Friday, October 12, 2012

Japanese Tin Toy Vehicles, Part 4

I've been spending the last few months researching the subject of postwar Japanese tin toy vehicles for a talk my father volunteered me for. I've documented some of my research adventures in the Collecting -- and Collecting Information series.

The Old-Timer Limousine made for Cragstan by
Shioji. This 12" model features a detailed
interior and cloth convertible top.
I gave my presentation before the Capital Miniature Auto Collectors Club. The talk provided a background for the toys, made between 1949 and 1963, along with examples from my surviving childhood toys. Also on display was the Straco Express layout, which showcased smaller Japanese toy cars from the period.

Part 1 features the final version of the talk in written form, subsequent parts include galleries of the toys actually discussed.

Shioji & Co. Ltd.
Shioji, whose “SSS” fan-shaped logo is often seen on boxes, made a lot of toys for Cragstan. Cragstan was an importer who continued operation through the mid-1960’s The 12-inch “Old Timer Limousines” I have here were marked under the Cragstan brand but were made by Shioji. (click on images to enlarge)

Another of the Old-Timer Limousines by Shioji. These cars had
friction motors and with the exception of the tires and windshield,
made entirely with tinplate, hand-assembled.
Another view of the Cragstan/Shioji convertible. The metal frame holding
the cloth roof opens up. Note the steering wheel and gearshift.
Modeled vaguely on a Model T, these toys shared many
of the same parts.
The Model T pickup truck and the “Old Smokey” fire truck were also made by Shioji. Finding the latter with the rubber hoses intact is difficult.

The Shioji "Old Smoky" fire engine. The hoses and nozzles on the
side of the truck are embossed, providing extra detail.
The Cragstan/Shioji pickup truck.
I also have another Shioji vehicle. Although this isn't part of the same series as the firetruck and pickup, it shares some similarities. The friction drive is the same, as are the wheels and hubcaps.

The 1929 phaeton is another Shioji model. It was simple labeled an "Antique Car." There are several variations on this design. It can be found in both hard top and convertible models, in red, blue, or green.
The Shioji "Antique Car." The windshield folds up and down.
Another view of the Shioji convertible. Note the detail on the
dashboard and interior.

Part 1: The Golden Age of Japanese Tin Toy Vehicles 1949-1963

Part 2: Bandai

Part 3: Haji and Masudaya

Part 5: Line Mar and Marx
Part 6: Nomura and others (Marusan, Yonezawa, Alps, Ichico, ATC)

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:16 PM

    I would love to get in touch with you! I need some help finding information on the AHI Brand Toys that I have. I have searched everywhere and I'm unable to find the Series number that I have. I find many different ones but not the specific one I have. Could you email me? Thank you so much! Tish