BY STEVE BUTLER
EVEN TOY WOODEN boats made in Japan can interest a veteran collector primarily of toy vehicles, ones with wheels. So what would inspire such a diversion? The answers and the boat involved are described in the following paragraphs:
• Type of Boat – The majority of post WWII wooden boats made in Japan are runabouts or speedboats or boats of similar ilk. These can be large, ornate and well detailed, but most are smaller, ordinary and of moderate interest at best. Naval ships and boats probably represent the next most common type. These generally tend to rank at the upper end in regard to size and details but also tend to be the same gray color and generally poor renditions. In contrast here is a tugboat.
• Condition – Japanese wooden boats of this era tend to suffer from one or more of three maladies. First, the wood often cracks especially on the hull. Second, the wooden boats tend to misplace one or more of their applied parts. Third, the electric motor sometimes is no longer functional. This tugboat has avoided those maladies since issued circa 1960.
• Size – In the world of wooden Japanese toy boats size does matter. This tug measures in at an impressive 18.4 inches.