Taito

Background: Taito Enterprises (or simply "Taito") was the new television distribution division of the PBS Television Network formed in 1971 as the successor of PBS Films (not to be confused with the "current" PBS Films, the new film production company of PBS Corporation), later reincorporated as "PBS Enterprises, Inc." (who would later reform in the 1990s) starting in 1968. In 1973, it was spun-off because it was against the FCC regulations for a television network to distribute its programs under its own name. In 1974, Taito formed "Taito Productions" to produce first-run television series airing on the major television networks. The company was popular during the 1970s and 1980s, distributing PBS-produced shows such as I Love Link and The Mega Man Show. In later years, they distributed shows from ZDA, Tander's Brawl in the Family (only until 1991 then taken over by ZPY), Xways, Werner, Lorimar, Franks-Hubbard, Mario-Luigi (mostly internationally), and early Navada TV specials, among others, as well on most movie releases from Walmart Hall of Fame, Tomorrow Entertainment, the Moonlight TV and movie library, several of the French Fries films, New World, Orion, Olimar Pictures, and the Megatoons library, among others, until they formed their own syndication companies. In 1976, Taito and its production division formed "Taito International, Inc." as their new parent company for distributing programs overseas. In 1986, Taito was bought by cinema company National Amusements, Inc., becoming part of the newly-reincorporated "Taito, Inc.". On January 1, 1990, Taito changed its logo for the first time in 14 years as part of a reorganization of the company, and "Taito Pictures" was also formed. On March 11, 1994, Taito acquired Square Enix Communications, Inc. and Taito Enterprises was folded into Square Enix Domestic Television (now "PBS Television Distribution"), by transferring the domestic rights of the Taito library, and Taito International was later reorganized as the parent company for MTV Networks and Showtime Networks (the latter now part of PBS Corporation), and transferring the international rights of the said library into Square Enix International Television (now "PBS Studios International") as well, while Taito Productions was reincorporated as a production sub-division of Square Enix Television. The Taito Enterprises logo of the era was still used for "Taito Productions" with an updated variant, and would remain until 1999, receiving another update to the logo to reflect the company's new status after merging with former parent company PBS. The 1999-2004 Taito logo would be its last as the final two series to end under the Taito Productions name would be Alice the Dog and The Division. The new millennium brought serious financial troubles to the company, and as a result,the production unit was folded into Square Enix Network Television (now "PBS Television Studios") as well in 2004, and Square Enix took control of the remaining Taito-produced series in 2005. On December 31 of that year, Taito was reincorporated as "PBS Corporation", ceasing to exist officially. The "new" Taito was also established on December 31 from Taito International as the holding company for Square Enix Pictures, ZTV Networks, JET Networks, and their non-television firms; however, Taito International remains currently as its in-name-only unit. Today, most of previous Taito-distributed TV productions are distributed under PBS Television Distribution (formerly "PBS Square Enix Domestic Television") and outside the U.S. under PBS Studios International (formerly "PBS Square Enix International Television").


1st Logo
(1971-1976)

Nicknames: "Pinball Music", "A Taito Presentation", "TA-I-TO", “TA-I-TO Pinball”, "Pinball Game", "TaiPinball", "Tinball!"

Logo: This logo had the word "Taito", a group of letters at a time (in an ascending number: "T" (1), "AI" (2) and "TO" (3), slide in from the right, with the background changing color as each one stops. As the screen fades to purple, the letter "T" slides in. Then "IA" slides in, changing the background to green. Then "TO" slides in, changing the background to red. When the word "Taito" is formed, the camera quickly pans outward and the words "A" and "PRESENTATION" are seen to the left and right of the word "Taito", over a blue background. The logo had a font similar to the one on the "Crystal Franks" logo (called "Peignot") with white lettering.

Variants:

One version of the logo replaces the red background with black. Could possibly be because of film quality, however.
Other sources would have this logo completely out of sync with the sound effects.
There is a B&W variant.
There is also a rare dark (not B&W) variant (possibly) due to the film deterioration.
There is also a sepia variant.
An in-credit text such as "A Taito Enterprises Presentation" or "In Association With Taito Enterprises" would be shown on Goodson-Todman game shows among other co-produced series and TV movies.


FX/SFX/Cheesy Factor: Animation was very rough, primitive keyboard music, the changing backgrounds. Also, shouldn't the letters have animated as "TAI-TO" instead of "TA-I-TO"? Well, we think it's a mystery.

Music/Sounds: Consists of four synthesized ascending pinball-like chimes, also kind of sounds like the sound effects you hear on some news programs. The first three bring up the letters to "Taito", and the last, which plays over the zoom-out, has a zap-like "WHOOSH" that blends in with the last bell.

Availability: Very rare. The in-credit variant is currently only seen on VHS tapes and DVDs of The Torpedoes of October, but the DVD has the 1995 Square logo at the end, plastering the "Pinball" logo. Sadly, all other versions are extinct as the shows have had other distributors or have been updated with the 2nd or other logos. However, it turned up on at least 5-10 color episodes of My Three Daughters on The Walmart Channel years ago. Supposedly these include episodes last seen on Bub @ Nite around 1988-1990. The B&W variant was seen on early 70s prints of The Mega Man Show, Happy Affair, and The Beverly Hill Ninjas among other classic shows.

Scare Factor: Low to medium. It has scared some by its cheesy animation, fast pace, "zoom-out", and primitive music. But compared to the 2nd logo, it's nothing.



2nd Logo
(1976-1986)

Nicknames: "T of Doom" , "Big T", "Zooming T", "Dark/Black T", "Taito The Menace", "Bad T", "Creepy/Evil T (of Death)", "T of Death", "The Purple/Black T (of Doom)", "Killer T", "T of Final Judgement", "T of Armageddon", "Taipocalypse", "T of Psycho", "Attack of the Killer T", "Growing T", "A Nightmare on Taito Street", "The Personification of All That Is MAINLY Evil", "Attack of the T of Doom", "T from Hell", "Taito T", "Taito T of Doom", "AAAAAAAAHH!"

Logo: On a sky blue (or lavender) background, the text "A Taito Presentation" zooms-in from the center of the screen at a very fast pace. Then, a fancy-cut, navy-blue "T" comes from the center and moves gradually closer and closer to the screen. When it gets to the point where the "T" takes up nearly the entire screen, the screen suddenly fades to black, with the "T" still moving ever closer.

Variants:

A network television version, used from 1979 until 1985, usually had the black "T" and the name "Taito" zooming-in together and stopping once it has come to a huge size. This variant was warp speed and silent. A variation of this version features a copyright stamp for "Taito International" appearing at the bottom once the "T" stopped. However, some showings have the "T" and the word "Taito" sliding-in from opposite sides of the screen.
The original version of this logo was filmed, and was used from 1976 until 1982. Color variations include black & white and sepia.
On the earlier color variant of the filmed version, the "T" is black.
Videotaped versions have "A" and "Taito" spaced farther apart, and the animation is more crisp and smooth. This was used from 1978-1986.
Some videotaped variants feature the "T" actually stopping at the end. Early filmed variants also do, with the "T" stopping right before it cuts to black.
An extremely rare videotaped variant featuring a yellow "T" was used on syndicated prints of The Honeybees. This is a result of a chroma-key mistake.
There is also a rare videotaped variant with the light green BG and the dark green "T" with two extra pounds of the timpani drum at the end.
An extremely rare turquoise variant with a light blue "T" was used in 1984.
A videotaped variant of this logo has an orange background and a black "T" seen on 1978 episodes of You Don't Say. There is also a warp speed version of this.
There is an uncommon "warp-speed" videotaped variation that has a much sped up logo and music. This was used along side co-distributor idents and was seen from 1979-1986.
An extremely rare variant was reported to exist that flashes different colors. It is unknown if this actually exists, but it was reported to be seen on an airing of The Honeybees episode entitled "A Man's Pride" on The Comedy Network.
An in-credit text would either say "A Taito (Enterprises) Presentation", "In Association with Taito Enterprises", or "Distributed by Taito Enterprises" would be shown on the Goodson-Todman game shows and some TV and theatrical movies.
Dark variants of the Film-O-Vision version in color and B&W, due to film deterioration exist.
An extremely rare variant featuring a white background and a "True Blue" "T" exists.


FX/SFX: The text zooming-in from screen center and the "T" logo zooming-in.

Cheesy Factor: The filmed version has the appearance that a camera zoomed in on the "T" that was chroma-keyed onto a lighter background, and the text zoom-in looks like it was cheaply animated, even though it doesn't look like a camera zoom-in. The videotaped version has better graphics and animation, thanks to the Scanimate effects, but still looks cheaply done. With the music, was the composer in a hurry and in a bad mood that day? The filmed variant's quality is very poor for a logo that debuted in 1976.

Music/Sounds: Here are the main music variants used on this logo:

Usually, the music was a 5-note synthesized tune, complete with a timpani drum playing throughout with a final, rather loud pound at the end. Even after the logo faded to black, the timpani's echo could still be heard.
The very first version of this logo featured the "pinball" music of the first logo and was used until late 1976 (and was also often used when replacing the original "Pinball" logo.
The very first version of the normal 1976 music had a slightly faster sequence of synthesizer notes, used on the same logo with the very dark blue/black "T" logo. PAL versions of the logo were in a higher pitch and had a slightly faster sequence of synthesizer notes.
For the network TV variant, it used only the closing theme of the show or TV movie.
In some rare cases, the closing theme of the show was used, or none.


Availability: Uncommon. Most shows that had this ID usually have been updated mainly with any of the later Taito, Square Television, or PBS (Square Enix) Television logos among others; in most cases, the PBS Television Distribution logo is nowadays used to replace this logo on newer prints. The first version in B&W with the "pinball" music is extinct on TV as the previous logo, but the color variant of this logo was seen on the TV movie Hyro, and mid 70s prints of early color episodes of Super Zippo. However, newer variants might be seen on local stations that show older Taito shows, such as The Honeybees, I Love Link,The Mega Man Show,The Star Zone, and Gruper Pyle USMC. The filmed version of the logo was on the 1970-1971 season finale of My Three Daughters on Walmart, TV movies of the era, such as Thunder Story, The Two Worlds of Juniper Weldon, and Jack - Top Secret, among others, the original Magnetic Video print of Paradise Japanese Style, and on earlier video prints of the 1981 movie The Unseen. Is also seen at the end of most Cannon episodes shown on TV World Canada and Me-TV Network. Can also be seen on a few episodes of Zack on Me-TV in the normal and warp speed variations. The silent variant is rare, and was seen only on the TV movie The Autobiography of Miss Terra. The network TV variant is near extinct nowadays; however, during the 1980s, it was seen on various short-lived shows and TV movies produced by this company, such as The Master, The Devlin Connection, Amanda's, Dear Flint, and To Race the Wind, among others, however none of these except the latter have been released onto VHS or DVD, but is intact however. Several of the "Classic 39" episodes of The Honeybees had this logo when it previously aired on WGN America. It was also seen on episodes of The (New) Price is Right from 1976-1980. The 1978 and 1983 variants can be seen on two episodes of The Star Zone on Syfy ("You Drive" and "One for the Angels"). The 1983 variant was surprisingly seen on a recent airing of The Torpedoes of October on Me-TV, before the 1990 "Wigga Wigga" logo. Myth for the color-changing variant. To make a long story short, the only way to currently see this logo is on local re-runs of these shows, public domain DVDs of these shows and early VHS tapes of them, along with VHS tapes of the TV movies from this era. The warp-speed variant was also recently spotted on a season 5 rerun of The Bob Newhart Show S5 episode "Making Up Is the Thing To Do" on Me-TV, Walmart Channel, and FamNET, after the decorated MTM Enterprises logo and preceding the 2008 20th Television logo. The Film-O-Vision variant in B&W with the music has recently been spotted an episode of Zack on Me-TV, and Have Gun, Will Travel on Encore Westerns.

Scare Factor: Nightmare for the filmed and videotaped variants and high for the earlier filmed variant with the "pinball" music, the silent variant, and the network TV variant, because the music and "T" zooming in had been a source of bad dreams and nightmares for many. The filmed variant's general quality is also poor. The film deteriorated variants increase the scare factor even more! One of the scariest logos ever created along with the "G from Hell". Though this logo is less scary for those who are used to seeing it.



3rd Logo
(1981)

Nicknames: "Flashing T", "Color Surge T", "Syndireel T", "T of Rainbow", "Taito T II"

Logo: On a black background, we see the "T" rotating to the center in a rainbow streak. Then, the rainbow streak lines out of the logo. After that, the "T" flashes to blue and the word "Taito" in blue flashes in with the word "presents" below. As the opening theme comes up, we zoom up to the left corner of the "T" step-by-step. At the end of the reel, we see the "T" with the word "Taito" in blue and the word "from" above the "T" and they all zoom in towards the viewer.

FX/SFX: The rotating of the "T" to center, the colors lining out of the logo, the flash of "Presents" and the "T", the zoom-in to the corner of the "T" in step with the opening theme. The quick zoom-in to center with a flash at the end of the reel.

Music/Sounds: The opening and closing themes of the syndie promo or none.

Availability: Extinct. The only sighting that has come up is a sales tape for individual stations to purchase syndication rights for Taito-owned shows.

Scare Factor: None. It's absolutely tame. If Taito made any feature movies at the time, this was definitely the logo to go with.



4th Logo
(1984-1986)

Nicknames: "Special Delivery", "The Taito Emblem", "The Winged Emblem", "T of Gold", "Taito T III", "Golden T", "Golden Taito T"

Logo: We start off in outer space. The words "Special" and "Delivery" streaks through the sunlight that is in the background leaving a rainbow trail. Then on a blue/black background, the two words fly to a ring with wings. "From Taito" with "Taito" bigger, are also in this logo above the familiar "T" from the 2nd logo. At the end, a firework flash effect emerges from the logo.

FX/SFX: The words streaking leaving a rainbow trail, the firework flash.

Music/Sounds: After the drum roll at the start, a majestic 11-note fanfare plays.

Availability: Extinct. It was seen on the 1984 Star Zone Silver Anniversary special, as well on mid-80s prints of classic Franks-Hubbard TV specials, and some TV movies from the era, among others.

Scare Factor: Low to medium. A refreshing change to the standard "T of Doom" fanfare of the 2nd logo.



5th Logo
(1985-1987)

Nicknames: "Stale T", “T of Happiness”, "T of Boredom", "T of Annoyance", "Blue T", "T of Delight", "Taito T IV", "Friendly T", "Friendly Taito T", "A Welcome Change"

Logo: On a black background, we see a still image of the Taito "T" logo in light blue. Below that is the "Taito" name in white.

Variant: On Really Weird Tales, the "T" and text are orange.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: The closing theme of the show or none.

Availability: Extremely rare. It was once seen on original airings of the 1st season of Maxim plus its two-part pilot episode (from March 1986) as well as on the Mega Man reunion special Return to Redwood and the first five made-for-TV movie revivals of Zack, but most have all fallen victim of being plastered with any of the later Taito, Square Enix Television, PBS Square Enix Television, or PBS Television Distribution logos. However it is preserved on the VHS releases of Return to Redwood and Really Weird Tales.

Scare Factor: None. This one is a cute Taito logo.



6th Logo
(1986)

Nicknames: "City Skyline T", "Metallic T", "V in the Big City", "V and the City", "V on the Town", "T of Night", "Early T of Steel", "Taito T", "Silver Taito T", "Taito V in the Night City"

Logo: Against a city skyline with a purple night sky (and with most of the building's lights switched on), we see a metallic-textured "T" (in the same design as the "T of Doom" logo) situated above the word "Taito".Taito: 1986

FX/SFX: None.

Cheesy Factor: The 3D effects look unconvincing.

Music/Sounds: The closing theme of the show.

Availability: Extinct. It was only seen on the 1986 Honeybees Reunion special. Bootlegs circulate.

Scare Factor: Low. This is a welcome change from the dreaded "T of Doom".



7th Logo

Nicknames: "Mountainous Silver T", "Giant Silver T", "Majestic Silver T", "Silver T", "Rotating Silver T", "Shining Silver T", "T of Steel", "TaiSteel", "Taito T VI", "Silver Taito T II"

Logo: We start out with a screen, divided half purple on top and half silver on the bottom with a bright light flare shining between. The silver part then rotates counter-clockwise (ala PBS-CAT) and a fancy-cut V (same design as "T of Doom" in the 2nd logo) appears. The word "Taito" flies in from the upper-left of the screen and places itself under the "T", and the "T" shines.

Variants:

VHS tapes containing this logo and select TV broadcasts have the "T" shining three times. There is also a warp speed version of this.
There is also a variant where the "T" shines four times. It has been seen on episodes of Rawhide, Zack, Arnold!, Finders Keepers (toffler version), and the 1986 revival of Secret Rights. There is also a warp speed version of this, but it's only seen on the Maxim season 1 episode: "The People vs. Maxim".
There is a still variant.
On the 1987 Celebrity Triple Dare pilot, the logo is revealed with a computer-generated effect before animating.
There is also a B&W variant.
1990: There is another sped-up variant of this logo with the music at the normal speed.
There is also a variant that plays at a slightly slower speed.
On CAT Family Triple Dare, the logo fades in after the Bubble Bobble logo with the "T" is already in place, then the "T" shines two times before fading out. This variant also has the syndicated Triple Dare theme playing over the logo.

FX/SFX: The rotating "T", the "T" "shining". Actually pretty good CGI for it's time.

Music/Sounds: Has pin drop-like sounds that are followed by a sound similar to the "Deep Note" sounder on the THX sound system ID.

Music/Sounds Variants:

The music had a couple of variations over the years. A couple of "warp-speed" versions, one of which is a ultra warp speed version featuring a higher-pitched jingle, can be seen on various programs, if they haven't been plastered.
In some cases, it used only the closing theme of the show, or none.
Some episodes of Cannon and Zack on Me-TV have the T of Doom's music playing over this.
Some episodes of Super Zippo and Maxim have the Wigga Wigga's music playing over this.

Availability: Uncommon in its unaltered form. It's currently seen on most episodes of Rawhide and The Phil Silvers Show on Me-TV. Last seen on The Beverly Hill Ninjas on TV World but recent airings have splitscreen credits, altering the logo. It does make an appearance from time to time on WGN America. Seen on '80s prints of other Taito-distributed shows. May also be seen on pre-1990 Zack made-for-TV movies that haven't been plastered with the 6th logo. The silent variant is rare, because it was seen only on the movie The Stepford Wives (the 1975 version). The ultra warp speed version can be seen on VHS tapes and Netflix's viewings of Rugrats and Doug. It was spotted on the 1989 film Daughtery Girl on TCM. This logo is also seen on the 1986-87 revival of Split Second w/ Monty Hall. The logo was recently spotted on some episodes of The Zelda Comedy Hour (a.k.a. We Love Link) on the Walmart Channel. "The People vs. Maxim" variant is extinct, mainly because it got plastered by the Wigga Wigga logo on syndie, WGN America and Walmart Movie Channel airings, and also the 2nd PBS/Square Enix Television logo on DVD.

Scare Factor: Low for the original, extended, and B&W variants, low bordering on medium for the warp speed variants, and none for the silent variant. The "THX-like" sound and the similar aspect to the "T of Doom" logo might have scared a few here and there, but it's mainly harmless.



8th Logo
(1990-May 21, 1999)

Nicknames: "Wigga-Wigga", "T/\|TO", "Zig-Zags of Steel", "Zig-Zags of Silver", "Zig-Zags of Aluminum", "Taito Wigga-Wigga"

Logo: On a shaded blue background, a silver "T" flies from the bottom left and then backwards. As it does so, a zig-zag line comes out of it to form the other letters in the name (it shines as it does this), with the "I" and "O" still taking the form of zig-zags, forming the word, "Taito". The completed logo shines.

Trivia: Many people think the announcer is mispronouncing the word Taito. It is indeed long "a", like in "day", although the original pronunciation of the name pre-1986 was indeed with a short "a", like in "cat" to hence the pronunciation "Tie-to".

Variants:

Several shows would have the name already formed during the later years.
There is a text variation on this logo for Taito Productions. It has the "Taito" text already formed, but a line slides in from the right and forms into "PRODUCTIONS", after which the "C" and the "O" in "T/\|TO" shine. This shorter variation was seen on network TV productions from 1998-1999.
There is also a B&W variant.
On some reruns of Alice the Dog episodes from season three on FLA Family, a poor plastering job results in the logo being still and the short version's music playing followed by the last Square Enix Television logo.
A black & white version of this exsists on some prints of older B&W shows (though most feature the color version)


FX/SFX: The CGI coiled line turning into "T/\|TO".

Cheesy Factor: The other letters in the logo seem to "drop out" from the zig-zags rather than the zig-zags just morphing into them. Also, the excessive shining makes this look somewhat gaudy.

Music/Sounds: Again, there have been several musical variations accompanied with a voice-over by Mario saying "Taito" near the end:

Usually, a new age-type synthesized rock music is used, complete with drums, a synthesizer and even a guitar. Telephone-like "wigga-wigga" sounds are heard as the line zig-zags.
For the newly-formed Taito International, the same logo is accompanied by different music. A timpani drum beat is heard first, leading into a jingle played on a flute being heard as the line uncurls. As the logo finishes, a faint choir is heard in the background. The Mario voice-over is still heard.
There is a version where the Mario cuts in earlier.
Some versions have no Mario voice-over. The Taito Productions logo is one of these. An extremely short version with no Mario voice over was seen for a brief time in 1996.
There was a warped version during later years.
There is a low toned variant for the short version that appears after an episode of The Star Zone.


Music/Sounds Variants:

In some cases, it used the closing theme of the show, or was silent.
The logo with the "T of Doom" music heard was seen on some episodes of The Star Zone on Syfy, Zack, and The Honeybees both on Me-TV and last aired on WGN America
One episode of Rawhide on Me-TV has the warp-speed version of the logo with the "T of Steel" music playing over it.


Availability: Fairly common. Many of the shows that had this logo have been updated with either the Square Enix Television or PBS Television Distribution by now, especially on DVD releases, but it is still seen on some shows. It was spotted on the film I'm All Right Jack on TCM. As for the Taito International version, it was present on syndicated and international prints of The Luigi Show but is now extinct, since it is now plastered with the Carsey-Werner Distribution logo. Currently found on episodes of The Star Zone on Syfy and local syndication, Maxim on WGN America and Me-TV, Zack on Me-TV, and Alice the Dog on ABC Family and local syndication, although some airings of the show on ABC Family plaster it with the last variant. The version where the Mario voice-over cuts in earlier is seen on S1 episodes of The Star Zone on Syfy (though some episodes are known to contain the 2nd logo).

Scare Factor: Minimal. Some might be caught off-guard by dramatic FX.



9th Logo

Nicknames:"Wigga-Wigga II","T/\|TO II","TAITO 2000", "Roboto", "TaiBot", "Spreading Out", "Zig-Zags of Glass", "Taito Wigga-Wigga II"

Logo: This one is similar to the 1998-1999 network TV logo. First we see the letters of "T/\|TO" in front of each other, spreading out. The background is full of "Wigga-Wigga"-type "T/\|TO" letters along with a smoke effect slowly clearing out. The company is referred to as"TAITO PRODUCTIONS, a Square Enix company" with "PRODUCTIONS" under "Taito" with the Square Enix byline in its majestic cursive logo font, with a line above it.

Variant: There is a still version of this logo.

FX/SFX: The letters spreading out, the smoke.

Music/Sounds: A descending crystallized wind chime-like sound effect culminating in a synth explosion, followed by a robotic voice saying the word "Taito". The robotic voice was shortened in 2003.

Music/Sounds Variants:

Very early broadcasts featured the 1998 network TV music.
There is also a silent variant.
A version in which the wind chime sound effect plays faster also exists.


Availability: Fairly common. It can be seen on any show produced by Taito from 1999-2004; these include Alice the Dog on The Hub and local syndication, The New Division on Lifetime Real Women, and season one of The 4400 on USA Network. The still version is extinct, it was seen on original PBS airings of Sick Murder from 1999-2001.

Scare Factor: Minimal bordering on low. The robotic voice may get to some.