The sales of LaQ did not start out easily as the Japanese toy market is a conservative market, and no toy retailers wished to handle “another construction toy”. Therefore, after a struggle to make a breakthrough, YOSHIRITSU CO., LTD. started sales in 1995 through bookstores in the children’s books area. LaQ try-out trays were placed in the bookstores so that children could play with the fun snapping blocks. The try-out trays were the key to our success, and the popularity of LaQ spread quickly by word of mouth as many parents saw the unique educational value of the blocks. For the parents, LaQ was a highly educational construction toy, but for the children it was just simply fun to snap together! 15 years after the first sales in a small store in Nara, LaQ reached a total of over 2,000 retail ends in Japan by 2010. LaQ is now available in major bookstores, toy stores and department stores, and used in numerous kindergartens and daycare centers throughout Japan.
Our first exhibition overseas was in 1999 at the Spielwarenmesse International Toy Fair Nürnberg but active sales did not start yet as YOSHIRITSU CO., LTD was still a very small company working to build a stable sales method in the domestic market. The sales method of YOSHIRITSU CO., LTD. is for a sales person to directly attend each retail store and assist with display methods and prepare store events to promote sales. This sales method opened up the channels for successful toy sales in bookstores. As the pioneer company to start toy sales in bookstores, YOSHIRITSU CO., LTD. is also well known as a distributor of educational and wooden toys in bookstores and specialty shops.
It was not until 2008 that we began to actively promote LaQ in the overseas market. In 2008, we applied our first entry for an overseas toy awards and have been honored to be chosen winners for numerous prestigious awards from organizations in the US and EU toy industry.
By the end of 2010, our family of distributors has grown to offer sales in Brunei, China, The Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Korea, Hungary, Indonesia, Malaysia, The Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Taiwan, Thailand, The UK, USA and Vietnam. We are confident that our family of distributors, who believe and share our philosophy of the importance of truly good educational construction toys, will continue to grow.
The philosophy of YOSHIRITSU CO., LTD. is to offer families a toy that is not only fun and educational, but a toy that can be enjoyed by the child and parent together. Toys are not for children only!
YOSHIRITSU CO., LTD. often holds store events and LaQ workshops where children can play with the blocks and learn how to make models. The workshops are always filled with children and their parents busily involved in creating their artwork together. Sometimes the parents are more absorbed than the child, and we believe that when the parent is involved in “playing” as much as the child, we see a very good communication develop within the family, as the parent and child can discover and learn together through play.
The LaQ Art Festival is a competition where LaQ artists can send in pictures of their artwork to be posted into our website and be chosen to win a prize. The entries we receive are from children ages 5 to adults over the age of 70, showing that LaQ is a toy for the children in all of us, no matter what age.
YOSHIRITSU CO., LTD. will continue to announce new original LaQ parts and kits and provide educational workshops, entertaining LaQ events and exhibitions that can be enjoyed by children as well as adults.
Our dream and goal is for LaQ to become a familiar household name which represents a high quality educational construction toy that is loved by children and adults around the world.