This is a Japanese 1950's Wind-up Lithophane Orange Kitty Toy with Pink Bow reminded me of something we used to have right after the time this would have been made. We do not know much about their history just that they were made in Japan., They are just so darn cute and creative and fun, thought they would be fun to have in the store. I know people my age that still collected these as adults, and gave them to their nieces nephews kids or grandkids to start their own collections. We thought it would be helpful to keep a few in the store for our customers to do the same for their collector friends and relatives. Sharon chose this colorful orange cat chasing with a pink bow which reminded me of something even older than the other one in the art straight out of an old cartoon. It does look just like a cartoon character. It is trademarked on the side and marked 'Made in Japan' but the trademark was cut through for the wind-up keyhole. According to the history from below, it was probably made in the 1950s. And we were surprised to find a price guide which included toys -the wind-up tin toys having surprisingly high resale or collector values, even higher than some of the porcelains. This piece winds up just fine and it works, it has no breaks, cracks chips, or missing pieces. The surface is in good condition a bit dusty and a few age-related flea bites, haha! There is some paint loss along the wind-up wheels on the bottom.
SIZE: Lenght: 3.5 in. or 8.89 cm, Height: 3.93 in. or 6.35 cm.
Brief History Windup and Tin Litho Toys
Tin Wind-up toys were first made in the 1500s. Those we collected would have been some of the last made during the 20th century before the invention of the battery in the 1960s. A tin toy, or tin lithograph toy, is a mechanical toy made out of tinplate and colorfully painted by chromolithography to resemble primarily a character or vehicle. Tinplate was used in the manufacture of toys beginning in the mid-19th century. The toys were made from thin sheets of steel plated with tin, hence the name tinplate. (Excerpt to early history then Japan). The production of tin toys was discontinued during World War II because of the need for raw materials in the war effort. After the war, tin toys were produced in large numbers in Japan. Under occupation and the Marshall Plan, manufacturers in Japan were granted the right to resume production. The idea was to give Japan all of the low profit; high labor manufacturing and the US companies could sell the imported product. It worked better than they had expected and Japan became a tin toy manufacturing force until the end of the 1950s. In the 1960s cheaper plastic and new government safety regulations ended the reign of tin toys. Presently, China has taken over the role of the leading tin toy manufacturing country. from Wikipedia
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