Tuesday, December 02, 2014

The Straco Layout, Part 39 - King Me

The "King" sedan, made in Japan in 1953.
Read all the installments of the Straco Express layout project here.

At this point, it's safe to assume that all the major acquisitions for the Straco Express display layout have been made -- at least when it comes to vehicles. But that doesn't mean I won't add something that I find extremely interesting -- like the King sedan.

There's no real information about this vehicle. I don't know if King was the maker, or if it has a crown on it so kids could pretend it was a royal coach, or what. The license plate reads 1953, and I'm pretty sure that's the year of manufacture.

If so, that makes it a fairly early piece in the history of post-war Japanese toy manufacturing. The relative crudeness of the lithography seems to support that assumption. Look at the difference between the King sedan (1953) and the orange sedan made just two years later!

What a difference between 1953 (left) and 1955 (right)!
The body styles are different, of course. The King sedan reflects the early post-war car body styles, while the orange 1955 model has the longer, streamlined form of mid-century automobiles. Also the lithography is more detailed, and people have been added. All of vehicles I've found from the late 50's on -- regardless of manufacturer -- have drivers and passengers depicted.

And the colors are brighter on the later models that I have. That's not due to age or sun-bleaching, either. As the market matured, I think Japanese toy makers learned that primary colors sold best, and designed accordingly. The King sedan has nice, contrasting colors, but they don't quite pop.

Still, it's a nice addition to the layout. As you can see.

Total cost for the project:
Layout construction:
  • Pegboard: $4.95
  • Flathead Screws: $0.40
  • Molding: $2.49
  • SilClear: borrowed from a friend
  • Green Paint: left over from another project
  • Wood Screws: $3.60
  • Felt Pads: $1.99
Power Pack: $5.90
Small Houses: $3.00
Testor's Gray Paint for road: $1.29
Bandai Areo Station: $8.99
2 tinplate signs: $1.00
4 tinplate signs (with train) $5.99

  • Two Japanese toy cars: $2.00
  • A.W. Livestock truck: $4.99
  • Taxi: $2.99
  • Ambulance: $2.99
  • Two Japanese patriotic cars: $6.99
  • Haji three-wheel sedan $3.00
  • 1950's sedan $2.99
  • LineMar Pepco Truck $8.50
  • LineMar Bond Bread Van $8.00 
  • LineMar Fire Engine $4.95 
  • LineMar Dump Truck $12.99 
  • LineMar GE Courier Car $10.98
  • Nomura Red Sedan $5.00
  • Nomura Police Car $2.52
  • Nomura lumber truck $3.48
  • 6 Namura vehicles $16.99
  • Orange Sedan $10.99
  • King Sedan $9.95
Total Cost: $150.90

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