1933 Unique Art, Daredevil Motor Cop in Original Box

1933 Unique Art, Daredevil Motor Cop in Original Box

One of the most difficult to find of all the early clockwork tin litho motorcycle toys, especially in high grade condition, is this DareDevil Motor Cop manufactured by Unique Art Mfg. I purchased this example from the estate of the original NJ owner who found it in their Great Aunt's attic. It's in superb near mint- condition. It also comes complete with its original box which is one of the best (and few) I've seen; exc+ to near mint.

The toy features an early 1930's uniformed cop driving a police motorcycle. The figure and motorcycle were made from the same piece of tinplate tabbed together. It has two parallel revolving rear wheels and a freely spinning three dimensional front wheel. The clockwork motor winds-up counter-clockwise using either of the two extra long banana-shaped steel keys located just below the seat. A start-stop lever is on the rear fender. 

Once you wind it up and set it down the cycle start moving forward and the long attached keys unwind. Eventually the length of the key make ground contact forcing the entire toy to tip over. It lays on the floor, but the keys continue turning. Eventually the keys, because of their length, will cause the motorcycle to upright itself. The rear wheels make ground contact and once again it begins to move forward. This continues until the motor runs down which is why it's called the "Daredevil" cop. Unfortunately these actions also create lots of scratches and scuffs making high grade examples difficult to find. 

At the time this toy was released Marx was selling their own version which was almost identical. It was called the "Police Tip Over Motorcycle Cop" and sold for 59¢. Although the Unique Art toy was more robust it retailed for $1.59, or 2½ as much as the Marx toy. Of course, fewer were purchased and the toy died after a year. Today, this makes it a difficult toy to find in any condition; high grade examples are exceedingly scarce. 

The full color box was illustrated with a smiling cop raised up on his rear tire creating a small dust cloud. Lots of colorful text advertising its tumbling and uprighting abilities were included on the main panels. One set of endflaps opens like a hinge. The two inner flaps on this end were printed with operating instructions (see 2nd to last box photo). The opposite set of flaps were designed to remain closed using a locking tab.

Size: 8½". 

Sold: Dec. 2012

Price Sold: $ 1040


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Subject: 1933 Unique Art, Daredevil Motor Cop in Original Box

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