Developed in the '60's as a multi-role aircraft the F-111 was developed as a joint effort between General Dynamics and Grumman with the first test flight taking place in 1964. A pioneer of variable-sweep wings, it is this feature which is the most prominent on the real aircraft and toy as well. The F-111 entered production in 1967 and all variants ceased production in 1998.
T.N. of Japan's toy version has become a classic and much sought-after collectible. With it's variable-sweeping wings, jet engine noise, lights, and forward moving action it hits all the right buttons for a '60s era toy. I don't have any reference material which shows when these were made but I'm making an educated guess that it was made in the late '60's just as the real aircraft. Toy manufacturers were always on the heels of the aircraft manufacturers, coming out with the latest in aircraft designs almost as quickly as the real airplanes were hitting the tarmac. The toy measures 15 1/2" (39.37cm) L x 8 1/2" (21.59cm) wingspan (wings retracted) 13 1/2" (34.29cm) wingspan (wings deployed) x 4 3/4" (12.06) H. It takes two 'D' cell batteries with the On/Off switch being located underneath the fuselage. The vertical stabilzer detaches from the fuselage for easier storage in the box (also making the box required smaller), and the pitot tube at the nose of the fuselage also retracts into the nose (ALSO making for a shorter box)
It's taken me three separate tries before finally latching on to one of these that WORKS. I bought the first one knowing it didn't work but got it at a decent price. For a display model it was fine. The second worked for a little while before giving up the ghost. This one was a full-on operating toy and it's a beauty. I took a video of the main operating features but just didn't have a good enough space to place it on the floor and let it go through its paces. In any case I hope you - Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina