1920 Strauss Krazy Kar in Original Box w/In-Box Catalog

1920 Strauss Krazy Kar in Original Box w/In-Box Catalog

Early 20th century clockwork tin litho Krazy Kar manufactured by Ferdinand Strauss. Open automobile with clown driver comes complete with rare original box. Includes original 32 page black and white Strauss in-box photo catalog. 

The Krazy Kar features random stop and go "mystery"movement which was adopted a few years later by Louis Marx in their series of "eccentric" cars. Travels in one direction and then can stop, turn right or left, reverse, or continue moving straight ahead. Strauss advertised it as "the cleverest mechanical toy".

Dubbed "Krazy" because of its random movement it was also the basis for using a clown as a driver. This is the green version with balloons and engine louvers lithographed on both sides of the vehicle. Yellow, blue and pink versions were also produced although there may have been more.  "Krazy Kar" is lithoed on the front radiator. The company logo of a clown straddling the Earth appears on the rear trunk. The wheels are bright yellow and embossed with lug nuts. The clown driver is lithoed on both sides and is embossed. He's also removable. The gear covering underneath the car is polished tin.

The box was illustrated with an accurate representation of the toy. It shows its random movement after striking three dazed clowns. Two chickens scatter in front of it while a barking pup runs along side. The drawing was repeated on all four main box panels. 

The black and white in-box catalog promotes 27 lithographed tinplate mechanical toys all produced by the Strauss company. Each one includes a small photograph of the actual toy with a short description, size, and a little character drawing below. In the early 1920's the company focused much of their resources on building a network of retail outlets. These stores exclusively sold Strauss products and were located primarily in railroad terminals. Much of their sales were aimed at "traveling fathers" which led to their slogan "Hello Daddy, Don't forget your Kiddie". The little girl shown on the cover became a mainstay for the company. A photograph of Ferdinand Strauss was printed on the back inside cover. The copyright date was 1926 although the Krazy Kar was actually manufactured six years earlier which explains why it doesn't appear in the catalog. Somewhere along the line the catalog and toy were paired together. Just to emphasize this is an original catalog, not a copy or reproduction.

Size: 7". 

Sold: Dec. 2007

Price Sold: $ 1026


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Subject: 1920 Strauss Krazy Kar in Original Box w/In-Box Catalog

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