The TOYOTA MIRAIDON PROJECT Made Children’s Dreams Come True

The TOYOTA MIRAIDON PROJECT Made Children’s Dreams Come True 2024.03.29

Pokémon teamed up with the TOYOTA Engineering Society in a joint desire to demonstrate to the children of today that the powers of imagination can create the world of tomorrow. “Dreams can come true!”


To show how dreams can be transformed to reality, Pokémon and the TOYOTA Engineering Society together launched the “TOYOTA MIRAIDON PROJECT.” The project aimed to create a future mobility model in the image of Miraidon, a popular mascot of the “Pokémon” video game series.


The central role in the TOYOTA MIRAIDON PROJECT was undertaken by the TOYOTA Engineering Society, a group comprised mostly of engineers at Toyota Motor Corporation who volunteered to take part. TOYOTA today is striving to realize the future mobility society by creating ever-better vehicles that people will love, and to achieve that goal the company’s engineers are continuously improving their technological skills.


Once each year, the TOYOTA Engineering Society holds an event known as “Wakuwaku World” (World of Excitement) as a way of contributing to the local community. The event is organized jointly with Toyota City, the automaker’s home ground. In 2023, elementary school students in Aichi Prefecture were asked to respond to a questionnaire on the “future mobility of their dreams.” The youngsters came up with as many as 8,000 ideas – and the one that caught the attention of the TOYOTA Engineering Society most was a drawing of Miraidon.  

Miraidon is a legendary Pokémon that appears in the “Pokémon Violet” video game launched in 2022. With the game’s main character on board, Miraidon at times walks on all fours, while in its “Drive Mode“ Miraidon and its rider go speeding off on road adventures.

The members of the TOYOTA Engineering Society thought Miraidon would be the ideal embodiment of a child’s dreams: a vehicle enabling the rider to move freely and enjoyably from place to place by communicating with Miraidon as easily as chatting with a friend. They found the idea especially exciting as it brought back memories of their own enjoyment of playing “Pokémon” as children.


The Pokémon Company immediately felt a deep rapport with the TOYOTA Engineering Society’s strong desire to build a Miraidon in the real world. A collaboration was formed, and an unprecedented challenge got underway: a project to build the “TOYOTA Engineering Society MIRAIDON” – “TOYOTA MIRAIDON” for short – a collective undertaking by adults to make a child’s dream come true.

The first challenge was to figure out how to create a TOYOTA MIRAIDON mobility vehicle exactly like a visual from the “Pokémon” game. Time was limited too, because the team wanted to have TOYOTA MIRAIDON ready for the “Wakuwaku World” event scheduled just 6 months ahead. Achieving that goal in time required the cooperation of many of TOYOTA’s affiliated companies. The project team initially consisted of about 30 members, but as their passionate dedication, coupled with the enjoyment being derived from participating in the project, became increasingly known, others became eager to join the team too. Ultimately, the project involved around 300 members.

TOYOTA MIRAIDON consists of an inner structure containing the frame and motors plus exterior decorative work. The engineering team paid especially close attention to achieving the necessary inner structure while retaining the form of the original Miraidon. One challenge, for example, was how to recreate Miraidon’s slender legs in the “Low-Power Mode,” when Miraidon walks on all fours. Slender legs would leave limited space for the motors and necessary wiring. How could the needed power be secured to provide the level required when someone was riding TOYOTA MIRAIDON? The engineering team went through a series of trials and errors in their quest to recreate Miraidon in the real world.


△Low-Power Mode


Another major difficulty arose in making TOYOTA MIRAIDON switch from the Low-Power Mode to the Drive Mode. In the Drive Mode, TOYOTA MIRAIDON’s long and slender tail had to change into a rear wheel. But a slender tail would result in a tire too thin to bear the weight of a rider. To ensure the needed safety, a strong thick tail was absolutely necessary, but the engineering team persisted, aiming for a slender visual appearance befitting Miraidon. The project members from TOYOTA met over and over with their Pokémon counterparts to seek a workable solution.


△Drive Mode


To make TOYOTA MIRAIDON as vivid and true to the original Pokémon character as possible, extra-special attention was focused on reproducing the body coloring. If only a single body color were used, TOYOTA MIRAIDON would look dull and inanimate. Instead, different colors were meticulously prepared for different parts, and various degrees of sheen were applied for visual variety. What’s more, the paints were applied in such a way that, depending on one’s viewing angle, colors would “change hue,” replicating how body colors change in the video games according to the background and the angle at which light hits Miraidon.

Another aspect given extra attention was creating a ride that all children could equally enjoy. If, for example, TOYOTA MIRAIDON were designed to have an accelerator and brake near ground level like in a real vehicle, young children would be too small to reach them. So the engineers painstakingly worked to devise an operating method that would be simple, easy to understand, and fun for all children. The answer they came up with was a Nintendo Switch controller. This would enable children, large and small, to operate TOYOTA MIRAIDON just like they were playing a game, something already completely familiar to them. To ensure maximum safety and prevent injuries, special care was also taken in designing TOYOTA MIRAIDON’s component parts, setting its speed capability, and so on.

TOYOTA MIRAIDON made its debut appearance in November 2023 at Wakuwaku World. Further refinements followed, and then in March 2024 TOYOTA MIRAIDON was put on display at Tokyo Midtown Hibiya, where visitors were also given a chance to hop on and take a “test ride.” Being nearly life-size – roughly 4 meters long and 2 meters high – TOYOTA MIRAIDON drew squeals of excitement from the visiting children, and from many adults as well!

One member of the development team from The Pokémon Company, who participated in this project from the start, said she was thrilled to have made TOYOTA MIRAIDON a reality. She said the project brought an exciting outcome not just for children, but also for adults familiar with the technological difficulties. With pride and a sense of accomplishment, she expressed the hope that, by making this dream come true, the development team demonstrated to children everywhere what adults can do when they are wholly driven by passion and creative determination.

Looking back over the period since the TOYOTA MIRAIDON PROJECT was launched less than a year ago, especially memorable were the expressions of joy and accomplishment on the faces of all the engineers who participated – expressions similar to the joy and surprise of the children on seeing TOYOTA MIRAIDON. Participating in this happy project demonstrated that even as adults, we can apply our skills and powers of imagination to creating the future, making dreams truly come true.


A video presentation on the TOYOTA MIRAIDON PROJECT is posted on Pokémon’s official YouTube channel:

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