1956 Naito Shoten, "Mechanical Deep-Sea Robot" in Original Box

1956 Naito Shoten,

Ultra-rare clockwork tin litho "Mechanical Deep-Sea Robot" manufactured by a little known company Naito Shoten, Tokyo, Japan. It's fresh to "the market" and has never been in any toy collection. Recently found at a small "mom/pop" country auction. 

Nearly 60 years ago the original buyer (a father type) laid out 88¢ at the local People's Drug Store to buy this toy for his son who was in bed with a cold. I was told that he was scared of the toy, played with it once or twice and was carefully put away and stored. It was discovered when the family was selling their home contents and moving. 

In addition this rare toy comes with its extremely scarce original box! The few bits of reference information I could find indicated that there are only 2 or 3 boxed examples of this toy known to exist. It's considered one of the rarest toy boxes of all mid-century Japanese made robots. It is not a reproduction.

Esthetically it's one of the most visually appealing robots I've seen.  He wears a deep metallic cobalt-blue diving helmet with an embossed red, black, and white face plate. His wide open staring eyes with raised brows are mesmerizing.  The uniform is silver with red details and an embossed red belt. He holds a 2-piece space rifle in his left hand. It's marked "AN" inside a diamond shape with "Japan" on the right rear oxygen tank.* The outer surfaces of the legs are lithoed with gears and belts. The underside of the body is enclosed. The feet are large, wide, and deep red. Each has two rubber wheels on the underside to control motion. The three coil springs (1 in front, 2 on the oxygen tanks in back) are an ingenious touch. The clockwork motor works beautifully. It moves using classic early robot motion; stiff unbending limbs swinging alternately right and left .

The box cover illustration is pure 50's Japanese was printed in full color! Background was colored blue-green. The box top shows Deep-Sea Robot walking on the ocean floor, staring outwards, laser rifle in hand, and completely sealed in his underwater suit. The import company trademark AHI (Azrak Hamway International) was printed in the lower right corner and catalog number (left lower corner). All four box skirts are different. The sides and front were designed with undersea images. All four have the toy name printed on them. The A.N trademark was printed on the left side skirt. The box bottom still has it's original 88¢ yellow price sticker!

Size: 7-5/8".

Sold: Dec. 2015

Price Sold: $ 11400


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Subject: 1956 Naito Shoten, "Mechanical Deep-Sea Robot" in Original Box

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