Car Culture-Tin Can Toys

Assorted toy cars at a store

Tin Can Toys!

If you were a child in the 50’s or 60’s, the chances are you owned
some type of battery operated tin toy.

There were character toys, holiday toys, and vehicle toys! Most
of these toys were produced in Japan. After World War II ended,
the treaty with the Japanese limited the type of items that
the country could produce. With a strong sense of ingenuity
and work ethic, they became the premier manufacturer of
inexpensive toys after the war. Soon the toys they produced
had multi functions. They would move, make sounds, and have
flashing lights. The majority of components used were tin. Since
resources in Japan were very limited after the war, much of the
tin used was from old food cans. Many of these toys if taken
apart reveal names like “Hunt’s” or “Dole”. These toys were
fragile to say the least. They had multi colored lithographics,
plastic parts, and rubber tires. It did not take long for plastic
parts to break off and batteries to wear down. A toy left in the
rain was “rust” the next day. Not a lot of these toys survived.
Japan has a tin toy museum, which preserves and restores these
classic toys. Many books can be found on these and there is a
high cash value on many. Have you been good this year?
Maybe Santa will leave one of these under your tree!

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR
from your friends at Leon’s Transmission!

If you have any questions, call your local LEONS TRANSMISSION SERVICES representative.