Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Today we share a seldom seen toy from TH--who says: 

(Before you click on the photos, read on.)This is one of my all time favorite friction toys I had as a kid.  I clearly remember going into the basement of the Duckwall's store in Hays, Kansas and finding this one there.  It cost all of $1.00 (none of that 99 cents nonsense back then). And I was immediately drawn to it.  This toy is a fairly accurate replica of an AEROCAR that had been around in various forms since 1949 and in 1955 I sent off for a brochure of it (wish I still had the brochure). The details of the 55 are a bit different than this but the entire concept is identical.  

As a bit of background, the Duckwall's store in Hays was one of their flagship stores - something on the order of a big city Kresge or Woolworth.  I think the reason may have been because A. L. Duckwall graduated from Fort Hays State College (now University) in the late 1930's and was a classmate of my dad's.  

Years later the Duckwall store was replaced by an ALCO store and later that was removed.  Seems Hays was too big of a city to have an Alco as they concentrate on smaller sized cities.  But I fondly remember that store and it is a cherished memory of mine as is this toy - but at least I still have it.

This is a classic piece of post war Japanese tin plate so dear to a certain older generations childhood.  And yes this one was used - quite a lot I may add.  Many years ago I had to effect a repair of sorts because the axle had become so worn that it was shifting around and going out of alignment and would not mesh with the other gears.  

I took it apart and made a sort of axle separator to stabilize it (see photo of the rear) and it still works well.  At one time the propeller turned but no longer (though it sort of tries in sort of a huff & puff way).  The shaft of the propeller had a sort of cone shaped bit of rubber on the end which contacted the flywheel of the motor and turned the propeller shaft. 

I have included photos of the bottom latch mechanism and the way the wings attached.  In the real airplane the wings folded against the tail and could be towed behind the vehicle (tiny wheels attached to the tail and wings effected this transition.) 

Thanks TH for the photos and this very detailed background.

We very much enjoyed your sharing this wonderful piece of made in Japan tin.

And for those who want to know more about the real AEROCAR, click on the link below

p.s. Aerocar International's Aerocar (often called the Taylor Aerocar) was an American roadable aircraft, designed and built by Moulton Taylor in Longview, Washington, in 1949. Although six examples were built, the Aerocar never entered production.

1 comment:

  1. Incredible toy and even more so since it's based on something that was real. Thanks TH for sharing.