c.1950 Doshinsha, Battery Operated Naval Destroyer in Original Crate

c.1950 Doshinsha, Battery Operated Naval Destroyer in Original Crate

Before you read this description scroll down and take a look at this super awesome "toy". I've seen a lot of different toys over the past ...years. However, this item has to be one of the most beautifully constructed, well made, wooden and metal toy ships produced during the mid-20th century. Manufactured in Japan by Doshinsha Company Ltd., Tokyo it was probably made for U.S. export. It looks like it was completely hand built and painted. It's battery operated and requires an incredible 10 D-cell batteries! Measuring nearly 3ft. long it has never been played with and comes complete in its original wooden crate with packing materials and instructions. I'm unfamiliar with the manufacturer and could find no reference information about it. 

The ship was modeled after a U.S. Naval destroyer of Korean War vintage (see last photo). The main deck and axillary raised decks are deep turquoise in color. Gold highlights were also painted on the four torpedo tubes. The turquoise color extends half way down the hull. The bottom of the hull is brilliant red. The upper and lower sections of the hull are separated by a wide black and narrow yellow striping. 

It's armed with four torpedo tubes, six depth charges, four anti-aircraft cannons, two long-range cannons, and five twin machine gun turrets. The cannons can be turned in any direction. Gun barrels are all metal in either brass, or silver finish. It also features four decks with an electrified light-up bridge, metal port holes and metal railings. It has six (3 red, 3 green) original antique light bulbs screwed into raised wooden sockets. There are also two celluloid covered faux parts (compass and vent), a small metal conical structure at the top of the bridge, and a separately applied red and white wooden life buoy. 

It also has its original (and fragile) 48 star cloth American flag. The base of the flag pole is threaded to screw into a metal bow fixture. The chrome plated metal rudder can be manually turned using the steel crank fixed to the stern. In fact all metal components, except the gun barrels, are chrome plated. 

To insert the batteries the center deck sections are removable. Metal contacts placed on either side of the removable decks electrifies the bridge section. The ship runs using twin TMY (?) motors which are fixed into chrome plated metal housings. The motors have never been used and still have their original cardboard covers. Each motor turns a heavy, chrome plated triple blade propeller. Electric operations are controlled using the three metal deck grommets located in front of the stern (rear) light bulb. These also control an electric emergency bell hidden inside the hull interior. 

At this point in the description the most important question is "does it work"? The answer is Yes and No. I placed 10 fresh batteries, correctly into position. Contacts were cleaned to make good contact. The bell worked great....and loud. However, I could not get the lights or motors to work. I checked each bulb and all filaments are intact. After placing the batteries into position I noted that the center control knob got very hot indicating that there is a short somewhere in the wiring. Every part has never been used so most likely the short is due to contact between two bare wires (possibly due to age). That's not a big deal, but I didn't want to mess around with trying to find the short. It's really a minor point in consideration of its incredible condition and scarcity, however if you choose I can recommend a toy restoration person who could make the repair. 

The crate was made from inexpensive plywood which has browned with age. Both the top (last crate photo) and bottom (1st crate photo) panels were stenciled with the senders name (Sgt. Foster) and the recipient. The crate is complete, top, bottom, and all four sides. Also the crumpled remains of the original paper wadding still lays in the bottom of the box. In addition it still has its original direction sheet. This small 3" x 5" sheet of paper with battery schematics is the only identifier of the Japanese manufacturer.

I was informed by its previous owner that the destroyer was hand carried to the States from Japan, or Korea, by Sgt. Foster #AF34257309 to the U.S. Naval Base, The Presidio, in San Francisco, CA. and then shipped to Orlando, FL. A little Internet research showed that Sgt. Fosters 6153rd Air Base Squadron was one of the earliest squads to engage in the Korean "Conflict" and saw heavy action. 

Size: Ship 31". Box 35" x 7" x 8".

Sold: May 2009

Price Sold: $ 560


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Subject: c.1950 Doshinsha, Battery Operated Naval Destroyer in Original Crate

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