Tin Toy, Space Elephant

Tin Toy, Space Elephant

     

This metal "space elephant" is a tin toy manufactured in Japan for export to Western markets. In the 1950s and 1960s, its maker, Yoshiya (also known as Kobe Yoko Ltd.), specialized in producing mechanical or wind-up toys with fanciful designs. In post-WWII Japan, producing these metal toys began as a way to tap into an international market for "penny toys" or cheap playthings, but developed by the late 1950s into a industry manufacturing creatively-designed, complex toys with moving parts and/lights that competed successfully with Western toymakers. This toy illustrates how Japanese toy makers tapped into the fascination for space exploration even if the basic form of the toy was not space-related.

The Gewirz family donated this toy to the Museum in 2006.

Gift of the Carl and Nancy Gewirz Fund Inc.

Country of Origin
Japan

Manufacturer
Yoshiya or Kobe Yoko Ltd.

Location
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, VA
Hangar
James S. McDonnell Space Hangar

Type
MEMORABILIA-Popular Culture

Materials
Metal, cellophane, plastic
Dimensions
3-D: 22.9 x 14 x 15.2cm (9 x 5 1/2 x 6 in.)

This metal "space elephant" is a tin toy manufactured in Japan for export to Western markets. In the 1950s and 1960s, its maker, Yoshiya (also known as Kobe Yoko Ltd.), specialized in producing mechanical or wind-up toys with fanciful designs. In post-WWII Japan, producing these metal toys began as a way to tap into an international market for "penny toys" or cheap playthings, but developed by the late 1950s into a industry manufacturing creatively-designed, complex toys with moving parts and/lights that competed successfully with Western toymakers. This toy illustrates how Japanese toy makers tapped into the fascination for space exploration even if the basic form of the toy was not space-related.

The Gewirz family donated this toy to the Museum in 2006.

Gift of the Carl and Nancy Gewirz Fund Inc.

Country of Origin
Japan

Manufacturer
Yoshiya or Kobe Yoko Ltd.

Location
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, VA
Hangar
James S. McDonnell Space Hangar

Type
MEMORABILIA-Popular Culture

Materials
Metal, cellophane, plastic
Dimensions
3-D: 22.9 x 14 x 15.2cm (9 x 5 1/2 x 6 in.)

ID: A20060090001