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TOY NOMURA Co., Tokyo, Japan was founded in 1923 and used a trademark of T.N inside a diamond. In the 1950's and 1960's they were of the largest toy manufacturers of Japan. In 1993, the company was bought by HASBRO, Inc. TOY NOMURA, like many other Japanese toy manufacturers, produced toys for the USA market and used the toy importer CRAGSTAN, based in New York.

This NOMURA TOY VW Convertible is perhaps the premiere of all Japanese Volkswagen Cabrio collectible tin cars. A very nice tin plate Cabrio with the top down depicting a Space Patrol Volkswagen car driving on the moon surface. If you can believe that! The lithograph body graphics are a combination metallic blue, red and silver. Tin parts for the hood VW emblem, trim, handle, and door handles. Graphics also include turn signals, door seams and “R-10 and SPACE PATROL” lettering.

The lithographed interior looks like the inside of a space craft with all kinds of controls, radio, levers, switches, lights, gauges and a dashboard with a steering wheel. Certainly, enough gadgets to get any Volkswagen safely through space travel. The tin driver looks like an astronaut in a space suit with helmet. There is a metal windshield with a plastic window insert, to deflect meteors, that is mounted to the body. Not sure what the advantage is driving a convertible on the moon, especially in a space suit? There is a special whip antenna that attaches to the body in case the astronaut driver needs to call and talk to “Houston Ground Control – we got a problem.”

The rear of the Space Patrol VW has no air cooled four-cylinder engine (because there is no air on the moon) but it does have what appears to be a red plastic nuclear powered, rocket booster, power plant, with after burners. When operating, there is a red glow from the rocket engine and a red light that moves back and forth inside the clear box above the engine with a revolving engine sound. Having those lithographed headlights, taillights and stop lights comes in handy when driving on the moon, especially with all that local traffic, as well.

The metal chassis is painted black and there is a battery compartment that holds two “D” cells. Electric motor, with rubber tires and metal hubcaps, for just forward drive only. An on/off switch is located under the rear bumper with manually adjustable front wheels. The front and rear bumpers are tin and have a metal spring in the middle of the bumpers for I would guess for bouncing off of moon rocks. The original box cover shows the Space Patrol VW in driving action on the crater surrounded moon terrain.

Note: this Space Patrol VW Cabrio also came in a second version with Bump N' Go action and is identified with a white plastic windshield frame.

Additional Info

  • Manufacturer: TOY NOMURA
  • Scale: 1/12
  • Length: 330mm
  • Production Era: 1960s
  • Country: Japan
  • Materials: Tin Plate Lithograph
  • Color: Metallic Blue/Red/Silver
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