The toy industry, as well as toy collectors around the world, are in mourning with the passing of an industry legend. According to NHK News, Takara toy company founder Yasuta Sato has passed away last 26th February from senility. He was 94.

Family and close friends recently held a funeral for him, and they also announced that they will be holding a farewell event at a later date.

Back in Japan, people called Yasuta as the “King of Toys”. He founded the Sato Vinyl Industries, Ltd. in 1955, before changing its name to TAKARA Co., Ltd. in 1967. The company would then go on to become Japan’s thrid largest toy manufacturer behind Bandai and Tomy. It would also give us the “Licca-chan” dolls, the “Choro-Q” (Penny Racers) mini cars, and of course, the “LIFE” board game. It would then merge with Tomy to form Takara Tomy in 2006. However, Sato has already left the company by then, having retired in 2002. Now, his company manages several huge figure lines, from Transformers and Zoids to trading card games like Pokemon, Duel Masters, and Wixoss.

source: NHK News