1954 Taniguchi Shoten, King Jet Racer in Original Box

1954 Taniguchi Shoten, King Jet Racer in Original Box

Superb tin litho friction drive No.8 King Jet Racer manufactured by a small Japanese company Taniguchi Shoten Co. , Tokyo. Toy appears to have never been played with in near mint condition complete with original box.

Robin's egg blue color with unusual bulging tear drop shaped body. Beautifully lithographed with a series of louvers, exhausts, recessed lighting, grilles and multi-colored side stripes with stars. Odd looking vehicle looks like a composite; half automobile and half jet. 

Front section resembles early 1950's sedan with embossed fenders, raised central hood, teeth and mouth chrome plated grille, and rounded chassis. Futuristic type chrome plated floppy "headlights" with vent holes and a large transparent celluloid cockpit bubble were added giving it a rocket ship appearance without loosing it's 1950's flavor. Pilot is completely enclosed. Cockpit itself has an embossed steering wheel and dashboard gauges.

Rear jet end features large central fin with "King Jet" on both sides. Fin section is surrounded by an embossed ridge which was lithoed black with yellow rivet heads. Tail tapers on both sides ending in a large circular exhaust capped with a chrome plated ring. Metal on the top half of the exhaust were cut out and replaced with see-through red celluloid panels. Both exhaust ports spark although flint needs to be replaced in the right exhaust. 

Chassis underside is a single plate which encloses the entire vehicle. The four solid rubber tires with steel litho metal hubs are all recessed into the body. 

Original box shows an accurate rendition of the toy.  Shadowing and set against a black background really makes it stand out. Name of the toy and several simple line illustrations were printed on all four aprons. Box bottom is early, thin wall corrugated cardboard. Box side panel still has its original Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) sticker. The sticker is marked "Z" which indicates that it's a "miscellaneous product". The two four digit numbers, 7113 and 7114 categorize it as a metal toy. 

Despite having a fairly extensive library I could find no printed reference to this toy. It was not sold in either the Sotheby's Griffith sale (December, 2000), or the Christies, Paul Lips collection (November, 2005). Smith House toys sold a boxed example in 2003. Much thanks to the Robot Island web site which dated the toy using a 1954 New York catalogue.  

Size: 12" long x 4½" at its widest point.

Sold: Feb. 2007

Price Sold: $ 3272


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Subject: 1954 Taniguchi Shoten, King Jet Racer in Original Box

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