Vintage Japanese tin toys from the early postwar era continue to surprise and delight. Just when I think I have a handle on the subject, I discover something new.
In this case, it was another variation.
One of the first additions to the Straco layout was my cattle truck (which had seen better days). Two years ago I found a variant -- an Express van. Recently I saw a third version for sale -- a covered flatbed.
All three friction toys were made by the same company. Though the colors of the cab and chassis detail are reversed, they're identical for all three vehicles.
At first, I thought that might be the only difference. A careful comparison of the three trucks yielded other differences. The bottom of the Express van is flat. The other two are rounded (perhaps for greater structural strength?).
|Note how flat the bottom of the Express van is (left), compared to that of |
the newer covered flatbed truck (right).
The hubcaps for the Express van are secured with rivet heads. The other two have solid hubcaps the cover the rivet heads.
The beds of the Express van and covered flat bed trucks are secured to their chassis with six tabs. My cattle truck only has four.
|From flat chassis (left) to rounded (middle); and|
from six securing tabs (left and middle) to four (right).
- First generation: Rivet head hubcaps, flat chassis bottom, six securing tabs.
- Second generation: Solid hubcaps (cheaper to make and install), rounded chassis bottom
- Third generation: Four securing tabs -- two less tabs means less labor. That's not insignificant for large volumes of toys assembled by hand
That would my new acquisition a transition piece between the Express van and the cattle truck.
Whether it is or not, this covered flatbed makes a great addition to the Straco Express display layout.
- Pegboard: $4.95
- Flathead Screws: $0.40
- Molding: $2.49
- SilClear: borrowed from a friend
- Green Paint: leftover from another project
- Wood Screws: $3.60
- Felt Pads: $1.99
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
Cragstan HO Light Tower $20.49
4 nesting houses $4.99
Tinplate gas station: $5.00
- 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
- Haji three-wheel tanker $5.00
- 1950's sedan $2.99
- LineMar Police Car $9.00
- 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
- LineMar County School Bus $9.99
- Nomura Red Sedan $5.00
- Nomura Police Car $2.52
- Nomura lumber truck $3.48
- 6 Nomura vehicles $16.99
- Shioji Express Truck $10.00
- Shioji Covered Truck $12.50
- Orange Sedan $10.99
- King Sedan $9.95
- Indian Head logo sedan $4.99
- Indian Head (?) convertible $18.00
- Yellow/red Express truck $9.99
- Red limousine FREE