Takara Co., Ltd. was a Japanese toy company founded in 1955. Takara merged with another prominent Japanese toy company, Tomy Co., Ltd., on March 1, 2006.
While Japanese commercial law allows wide latitude in translating Japanese corporate names into official English names, the merged company took the unusual step of adopting the one-sided TOMY Company, Ltd. name in official English, while taking the combined name K.K. Takara-Tomy TYO: 7867 in official Japanese. Additionally, international subsidiaries of Takara were merged into those of TOMY; therefore, while the "Takara" brand is still in use for some products, officially in English, Takara as a corporate entity no longer exists. Confusingly, the Japanese company's corporate logo is a simple amalgamation of the former Takara and Tomy English logos. The logo, along with the tendency for direct translations of Japanese information into English and an ardent international fan base for some famous toys originating at Takara, have all caused much of the press and the general English-speaking public to call the merged company "Takara-Tomy" even in English.
Takara is perhaps best known for producing the transforming Diaclone and Micro Change toylines which were collectively re-branded as Transformers for the western market by Hasbro in 1984. Takara is also the originator of the hit toylines Battle Beasts (BeastFormers in Japan), E-kara karaoke microphone, Battle B-Daman and Beyblade (toy), all of which Hasbro also sold or distributed internationally. Takara continues to sell Microman - the basis for the popular toyline "Micronauts" - first sold internationally by the now-defunct Mego in the 1970s, and Choro-Q, a mini pullback car, which has been running since 1978 and has often been marketed in Western countries as Penny Racers.
What's it worth? Take a look at this Takara price guide: sold listings for a value indication.