Although a mere 16 pages in total, the Yonezawa Toys Co. Ltd. '63 Catalogue offers a wealth of invaluable information on Yonezawa Robots that had previously been lost to history. Exclusively Yonezawa products, this is surprisingly not a wholesale but a retail catalog.

In 1963, according to our Japanese collector friends, store-bought tin toys would have been considered a high-end luxury item reserved for the very well-to-do. Nearly all our Japanese contemporaries grew up playing with simple wooden toys but nonetheless developed a fondness for these toys that equalled, if not exceeded, our own. Even though most could not look forward to owning the same shiny new toys which we all but took for granted, many Japanese children had first hand exposure to them because of the cottage toy assembly industry, often working evenings and weekends alongside their entire extended family to help provide much needed extra income.

Targeting the home market in Japan with these products was an extremely innovative move in 1963. As shown from the prices stated in yen owning any of these toys would have been prohibitive for most Japanese consumers at this time. Moving beyond our amazement that a Japanese catalog of this type even existed in 1963, the content instantly shatters many previously accepted facts as to when some of these robots were available while at the same time providing firm on-sale dates for others which we could only guess about up until now.

TOP LEFT: Outer dust cover and front page of the Yonezawa Toys Co. Ltd. '63  TOP RIGHT: Pages 3 and 4 provide invaluable information about Yonezawa Robots in 1963, on sale dates for many which had been previously unknown    BELOW: More details about the robots included in the catalog.

ABOVE: The details on the main robot page of the Yonezawa Toys Co. Ltd. '63 provides a treasure trove of new information. Not only does the catalog provide collectors a date when the enigmatic Diamond Planet Robot (Item 1) was on sale, it also shows a unique version sold in Japan with many variations from the versions exported. The chest plate of this robot is lacking stamped in rivets, has tabs not visible on other versions, and has a unique and very simplified chest dial litho that has a dark instead of light background.

A second startling revelation is that the Modern Robot (Item 3), previously thought to have only been available very early in the decade was still on sale in 1963. The Smoking Spaceman (Item 5) which was promoted heavily in 1960 and 1961 under both the Linemar and Yonezawa brand names was was released again in 1963 with slight revisions but only as a Yonezawa product.

The catalog also gives us the first known on sale date for the mysterious Jupiter Robot (Item 4). Like the Diamond Planet Robot, a unique chest design is shown on the robot featured. Jupiter Robot, when new, sold for the same price as Mr. Atomic.

The featured Robot shown, larger than all the rest, is the rarest version of Mr. Atomic (Item 2). Lacking the Cragstan graphic this rarely seen version has unique lithography, nine "eyes" instead of sixteen, and non-moving arms.

BELOW: The Mechanical Moon Robot (Item 7), generally referred to as "Ribbon Robby" is also available later than one would generally expect and was the lowest price robot in the catalog.