This cardboard box for a Moon Rocket held a "tin toy" manufactured in Japan for export to Western markets. The artist's illustrations on the box dramatized the toy inside, showing the rocket on the lunar surface or zooming away from the full Moon. The toy's maker, Yonezawa Toys, Co., Ltd., was one of the biggest manufacturers of tin toys, which often carried space themes. In post-WWII Japan, producing 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. Toys like the one contained in this box tapped the American fascination with outer space while also showcasing its battery-powered features.
The Gewirz family donated this toy to the National Collection in 2006.
Gift of the Carl and Nancy Gewirz Fund Inc.