A battery operated cabin cruiser toy boat, painted in tones of off-white, red and green, and well detailed with stem fittings, chock, ventilators, step plates, horns, roof and deck lights, etc., and a single propeller. The cabin roof and a separate lidded rear compartment lift to access a battery operated motor. When turned on by a switch, the motor turns the propeller and illuminates the lights. The chromed rudder is stamped by the maker ITO, and the motor is stamped by the maker TMY, both of Japan. The boat is raised on a later handmade wooden stand.
ITO stands for International Trade Organization, a Japanese company that made and sold battery-operated wooden toy boats from the post-war late 1940s through about the 1960s. TMY was a similar company in the same period. Boats by these prolific companies are often considered to be among the higher quality and better made examples, and thus very collectible. ITO frequently stamped the rudder of boats they sold “ITO Made in Japan.” TMY similarly stamped its name on rudders, and also applied them to motors.
Toy boats by ITO, TMY, and other similar companies were generally assembled in Japan, either in factories, or by local craftspeople working from their homes. In addition, some were sold as kits to be assembled by end-user hobbyists. The companies variously worked separately or as joint ventures, sometimes combining roles as parts manufacturer, boat manufacturer, and wholesaler. Thus, is not unusual to find a genuine boat with mixed parts, such as an ITO rudder and TMY motor. Some examples sold in the United States survive with the original utilitarian cardboard box, with an applied picture of the boat and description in Japanese, and stuffed with Japanese newspaper of the period as packing material.
Rudder Stamped: ITO Made in Japan. Motor Stamped: TMY.
Condition: Boat generally good with the usual wear to paint, oxidation of metal parts. One small rail on rear compartment lacking. Not tested for use with batteries; assumed not operational and sold as is, as a decorative display item. Now on later custom made wooden stand.