Robert White and Toyo : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I was looking at Robert White's web site (, which has some excellent prices on Toyo gear (example: VX125 is less than $2400), and found the following statement:

"Note: Unfortunately Toyo products cannot be shipped to the US. Sorry, try your local store..."

What's going on here? Has Mamiya America Corp. threatened Robert White in order to force US customers to accept their extortionary prices? Aren't there laws against anti-competitive practices? .

-- Stewart Ethier (, October 31, 2000


I suspect Toyo has conditions on Robert White to be their dealer in the UK, not MAC. A manufacturer ensuring a certain geographical area to their official distributor is not a violation of an anti-competition laws.

-- John H. Henderson (, October 31, 2000.

Perhaps one of the nice people of this community in Europe would offer to receive the shipment for you and ship it to the US.

-- John H. Henderson (, October 31, 2000.

Have you checked with Badger Graphic? If not, give them a call since they do sell Toyo products. In my experience I've been found them to have excellent prices and service on a variety of large format equipment.

-- mitch rosen (, October 31, 2000.


It would be interesting to give them a call and check on the current status of that message. Earlier this year Robert White had a similar statement with respect to Mamiya products, and the word at that time was that Mamiya America Corporation had notified RW that it couldn't ship Mamiya products to the USA. Interestingly, it seems that RW is shipping Mamiya products to the USA again (based on numerous happy purchasers posting on the Medium Format Digest). I don't know whether the message still is found on the RW website with respect to Mamiya, but it doesn't appear they are following that policy.

-- 7377 (, October 31, 2000.

I understand that the Mamiya product name (suspect the same for Toyo and other Mamiya brands) is in the US a trademark of Mamiya America. Such an arrangement puts people that export and purchase Mamiya brands grey goods into the US in the position of infringing Mamiya America's trademarks. This tactic virtually eliminates grey goods importing and gives Mamiya considerable pricing leeway. I do not know if this is a proper use or an abuse of trademark laws but one has to wonder if these laws were written for the purpose of preventing consumers and exporters from selling grey goods and for the manufacturers to mark up prices to what the market will bear. Legal eagles among the LF forum may shed dditional light on the issue and hopefully explain the rationality of this situation for Stewart and the rest of us.

-- Julio A. Fernandez (, October 31, 2000.

Stewart: if this is a serious purchase inquiry on your part, why don't you call up Robert White and speak to him directly. Remember: "Money makes the world go round". :>)

-- Andre Noble (, November 01, 2000.

Since the purchase is made in the U.K. and the purchaser (you) is the importer Mamiya/Toya hasn't a leg to stand on. They can't prevent a private person from purchasing equipment and then importing it. They can prevent commercial concerns from importing into the U.S. for resale purposes.

-- Wayne DeWitt (, November 03, 2000.

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