This bright and beautiful piece was a gift from Teru Kitahara, the biggest toy collector in Japan – and perhaps the world. I visited Teru in Tokyo and he said to me, “What are you after?” For years I had been collecting and studying the cheapest toys made as soon after World War II as possible in the axis countries. Natural resources bombed to oblivion by the allies, I was fascinated by the ingenuity of very early, post war German and Japanese toy makers.
I showed Teru some photos of what I was after, he took me to his warehouse and started shouting orders to workers (it was probably 9 at night) and one after another, boxes of gems, a king’s ransom of collectibles was passed under my nose – all I had to do was point and it was mine. In a lifetime of collecting, this is one of my all-time favorite moments. My wife, Mom of Mom and Pop Culture, says I never showed so much restraint. This is one of a number of pieces I was generous given by the great Teru Kitahara on that evening of magical delights.
MINT FIGURES ON NEAR MINT CARD! Only 2 pieces missing. Little browning on card. Size of die-cast pieces are appx. 1.5-2 inches each!
You get 8 monorails and 2 cable cars – the strings turn these into operational toys with wheels at top to ride the string. Circa early 1950’s.
Each piece is made from antimony (basically common solder), I can only surmise due to the scarcity of metal after the end of the war. The Japanese were ingenious enough to actually make toys out of the material used to solder other pieces of metal together. This card would be displayed near the cash register at a toy store and single pieces would be sold from it. The pieces and the card are rare – together they are very rare.
Comes with a COA from the Adler Collection / Museum of Mom and Pop Culture..