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Old Toys in Tokyo...

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jive-Bomber, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. This is the Akihibira district, pretty much all the buildings in these images are Hobby shops, ……

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    ……….. often each floor is dedicated to a specific hobby…..

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    …… such as this one filled with row after row of plastic car kits,

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    ……. or this one with every possible thing for the die cast car collectors.

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    If you are headed to Akihabira, plan on being there all day, because there's more than just one block of multi storied buildings to cover.

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    There's also hundreds of specialist market stall winding like snakes through the lanes and back streets.

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    Here's but one of many that specialises in hand tools and machines for small scale manufacturing or model building.

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    This ready to go, fully functional Dart Vader outfit was a steal at only $3,000, but it did include a device to make you sound just like James Earl Jones in the Starwars movies.

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  2. This is the Tokyo branch of the Toyota Automobile Museum, it's housed in the shopping mall which forms part of the giant Toyota Megaweb Showroom and test driving complex.

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    There's usually a familiar face or two hanging around….

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    However, inside the main display areas, it's quite dark………………

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    in order to add ambience to the streetscape………….

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    However, thanks to the size of the collection and ever increasing range of vehicles, the displays are changed on a regular basis.

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    There's also a large shop, selling a vast range of memorabilia, die cast models, books and videos.

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    Much of what's for sale, is hard to find outside of Japan.

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    And the American influence is everywhere.

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    The cafe is one of the few in Tokyo that serves coffee to suit western taste and is a great place to relax.

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    Or you can hang around outside the restoration shop where there's always at least one project underway…

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  3. The Main Toyota Automobile Museum facility is an ultra modern 3 story complex, with vast open areas and heaps of natural light, where the cars are displayed for close up inspection and with consideration for the photographer.

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    One level houses the history of Toyota and the Japanese car industry, another the entire history of the motor car, with examples of machines from all over the world and the remaining space in the main building is reserved for special displays. The most recent being the complete collection of 1/4 scale models for each and every Toyota vehicle from the first to the latest. For me, to see all those models in the one place at the same time was something special as they are usually kept in various storage areas around the organisation. If you're interested I can add a few images of the models and some of the Japanese cars too.

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    Here's a nice line up of GM and Ford products. Each of these cars was assembled in Japan as a new car back in the day.

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    All of the cars in the collection are perfectly restored and are regularly removed from the museum and driven in order to maintain them in perfect condition.

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    This Stutz is absolutely stunning, you can also see some of the unique and very rare Japanese cars in the background.

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    In Japan you could have your model T in any colour you liked, even red.

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    The European cars are no less impressive.

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    And there's some incredible motorcycles dotted around the building too.

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    The museum is constantly acquiring new vehicles like the recently procured Tucker.

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    However my favourite has been part of the Toyota Collection since day one.

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    As has this armoured Packard which arrived in the mid 1940s to transport dignitaries and generals for ceremonial duties.

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    A couple more Japanese assembled Americans from the late 1920s.

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    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  4. The recently added annex building adds another dimension to the museum as explained by the images and words to be red as you enter the main space.

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    The displays all show how US occupation influenced Japanese culture and life style,

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    How about this early product of the Honda Cycle Company and yes, it is motorised.

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    The US encouraged the Japanese to manufacture goods for export, which they did with great gusto……

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    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  5. As a result, they took existing foreign technologies and made them better, smaller and cheaper………

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    An early item from a new company that would become one of the biggest, today's Panasonic……

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    And who doesn't have something from these guys?

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    The walls are covered in cool images & displays spread across the years and showing how quickly things changed during the 1950s.

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    Before the war, nobody in Japan even knew what a comic book was, by 1950 Japan was the biggest producer of the genre in the world.

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    Same goes for pressed metal toys, many being motorised and battery powered.

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    And of course the car culture and related stuff grew at an insane pace……….

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    These magazines appear to be a cross between US Hot Rod Magazine and Playboy.

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    And of course anything American, was ultra cool and desirable…..

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    Another unique aspect of the museum is how they encourage children to learn and embrace automotive culture with hands on, interactive displays……

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    And a learning centre….

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    The Japanese version of Hotwheels is Tomica of which I have maybe as many as I do Hotwheels, however I draw the line at building cities.

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    And lest you think the Japanese have no sense of humour………..

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  6. MoparJoel
    Joined: May 21, 2012
    Posts: 860

    MoparJoel
    Member

    Cool stuff, Im not to far from you in South Korea, Ive been stationed here for 4 months now (out of a year tour) and cant find anything that isn't Kia or Hyundai, all the hobbie shops here are robot models and the cars are all junk. I get real excited when I see a newer mustang or challenger rolling on base,that was shipped from the States. Thats the extent of cool stuff as far as I have seen from Korea...:mad:

    I got to see the kia and hyundai headquarters last weekend...not real cool.
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    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  7. 1932 Chevrolet....NOT a Stutz.
     

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  8. Code for Stutz image is definitely there, I just checked using the edit function, maybe it's slow to load or something.
     
  9. scott51
    Joined: Mar 7, 2009
    Posts: 131

    scott51
    Member

    thanks for posting this, heading to Japan for a holiday later this year and this stuff's got me hyped.
     
  10. BrerHair
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 4,628

    BrerHair
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Relax nooch. Don't know how old you are, but I'm simply stating a fact. In the '50s and '60s "Made in Japan" meant cheap crap to most Americans, whether the moniker was accurate or not. Clearly, the Japanese are engineering & manufacturing experts whose many & spectacular successes need not be re-hashed here.

    And Carps is showing us that they are curating experts as well, really magnificent collections. Great history & culture lesson Carps, keep it coming!
     
  11. BrerHair
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 4,628

    BrerHair
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  12. I'm half Japanese, I collect primarily diecast robots made by Popy from 1974 to 1982:

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  13. michael037
    Joined: May 26, 2005
    Posts: 320

    michael037
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Carps
    Thanks for the great pictures and info as usual.
    Michael
     
  14. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    For modelers and those interested in currently available Japanese stuff, look around the site below. They have a fair sprinkling of purely Japanese stuff mixed into the largely USA Model car section, and other neat 1/25 stuff in the Japan culture section. I've only begun to delve around in there...how about a 1/25 scale old-fashioned squid vendor booth? And they do have Daihatsu midgets in 1/25, though not the old 3 wheeler I want...

    http://www.hlj.com/

    Their service to USA orders id VERY good.
     
  15. Over the weekend I was in an antique store and saw these two... A 1960s Japanese friction car and a Rocket Racer friction car.

    I could afford the Rocket Racer, but I really wanted the race car. A bit too spendy for me though.
     

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  16. pwschuh
    Joined: Oct 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,399

    pwschuh
    ALLIANCE MEMBER


    You have to be VERY careful buying these Japanese 'antiques.' Many are being repopped in China and sold as antiques. If you don't know what you're looking at, it's easy to get burned.
     
  17. As with anything, buyer beware. This thing had just enough 'wear' to look the part of a taken care of toy. I didn't see any "Made in China" stampings or modern looking parts.
    This place I was at does a pretty good job of accurately researching and listing their stuff, but like you said, easy to get burned if you don't know.

    Either way, I didn't pull the trigger on it. I would rather spend on hotrod parts for my toy. ;)
     

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