The ‘Golden Era’ of the Japanese tin lithographed toys began after World War ll in the early 1950’s and continued through the 1960’s and into the early 1970’s.
Even though these tin toys were very popular because of their colorful exteriors and attention to details, there was pressure to discontinue production from groups that felt toys manufactured in tin were more dangerous to children. The pressure from these groups eventually won out and resulted in companies discontinuing the manufacturing of these great toys.
During the ‘Golden Era’ there were many different models of toys, like automobiles made in the United States, as well as many robots, character toys, ferris wheels, race tracks, play sets, etc.
Many of the toys had unique modes of action, i.e.,
- Friction drive
- Wind up
- Combination of both
These brightly painted, litho toys can be found in sizes ranging from eighteen inches all the way down to a very small 1-inch in size.
In today’s market, the collecting of tin toys is still one of the largest segments of toys that you can still find and enter into at very low cost. In my opinion, I would recommend that you buy a current toy price guide so that you can be come familiar with, properly identify and purchase your toys at a good price. Not knowing the market value can really cost you in the long run if you don’t do your homework with a good price guide.