Tin space toys propelled to $5,500 in Yoku Tanaka auction

A group of space toys proved the most popular lot in Bonhams' anticipated auction of the Yoku Tanaka Toy Collection - one of the greatest collections of Japanese tin toys.


Tin toys are known as buriki in Japan, with Tanaka's collection among the finest



The sale took place of August 25 in San Francisco, with the group of five tiny spaceships selling for $5,625.

The Tanaka collection focuses on highly collectible tin toys, otherwise known as buriki, many of which were made in Japan in the post-war period.

"At first I wasn't that keen on them, but one day I went to look at a friend's collection and was amazed by the quality of the Japanese examples he had on display," Yoku Tanaka told Studio International.

"That night, I was so excited I couldn't sleep. At last I realized that I should focus on tin-toy cars, and then I devoted my efforts to acquiring them."

Indeed, Tanaka's collection focuses on toy cars, with a Japanese "Crazy Cats" (a popular 1960s comic) lithographed bus selling for $2,750, alongside equally priced Lincoln and Citroen toys.

A tin lithographed Astro Boy bus sold for $2,500, along with a Condor motorcycle that was sold with the prototype wooden model, also at $2,500.

With nostalgia a driving force behind the collectibles market, some of the best-loved items from our childhoods are now in demand and valuable.

See our online store to find a treasure from your childhood.


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