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The company YONEYA Toy Co. Ltd. was formed in Japan in 1950 and more than often is referred to simply as YONE. The company used the trademark of a diamond lozenge around the letters SY during the 1950-1964 era. After 1964, the trademark was changed to incorporate the name YONE again within a diamond lozenge. YONEYA produced a variety of tinplate toys including various novelty items like the Hippo Bank and several clockwork carousel type toys, road driving sets, military vehicles to include jeeps and tanks. Also produced were civilian and racing cars as well as space toys and robots.

In the early 1960s, YONEYA produced a very nice lithographed figure 8 track platform set that featured a Vintage VW Bus as the vehicle. The very colorful track platform looks like offset bricks to create the roadway along with a green grass edge. In the background graphics are of known world points of interests such as the Eifel Tower, Big Ben, leaning Pisa Tower, Sydney Opera House, Taj Mahal and a desert cactus scene, perhaps Arizona. There is also center graphics of a train track switching yard and a carnival park scene. The track platform measures 15 cm X 26 cm or about 6 in X 20.5 in.

The tin lithograph VW Bus is a 1961 Transporter model with a two-tone blue and off-white body color scheme and litho windows with seats inside. The front of the Bus has a VW logo, headlight and turn signals. The chassis is made of plastic and has a key wound clockwork motor with the key hole on the driver’s side. The clockwork motor has a reduction gearing which drives the white plastic wheels slowly. There is a special silver painted plastic guard that goes around the VW Bus to hold everything together in place. The small VW Bus is about 48 mm (incl. the plastic guard) or 2 inch long or about 1/87 scale

The box top is very colorful showing the VW Bus on the brick roadway. The box has the YONEYA company logo in the lower left corner and the catalog number was 1931. Interestingly enough, the picture of the VW Bus on the box has printed TOYS CLUB on the side and front top which does not appear on the toy VW BUS lithograph itself. Also, the box cover shows TOY CULB (misspelled CLUB). This YONEYA track platform set with VW Bus from the early 1960s era is very collectable, utmost rare and seldom found.

The TOYS CLUB VW Bus set has been recently produced again but is a modernized version that is made in China. The track platform has completely different lithograph scenes although the VW Bus design itself looks very similar.

Additional Info

  • Manufacturer: YONEYA - YONE
  • Scale: 1/87
  • Length: 48mm
  • Production Era: 1961 - 1964
  • Country: Japan
  • Materials: Tin Lithograph
  • Color: Blue & Off-White
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