c.1958 Nomura Friction Satellite Launcher in Original Box

c.1958 Nomura Friction Satellite Launcher in Original Box

The late 1950's was the satellite age. Many toys were produced to cash-in on the growing interest in space travel. This unusual tin litho friction powered "Satellite Launcher" was a fantasy concept vehicle produced by Nomura. It comes complete with its original box, satellite, inserts, and wax paper separator.

Basically it's an olive green U.S. Army Corps vehicle with solid black chassis and rubber tires. It's all tin litho with embossed details and polished tin wheel centers, front vent, and front bumper. The Nomura T.N trademark was lithoed onto the front left corner. The front end also holds the blue plastic satellite. The satellite hub is geared to rotation of the front wheel drive motor. Rapidly skidding the front wheels will launch the satellite. And yes, it works great!

Although it has a pick-up truck appearance the front is actually the lower satellite end. The lithoed soldiers are in the rear. The two can easily be confused. Apparently this was the case at the factory. Step 2 of the direction sheet incorrectly instructs the user to "give a strong rub to the rear wheel". Rather than reprint the sheet the word "rear" was crossed out in red (now lightly faded) and the word "front" was printed just above it.

The box has a really neat panel-wide color illustration of the launcher on a non-terrestrial landscape. It shows the satellite at the point of its initial launch. Several soldiers look on. Simpler drawings of the Launcher are printed on all four aprons. The Nomura T.N trademark is located on the lower left front cover corner.  In addition to the directions already mentioned the toy comes with both original inserts and wax paper tissue separator. 

Size: 8". 

Sold: Apr. 2010

Price Sold: $ 257


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Subject: c.1958 Nomura Friction Satellite Launcher in Original Box

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