Gosh, one never knows what they'll come up with when researching toys. Usually it's just a matter of company 'X' producing this or that toy based on either a real or imaginary concept. Marx, MPC, Ideal and others of course made it a point to produce many toys and playsets based on history. During the past few weeks Toys & Stuff has been featuring tin-litho aircraft and helicopters usually based on real-life counterparts which saw actual service in the world's military's or airlines. Today's featured toy is a tad bit different. The Piasecki YH-16 Transporter helicopter was a real aircraft. Unfortunately, after the crash of the second prototype in 1956 which killed both test pilots, the program was canceled! So here we have some 'enterprising' toy company making a toy based on a failed and deadly aircraft!! This definitely falls into the "What were they thinking?" category. Unfortunately there were no maker's marks on the toy, which is not altogether unusual. The only thing I can think of was that the toy company liked the looks of the helicopter and simply decided to make the toy, although there were other tandem-rotor helicopters in service which they could have chosen. We'll probably never know.
The toy itself is a gorgeous Hunk O' Tin. The fuselage measures16" (40.6cm) L x 6 1/2" (16.5cm) H at the tail. It has a battery compartment which accepts two 'D' cell batteries and is connected to the fuselage by a wire. Unfortunately my example doesn't work, but the fuselage and rotors are clean and it 'displays well'. The reality is folks, most of these toys don't do anything more than go around in circles, the rotors move and there may or may not be blinking lights. Nice, but nothing that really grabs my attention so, for me at least, it's not that important to have a working mechanism. This is still a beautiful toy from The Age of Tin! Enjoy!
Piasecki YH-16 helicopter in flight (Public domain photo)
Shown here with Marx Air Force figures and a Japanese tin-litho bus from the company 'Toei'