good'ol '33 Willys "Paddy Wagon" panel (gasser type) snap kit, from actual R2 reissue, remember building the exact same one, in original issue box from 1979, basic but not bad for a 70s snap kit , Testors Icy Blue + clear coats:
Indeed The T/A & MACH1 "Dispaly Model" were motorized & had workable front & rear light bulbs, the Mabuchi motor was nestled in a bit oversized V8 block, driving power to the driveshaft/oversized rear axle, 6 AAs batteries were needed (in gas tank) to make everything workout.
Lambo LP400/500S, & 911 "Display" 1/12th kits had only working lightbulbs with 2 AAs front batteries supports located in front trunk.
Doyusha deleted all the battery powered engines & front/rear working light bulbs in following editions.
OTAKI got in the 1/12th scale kit, back in the 70s, inspired & to compete with rival Tamiya, most of the 1/12th plastic "Static Display" kits were also available in RC (Radio Control) form, got the Trans AM, Porsche 911, & Lambo LP500S in both display & RC versions, many had different box art under the OTAKI years, still remember the Porsche 911 i got was silver with white stripes & my Trans AM kit was the early: white & blue (1970/72) T/A Paint scheme not the later red 1973 "screaming chicken" version.
The 1/12 static display series was surely on a good start, until OTAKI closed shop in the second half of the 80s, all the 1/12th series ended up with DOYUSHA, since the last decade the availabilty of these kits have been rare. if DOYUSHA still have all these molds, they surely decided to lower the production, trying to find on of these kits in a hobby shop in north america is a real challenge...better chances in a Tokyo hobby shop
Indeed the Lancia Startos was a NITTO kagaku 1/12th kit, (IMO better then Otaki) I also got it as gift back in the early 80s, the ALITALIA "Safari" version was the original version, the other Pirelli version was under the Doyusha years.
Doyusha did also rework the 450SL OTAKI mold later in the 80s: 450SLconvertible & the 450SLC AMG versions.
Remember seeing the S800 coupe 1/12 kit box way back