Sunday, September 27, 2015

China - #ME-087 Tin-Litho Batt-Op Jet Airliner

It's not often I post  a toy on or close to the same day the photos were taken but yesterday was a good opportunity to take pics of this beautiful big bird. This jetliner was made in China but I don't know who the manufacturer is or when exactly it was made. As most industry in China is state-run or controlled I can only assume at present the toy was made by a state industry vs. private enterprise. As to the year of manufacture I can only guess as 1980's or '90s. Speculation sucks but that's all I have to go by right now.

The toy itself is one of the biggest tin-litho airplanes in my collection at 19" (48.26cm) L x 17 3/4" (45.08cm) wingspan x 7 1/8" (18.09) H and unlike most of my battery operated vintage toys actually works! It takes three 1.5V (D-cell) batteries and the nose lights up, the engine nacelles light up, it makes a jet engine whine, and then starts rolling across the floor. The front wheel is permanently turned towards the right as are many batt-op airliners, which forces it into running in a big circle. The nose is odd-shaped giving it a 'porpoise' nose outline. This was necessitated by the frosted white plastic nose piece under which is a light. Construction is pretty much on a par with the vintage Japanese toys we collectors are familiar with. The fit between the wing and fuselage assemblies is a tad off though and so tight that the wing doesn't slide all the way forward.

I ended up taking two sets of photos after noticing that one of the engine nacelle wing mounts wasn't attached to the wing very well. After correcting the problem the photos were retaken against a black background. This really is a nice toy and I've noticed more and more vintage Chinese toys coming up for sale. They generally tend to be pricey but every so often a bargain comes along (which is why I snapped this one up). Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina

This shot is clearer

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