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Japanese Toy Companies : NOMURA TOYS

January 27th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

TN Nomura Toys 1940’s – 1992


Formed in Tokyo sometime in the mid 1940’s Nomura Toys produced some excellent tin toys until the early – mid 1970’s when, like many other japanese toy companies, it had to make the move into diecast in order to survive. Nomura continued in one form or another until it was bought in 1992 by the largest toy company in the world at that time – Hasbro. The letters T-N within the diamond logo means that the company is often referred to as TN – Toys Nomura and its range of tinplate toys were to emblazen this logo on its boxes whilst its later diecasts toys simply featured ‘Nomura toy’ on their boxes. It was one of the biggest and most prolific of the post war Japanese tinplate toy makers and produced a wide variety of mechanical and battery (Electromobile) operated toys, military and civilian vehicles, novelty items and space toys. During the 1950’s and 1960’s the tin toy output from Nomura contained some of the most well known characters of all time including the infamous ‘Robby’ robot from the film ‘Forbidden Planet’.

< TN Nomura Sports Car

Nomura battery operated tinplate open topped sports car. Scarce example c1950 comes in powder blue bodywork finish, plated parts including hubs with detailed tinprinted interior. See-through engine compartment to bonnet and fitted with folding windscreen, 21cm.



TN Nomura Mercedes Benz >

A Nomura battery operated Mercedes Benz, tinplate model in orange colorway finish with black hardtop. Tinprinted detailed interior, plated parts with side detailing and hub caps. Battery compartment and ‘mystery action’ to underside, 27cm.


< TN Nomura Racing Motorcycle

Battery operated model  with forward and direction changing motion. Red and white bodywork finish, racing number ’16’, detailed tinprinting overall. Rider in tan coveralls with red plastic helmet. Stabilising wheels, 25cm.



TN Nomura Fire Chief Car >

Nomura c1961 large scale tinplate friction drive Fire Chief’s Car. Model is based on a Buick 4-door sedan in fire department red bodywork finish, detailed tinprinted interior, plated parts including hub caps. and side detailing including Fire Department insignia. Operating / swivelling red roof light, wiper blades and siren, 41cm.


< TN Nomura Volkswagen Convertible

Battery operated Volkswagen Convertible, tinplate model in light metallic blue bodywork finish. Clear plastic see-through engine cover to rear, plated parts to include hub caps. Detailed interior with plastic seats and hood,steering wheel, windscreen, 25cm.

TN Nomura Datsun H130 >

Another large scale model is this battery operated tinplate Datsun Cedric H130 c1960. 4-Door saloon in red bodywork finish, detailed tinprinted interior, plated parts including hub caps, 39cm.


< TN Nomura Police Car

Large scale battery operated Police Command Car c1960. Vehicle in black and white bodywork finish with badges to doors and ‘Highway Patrol’ lettering to sides. Detailed tinprinted interior with two uniformed police figures to front, aeriel, plated parts including hub caps. Fitted with siren sound and ‘mystery action’ to underside, 39cm.

TN Nomura Mechanised ‘Robby’ Robot >

Although the wording on the box simply lists this toy as a ‘Mechanised Robot’ it goes without saying that it is based on ‘Robby’ the robot which features in the 1956 movie ‘Forbidden Planet’ and as such is an unlicensed product. Battery operated, batteries are stored within the legs of the robot, c1957. Tinplate and plastic construction, finished in black and red. Spinning antennae, lighted moving piston action in head, light below dome, 28cm.

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  1. george metzger
    December 22nd, 2013 at 17:25 | #1

    I have an old sink and oven T.N tin toy.
    Do you know anyone who may have parts for this or who may restore it?

  2. dave
    December 22nd, 2013 at 20:26 | #2

    Hello there George,
    I have managed to pick up a recent image off the internet of the Nomura kitchen stove which I assume we are talking about.
    The stove was of tinplate manufacture and battery operated. Measured around 8.5″ x 4.5″ x 6″. Features included water recirculating from tap through sink drain and an oven which lit up by means of a small bulb.
    You don’t say what is wrong with your item, chances are its the terminal connections of the battery compartment. Best bet for repairing is an old fashioned retired engineer/electrician and I posted a similar answer some time ago now. I found just such a chap by asking at my local pub ! I would leave it with him, no good trying to rush him along but eventually it would be returned more often than not in fully working order !! Sadly Phil is no longer with us and so far I have yet to find anyone as good.

    All the best, David.

  3. ray telega
    January 1st, 2014 at 21:47 | #3

    Is a 3 volt motor for a tn mystery action police car obtainable?

  4. dave
    January 2nd, 2014 at 15:23 | #4

    Sorry mate but unable to give you a definitive answer on this, can anyone out there give us a response ?

  5. January 21st, 2016 at 09:39 | #5


    I have a Nomura robot. It’s wind up operated, paintnis a little damaged and one wheel on the foot is m8ssing. Could you tell me anything else about it. Much apprecited.

    Kind regards


  6. dave
    January 27th, 2016 at 19:20 | #6

    Hello there Richard,
    I’m afraid I can’t add much detail to your item.

    Hope this is the correct figure ? The mechanical robot from Nomura is itself a hard to come by figure. Similar in many respects to other spacemen robots this company produced although the majority were remote controlled / battery operated with working lights etc. Detailed tinprinted your space commando robot holds a space rifle in his right hand his left being free to move. Should have a clear plastic ‘bubble’ helmet but these are usually missing as its usually the case with his picture card box. Produced around 1955 and as I said the clockwork version is pretty hard to find however I did see one sell a few years back, incomplete missing rifle and helmet, badly ‘playworn’ and without its box but still sold for around the £80 mark.
    Sorry I can’t be of more help, David.

  7. nick
    February 11th, 2016 at 18:46 | #7

    I have a what I think an original Nomura Mechanized “Robby the Robot” from the 1950’s Black in color. Between legs says JAPAN. missing hands, clear dome and top silver ornament. Has alot of wear marks and in pictures some rust. I put batteries in the legs and it lights up and actually moves around not much but it moves. Do you have any idea what it could be worth in American money? Are there people out there that collect this robot? Where do I begin to try and find its value and who would be interested in it. thank you..

  8. dave
    February 16th, 2016 at 17:04 | #8

    Nick, Nomura’s mechanised robot ‘Robby’ was an unlicenced toy based on the robot in the film Forbidden Planet. As you say a 1950’s toy, 11″/28cm tall, tinplate and plastic in construction finished in black and red. Walked in a figure of eight, spinning antennae, lighted moving piston action in head, light below dome, battery casing housed in each leg. As to its worth … no idea ! Over here, in good condition I would guess around the £300 mark but it depends on the day and who wants it. Certainly there are collectors of this iconic robot and no doubt someone would want it even in your poor condition. Your best bet is to take it along to your local auction house, here in the UK most auction houses have free valuations and most have a toy specialist, these guys know their market and will give you an impartial appraisal of its worth. Again most auction houses are connected to the internet so its not so much a lottery these days as to who is sitting in the room.
    Hope that helps, David.

  9. Robert
    July 20th, 2017 at 10:26 | #9

    I have an old cardboard box with a paper affixed to the top with the T.N inside a diamond and numbered 795. There are two images of Superman; one standing in the foreground, and one fling over buildings in the background. Can you tell me what Superman toy came inside?
    I would have posted a photo, but there is no option here to do so.

  10. dave
    July 20th, 2017 at 19:34 | #10

    Hi Robert, this Superman item has caused me quite a lot of head scratching to say the least. Problem is that I can find very little information regarding this particular item. I was aware, as no doubt most readers would be, that TN-Nomura certainly manufactured a battery operated Batman figure but I have never come across any Superman toy from this company in a box as you describe. Marx produced Superman holding back an aeroplane (Roll-over-plane) and Linemar did the Superman Roll-over-tank and more recently Schylling have reproduced a Superman Carousel and a Superman rocking toy but as I say this one had me going.
    Unable to find such a toy on any auction site or in any of my reference books but then I did stumble on such a toy with a box as you describe on a well known internet auction site which sold recently for around $1100. A clockwork tinplate toy, circular in design with the ‘Man of Steel’ flying over a skyline, Gotham City no doubt. Below him a silver train runs whilst a Superman tune plays ? The pictures show the toy having signs of rust and I did find some comments on a site which cast doubts as to the age of the toy saying that it was in fact a repro simply aged for effect and the box with its paper label does concern me somewhat as Nomura usually marketed their toys with much better graphics. However, if indeed it is a repro, I feel sure that we would be more aware of this item than we are and there would be many such items on the internet sites. It may well be that it is indeed an unusual toy but again these hard to find models are usually listed in the reference books – I’ve even checked the repro toy box sites without success. So I’ll keep looking into this one Bob and see if I can shed more light on the matter.
    As for downloading pics., I thought that was sorted, but again will look at it and post a ‘how to’ note on the front page somewhere.
    Hope the pics are OK for you, now you have the box all you need to do is to find the toy !
    Best of Luck, David.
    And if anyone can help out on the background to this toy please message in – cheers !

  11. Soorej Munraj
    June 1st, 2019 at 15:00 | #11

    I have got a TN Nomura made in japan Smoking motorcycle. Should be very rare. Around 50 years old

  12. dave
    June 2nd, 2019 at 11:15 | #12

    Hi there, your Nomura ‘Smoking Motorcycle’ may be relatively old and not that easy to come across but unfortunately doesn’t command high prices. The motorcycle is of plastic construction and comes with automatic stop / start action. I came across a boxed model one about three years ago which sold for around the £30 / £40 mark !
    Thanks for visiting the site, David.

  13. Jo
    August 20th, 2019 at 16:59 | #13

    Hi, I have an old TN fire department no 1 tin toy, which is in pretty poor condition. It’s missing the wheels and pretty much all of the electronics from the bottom. Apart from this the car looks quite good, no scratches or bumps on the car and the two guys in the car are still there, the driver’s missing his arms however. The radio in the back is still there as is the spare wheel and fuel tank in the back. I was wondering if you could tell me if this toy is still worth something in its current condition.
    Cheers 🙂

  14. dave
    August 24th, 2019 at 10:51 | #14

    Gee Jo that’s a tough one. They always say ‘its only worth what someone is willing to pay’ and in your case I think that is exactly right. I expect the person interested in your Nomura item is someone who wants a restoration project, or wants the item for spares etc. Most toy auctions would struggle to list this as an item in its own right due to the numerous missing pieces. I would guess most people would list this on an internet auction site and see what the result is.
    Sorry I can’t be of further help, David.

  15. Brian hayes
    August 17th, 2020 at 17:33 | #15

    The Superman toy is a fake. It is one of a series of “antiqued” tin toys that were given acid and scratching treatment to produce a patina of age. The box has been varnished to add to the illusion. The company mainly produced tin robots and the market is saturated with these fakes. The distinctive feature is the white number in the red oval.

    The “tell” on these toys is the fact that the ageing process is random. They are scratched in the most improbable and impossible way. Areas that would not have been subject to wear are given the treatment. It looks like a production line of workers applying a series af arbitrary scratches.

  16. dave
    September 23rd, 2020 at 12:00 | #16

    Hi there Brian,
    I wasn’t going to post your comments on the Superman item at first as the item is not mine and I found the image on the internet. However having considered it further I have posted your comments simply as a warning to others to be aware just how many repro items are out there. Tempted to do a post listing some of these but not sure how I would stand legally 1 think I will leave it well enough alone … but thanks for your observations Brian.

    March 27th, 2021 at 22:00 | #17

    The only comment I have to make is about the Nomura mechanized robot. The trouble with walking appears to be caused by a flat spring in the foot. It is suppose to stop the drive wheel from turning when the foot is forward, but it is weak and bends easy. Sorry NO fix! Either it is a mfg. problem or just aging. Enjoy your robots for what they are. Oh yes I have one of the Nomura Mechanized robots. I buy robots for enjoyment not investment! Have fun and be safe. RICHARD

  18. dave
    April 10th, 2021 at 15:47 | #18

    Richard, thanks for your input, not sure which post it relates to but included it for the info … appreciated.

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