ALPS made battery-operated mechanical toys (robots, cars, musical chimps, clowns, wind-up animals) and produced some of the better quality Japanese toys throughout the post-war years. Alps Shoji Ltd. Tokyo, Japan was founded in 1948 and was specialized in toy vehicles and novelties. A lot of their toys were battery operated; made of mixed tinplate and tin. Space toys are among the most popular. The distinctive logo (the word "ALPS" printed on top of a mountain peak) of this Japanese company makes it easy to identify.
Many of their toys had multiple actions, for example, a convertible car would not only move forward and back, but the top would also roll down and go back up.
This ingenuity ensured the toys' popularity, and for a time, they were in great demand.
However, despite their success, the company abandoned toy making some time in the early 1970s to become a manufacturer of consumer and industrial electronics and remains in the electronics business today.
Famous toys are:
Bob H. - November 7, 2015
I found a 10" tall Alps drinking Santa. He looks original - pouring from a Coke bottle to a gold cup and lighted eyes. Is there any documentation on him? I can't find anything. Thanks . Bob
►reply: Hi Bob! Can't tell you much, Alps made several Santa toys. However I found out that yours has some nice value. Take a look at these sold Alps toys Santa to find out. Last time I looked it was USD 275!
Chrissy. Gillespie - June 2, 2015
Im searching for a toy think it was Made by alps it was a tijuana taxi that drove off stopped rattled and shook then drove off again. Have seen similar but not the tijuana model hope you can help
►reply: Maybe they are sometimes listed as 'hot rods' on ebay: Alps Hot Rods.
Gene Miller - March 25, 2015
It is authentic, post WWII. Around 1948. It is a beach scene with umbrella and a goose and a person. I can send a pic if needed.
►reply: I don't know much about this toy, but I think it's called 'Alps Happy Life'. See some pictures here.
Eugene Miller - March 15, 2015
Vintage tin has umbrella, woman, and duck windup...person rocks in chair when wind up is cranked. Has original logo on side circa 1948. Has Alps and "made in occupied" Japan on side with patent pending
Paul - December 23, 2014
Hi, I have a toy which has been in our family for decades. It is that the Alps toy Co. "Over the Field" Fox Hunting. It is in its original box with original paper mat as well. I wanted to know its value and the best avenue to sell and get the most closure. Thanks, Paul
►reply: Well your toy is very valuable so I suggest to auction it with one of the specialists: Bertoi Auctions, Wessex Auction Rooms, but there are many more. You could also put it on eBay with a reserve price (for example 800 USD).
Mike - November 26, 2014
I have a battery operated Rocking Santa with Tinsel tree made by Alps. It is missing two of the tiny screw in Christmas lights. Does anyone know if they can be purchased, or where I might find used ones?
►reply: I don't know, but you could ask this toy parts company.
Cindy Smith - November 19, 2014
I have a Alps Mechanical Bozo the Weight Lifter. The toy works. The box is in very rough shape. Can you tell me what year this toy comes from?Thank you
►reply: Probably end of the 1950s, beginning of the 1960s. This toy was sold (with box) on ebay a few days ago for 89 USD.
Angie - November 8, 2014
I have a windup rubber I think rabbit he has yellow hat blue coveralls red bowtie holding aple his head move when windup .I can not fined any information about this little I am new to toy collecting he is alps Japan toy
Bill Mays - August 24, 2014
I have an ALPS Jumbo elephant, batterypowered with light and remote control. Walks forward with trunk up, etc. In original box. What is the value, please?
►reply: Could be between 100-150 USD.
Jerry Ryder - August 1, 2014
Looking for info on battery operated alps indian that beats on drum. info such as age and value etc
►reply: Probably 1950s, 1960s, value depends on state/boxed between 30-100 USD
Dorothy Conley - March 31, 2014
Does anyone have any info on the pinky panky wind up toy pictured here above. I have the black and white panda bear one made from alps toy company from Tokyo Japan. Any info would be great.
►reply: I only found this Japanese page about them. Sold for 2400 yen which is about 23 USD.
Bob Mortensen - March 21, 2014
Hi there. I had the Alps Chevrolet impala police car and the chief car when I was 5 years old back in 1973. Have you ever wanted to put any of these vintage toys back in production. I collect diecast cars and I wish I had those cars in my collection. thank you
►reply: Hi, there are some Alps Impalas for sale, check out this page: Alps Chevrolet. Alps doesn't make toys anymore...
Bob - February 24, 2014
I have four wind up police dolls(Vinyl) made by Alps Co. Co. There is a French,British, American and I believe a German policeman. They are approximately 6" long with a wind up key on the back. Their heads move when wound up.Does anyone have any info on them. I can't find anything.
Daryl - November 1, 2013
Hello, I just purchased an ALPS Piasecki Mule Helicopter, has wired remote control/battery box, made of all tin, thin is one with the yellow mule painted on the tale and painted "Piasecki Mule" as well. When were these made as I dont have a year? And were there other Japan companys to make these?
►reply: There are a few similar Alps helicopters for sale right now, so you might want to follow these auctions to see how much they fetch.
James Phillips - October 10, 2013
HiI have a large Alps vintage type car-battery operatedMD 166 Lever action-230mm-140 highAny ideas on a price -looked on e bay/google unable to match one upany ideas ThanksYvette
Edie - October 4, 2013
Hi, I have a 1966 Black Knight 2 speed shifting with siren batcar in original box, have not been able to find any information on it or if it is worth anything... can you help with this?
►reply: Can't find info on the '2' I'm afraid. Last July two Black Knights (without number 1 or 2) were sold between 1000 and 2000 USD. Right now there is one for sale on eBay, but the seller didn't include 'Black Knight' in the item description: Alps Batmobile.
Khill - September 27, 2013
I have an Alps battery-op Rabbit I cannot locate information anywhere. It's got the same face and similar shoes as the rabbit listed by dogfoxy 1950s BATTERY OPERATED PETER THE DRUMMING RABBIT TIN LITHO TOY ALPS JAPAN. The battery compartment cover has the Alps logo, made in Japan and "RF" on the right side. In his right hand he holds a red metal hat with yellow stars, and blue
Glen - September 27, 2013
I was wondering when Alps Comp started making toys? My little friction butterfly was given to me at about 1955. I can remember hours of fun with it. 😊 Was Alps making tin toys before WW II?
►reply: Hi! Your Alps butterfly was made roughly 7 years after the Alps company was founded, so Alps was founded after WW II, in 1948.
Glen - September 27, 2013
i have tin toy control tower with an airplane that flies around it on a metal arm. It has a manufacturers stamp at the base of the tower but no name. Is there a link to Japanese tin toy manufacturers stamps/ logo that you could direct me to?? I would like to find the manufacturer. Thanks
►reply: Hi, this blog contains descriptions of many Japanese toy manufacturers.
Falyn - September 17, 2013
I have an Alps Toy that has the logo above and below that reads Tokyo then in roman numerals Im assuming 3 in parenthesis (triple sticks) Japan, Then below that Made in Japan. Its a black bear or panda sitting down in white overalls? With blue stripes and yellow shoes. His tongue and eyes are tin, he is plastic. He winds up then the tongue goes in and out, the eyes up and down as if he's blinking/closing them. His arms move/posable. Cant find any pictures even similar. What is he? Who is he?! Im usually pretty good at finding stuff but Im stumped!
►reply: It sounds like the 'drinking bear', but not sure. Have you tried (click):
Tyler - August 29, 2013
I have a Bucky The Basset-Hound toy with box. It walks, droops head and sniffs, barks,
►reply: Can't find any info, sorry. Try Alps dog for similar toys.
Tyler - August 21, 2013
I have a Bucky The Basset-Hound toy with box. It walks, droops head
Darlene - July 11, 2013
I have an old man playing the guitar. He is a wind up toy and still works. His head moves up and down. The bottom markings are: Alps toy, picture of mountain and DAITO KU Tokyo Any idea of value. Appreciate your help.
►reply: I am sorry, I only come accross Alps toys with monkeys playing the guitar... You sure it's a man and not a monkey?
Lyn - June 10, 2013
I have a metal duck that moves his mouth as he quacks. He moves his beak and moves his two little feet as the wheels move the body. He has a little beanie on his head. Could you just tell me what it's worth?? I can't find it anywhere on the internet.Thank you!
Maggie - February 8, 2013
I have an Alps super sonic Concord model from around mid 70s it has lighted cockpit, flashing jet engines drop nose front wheels etc it is in good condition c/w box it takes batteries and is in full working order can you let me know if it is worth anything. Thanks
►reply: I have been looking around and it seems that -depending on state- it can fetch around 100 USD, maybe more if plane and box are in like new condition. There was a boxed one for sale recently on eBay with a starting price of 110 USD (70 GBP) but it didn't get any buyer unfortunately.
Helena James - January 29, 2013
I have a battery operated clown that plays drums. I can remember playing with this when I was around 12 or 13 yrs. We also used to have a gorilla playing cymbals. Don't know what happened to the gorilla. WOuld like to know if this is has any value. thank you for your helpfullness
►reply: Really depends on state and if it is complete or nor. Besides, Alps made lots of different drumming clowns. Why don't you check out this link which contains ended auctions on eBay and see if one them matches yours.
Tim - December 2, 2012
Hi, I have a toy that has both the Alps toy Co. and CK on the label. "Over the Field" Fox Hunting. This toy appears to be older than 1948. Any help you can offer dating the toy would be appreciated. Thanks, Tim
►reply: Thats right. The toy you have is from the 1930s. When wound the dogs and fox rotate around the base chasing each other, and then suddenly reverse direction. On eBay one was sold not long ago for 650 USD but with original box AND game sheet to set the toy upon which is quite rare.
Alice - September 5, 2012
Hi, I have a alps wind-up dog he has a spring for a tail and a cane in his mouth. He has the word alps on one side of his underside with the word Japan on the other. Can't seem to find any information on him could you help?
Kathy - August 21, 2012
I have a battery operated washer and dryer in the original box. It is marked Alps. Any idea to its value or of someone wishing to add it to their collection?
►reply: One on eBay was sold for 20 dollars (excluding the box though).
D. Helms - June 4, 2012
I purchased a 1950 Alps vintage Japanese battery operated clown toy- which works fine. However, we are missing the outer part which encloses the red bulb nose and also the nose no longer lights up so I need a new light as well. Any suggestions? Thanks.
►reply: You can ask for example this Alps toy restoration company.
Saeed - April 25, 2012
I'm a 40 years old man. When I was a child, my father bought a Concord plane from Alps. Now after about 30 years I have this magnificent plane and I want to give it to my son. I can send you some pictures of it to you. Whould you please send me an email address of the Alps?
►reply: Hello, unfortunately Alps doesn't make toys anymore, but still exists. They now produce electronics and you can contact them by visiting their website.
Ken Mayberry - April 12, 2012
We have 3 Tap Dancer's (black man) in the original boxes do you buy?
►reply: No I'm sorry I don't buy.
Nick Owen - March 1, 2012
Hi, I have an old Alps Benkei Battery Operated Whistling Locomotive in immaculate condition and boxed. It has a push button system, realistic wheel movement by cylinder, working headlight and whistle. The number on the box is no 6126. It also is described as non-stop mystery action. I can not find any information on the web or a guide price for what it would be worth. Can you help? I can send photos to help. Thanks Nick
James Harman - November 3, 2011
IF ITS NOT TO MUCH TROUBLE WOULD YOU SEND ME A EMAIL ADDRESSE,I LIVE IN A OLD HOUSE,FOUND ALPS SANTA IN ORGINAL BOX WITH LITED FACE,WAS HOPING YOU WOULD TAKE A LOOK AT IT THANKS
William Langley - November 17, 2010
I have an ALPS Tin Litho Jalopy Wacky Car 2618 that is in terrible shape with rust, missing windshild and side windows, and an electrical system that probably hasn't worked in 40 years. This is my first restoration project so I'm in a steep learning curve. Most important to me is where to find parts for this particular toy. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.