Things were lining up nicely. I had found enough examples to make some generalizations about the product line, and shared that information in a three-part post.
Part 1: Bandai Model A series overview
Part 2: Bandai Model A cars bodies
Part 3: Bandai Model A truck bodies
When doing online searches for these toys I tend to cast my net pretty wide. If I just searched specifically for Bandai, I would have missed a good portion of what I found.
Bandai, like other Japanese toy manufacturers, produced products for Cragstan. Cragstan was a major importer of toys to the US, and marketed them under its own brand. Often, the manufacture's logo would also appear on the box in a corner -- but never on the toy itself.
The three Bandai Model A cars I owned as child are all clearly branded with Bandai on the car frames -- no question of origin there! And I had assumed the same was true with the rest of the line.
I had previously run across the Bandai Model A fire truck. As you can see from the image (click to enlarge), it's branded as a Bandai product.
|The Model A fire truck -- with the Bandai brand|
But then I found this version. Same model, only this one's branded Cragstan on the box. And there's no Bandai mark on the frame. The mark (lower right of the box) is NGS. This was Cragstan's Japanese export partner, Nipon Goraku Shokai, not the manufacturer.
|The Model A fire truck -- by Cragstan/NGS|
While I have no doubt that Bandai made both toys, it does add a new wrinkle to the classifications. Where there versions and/or color schemes of this toy that were exclusive to Cragstan? Which ones were sold under both brands?
It seems that with any type of intellectual pursuit, the more you learn, the more you learn what there is to learn.