Toys of Yesterday and Today
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When is a toy not a toy? When it’s a cigarette lighter !!




While this  miniature ship looks like an intriguing toy any young lad might want to take for a float, it’s not.  It is a cigarette lighter.  Many novelty cigarette lighters were made in various shapes, i.e., cameras, guns, cars, etc.  All intended  for the adult collector.


This ship base is constructed of heavy chromed metal.  The fact that it is made of a quality metal with a good finish is interesting in that it was manufactured post war and marked ‘Made in Occupied Japan’.  A separate plastic insert holds the removable cigarette lighter . . . also marked ‘Made in Occupied Japan’.     The red plastic holder section is held on by screws and is Bakelite.


Note:  An easy test for Bakelite is to rub the surface with a cotton swab dipped in ammonia – or a product containing ammonia.  If the swab turns yellow after being rubbed on the piece – regardless of the color of the item –  it is Bakelite.  If the swab does not show yellow, the item is not Bakelite.  Always rinse the item tested with clean water after testing.   For more information on testing for Bakelite, visit this link

The cigarette lighter was fashioned to look like the ship’s  ‘bridge’ and the button to strike looks much like a smoke stack.  The lighter is  of the same type of metal.     Items marked Occupied Japan were manufactured for export from Japan during the period 1945 through April, 1952.


This ship itself is hollow.  The lighter strikes when the button is pushed.  The measurements are:

  • Length:  5″
  • Width:  1-1/8″ (widest point”
  • Height:  2-1/8″ (w/cigarette lighter set in)


For additional information and values on other collectable cigarette lighters – visit this link for an assortment of reference books and price guides.



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Posted in Miscellaneous 3 years, 6 months ago at 6:57 pm.

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