A rare TM (Masudaya) battery-operated tin-plate Radicon Robot, Japan, circa 1958
A rare TM (Masudaya) battery-operated tin-plate Radicon Robot
Japan, circa 1958
the underside impressed Japan, with remote control also impressed Japan and two detachable receiving 'antenna', in original colour-printed fitted brightly printed box of issue, not tested
37cm. high; box 16cm. high, 48cm. wide, 26cm. deep.
The piece has not been tested. The robot generally good, surface of body very good and apparently rarely used. The clear-plastic covered control panel with dirt trapped. The battery compartment with traces of rust and some deposits. The cardboard box discoloured in places and with tears to three corners of the lid. The lower cardboard box section with compression in places and tear to one corner. Lacking instructions. Batteries not included. Additional images available on request.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
In the early decades following World War II, the period from which the present lot dates, Japanese toy manufacturers excelled themselves in the design and construction of tin-plate toys. They had financial support from the US for this burgeoning industry, which also benefited from preferential export rates to the US. This permanence in the mass production of tin-plate and in constructing battery-powered motors allowed Japanese makers to lead the market for sophisticated gadgets for children. The ‘Radicon Robot’ demonstrates this expertise and expresses the romance and fascination for all things ‘Space-Age’ in that post-war period of technological advancement and excitement.
The marketing on the box boldly proclaims "THE FIRST AND ONLY COMPLETE RADIO REMOTE CONTROL TOY". Arguably this is amongst the first of its type, heralding the arrival of remote controlled, futuristic, toys for children.