The Queen of the Japanese Tinplate Toy Automobiles


Would Virgil Exner have approved? I think he would have loved it!


The queen of all Japanese post-war tinplate toys, the Asahi '62 Imperial is as pretty as it is rare.
I had about a dozen going through my hands over the years, maybe more than anyone since the toy was manufactured by the famous Japanese Asahi Toy Company (ATC) in 1963.



The toy is rather large at 14". The thin steel sheet is stamped with as complex a shape as that of the original Exner design.




Except for the rear-view mirrors, hood ornament and taillights, all the "chrome" trim is made of thin steel stampings, and that includes the Imperial graphics on the sides of the toy.


The tires are rubber with molded-in whitewalls. The mechanism is by friction, typical of period Japanese toys.




The paint is very nice, a bit of an orange peel feel. The whole interior is made of stamped tin at the exception of the oval steering wheel made of injected plastic.


The rear deck under the window is printed with  "Made in Japan" as required by US Customs laws.






The glorious taillights have injected plastic lenses.




The headlights are made of die-cast zinc moldings fitted with injected plastic lenses.


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