Starting in the 1950s and moving on into the 1960s, Japanese toymaker Ichiko began making really nice (and now, really valuable) tin cars.
Some were friction, dome were battery operated, and all of them were well built. The name Ichiko is typically clearly marked on the bottom, as well as some sign that is was made in Japan.
These cars are selling like crazy. If you are at a garage sale and you are holding one right now I would recommend buying it. It may not pay your mortgage, but it will be worth it.
The real trick is finding one with the box. As usual, that’s when the value starts going through the roof.
On February 24, 2013 an Ichiko battery operated X-5 space toy sold for $31,100. Looking for more information of your particular type? Look below for a huge list of Ichiko tin toy cars.
Ichiko X-5 Battery Operated Tin Toy Car
The Ichiko X-5 model is clearly labaled on the trunk “X-5”. There is a friction model also, and it is valuable, but not as rare as the battery operated model.
This one was sold with the box in very good working condition for $31,100 in February 2013. It has a flashing stun gun, revolving radar antenna, and a flag. It takes one D size battery.
Ichiko 1959 Buick Convertible w/ Driver & Dog
This car measures 11 inches long. The car in the picture has a replacement dog in the back seat.
The original dog would have been white and made of fuzzy, fur-like material. The white dogs became dirty easily and were often discarded. This Ichiko 1959 Buick friction tin toy is very hard to find in excellent condition.
This one was in decent condition, without the box. In full working order it sold for $530 in February 2013.
Ichiko 1959 Oldsmobile 2-Door Hardtop Tin Toy Car
I really love the color on this Oldsmobile. Nothing says retro like that blue. And the fins scream fifties.
The extremely detailed interior make a kid really feel like they are driving a miniature car. This one is a friction model, like many of the Ichiko tin toy cars you see around.
Most of the time it is difficult to find an Oldsmobile Ichiko with a working friction motor. If you have one, then congrats, you have a very valuable collectible in your hands.
The one pictured here did not have a very good motor, nor did it come with the box. It had some dents and a few scratches and still sold for $380 in March 2013.
Ichiko 1952 Ford Friction Tin Car
Vintage 1952 Ford Tin Automobile. The one pictured here includes the original box. The friction motor runs with a loud sound. This is a great model for the high end tin toy collection.
The Ichiko logo is stamped in to the black underbody. This isn’t an exceptionally rare model, but it is still valuable all the same.
In March 2013, it sold for $250.
Ichiko Mighty Dog Friction Tin Car with Siren
This one is not a replica of a car, but is a toy car that features a dog driving a space-age car.
He has a siren that blares when running and his head goes from side to side too. The one pictured here came in the box and was in very good condition. It is estimated to be in the late 1950s/early 1960s.
This tin toy car sold for $325 in February 2013. The car is approximately 7½” X 3″; the box is approximately 7¾” X 3½”.
Ichiko Volkswagen German/Dutch Police Vehicle (1960s)
Here we have a 1960’s Ichiko Volkswagen Karmann GHIA. This is a very rare tin car. The one in this picture has a working friction motor but needs a little bit of care.
The paintwork is in very good, but well-played condition. This is the rare, Dutch model.
It did not include the original box and was far from mint condition. Yet it still sold for $339 in 2013.
Ichiko 1968 Mercedes Benz 300SE Convertible, 24 Inches
This car is huge! Two feet long and it’s heavy duty. Better get out of the way when this baby gets rolling.
It’s sweet vintage luxury and the white color looks even more expensive. This particular model sold for $460 in January 2013. It came with the box and was in darn-near mint condition.
A red one that also came with the box sold for $279.99 in April 2013.
Ichiko 1967 Toyota GT2000 Tin Toy Car
The 1967 Toyota GT2000 is a really nice looking replica. This one is bright red and it came with the box.
The 1967 Toyota GT2000 is a large-sized replica with friction motor and windshield. It measures a huge 16 inches. The one in the picture is a very vibrant red color with very detailed interior. It also has a left-hand side steering wheel.
This one sold in March 2013 for $455.88. It was in excellent to near mint condition.