Thursday, December 9, 2010

Yonezawa #25100 FW-100 Super Saber Jet Fighter

Today we bring you a nifty tin-ltho fighter jet from the Japanese firm of Yonezawa, the FW-100 Super Saber #25100.  Founded in the 1950s Yonezawa is also known as 'Y' or 'Yone' and was amongst the largest of the Japanese toy companies founded in the post war years. (apparently some Yonezawa toys were labelled 'STS' which may be an importer).  Much like Marx, Yonezawa  had a prodigious output which lasted from the 1950s on through to the 1970s and they made literally thousands of different battery operated and mechanical toys in a variety of categories.  

This plane follows the typical construction technique of having separate fuselage and wing assembly's.  The wing assembly attaches to the fuselage as follows: a protruding lip at the forward portion of the wing assembly fits just underneath the forward opening beneath the fuselage, while the rear of the wing assembly has a hinged lever which latches underneath the rear of the fuselage opening.  Through the simple expedient of having two separate assemblies, the toys could be packed into smaller boxes, saving packaging costs and allowing more product to fit on the store shelves.  Yonezawa chose to highlight the apex of American jet engineering by deliberately featuring the Pratt & Whitney J-57 P7 jet engine by designing a 'cut-out' in the fuselage and prominently displaying 'P & W J-57-P7' just below the opening.  And, this being a toy, they also included a sparking mechanism as shown in the photos.  A small tab rubbed up against a grit wheel creating sparks which would fly out the back end of the airplane.  This was probably a great feature when new, but my example has lost its spark with old age!  Boy, can I identify with that one!! :-)

Japanese tin was at one time considered cheap toys - no longer!  Japanese tin often times demands premium prices especially when it's in excellent condition with the original box.  For those of us on a shoe-string budget however, we have to rely a little bit on luck and may have to settle for less than perfect.  One of the cardinal rules for collectors is to buy things the very best condition you can.  Of course, those rules are always written by the pundits - the people who have.   But I'm here to tell ya, those who have not can still enjoy collecting, even on a shoestring budget.  You'll notice my example is not pristine.  It has some scratching, there is a little rust, and a couple of small dents, yet it is complete and displays very well in spite of the shortcomings and I have no reservations about displaying it, photographing it, nor presenting it here.  As long as you enjoy what you collect, let the pundits be damned!!  Enjoy!