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So here is a short backstory. My dad was born in the mid-late 40s, and got this toy plane for one of his earlier Christmas presents. His cousins also got one but had it broken and thrown away in short order. Well, He and my uncle played with it as children and then as they got older it was stored away and forgotten, until I came along 20+ years later. I was a young child when my grandfather pulled it out of his old shed and assembled it and plugged it in and it still worked. I played with this plane on and off all through my childhood, almost any time I went to visit my grandfather. Well, time went on as it does, and the plane was stored away and forgotten again until my grandfather passed away and my uncle and dad were cleaning out some of his old junk. My dad knew immediately that I would want it, as I have so many great memories of sitting in the dirt behind my grandfathers house watching this thing circle around and listening to him laugh at me and my delight in this amazing toy. I have had it stored here for the last 10 years or so. Just recently, an episode of pawn stars sparked the memory of it so I pulled it out of storage and set it up and amazingly, this thing still works. It is definitely showing its 60+ years of play and storage, but it is still functioning just as I remembered.
To the best of my dad's recollection, it was purchased at a small town hardware store or department store somewhere around Warren County NC in the early 50s. This and the other one his cousins got that year are the only 2 he can ever remember seeing. I have searched internet sites and such and have never found even a picture of another one. However, the parts and painting are such that it must have been manufactured, somewhere. Anyway, pictures say a thousand words, so here are some. And a short video. Any ideas or thoughts are welcome.
There are 16 total track pieces that connect together with tabs in slots and the plane rides on them when taking off and landing, to keep it from hanging up on the cord. Thanks for viewing.
Nothing I have been able to locate. Dad said he thought there used to be some stickers on the bottom of the track pieces, but they are long gone at this point.
Hi Brit, that's a great toy! and I love your history of it to! I'm not terribly knowledgeable in the vintage/antique toy dept. However, I do know that if something like this is unmarked, it's most likely Japan or Germany. In either case I think you have a valuable toy here, especially because it's in working order, and still has all the parts.
That being said you will also have "condition" issues, but if it's rare, it's not likely to matter that much. I would go to two places to search further. First, try the PBS/Antiques Roadshow website, and look up toys. You will also find contact info for their toy experts, who might be very interested to see yours.
Second, try the heritageauctions.com website. They have a wealth of completed auction results, and if I remember correctly there are lots of toys in there to.
It's great! Hope you find out!