Tuesday, January 10, 2012

HTC Tin-Litho Greyhound Scenicruiser Bus

Picture taking had slowed down during the holidays and so I'm going to pull some photos taken earlier of various toys until 'production' resumes at a more steady pace. 

Today Toys & Stuff presents an icon of the open road, the Greyhound Scenicruiser (a deliberate pairing of the words 'scenic' and 'cruiser'). This 3-axle parlor bus design, which was unique to Greyhound Lines, was first built in 1954 with production ending in the 1970s. The typical Scenicruiser's passenger compartment extended all the way to the rear but our toy reflects a truncated version with a large luggage rack above the rear roof. I couldn't find a photo on-line of a Scenicruiser in this particular configuration, but with approximately 20 year's of production, it's not unlikely that there were numerous variants.

The Toy: Our featured toy is another tin-litho gem from The Age of Tin from the Japanese firm of HTC. I had originally bought the bus to place on my 3-rail tinplate/toy train layout but it was actually a little bit too big for me and is now displayed on the shelf. It measures 11 1/2" (29.2cm) L x 3" (7.6cm) W x 3 1/2" (8.9cm) H. My example has some condition issues. Actually it has a bunch of issues, but that's okay, it displays well - enough! The overall condition of the lithography is still nice but most of the hubcaps and both bumpers are missing. The luggage rack's nickel plating is worn off and there is some separation of a couple of vertical members. The front axle sits low, probably the result of play wear - imagine if you will a youngster with his hands resting on the front of the bus, placing his weight over the front axle, and rolling it around the floor. These toys can only take so much punishment! I also noticed an odd factory defect on this bus. The stamping for the front panel, that which has the windshield, is crooked! Look at the photos. The stamping is correctly attached to the sides with no evidence of tampering, but the entire windshield is cock-eyed!!