Very Rare "Flying Marvel" Trapeze Circus Acrobat Sand-Powered Toy
As charming as they are unusual, sand-powered toys are rare and highly-collectible.
These toys were expensive to make, so production was limited. Finding them in any type of good condition is not the easiest task so it has taken us more than several years to get our hands on them.
This piece has a fantastic circus-theme with a lot of great details.
Of course, this circus features a trapeze artist as the main attraction.
The little figure dangles in the center of the box from a bar at the center. The delightful scene is protected by a nice pane of light glass in the front of the box.
He is perfectly still, until of course you turn the box over.
By turning the box upside down, a reservoir inside is filled up with sand. When the box is set back to rights the sand pours out of the reservoir onto a slatted wheel.
The slatted wheel is attached to the acrobat's handlebar, so that when it turns, the little man spins around.
The figure's arms and legs are jointed giving him fantastically animated motions.
He wears a colorful ensemble with puffy blue shorts, a yellow shirt and red and white-striped stockings.
Behind the trapeze artist, the background features a crowd of people gathered to watch the show, while another trapeze artist swings high above.
This is one of the more rare and unusual sand-powered toys we've seen. The top is peaked (much like a circus tent) while the exterior is covered in a decoupaged layer of red and white paper.
Both sides of the box feature beautiful, colorful advertisements for the circus inside.
The right side reads "The Flying Marvel, Dingaling Brothers Presents, Alfred the Acrobatic Bafflement" while the sign on the left side of the box reads "Dingaling Brothers Presents Alfred the Amazing, Now Appearing".
The back of the box has the most colorful, fun detail of all.
A ringleader with a tall top hat, bright red vest and starry waistcoat is pictured at the bottom while the clearly printed message reads
"Laaydeees & Gennelmun, It is with great pride we now present to you...direct from the Middle Ages...once a favorite of French Royalty in the 1600's...thriller of thousands on this continent and abroad...that Maestro of the Trapeze...the awe-inspiring...death-defying-delight...Alfred the Amaaaaazing!"
The directions for use are listed underneath and read:
"Alfred the Amazing, The price of admittance is a mere pittance...simply Turn the tent-attraction Clock-Wise Thrice...in the course of his performance, should Alfred the Amazing appear momentarily stage-struck, a gentle round of applause on the side of the tent should be most encouraging to our Acrobatic Wonder of the ages".
A very small manufacturer's mark near the bottom reads "©Vandor Imports 1968 Made in Taiwan".
As you can see, this is a very rare piece, definitely highly-coveted amongst collector's in-the-know.
Though the box shows some water-damage and a fair amount of wear, the acrobat inside still works perfectly. The piece remains in fair vintage condition overall.
What better addition to your eclectic collection than this mesmerizing acrobat?
These are so fun and unique toys, your guests will be so intrigued and want to play with them regardless of their age.
The design and engineering is fascinating and we love the fact that this works really well.
Measurements: 8 1/2" tall, 4 3/4" wide and 2" deep Weight: 13.2 oz
Item ID: 5534
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Exclusive Ruby Lane
Member since Aug 2010
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