Vintage Tokai Ads

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Staff member
May 14, 2012
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Just wanting to collect and document vintage Tokai guitar ads here.
Starting with what has to be one of the most provocative guitar ads of all time. Not only because of the nudity, but because it preceded a firestorm reaction by CBS-Arbiter and at least a year of legal headaches for Tokai in the UK.

Censored version of the ad:

Designed by Eric Dixon at Blue Suede Music Ltd.

Eric Dixon on August 18, 2013 at 4:45 pm

"I designed and published that ad on the back cover of Music UK magazine. At the Frankfurt Music Trade Show that year I noticed four ‘suits’ looking at the ad and tut-tutting. “Hey guys, that’s my ad. Do you like it?” “You should be ashamed of yourself for publishing such a disgraceful ad!” “Oh really? Now, without opening the magazine, tell me who advertised on the previous page” (They had no idea). “Well, it was Doug Chandler’s Music shop. Seems he wasted his money didn’t he? Not only did you notice my ad, but you’re stood here talking about it! What’s the whole point of advertising? Do you know how many 40 foot containers of Tokais that ad has sold?” Crack a smile boys…. it’s only rock & roll!"

Then a years alter nod to this first wave of Tokais...


"In October 1981, Blue Suede Music launched the now legendary Tokai vintage series of guitars on to the UK market.

The reception from retail music shops, their customers, and our national music press was overwhelming:

"This is simply one of the finest guitars I have ever played and I've played most of them." Music UK.

"... it plays and sounds like the real thing and I doubt whether it differs in this respect from the genuine article" Guitarist

"I have never felt, played or heard a copy like this before" E & MM

"Solid, reliable, beautifully built and superbly playable, you really ought to try one of these Tokais." Sounds

Isn't it time you found out for yourself just what all the fuss is about?"

Tokai ad June 1986

Tokai (International Musician & Recording World, Jun 1986)

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1983 ad:



The premier guitars of Europe and Japan available now in the USA. The serious choice for serious players… a select group of vintage and contemporary styles from $375.00.


Design excellence

International Music Corporation

PO. BOX 2344 FORT WORTH, TEXAS 76113 PHONE: (817) 336-5114

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Ritchie Blackmore model... SR60

"New product in Tokai Super Edition series! A total of 5 new models have been added to the popular Tokai Super Edition series. Let's introduce the specs full of fascination. <SR-60> (60,000 yen) The Ritchie Blackmore model with a scalloped fingerboard is finally here! 6Ø The high-power PU of the pole piece and the extra-thick super arm are also attractive guitars."

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Sweet! I’ve never seen that color version. Need to add it to the block logo thread. Super cool!

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