1941 Wyandotte, Speed King Mechanical Scooter in Original Box

1941 Wyandotte, Speed King Mechanical Scooter in Original Box

This Speed King Mechanical Scooter by Wyandotte was one of a group of toys in which production was halted within a year of its release because of the war. As a result it's one of the scarcest tin litho mechanical wind-up toys produced by the company. This excellent+ to near mint example marks only the second time I've found the toy. It comes complete with its original box which is the first I've seen. 

Reminiscent of a by-gone era the toy features a three dimensional Safety Patrol Boy named Jimmy riding a three wheel scooter made from a wooden soap crate. "Speed King" was lithoed on the left side of the crate, while the right includes a squeeze horn and the Wyandotte logo. A candle inside a can was lithoed up front to represent a headlight. A gas gauge and speedometer were lithoed onto the "dashboard" indicating that it represented a utilitarian vehicle, and not just a kid's toy. The back of the crate is "open" and shows groceries and packages lithoed inside. All three wheels are wooden.

The tin litho Jimmy closely resembles the illustration on the box except for his shirt. The toy shows him in a red, short sleeved collared shirt, while on the box he's wearing a rugby type sweater. He's also sporting a pair of navy blue and yellow checkered knickers, with red and yellow striped knee-high stockings and brown shoes. 

A few winds of the attached key, set him down, and the mechanical right leg goes into action. It's a much more complex toy than it looks using five separate gears. The Wyandotte engineers had to figure out a way that the right foot made contact with the ground to move the toy, but would not inadvertently stop it when it returned to its original position. This was accomplished by pivoting the leg at the hip for the forward movement, while a metal rod attached to the knee actually lifts it up just very slightly. In this way it won't touch the ground when it returns to its starting position. Best of all the toy works great!

As I mentioned the super cool box has a neat illustration of the Speed King in action. Wind it up and watch it go! The side panels repeat the illustration. 

Stop, look and listen
Before you cross the street.
Use your eyes, use your ears,
And then use your feet!

Size: 6¼" long x 6" tall and 2" wide. 

Sold: Feb. 2007

Price Sold: $ 710


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Subject: 1941 Wyandotte, Speed King Mechanical Scooter in Original Box

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