In 1941 the Hasegawa Corporation opened as a manufacturer of wooden teaching materials, such as a woodwork models. It entered into the plastic model field in 1961, with its first plastic model "glider" airplane models.
Hasegawa is noted for releasing a large number of minor variations of their major products, often adding or modifying a small number of parts, or only changing the decals for the kit. This strategy allows them to maximize their return on their investment in kit tooling quicker, as such minor variations cost little to produce compared to the cost of manufacturing the original. Most such variations are usually only released once.