Pam’s Pictorama Toy Post: As promised, the New Year parade of toys continues. Today’s is a lucky find post. I can’t even remember what I was looking for or at when this little fellow popped up on the bottom of my eBay screen and caught my eye. I was in bed, doing a casual weekend eBay scroll as is my wont, when I spied him. I showed him to Kim and we agreed that he was a purchase.
Despite repeatedly being labeled rare he is not especially and there was another more tatty one being offered even then – there are several now in a range of prices- should you decide you need to run out and purchase one, which of course I wholeheartedly support. (We can all have one for prices ranging from $30-$250.) However, I give some credit to the seller who, with a close up shot, sold me on him when frankly I would have usually just passed by since, as we know, I am officially a collector of cats and not dogs. However, he had a come hither look and bam! He was mine.
He is a Made in Japan tin toy (no company name beyond that, stamped on his tummy), and the consensus on his origin seems to place him around 1950. I was surprised by his size when he arrived (I thought he would be substantially bigger), but there is something extremely appealing about it.
Our pup is well designed. His ears are made of another material (a hard rubber perhaps?) and seem to be extremely vulnerable to loss, as does his tail which is made of the same material. Some versions have his (painted on) tongue sticking out, although mine does not. He sports a (painted on) collar, spots on his back and hind quarters and a gentle expression sunk in wrinkles. Oddly, his front legs are separate pieces which are welded on, but do not have a moving function. A solid state and smooth working key is permanently installed in his back.
His trick, as you can see, is that when wound his tail spins around – a fairly straightforward motion. Further research shows that he originally had a shoe in his mouth! When I looked, sure enough there is a little hook in the corner of his mouth to hang it from. Ha! It does crack me up. (The concept and the motion is similar to another tin dog in my collection, shown above. A post can be found here complete with video motion. There is also another tin dog that coughs up tiny balls which can be found here. You see, we do have our dog days here at Deitch Studio.)
Our new fellow has a place of pride among the kitties (alongside a tin pigeon, some Donald Ducks and the aforementioned canines) on a shelf in the big bookcase of goodies. A tiny but very entertaining addition to the Pictorama and Deitch Studio family.