ALPS SHOJI Ltd. made battery-operated mechanical toys (robots, cars, musical chimps, clowns, wind-up animals) and produced some of the better quality Japanese toys throughout the post-war years. Alps Shoji Ltd. Tokyo, Japan was founded in 1948 and was specialized in toy vehicles and novelties. A lot of their toys were battery operated; made of mixed tinplate and tin. Space toys are among the most popular. The distinctive logo (the word "ALPS" printed on top of a mountain peak) of this Japanese company makes it easy to identify. Many of their toys had multiple actions, for example, a convertible car would not only move forward and back, but the top would also roll down and go back up. This ingenuity ensured the toys' popularity, and for a time, they were in great demand.

However, despite their success, the company abandoned toy making some time in the early 1970s to become a manufacturer of consumer and industrial electronics and remains in the electronics business today.

They produced this very nice tin plate Volkswagen Convertible with the top up. Tin body is painted a medium green and there are metal trim pieces that include windshield trim, headlights, VW hood emblem, side trim and door handles. The tin top has cutout windows, painted a pale light green color and attaches to the body. The tin interior has a very colorful lithograph design detailing the dashboard, door panels, seats and a tin steering wheel attaches to the tin interior. The back of the tin seat has the ALPS mountain insignia in the lithograph design. The tin chassis is painted black and has a friction motor with rubber tires, shiny hubcaps and tin bumpers with guards. The chassis is stamped MADE IN JAPAN. The rear deck lid is clear plastic insert for viewing the lithographed fan shroud and a clear motor with the four little red colored pistons going back and forth as the friction motor in the VW car moves. This ALPS Volkswagen Convertible is seldom found.

The ALPS Cabrio VW is basically identical to the TOY NOMURA Cabrio VW V1 except the ALPS Cabrio has the ALPS insignia in the rear seat lithograph. It is also known that ALPS and TOY NOMURA (T.N) had a connection in the 1950s as there is a similar ALPS and TOY NOMURA tin Oval Window VW produced as well. See the Oval Window section on the site for further information.

  • Manufacturer: ALPS
  • Scale: 1/18
  • Length: 245mm
  • Production Era: 1950s
  • Country: Japan
  • Materials: Tin Plate
  • Color: Two Tone Green

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