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What are these Japanese in plates? Cost!!!

In Model Cars > Tin Model Cars > Show & Tell and Toys > Friction Toys > Show & Tell.
Friction Toys64 of 82Greyhound BusJapanese Friction Cars
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Posted 6 years ago


(1 item)

Hi, I got these "Japanese" tin plates cars in the early 80's. I have 5 or 6 and then I was told the Company was going out of bussiness. Can anyone tell me anything about the cars. They are front wheel friction wheels.
Conroe, Tx.
PS: The last picture is the underside of one of the cars: 50's/fifities and over on the other side it says : Made in Japan, nothing else.


Mystery Solved


  1. t54, 6 years ago
    These were "nostalgic" styled tin toys with plastic accessories (plated bumpers, molded seats...) trying to capture the feel of the great tin toys made in Japan in the 1950's. They were first issued in 1981.
    Only they fell short of the mark, by a mile. Plastic does that, when added to tin, as plated plastic looks like... plated plastic, and the molded seats looked rather cheesy.
    They originated from Switzerland as the late Count Giansanti, maker of the Fulgurex model trains also produced in Japan, had these made. There are 4 models with either top up or as convertibles, making a total of 8, plus a rash of colors available. They were a Buick, a Cadillac, a Corvette and a Ford Thunderbird, each in two improbable versions.
    Of course, they were offered with a "certificate of authenticity" making sure that their owners were taken for the usual "limited edition, serialized" ride invented and perfected by the Franklin Mint.
    The production tools were shifted to China when Tyco purchased the rights from the Count, and have been produced on and off ever since, by the wagon full. So much for "limited editions".
    For a serious collector, they are pretty much worthless. For an amateur collector, they may have some display value, but there are THOUSANDS on the open market out there, so it is unlikely that they will be worth much in the future.
    Check eBay, you are bound to find dozens of them, every day of every week of every year, and likely for many years to come. Average sale price for the earlier ones: $35.00.
  2. t54, 6 years ago
    And by the way, they have nothing in common with Marusan, one of the great names in Japanese tin toys, the REAL thing.
  3. All50en, 6 years ago
    Thanks for the answer. I knew that they were not Marusan's. I was surprised to see made in Japan on the bottom of the cars, but I just got one says made in China. They are great looking, but I have my answer. Thanks.
    Les Goekler

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