Masudaya Snoopy Space Scooter – Bump And Go Tin Toy – Litho Japan Battery Op – $575. Find it on eBay (affiliate link).
If not for the price, I’d LOVE to have this in my Peanuts collection. There’s just one catch… it’s not Snoopy!
Masudaya made two space dog toys, a space scooter and a space control rocket. Just looking at the toys, you’d swear these had a Snoopy Pocket Doll head in them. However, comparing them closer shows that the Masudaya dog has ears molded as part of his head, different eyebrows and relief in his eyes. I can’t be entirely sure, but from photographs, the Masudaya dog head seems to be made of a hard, shiny plastic. The Snoopy Pocket Doll is a soft, pliable plastic with a matte finish. On the Pocket Doll, his ears are articulated and his features are all painted on. According to the internet, the space control rocket was made in 1971. This would be after the release of the Pocket Dolls by Determined Production in 1967. The Pocket Dolls were made in Hong Kong, and Masudaya produced its toys in Japan. Is it a coincidence? Or is Masudaya cashing in on the popularity of Snoopy and the space program? Perhaps we’ll never know.
How much is a Masudaya Snoopy Space Scooter worth?
As a Peanuts collector, I find this item fun, interesting, but not something I must have for my collection. Many Peanuts collectors prefer to focus on licensed items, rather than look-a-likes. If I had a disposable income, I’d snap this up as it seems to be around the usual price for these types of toys, plus it has the box. However, I’ll save my pennies for something as rare, wonderful and a licensed Peanuts item for now.
Side note, if anyone knows when the Peanuts comic strip was first introduced in Japan, I’d love to know! It might help solve the riddle of the Masudaya Snoopy! Just email Caren at firstname.lastname@example.org.