Japanese Tin Toy Retailer Catalogues And The Best Vtech Dinos Products.

“We pleased to present”, no my typing hasn’t slipped up! My title comes from the cover blurb of the Aoshin Co, “Toy Brochure ’69”, upon which they happily say loudly “WE PROUD TO PRESENT YOU OUR EXCLUSIVE LINE FOR 1969″! Such wonderful misprints as this, which are well known for appearing on the boxes of Japanese tin toys, also seem to have snuck their method into the marketing material too.

Japanese tinplate toys. They’re the Everest of tin toy manufacture. These tin toys even had the power to assist reconstruct the entire Japanese economy after the Second World War.

One of the significant techniques of promotion by Japanese business was the time-honored catalogue, a shiny all-colour guide to next year’s toy item. Frequently printed on high quality paper, they are a great reference guide to when a certain toy was made, what type of toys a particular company was liable for, and even more wonderful … they are a desire book like no other! Toy Brochure” for 1969 … the battery-operated Remote-control Siren Patrol Car looks good.

Sadly, many of the companies of Japan’s tinplate heyday are no longer with us. But some of the best Vtech Dinos Products have been unleashed on the public with great results. Thanks to those hard-working folks in the promotion departments throughout the Golden Age of Japanese tin toys, we have a wonderful photographic testament, an extraordinary archive of youth artworks, some exhibitions from which are now lost forever.


HORIKAWA TOY CO., also understood by their hallmark alias “SH”, is most famous for their apparently limitless variety of square box robots with angular prismic heads. FIRE ROBOTIC is the ideal human servant, the kind of robot that authors Isaac Asimov dreamed of with his “3 Laws of Robotics”. No way!!! Also, FIRE ROBOTIC is the only HORIKAWA of the ‘square box’ design that I have actually ever seen to have a different remote control box.

One last bit of trivia about these 2 … they both look like upcoming new item in the “HORIKAWA TOY ’71” brochure. Yes, that’s right, 1971! Frequently ascribed by collectors and dealers alike to the 1960’s and even the 1950’s, it is interesting to discover that some Japanese companies were producing high quality tinplate toys for the mass world market as late as the first years of the 1970’s. Our pair were “NEW!” for 1971, numerous of HORIKAWA’S other robotics were manufactured for rather a long period.

The ATTACKING MARTIAN robot, one of HORIKAWA’S better-known items, made its debut in the early 1960’s and was readily available in its all-tinplate type until at least 1971, as it also pops up in the catalogue for that year. It was revamped and re-released in the mid-1970’s in a smaller, primarily plastic and less preferable format.

Star Wars Large Size Action Figures

One of the most popular current figure lines is Hasbro’s large ‘Deluxe’ action figure assortment, with well over 100 various character variations made so far, and collector demand still high. Customer need for their 3 inch Star Wars action figure line was extraordinary, and the management was itching for more recent and better ideas for figure relevant product.

It was just a matter of time before the memory of excellent profits previous (Kenner’s mid 1970s 12 inch 6 Million Dollar Man) guided the Star Wars product bandwagon towards … “Large Size Action Figures”.

What went wrong? The future, as Kenner found, was a fickle old location. While public need was high in the beginning, interest in the “Large Size” range soon started to subside. For the same rate point as one of the huge men, a children could buy seven or so small figures, one of their less pricey plastic vehicles, or possibly even a 3 inch figure playset. By hooking the buyers on their apparently endless little figure wide range, Kenner had actually unconsciously signed the guillotine order for their big figures.

As a last gasp, the “Large Size Intergalactic Bounty Hunter” IG-88 was unleashed upon an apathetic audience in early 1980, with the greatest market price ever in the big figure line. Apart from the reappearance of Boba Fett in a box bearing “Empire Strikes Back” logo designs, IG-88 was alone, gathering dust on the toy shop racks like a turbo powered Hoovermatic.


Lacking play value and outshone by their mini counterparts, purchaser indifference had actually lastly banished them to hyperspace. The “Large Size” Star Wars figure line disappeared (addendum: I constantly discovered it entertaining that the two bounty hunters were the last ones left … it’s like they finally got lucky, cleaned everybody out, picked up their money from Vader … and after that they aced him too!).

All those negative sentiments are now forgotten. The Death Star has actually spun cycle … due to their terrific detail, their exceptional character meaning and their reasonably limited production, the original “Large Size” figures are now in “Huge Demand”.


With their initial boxes and total with their original devices, they are your basic Star Wars collector’s dream. Unboxed huge figures, although less desirable are still popular with collectors if they are full. This can be a huge ask, especially when you consider a few of the more greatly laden cast members (go on, look at Boba Fett’s description on the Toltoy’s Brochure illustration … see what I suggest?).

So scour the galaxy. Search in every waste capsule in every passing Imperial Cruiser. Those initial old huge men have got ta be out there someplace …

Robby The Robot

Robotics, rockets, and ray guns. Today, space toys represent the other day’s vision of tomorrow. Doc Atomic’s Attic of Astounding Artifacts include …

Some robots are just born classics.
Well, guess what? Beside Robby the Robot, star of Forbidden World and The Undetectable Boy, those other robots appear like punks.

Which sort of discusses why Mechanized Robotic is such a popular piece of tin. He’s the closest vintage toy manufacturers might concern appropriating the Hollywood icon’s likeness without incurring the wrath of MGM’s attorneys. Nonetheless, there’s no mistaking the toy’s motivation.

Mechanized Robotic showcases a nice walking mechanism that triggers the toy to move in a long, sweeping circle. At the same time, the pistons under his dome bounce and brighten, while the translucent plastic in his neck shines a rich green.

This is among the first vintage robots I ever wanted, however it was also one I never thought I ‘d have a possibility to have. It’s not that pricey, reasonably speaking, and, since so many were manufactured, they make regular appearances on eBay. When I started out in the hobby, I imposed rigorous limitations on my spending– and man-oh-man does that sound so ignorant!– and this toy fell decidedly outside those restrictions.

Robby The Robot

Then a lady I was seeing unexpectedly disposed me, and my life got a little disorderly. Like lots of people in similar situations, I turned to treatment.

Okay, all right … Window shopping.

Within a week, I had my Mechanized Robotic, and it was an epiphany. I ‘d crossed some undetectable financial line and an entire brand-new world of toys opened to me. Toys I couldn’t manage, sure, however when you’re nursing a broken heart, rent and food and clothes end up being remarkably inconsequential. My shelves started filling up at an alarming rate, however with a much greater caliber of toy. (Really, this was literally the case; at about this time, I started collecting space guns in earnest.).

Mechanized Robot is one of those toys that underwent a few tweaks and modifications over its long production run. (Reports abound as to why Nomura selected to stop producing the toy in silver; the most popular says that the business thought Robby the Robotic was silver due to the fact that they ‘d just seen black and white photos of the character when they started designing the toy. About a year later, the last variation of the toy, readily available only in black, changed the knurled battery door knobs with “butterfly” knobs, which were much easier for youngsters to turn.

The toy’s most significant evolutionary step happened before it was made available to the public. Nomura initially developed a salesman’s sample of the toy, a kind of prototype, that had significantly shorter legs and utilized C-cell batteries. The C-cell battery was woefully underpowered, and the toy would run down too rapidly.

The so-called C-cell Robby was readily available in both silver and black. This helps eliminate the report that Nomura thought Robby was supposed to be silver; if this was the case, why produce a black variation for salesmen? The most likely factor for producing both colors is that Nomura believed they ‘d both sell.

When Forbidden World reached theaters, children most likely chose that if they were going to own a somewhat abstracted variation of their new preferred robot, they were damned sure it would be the ideal color. Sales on the silver may have struggled, resulting in the business discontinuing it. (This is all speculation, though, and I’m open to other possible factors for Nomura’s dropping the incredibly cool silver paint task.).

You understand, I in fact owned a black C-cell salesman sample Mechanized Robotic for a very quick time. It’s an extremely long story that due to intergalactic treaties, a top-secret score, and a minimum of a dozen pinky-swears need to stay mostly concealed. I do have clearance to say that snagging the toy involved more than a week of stressful back-and-forth phone calls; 2 double crosses; a suitcase of unmarked bills; one idiot who shall remain nameless; a master tactician understood to the world just as “Robotic Hunter”; and a hero who will forever be remembered in legend and song as Donald “The Bag Man” Conner.

Even though I got the toy, I could not pay for to really keep it. Everybody came away with a little bit more cash than they started with, and, honestly, we have actually all got an excellent story to inform.

Not to you, naturally. We can only talk about it among ourselves, and even then, we have to consume adequate alcohol to see to it we forget the discussion ever occurred. However trust me, it’s a killer story.

Man, I love this robotic.

Popeye And Line-Mar Tin Toy Tanks

Most likely discovered at a regional yard sale, the toy looked intriguing enough … I indicate, sure, it was in pieces, each cog and equipment separated by a kiddy toy specialist lots of years ago, but those pieces were of perfectly lithographed tin, in terrific condition, and all jam-packed neatly within their original cardboard box. In early November 2002, the toy went prior to the digital camera (photo perfect pose: two outer tinplate halves put together to provide a concept of its original look; its chaotic mechanical innards positioned to one side, like some clockmaker’s headache; and its appealing box checking the whole tableau).

And exactly what does all that have to do with this short article’s title, you may ask? I’ll fix that with a concern: exactly what do our 3 previously named icons (of comics, history, and comics again) share? Yes, awful titular pun intended: the answer is tin toy tanks. The Sailor Guy, the General, and the Superhero … all three were celebrated in Japanese tinplate form throughout the dynamite boom in toy production from the 1950s to the 1960s. And if I told you that one of them deserved around 14,000 United States dollars, would you understand which? Well, don’t feel so bad … you’re about to discover.

Unfortunately, the bad old General’s similarity did not even appear on his toy or its box. Line-Mar Toy’s (part of the ubiquitous Marx toy household) chose on the old ‘2 for the cost of 1′ trick with Popeye and Superman. When in action, the mechanism requires the character and tank apart, which results in the tin hero appearing to turn and raise over the tank.

The marketing folk at Line-Mar toys should have been happy with the wind-up Turn-overs’ audience response. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have sunk the dough into making the deluxe, battery-operated variation.


This wonderful, almost foot long toy was greatly detailed, and its mechanism made up a jointed three-dimensional animated figure involved in an imaginary push-and-pull duel with an extra-large tank (possibly a Patton? Poor old General!). The Superman variation is certainly well known to tin toy fans, and is a cool dabble a cool value: 2000 dollars United States MIB.

I understand, I know … where’s the 14 Grand?

The final answer is spinach.