c.1948 Marusan/Kosuge, Dreamland in Original Box

c.1948 Marusan/Kosuge, Dreamland in Original Box

Early post-war tin litho clockwork "over-under" toy manufactured by Marusan and Kosuge, Japan complete with original box. The toy was most likely named "Dreamland" after Coney Island's legendary  third amusement park. In existence for only seven years (1904-1911), very few products have used the Dreamland name. 

This is only the second example of this toy I've seen and the only original box. It's also one of the largest toys of its kind measuring over two feet long. It's complete, all original, and works beautifully. Despite a few scant areas of smooth surface rust on the bare metal underside, and other condition points noted below, in my opinion, the toy grades near mint. 

The toy consists of three track sections. Two of these are permanently connected, but disconnect to fit inside the box. The track was lithoed with a repetitive series of red triangles with yellow rails. End stops have the Marusan logo on one end and Kosuge on the other. It uses a simple see-saw mechanism with a "grab-track" in the center (resembles an all red ladder laid flat onto the track). The clockwork motor will only run when it makes contact with the grab-track. This allows the toy to run for an atypically long period of time. It also requires that the car face in a specific direction. It must be placed with the red and blue tail lights facing the Kosuge logo when started.

It uses a single, but large, pale yellow and red car with blue windows and separate key. The wheels were also lithoed in matching pale yellow which is  unusual. The car starts down the short track end rolling onto the see-saw. The complex clockwork motor engages the see-saw grab-track which pulls it up, onto, and over the upper track. It also produces a loud perpetual dinging bell sound. It passes through a flagged arch. Gravity tilts the see-saw track until it disengages, allowing it to slide down onto the lower track. Once on the lower track, it rolls backwards, running underneath the upper track. The Dreamland car is particularly heavy weighing 2.5oz. The weight is needed to raise the upper track as it passes below it allowing it to return to the start position. The cycle repeats. 

The box is fantastic. It features a huge panel-wide detailed illustration which carries over onto a second adjacent panel. The series of two connected drawings were printed again on the remaining two panels. It shows the gigantic Dreamland amusement park. The bus in the foreground was lettered with Dreamland on its sides indicating that Dreamland was a destination and not just the name of the ride. 

Although I really didn't get a good photo of it, one end of the box has a series of nine country flags arranged vertically on a single rope. It's interesting to see that the Japanese flag was the only flag flying higher than the American flag. 

Size: 25". Car 3ΒΌ"

Sold: May 2008

Price Sold: $ 265


 

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