c.1958 Linemar, Friction Missile Tank (with Circuitry Robot) in Original Box

c.1958 Linemar, Friction Missile Tank (with Circuitry Robot) in Original Box

"Bizarre" best describes this unusual Friction Missile Tank with Circuitry Robot by Linemar. It comes complete with original box and original removable missile. 

This embossed, metallic silvered-blue, tin litho toy has a friction drive motor and moves forward using three solid rubber tires. The lower section resembles a compressed 1" high tank with three paired bogey wheels on each side. Centered on the tank is a stationary 1" high, octagonal turret with the number "2" on both sides. A 4ΒΌ" long tin litho #2 missile with three pink celluloid fins and solid rubber nosecone rests on top of a red and black ramp fixed to the top of the turret. The ramp manually raises and lowers. A small pin in the center of the ramp secures the missile to the ramp. The missile was not made to actually launch.

Most bizarre of all is the robot driver, or pilot, or whatever it is. It's a deep blue color with lithoed rivets around the top of the head, shoulder sockets, and lower neck. In place of a face it has a yellow, black, and white circuitry panel. A second rectangular panel with yellow and black dials is lithoed on the center of the chest. The lithography makes the robot appear completely electronic. It was integrated directly into the tank and therefore did not require arms. 

The super cool full color box has a terrific, finely drawn, illustration of the tank on the cover. The driver is depicted with two yellow eyes peering through a black faceplate. The side panel on the box bottom still has it's original J.M.T.I.A. (Japan Machine Tools Importer's Association) inspection "passed" sticker on it. 

I've never seen this toy before. I looked through every book on space toys that I own and could find no reference for it. This includes auction catalogs from the recent Christies, Paul Lips robot sale, the Sotheby's Griffith robot auction, Kitahara's tin toy books, and Greenberg's Guide to Marx Toys Vol. 3 (space toys). The books Future Toys, Blast-Off, and 1000 Robots also made no mention of it.

Size: 6". 

Sold: Mar. 2006

Price Sold: $ 1576


 

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