Here’s a vintage “Alps” made in Japan tin & plastic hot rod my son Dante and I discovered at a local antique show we attended last week. We had lost all hope of finding any vintage toys there, but it wasn’t until the very last aisle we went up before leaving, that amongst all the antique furniture and endless booths of freakin glassware did we discover one guy in a booth with a treasure trove of toys. Our eyes bulged out of our heads and paying admission was worth it after all.

We stepped in the booth and began talking about some of toys he had and my interest in robots by Daiya, Horikawa and Nomura which lead to collecting toys that were MIB (mint in box), that’s when he said,
“Let me show you this toy I just found at an estate sale”. He reached under some other boxed toys from a corner of a table against a wall and pulled this beauty out. It was mib, it even included the instructions. I asked if he could throw some batteries in it to see if it worked and sure enough, the stop and go action kicked in and the radiator even began smoking (not a defect but a feature).

I made him an offer and it was ours.

What I’ve always admired about the Japanese tin toys is not just the overall quality and ingenuity, but the tin lithography they’re so famously known for.

The only kaiju (monster) figure (not included) I could get in the drivers seat was the Gargamel crouching mini Zagoran ( a modern vinyl toy made in Japan). He’s got the perfect expression to be driving a hot rod so he worked out just fine.

Here’s it is with some smaller tin friction cars.
The hot rod itself measures a whopping 11 inches long, 5.5inches wide and 5 inches tall.

There’s also a really¬† great “limo” version of this hot rod that Alps made.
It reminds of the Munsters hearse hot rod…one of these days I’ll track those versions down.

The Munsters on a family outing in the Munsters hearse hot-rod.

A Marilyn Munster pin-up!

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