Choro-Q are small, deformed scale vehicles, created by Japanese toy company Takara in the late 70’s. Choro-Q loosely translates to “Cute, dash around”, this is because they have little spring coil motors, that in combination with their dimension and design, make them take off and spin or change directions pretty randomly. Adding to this is the addition of a little slot on back of the vehicle to hold a small coin, the addition of this weight makes them do wheelies and more crazy movements. For this reason they were marketed to the west by Takara in the early 80’s as Penny Racers. In the late 80’s Tonka struck a deal with Takara and imported branded versions of Choro-Q, rebadged as “Tonka Turbo Tricksters”, 48 different models in total. This relationship lasted all of one year (1989-90), as in 1991 Tonka was acquired by Hasbro and this relationship looks like it stopped then. These 1989 Tonka Choro-Q are the only ones you’ll find that have both Takara and Tonka stamped on the base, at that time the third largest American toy company together with the biggest Japanese toy company.
Choro-Q are still sold in Japan today by Takara-Tomy available in most Japanese toy stores for a few bucks, they even have a more high-end line of ultra detailed, limited run models aimed at the collector market.
The dimensions and overall design of Choro-Q has remained exactly the same since the original release.
Kids can play for hours with these things, partly because they’re a bit unpredictable, kinda cute – but actually pretty quick for their size, and also once they work them out they can get them doing all kinds of little stunts with the coins, barriers and ramps.