Battery Operated toys were most popular circa 1940-1960's. After World War II, Japan was looking for a way to revive their lagging economy. To do this, they decided they could improve on the older, existing wind-up and fly-wheel toys by making their new toys battery operated. In addition, the use of batteries allowed their toys to operate longer. The Japanese also decided to improve on the manufacture and make the toys more realistic looking. Not only would their toys have movement, but some were developed to have up to eight actions.
The toys they produced during this time were extremely high quality and included toys in many different categories including traditional cars, motorcycles, emergency and construction vehicles, comic - or silly - cars, and space toys. The space toys and robots they manufactured are still some of the most highly collectible toys of today fetching hefty prices.
After the war and for the next 20-30 years, the Japanese battery operated toys dominated the market. Once this golden age began to wain, they changed direction into new markets due to the changes in demand and certain safety issues that were becoming more prevelant. However, up until then, no other country could match the design and quality of production the Japanese achieved in their battery-op toys.
By David Moncrief
Need more information? Check out the Battery-op Toys Guides on Amazon.