For the past two years, Toyota has been working on a different kind of concept car. At the 2012 and 2013 Tokyo Toy Shows, it debuted lifelike Camatte toy cars designed to give kids an early appreciation for the automobile. This year, it adds a new feature to the Camatte design: a digital hood that lets kids customize their roadsters with original artwork.
Toyota's original Camatte concept was designed to promote family time and give young children an appreciation for cars. That design included a bit of customization in its removable body panels, and Toyota increased the tinkering level with last year's Camatte57 concept. With its 57 customizable body pieces, that car was the next step toward a full dad-son restoration project car.
The 2014 Camatte57 appears identical to last year's roadster, save for one key detail: an LED hood. The hood is reminiscent of full-sized Toyota concepts like the Fun-Vii that we played with at NAIAS 2013. While our Fun-Vii experience consisted of tapping different colors and swiping words crudely on a tablet, the LED hood on the Camatte lets the child scan in his or her own artwork. The child draws a picture on paper and scans it into the system, and the art is recreated by the LEDs in the hood. The child's vehicle customization is limited only by his or her imagination.
Toyota's 2014 "Camatte Lab" display at the Tokyo Toy Show will be split into two hands-on areas. The Tech Lab will highlight the moving parts of a skinless Camatte57, giving kids a better understanding of how the car works. The Design Lab will give them access to the model with the LED hood.
The Tokyo Toy Show runs June 12 through the 15. You can view the highlights of the 2014 Camatte display in the short video below.