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Aoshin: Triked Glory

text: Matt Alt, graphics: Robert Duban

March 2003

updated: 10.05.04

Image contributions: Yutaka Ishida / Kaikodo, Ozzie's Robots Toys & Collectibles, Warren Schwartz

Aoshin, like Yonezawa and Nomura, was an older toy company with roots in Japan's "golden age" of post-war tin toy manufacturing. In the 1950's, Aoshin produced several classic tin robots (including "Tremendous Mike" and the "Chime Trooper") and a variety of tin cars, all marked with their "ASC" logo. Riding into the '70s, however, they found themselves face-to-face with a rapidly growing market for diecast toys instead.

Faced with childrens' changing tastes in the early 1970's, Aoshin shifted gears to a curiously minor subset of character toys -- portrayals of animated and live-action heroes riding on motorcycles, in cars, dune buggies, and even "swan-boats." An odd market, to be sure, but probably driven by the fact that Aoshin either missed the chance (or couldn't afford) to purchase the license to make figural diecast toys for the characters.

Ultra-Gokin revisited
In what would appear to be a sign of collaboration between the two companies, several of Aoshin's toys were packaged in boxes nearly identical to those of the "Ultra Gokin" toys produced by the Nakajima corporation. Tekkaman, Pegas and Groizer X got their "license to ride" in this series, which featured little vinyls of them perched atop three-wheeled motorcycles called "Jet Machines."

Spin Action
Aoshin didn't limit themselves to diecast tricycle toys. They also produced a series of larger, all-plastic versions as well. The boxes proudly boasted of a "spin action" gimmick - the astounding ability to drive forward and pop wheelies.

Aoshin produced a random grab-bag of other character toys as well. In a throwback to the '50s, they produced a tin rendition of Tiger Mask, as well as a Moonlight Mask toy, a tin '63 Ford Galaxie "lowrider" (!) driven by Kamen Rider Amazon, and quite possibly others as well.
Groizer X Jet Machine - box
Pegas Jet Machine - box, box side
Tekkaman Jet Machine - box, box side
Diapolon Cycle - box
Great Mazinga Cycle - box
Kamen Rider Amazon Cycle - box, box sides
Tekkaman Cycle - box
Amazon Rider car - box
Maha Go Go Go car - box
Moonlight Mask buggy
Tiger Mask tin

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