1958 Ichiko, Space Patrol In Original Box

1958 Ichiko, Space Patrol In Original Box

One of the true rarities of the space toy world is the "Space Patrol" by Ichiko. During my research I could find no previous auction record, toy catalog, book, or photographic reference which included the box. (Kitahara has a photo of only the car). In fact, three of the largest and most complete robot and space toy collections auctioned in the past decade, F.H. Griffith, Paul Lips, and Al Rosen did not have an example, boxed or unboxed. However, on one of my recent "toy" outings I couldn't believe it when I found not only a beautiful example of the original Space Patrol (car) toy, but also its original box! It was not in a collection of toys and I believe that it was still owned by the original purchaser.

The car is lithographed tinplate with friction motor. As it moves forward the helmeted astronaut driver raises and lowers his right arm with ray gun, suggestive of firing kick-back. It's lithoed two tone; cyan and teal. It has a single, red, benchseat interior with centrally mounted steering wheel. Flying stars, moving rockets, missiles, lightning bolts, a Sputnik era satellite, a flying saucer, and even the planet Saturn were included in the lithography. "Space Patrol" was lithoed in red and white lettering across the front quarter panel sides and over the rear trunk. "X-5" was lithoed on the rear license plate area. It's marked "Made In Japan" just behind the cowl and has no manufacturer's logo.

The fenders, doors, front hood, rear hood, and cowl are embossed. The drivers shoulders are also bulbous and raised. It has chrome plated head lights, parking lights, wrap around bumpers, front grille, and windshield frame. It has its original blue tinted celluloid windshield. The tires are solid black rubber with embossed lithoed tinplate covers. The gloss black chassis is a single embossed plate. Since purchasing this vehicle I also discovered that Ichiko produced Police Patrol, Fire Patrol, and automobile versions of the toy with changes only in lithography and driver's head. The underlying structure is similar, but not identical, to the British Austin-Healey 2-door convertible.

The box features an awesome full color illustration of the Space Patrol speeding over a green lunar surface with the helmeted driver behind the wheel. The markings on the side of the car are identical to the actual lithography on the toy. Another suited astronaut or robot stands alongside the vehicle and seems to acknowledge its passing. The U.S. importer and distributor, Cragstan, was printed in the lower right corner. The toy name was printed across the top. Notice that the word "car" is not part of the toy name. The Ichiko name with the accompanying "PU" design in the lower left corner is all part of the same Ichiko logo and helps date the toy. It comes with its original box bottom with tissue paper separator.

To my knowledge this remains the only known complete box for this toy. It's owned by the Singapore Toy Museum.

Size: 8¼"

Date Sold: Jun. 2009

Price Sold: $ 9322


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Subject: 1958 Ichiko, Space Patrol In Original Box

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