c.1950 Tipp & Co., No. 595 "Silver Racer" in Original Box

c.1950 Tipp & Co., No. 595

One of the all-time most popular, as well as most ingenious clockwork tin litho toys ever conceived was Tippco's Silver Racer, made in West Germany. Even after more than 60 years it's still highly desirable in any condition, yet is seldom found. Super high grade working examples are especially tough to find and the original box is practically non-existent. Reproduction boxes way outnumber originals. 

After many years this is the first high grade example of the Silver Racer with its original box I've found. The toy grades in incredible near mint- condition and all functions work beautifully! The box is complete and all original. It conservatively grades good+.

The uniformed driver and co-pilot were produced in two variations; 1) as in this example with orange helmets, yellow and black jackets, brown trousers and black boots, and 2) yellow helmets, orange and yellow jackets, gray trousers, and brown boots. Although both are difficult to locate, this example which is variation #1 is much scarcer as compared to #2.

The toy consists of a full-figure uniformed driver and motorcycle with an attached third-wheel side-sled. A matching uniformed daredevil co-pilot stands crouched and upright on the sled facing straight ahead. As it moves forward the co-pilot swings down in front of the third wheel and extends out into empty air. His weight, now shifted far over to the left appears to force the cycle to counter-balance by also turning sharply left. This suggests that hair-pin turns which would normally be impossible to negotiate are easily accomplished. The cycle completes the turn. Then the co-pilot moves back up into position directly above the sled which appears to straighten out the cycle's front wheel. 

Of course, the ingenious part is that it's all an illusion. Sure, the counter-balanced weight of the co-pilot probably has some effect, but the cycle turns left primarily because its front wheel is connected indirectly to the moving figure with a metal rod. The synchronization is perfect which makes the illusion perfect!

But there are other characteristics which enhance the illusion and add to the realism.

  • Ultra-high quality - Notice how the right and left halves of both the driver and co-pilot line up precisely and realistically.
  • Technical lithography - Colors were purposefully designed to draw your eye to the action, while subduing the actual mechanicals. For example the motorcycle's highly embossed surfaces were contrasted in metallic blue and silver, and the uniformed figures are boldly colored black and yellow. These colors cleverly draw your eye away from the neutral gray metal rods which are responsible for making everything work.
  • Exceptional design - The attached key was "hidden" underneath the sled, while the tiny unobtrusive start/stop switch can barely be seen on the rear of the sled. 

The box features a different full color illustration on the front, top cover, and rear panels. The front shows the co-pilot crouched parallel to the top of the sled ready to make his move. The top has the iconic image of the leaning co-pilot  extending out beyond the edge of the sled. While the rear panel has the perspective from the back of the motorcycle just as it completes its turn. The side panels were simplified with white line on blue background illustrations.

Size: 8" long, 5½" tall, 6½" wide (co-pilot leaning). 

Sold: Jul. 2013

Price Sold: $ 3250


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Subject: c.1950 Tipp & Co., No. 595 "Silver Racer" in Original Box

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