One of the many (tin) toy companies from Japan whose products have endured over time is Marusan Co. Ltd. We know them by the mark of SAN in a circle.
The Japanese word “Maru” means 'circle', thus the mark of SAN in a circle. But the word “San” also means three, which refers to the 3 founders of this company in 1947. Circles along with diamonds were popular logo marks for Japanese companies at that time as evidenced by the many marks we see within a circle or diamond.
Initially, their business was a wholesale sales business, but they eventually began to design and market their own toys. Some of the items on the 1951 sales list for Marusan included the following:
Friction - Small Mercury car
Windups- Tricycle with celluloid doll, rabbit, motorcycle, penguin, helicopter, tank, windmill, fire engine, drum boy, jet airplane, bird clock and an elephant with monkey and umbrella. A very popular toy was the windup Lucky sewing machine with a celluloid girl behind the machine.
What's your Marusan worth in 2021? Here are some recently sold items.
|Ufo Robot Grendizer 5 Pochettes Showa Retro Marusan||10/2021||C $23.80|
|1952 Buick Special Tin Japan Marusan Red||10/2021||C $1.23|
|Rare 1950 Marusan San Tin Litho Friction Aerial Ladder||10/2021||C $173.26|
|1957 Cadillac Eldorado 15 Japanese Tin Car W Original||10/2021||C $1 536.87|
|Atlas Buick Electra Wagon Ho 1963 Slot Car 1289 1313||10/2021||C $95.96|
|See all sold items on eBay for more prices||10/2021||C $-.--|