British Toy Companies : Gaiety Toys – Castle Art Products Ltd.

March 27th, 2013 14 comments

GAIETY TOYS – CASTLE ART PRODUCTS LTD.

Gaiety Toys was the trading name used on a relatively small range of toys produced by Castle Art Products Ltd., a die-casting company incorporated in March of 1946 with its trading address given as Prospect House, Tyseley Industrial Estate, Seeleys Road, Birmingham, England. As far as I am aware the range of road vehicles simply consisted of three racing cars, a Morgan 3-wheel sports car and a fire engine although at the time of this post I have yet to come across the fire engine model.

The racing car models were a well detailed, one piece casting, with holes drilled through the body to accept the metal axles onto which were fitted the all metal wheels. The racers had no baseplate and had ‘Gaiety Toy – Castle Art Products’ cast into the underside of the body along with a castle image.

The Morgan sports car was produced at 4.75″/12cm in length, no driver within the model and it came in various colourway finishes, red, blue and green as well as an all chrome version. 

The racing cars were produced in 3 different sizes :

  • model 1 – Produced at 5″ / 12.7cm length, head and shoulders single driver cast in.
  • model 2 – Produced at 4″ / 10 cm length, head and shoulders driver and co-driver cast in.
  • model 3 – Produced at 3.25″ / 8.25cm length, head and shoulders single driver cast in.

All racing car models came painted in various single colourway finishes, red, blue and green as well as all chrome finish.

The racing cars, along with the Morgan 3 wheelers, were all produced in either free running or clockwork modes and came in a simple thick cardboard box with a single coloured line drawing lable.

Also produced under the Gaiety banner by Castle Art Products was a range of electric ’OO’ gauge railway locomotive models which came in a plain card box with a simple printed black and white lable. Alternatively one could purchase the loco body shell only, either painted or unpainted, which could be fitted with your own chassis. These body shells had ‘British Railways’ cast into the side tanks and came in a plain, thick cardboard box.

The following pictures of the Gaiety Toys fire engine were kindly sent in by Don Stephens – much appreciated Don !

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Japanese Toy Companies : MASUDAYA TOYS – MODERN TOYS

March 6th, 2013 31 comments

Masudaya Modern Toys 1924 – present

Masudaya was formed in Tokyo in 1924 and is widely regarded as the oldest of Japan’s toy makers. Masudaya was a leading manufacturer of tinplate toys, both mechanical and battery operated, in the post WWII era. Its logo incorporates the letters ‘M’ and ‘T’ within a diamond lozenge and is often referred to as ‘Modern Toys’. Masudaya produced a wide range of tin toys including aircraft, racing cars, military and civilian vehicles, motorcycles and the ever popular space toys which included the classic ‘Radicon Robot’ in 1957 which is regarded as the first remote controlled robot. Masudaya as a company survives to this day.

EXAMPLES OF MASUDAYA TOYS

< Masudaya ‘Fire Dept.’ Motorcycle

Large tinplate motorcycle toy dating to c1962. Battery operated model, tinprinted in ‘Fire Department’ livery, red colourway finish with blue uniformed plastic rider. Fitted with siren to front and stabalising wheels, 30cm.

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   Masudaya American Pontiac >

Tinplate 2-door Pontiac Sedan  friction drive model in black colourway finish with green/yellow detailed tinprinted interior. Plated parts including hub caps, model has steerable front wheels with white wall tyres, 36cm.

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< Masudaya Cement Mixer

GMC tinplate cement mixer c1950, battery operated with ‘mystery action’ to underside. Marked ‘Lucky Mixer’, model has detailed tinprinting to cab and generator, predominantly orange colourway finish with see-through plastic drum, 30cm.

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Masudya Racing Car >

Large scale tinplate racing car, battery operated with ‘mystery action’ to underside. Detailed tinprinted exterior in blue, white and red colourway, racing number ’38′ fitted with tinplate driver. See-through engine compartment, side exhaust, rubber tyres with detailed hubs, 43cm.

< Masudaya Atom Motorcycle.

Large scale tinplate battery operated ‘Atom’ motorcycle, model in black colourway finish with detailed tinprinted engine compartment in predominantly silver finish. Tin rider in yellow and brown with blue helmet has demountable action, Reg.No 65301. Motorised action with engine noise and working head light, 30cm.

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Japanese Toy Companies : HORIKAWA TOYS

February 13th, 2013 2 comments

Horikawa Toys 1959 – 1980

Formed in Tokyo in 1959 Horikawa, often thought of as a manufacturer of tin toys, is now believed to have been simply a reseller of products supplied by Metal House (Marumiya) which itself began life around 1943.

Horikawa is best known for its prolific range of space toys, noteably its space robots (Mr. Zerox, Attacking Martian, Fighting Robot) to name but three. Initially the robots Horikawa produced were clockwork in operation and are often referred to as their 1st. generation robots, later these were replaced by a ’2nd. generation’ which were battery driven. Depite three decades of success Horikawa, like many other Japanese toy companies of the time, closed in the late 1980′s whilst Metal House still continues to this date producing a range of battery operated tin robots.

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< Horikawa ‘ATTACKING MARTIAN’ Robot

1970′s battery operated ‘Attacking Martian’ robot. Tinplate with plastic head, arms and legs, detailed tinprinting with open chest with firing guns. Walking action with moving arms, 23cm.

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                               Horikawa ‘Mr. ZEROX’ Robot >

1960′s battery operated ‘Mr. Zerox’ robot. Tinplate with plastic head, arms and legs in dark brown colourway, red ‘baseball’ type hat and bronze feet. Walking action and moving arms, opening chest door reveals guns with firing and sparking action, 23cm.

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< Horikawa ‘ROTATE-O-MATIC’ Robot

Battery operated ‘Rotate-O-Matic’ Super Astronaut Robot. Tinplate and plastic construction with opening chest with blinking and shooting guns with realistic noise. Automatic ‘Stop-N-Go’ walking action, moving arms and rotating body, 29cm.

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    Horikawa ‘STAR STRIDER’ Robot >

A 1970′s battery operated ‘Star Strider’ robot of tinplate construction with plastic arms and legs. Robot comes in green finish with lithographed detailing, opening chest feature with blinking and firing gun with realistic shooting sounds. Walking action, moving arms and rotating body, 30cm.

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< Horikawa ‘NASA SPACE STATION’

Battery operated tinplate model of a ‘NASA Space Station’ c1950, model is in blue finish with red trim. 5x clear panels each showing a different ‘room’,  control room / offices / dormitories etc., 29cm.

Horikawa ‘GEAR’ Robot >

Clockwork, permanent key, ‘Gear’ robot from Horikawa  of tinplate and plastic construction in grey colourway finish with red feet. This 1960′s robot has forward walking motion with moving arms and space sounds. Clear plastic panel to chest with visible rotating gear mechanism. Red plastic sparking helmet, 23cm.

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Japanese Toy Companies : HAJI Toys / HAJI – MANSEI Toys

February 8th, 2013 No comments

Mansei – Haji 1951 – 1960

Founded in 1951 the Mansei Toy Company, which often used the trademark ‘HAJI’ lettering within an oval, was a relatively small Japanese toy maker, based in Kotobuki, Taito-ku, Tokyo, that concentrated its output on tinplate vehicles but occassionally produced other metal toys as well. Mansei is not known to have produced toys after c1960.

< Haji Savings Bank

Tinplate saving bank dating to around the mid-1950′s, modelled as a ‘Select-O-Matic’ Jukebox. Multi-coloured detailed tinprinting but predominantly in light blue finish with transparent celluloid window to front. Clockwork in operation, when coin is deposited turntable rotates with 3-dimensional record (red raven label). Internal music box is operated by switch to rear, 12cm. high.

Haji Police Car >

Friction drive vehicle modelled as an American Ford Edsel Police Car. Model comes in typical police black and white bodywork finish with police badge decals to doors, plated parts with wrap-around bumpers and detailed tinprinted interior, 19cm.

< Haji Livestock Truck

Friction driven 6-wheel vehicle comes in red bodywork finish to cab and back with black cab roof and black detailing to upper portion of back, 21cm.

                              

                              Haji Motorcycle and Rider >

Tinplate friction driven model of a motorcycle and rider. Motorcycle comes in red and blue finish whilst the rider has yellow trousers, green jacket and white helmet.

   

                                                                

  < Haji Ford Ambulance

Haji friction drive Ford Ambulance, model is based on an American Ford Station Wagon of the 1960′s. Vehicle comes in white bodywork finish with typical red Ambulance markings, detailed tinprinted interior, plated parts with wrap-around bumpers and hub caps, 21cm.

Haji ‘Strutting Sam’ Dancing Figure >

Battery operated (2 x ‘D’ cell) detailed tinprinted ‘dancing’ minstrel figure. Figure in green chequered jacket with orange striped trousers and yellow ‘straw’ hat. Detailed tinprinted base with figures of dancing Sam all around, 28cm high.

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Japanese Toy Companies : MARUSAN SHOTEN

February 5th, 2013 2 comments

Marusan Shoten 1947 – 1968 / 1969 - present.

Formed in Tokyo in 1947 Marusan was initially a wholeseller/reseller of mainly tinplate and optical toys. Its roots lay in an earlier company, Ishida Manufacturing, formed in 1923 by Naokichi Ishida, based in the Tawarachou region of Asakusa, Tokyo. Ishida again producing tinplate and optical items such as toy binoculars and telescopes. It was Ishida’s founders two sons along with a third party who were to set up Marusan. The company name and logo derive from the Japanese ‘Maru’ = Circle and ‘San’ = Three. In 1950 Marusan was formally incorporated as Marusan Shoten Ltd., ‘Shoten’ = Company. At this time the three founders, Haruyasu Ishida was listed as President, Minoru Ishida was the Managing Director and Yasuo Arai, Director.

By 1951 Marusan was producing a range of both friction and mechanically driven tinplate toys some of which incorporated celluloid figures. The 1950′s was a very busy time for many of Japan’s toy companies including Marusan as the US, in particular, began importing more and more tinplate toys. In 1953 Marusan introduced their now famous and successful tinplate model ’Cadillac’ and it is this vehicle in particular along with similar Marusan civilian model cars that are much sought after by collectors today.

Several of Marusan’s elaborate tinplate vehicles, including the cadillac model, were actually sub-contracted to one of the top toy craftsmen of the time, Mr. Matsuzou Kosuge and his Kosuge factory, whos mark can be found on the boxes and model bases along with the SAN mark  on such vehicles.

Apart from the usual range of tinplate civilian and military vehicles the 1950′s also saw Marusan release several battery operated toys based on a smoking theme with titles such as ‘Smoky Bear’, ‘Smoking Grandpa’ and ‘Smoking Bunny’ to name but three as well as a clockwork ‘Smoking Donkey’. Not very PC by todays standard !

By the beginning of the 1960′s Marusan had already moved into plastic model kits a theme which was to continue and also ventured into die-cast miniature cars called ‘Toyo Ace’. However Marusan was unexpectedly declared bankrupt in 1968 a fact which was to lead eventually to the establishment of two companies. Marusan continued with a range of vinyl character toys and also began producing toys and parts for third parties in the 1970′s and 1980′s. Marusan is now one of the oldest names in the Japanese toy industry. 

It should be noted that in 2001 Marusan announced the release of a ‘Limited Issue’, highly detailed, tin toy Cadillac car made in the style of the 1950′s classic, all of which sold out !

< Marusan Cadillac

A 1959 Marusan friction driven, tinplate model of an American Cadillac. Vehicle comes in black bodywork finish with plated parts including wrap-around bumpers and wheel hubs. Detailed tinprinted interior, 24cm.


                                      Marusan Cadillac >

Shown opposite is the vehicle released by Marusan in 2001. This ‘Limited Issue’,  highly detailed tinplate model of an American Cadillac was based on the cars released in the 1950′s. The model, based on the 4-door pillarless Cadillac Eldorado Brougham Sedan, was released in three authentic colours, the one shown plus one in black/white and one in blue/white.     

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< Marusan Lucky Car

Battery operated toy, open topped car in red bodywork finish with plated parts including wheel hubs. Detailed tinprinted interior with tin driver figure smoking pipe. Fitted with ‘mystery action’ to underside, 24cm.   

  

                          

Marusan Baby Scooter > 

Friction drive tinplate scooter with tin rider and schoolgirl passenger. Multi-coloured model, scooter predominantly in red and grey with ‘Silver Pigeon’ lettering to rear, fitted with clear windshield, 13cm.

 < Marusan Motorcycle

Marusan ‘Speed Lion’, friction driven tinplate motorcycle with rider. Multi-coloured, red, orange, blue and green with red plastic engine panels with sparks behind. Rider has racing number 18 to his back, 14cm.                 

                      Marusan MG Wonder Car >

Pictured opposite is the Marusan Wonder MG Car, model is of tinplate construction with clockwork drive. Fitted with 2x tin figures and a revolving umberella. In operation the car crosses the bridge, turns around and repeats the operation. Colourful tinprinting, car predominantly in red colourway finish with plated parts. Car is 13cm, track is some 31cm.                  

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Japanese Toy Companies : NOMURA TOYS

January 27th, 2013 10 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.

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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.

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< 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.

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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.

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< 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.

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< 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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Japanese Toy Companies : DAIYA TOYS – TERAI TOYS Co.

January 24th, 2013 6 comments

Daiya ( Terai ) Toys 1950′s – 1970′s 

Formed in Tokyo sometime in the 1950′s, Daiya was typical of many of the Japanese tinplate toy companies of the time being most active from the mid-late 1950′s through to the late 1970′s,after which the company appears to have dropped off the radar.

Daiya produced a good range of tin toys including civilian vehicles, space vehicles including robots along with other space related toys – rays guns etc., as well as several other novelty tinplate items.

Daiya was typical of many of the post war Japanese tinplate toy companies in so much that many of its mechanical tin toys, whether they be clockwork or battery operated, were produced with multi-functional features such as operating lights and sounds etc.

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< Daiya Toys Military Police Jeep

Tinplate model dating to c1950 in military dark green bodywork finish with detailed tinprinted interior, seated figures. Plated parts, spare wheel, jerry can to rear and fitted with folding tinplate windscreen, 26cm.

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Daiya Toys Police Car >

Battery operated model of a Highway Patrol Police Car based on a Chevrolet Impala. Model is finished in typical black and white colourway finish with detailed interior. Plated parts, working light, 32cm. 

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< Daiya Toys Power Shovel

Tinplate friction drive model of a Lorry Mounted Power Shovel, orange cab and chassis with cream roof. Grey excavator mounted to rear with orange jib and grey shovel. 6-Wheeled truck is based on a GMC vehicle, detailed tinprinting with plated parts, 28cm.

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Daiya Toys Sports Cars >

Pictured opposite are a pair of Daiya battery operated Porsche sports cars with remote control.

One is a closed top version in red bodywork finish with yellow stripes, detailed interior, racing number ’77′, plated parts. The second is an open topped model with racing number ’24′ in blue finish, detailed interior, plated parts.

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< Daiya Toys Ranger Robot

A 1950′s battery operated plastic robot figure with visible motor. The ‘Ranger Robot’ has see through body and legs, silver plastic arms with red tinplate feet, 27cm. Robot walks, has moving arms, lights, voice sounds and smoke emits from the mouth.

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   Mini Cooper >

Large scale plastic and tinplate model of a British Mini Cooper, model shown in red colourway finish with a black roof although other colours were produced. Racing No. 77 to sides. Fitted with bright plated parts including hubs. Battery operated with variable speed control, 19cm.

( Daiya also produced a ‘Rally Monte Carlo’ version of the Mini Cooper fitted with Monte Carlo badges to its front. )

< Mechanical Turn Over ‘Stunt Car’ 

Tinplate representation of the British Aston Martin, clockwork in operation with ‘stunt’ action. Vehicle shown in white colourway finish with red/yellow flame effect trim although other colours were produced eg: red with a chequered design to doors and bonnet. In all cases ‘Stunt Car’ lettering appears on the roof. Tin-printed driver detailed to ‘windows’, 18cm.

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Japanese Toy Companies : ICHIKO KOGYO

January 24th, 2013 No comments

Ichiko Kogyo 1950 – 1970′s 

Founded in Tokyo sometime in the 1950′s Ichiko was a small Japanese tinplate toy maker who produced a nice range of quality tinplate vehicles. Although the company is still in existence today it ceased production of tinplate toys sometime during the mid – late 1970′s.

< Ichiko Highway Patrol Car

Battery operated Highway Patrol Car, based on an American Buick. Tinplate vehicle in black and white colourway finish with police logos to doors etc., plated parts and detailed interior. ’Speed Meter’ to rear boot, roof lights, fitted with ‘mystery action’, 40cm.

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Ichiko Oldsmobile Starfire >

Friction drive Oldsmobile 4-door saloon in cream colourway finish with red roof. Plated parts including hubs with detailed tinprinted interior, 28cm.

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< Ichiko Mercedes Benz 250SE

Battery operated model is fitted with ‘mystery action’. 4-Door saloon in maroon colourway finish, detailed tinprinting to interior, plated parts including hubs, 35cm.

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Ichiko RAI TV Camera Car >

Battery operated model is based on a 1961 Plymouth Station Wagon complete with ‘mystery action’. Vehicle comes in silver bodywork finish in the livery of Radio-Televisione Italiana. Fitted with roof rack, revolving plastic camera and cameraman figure. Tinprinted detailed interior, plated parts including hubs, 31cm.

< Ichiko American Saloon Cars

A group of battery operated 2 and 4-door American Saloon Cars. Models come in red / blue bodywork finish with detailed tinprinted interior and plated parts, 18cm.

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Tin Toys List of Japanese Tinplate Toy Companies Trademarks / Logos

January 12th, 2013 7 comments

Japanese Tinplate Toy Companies Trademarks / Logos

This page lists various Japanese tinplate toy companies and the trademarks they used. The list is by no means complete and as such will be ‘work in progress’ and will be continuously developing as and when I come across more information and the time to grow the site.

At the same time I intend to expand the brief thumbnail description given on each company into a more rounded company listing to include pictures on the models they produced etc., at which point I will give that company its own page within the site.

Japanese Toy Trademarks & Logos

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ALPS – Shojo

Formed in Tokyo in 1948 ALPS is generally regarded as producing some of the better quality tinplate toys throughout the post war years. Despite this success ALPS decided to change its emphasis in the early 1970′s and concentrate its efforts into the more profitable consumer and industrial electronics marketplace.

For detailed company information, including product images, see my seperate completed ALPS page listing.

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ASC – Aoshin

Formed in Tokyo in 1950 its trademark logo had the letters of the company ‘ASC’ within a diamond. Although successful initially, when the market place changed from tin toys towards diecast in the 1970′s ASC switched to creating portrayals of animated and live-action heroes.

For detailed company information, including product images, see my seperate completed AOSHIN page listing.

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ATC – Asahi

The Asahi toy company was founded in Tokyo in the late 1940′s, initially producing lithographed tinplate toys, but around 1959 the company became the first major Japanese company to produce a 1:43 diecast scale model range designed specifically for the Japanese home market. As well as producing tinplate and diecast toys the Asahi company also acted as the Japanese distributor for both Dinky and Corgi Toys.

The first company trade mark was used from around 1948 until 1955 whilst the lower trade mark shown of a Santa figure was used from around 1955 onwards.

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Bandai

Formed in Tokyo in 1950. Bandai had several trademarks over its lifetime, initially the one shown - the letter ‘B’ within an outer letter ‘C’  which represented ‘Bandai Company’. By 1980 Bandai was the major Japanese toy company and was to become the world’s third largest toy company.

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Daishin

Although perhapse best known for producing the original version of the ‘Musical Jolly Chimp’ a toy that was to be replicated by various American, Japanese and Chinese companies Daishin also produced numerous tin toy cars many of which were battery operated.

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Daiya – Terai

Formed in Tokyo c1950 Daiya was most active from the mid – late 1950′s through to the late 1970′s, after which time the company appears to have dropped off the radar.

For detailed company information, including product images, see my seperate completed DAIYA page listing.

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Haji / Mansei Toy Co

Formed in Tokyo in 1951 Haji was also known as the Mansei Toy Company. A small and relatively short lived toy maker producing a range of tinplate vehicles and tinplate novelties like ‘Strutting Sam’ a clockwork dancing figure.

For detailed company information, including product images, see my seperate completed HAJI – MANSEI page listing.

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Horikawa

Formed in Tokyo in 1959 Horikawa, often thought of as a manufacturer of tin toys, is now believed to have been simply a reseller of products supplied by Metal House (Marumiya) which itself began life around 1943. Horikawa is best know for a prolific range of space toys noteably its space robots (Mr. Zerox, Attacking Martian, Fighting Robot) to name but three. Despite three decades of success Horikawa closed in the late 1980′s.

For detailed company information, including product images, see my seperate completed HORIKAWA page listing.

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Ichiko Kogyo Co.

Founded in Tokyo in the 1950′s Ichiko was a relatively small Japanese tinplate toy maker who produced a nice range of tinplate vehicles. Although the company is still in existance today it ceased production of tinplate toys sometime during the mid – late 1970′s.

For detailed company information, including product images, see my seperate completed ICHIKO page listing.

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Kuramochi Shoten

Founded in Tokyo, Kuramochi was producing a range of tinplate, lead and celluloid toys in the late 1920′s and early 1930′s and indeed Kuramochi was the largest supplier of Japanese toys prior to WWII exporting to both England and the USA where its products were distributed by the Geo. Borgfeldt Co. Following WWII two of its main employees left to form the Japanese toy companies of ALPS and Normura.

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Marusan Shoten

Formed in Tokyo in 1947 Marusan was initially a wholeseller/reseller of mainly tinplate and optical toys. Its roots lay in an earlier company, Ishida Manufacturing, again producing tinplate and optical items and it was its founders two sons along with a third party who were to set up Marusan. The company name and logo derive from the Japanese ‘Maru’ = circle and ‘San’ = three. Marusan is now one of the oldest names in the Japanese toy industry. 

For detailed company information, including product images, see my seperate completed MARUSAN page listing.

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Masudaya – Modern Toys

Masudaya was formed in Tokyo in 1924 and is widely regarded as the oldest of Japan’s toy makers. Masudaya was a leading manufacturer of tinplate toys, both mechanical and battery operated, in the post war era. Its logo incorporates the letters M-T and is often refered to as Modern Toys. Masudaya produced a wide range of tinplate toys, aircraft, racing cars, military and civilian vehicles, motorbikes and space toys one of which was the classic ‘Radicon Robot’ in 1957, regarded as the first remote controlled robot.

For detailed company information, including product images, see my seperate completed Masudaya Modern Toys page listing.

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Nomura

Formed in Tokyo in the mid 1940′s Nomura produced tinplate toys into the late 1970′s. The letters T-N within the logo means that the company is often referred to as TN – Toys Nomura. It was one of the biggest and most prolific of the postwar Japanese toy makers and produced a variety of mechanical and battery operated toys, military and civilian vehicles, novelty items and space toys.

For detailed company information, including product images, see my seperate completed TN NOMURA page listing. 

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Yoneya – Yone

Formed in Tokyo Yoneya, more than often referred to simply as Yone, used the trademark of a diamond lozenge around the letters SY pre 1964 after which the trademark was changed to incorporate the name Yone again within a diamond. Yoneya produced a variety of tinplate toys including various novelty items like the Hippo Bank and several clockwork carousel type toys, military vehicles to include jeeps and tanks, civilian and racing cars as well as space toys and robots.

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Yonezawa

Founded in Tokyo in the 1950′s Yonezawa, sometimes known simply as ‘Y’, was one of the most prolific of all post war Japanese toy makers. Its trademark was the letter ‘Y’ within a 5 petal stylised lotus flower. Yonezawa manufactured a whole raft of different battery and mechanical tinplate toys in various catagories before it ceased production of its toys sometime in the 1970′s.

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Japanese Toy Companies : AOSHIN ( ASC ) TOYS

January 4th, 2013 No comments

ASC (Aoshin Shoten) 1950 – present

ASC was founded in Tokyo sometime around 1950 in what was then classed as occupied Japan. Its trademark / logo had the letters of its company name ASC within a diamond.

ASC produced a range of tinplate / mechanical toy vehicles, space toys, many of which were to become highly collectable as were several of their classic robot figures, along with many tinplate novelty items all marked with the ASC logo. Early post war clockwork items normally operated by means of a permanent key before, like many of its competitors, there was a move to battery operated toys which would allow for multi-action features.

The history of ASC mirrored that of many Japanese tinplate toy companies which saw a continued healthy growth from a birth in the early years following the end of WWII when the demand for inexpensive toys was high and continued to grow year on year. However the company was struggling in its traditional marketplace by the 1970′s, switching instead to creating portrayals of animated and live-action heroes.

< ASC Toys Toyota Crown Coupe Taxi

Large scale friction drive tinplate model. Yellow bodywork finish with orange trim, Nippon Taxi livery, roof sign, plated parts and detailed tinprinted interior c1970.

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ASC Toys Secret Service Action Car >

The ‘Green Hornet’ secret service action car from ASC, tinplate battery operated model in black colourway with plated parts. Green Hornet decal to the bonnet, secret service lettering to doors and boot and secret agent figure to roof. Lithographed interior with driver figure. Mystery action with flashing and bursting machine guns and laser beam, realistic sound, c1960.

< ASC Toys Smoking Volkswagen

Large scale tinplate battery operated Volkswagen Beetle model with detailed tinprinted interior. Produced in various colourways, light blue, orange, red etc  with plated parts. ‘Stop and Go’ mystery action, lighted engine compartment and smoke emitting exhaust, 27cm.


ASC Toys Tremendous Mike Robot >

This is a very rare and classic robot from the early 1950′s. Made of tinplate with clockwork mechanism the robot came in just two colourway versions - orange/red and grey/red. Skirted robot will change direction – ‘turn and go’ action, has sparks in his chest and rotating antenna.

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