Recently we received a bizarre toy that has us puzzled. It looks like a Datsun 240Z or S30 Nissan Fairlady Z that, instead of rolling on four wheels (which it has), walks on human feet. There are a few markings on it, but none to denote who made it or when it was made. Maybe you can help us figure out this mystery.
Obviously, the first thing we did was google “toy car with human feet” and similar search terms, but that turned up nothing. The car is very clearly a first-gen Nissan Z, albeit with deformed proportions. We don’t know if the Firebird-esque flame sticker came with the car originally or if someone stuck it on over the years, but it was on the car when we got it.
It’s a simple wind-up toy, so when you turn the dial it coils a spring, which then releases slowly, moving the feet. What’s odd is that not only does it have human feet, but it has four of them. Is it like two people in a horse costume, or some type of Cronenberg nightmare creature?
Underneath, there are only two stampings: A number, 338, and “Made in Hong Kong.” It was likely made in the 70s, as many toys hailed from Hong Kong in that era. This doesn’t really help in narrowing it down, though.
It’s made of plastic and measures about four inches long, if any of that information helps. We are at a loss, so if you have any ideas about the origins of this strange toy, please let us know.
I am fairly certain I had a beetle one like this when I was a kid-
There are a few on ebay, but none of the listings give much detail aside from “made in hong kong”
That definitely looks like it was from the same series. What’s kind of interesting is that it doesn’t have a the 3-digit code, and it has cast hubcaps whereas the Z’s are stickers.
Mom can you pick me up, I’m scared
Looks a lot like this spencer gifts toy from 1977. Spencer Gifts turned into the Spencer’s lifestyle stores seen in malls today. the stores today only sell abstract products so this fits in imo.
Thanks! The Spencer’s lead is promising.
Yeah, easy – Fred Flinstone’s answer to the Feb 8th QotW: (What JNC would you take for a race around the world?)
Sorry – Flintstone !
It’s giving me Jimsons toys vibes. They were made in Hong Kong and follow the 3 digit model numbers…
here’s an example of one from a similar time period – https://i.etsystatic.com/7923075/r/il/7b6f9c/1793117087/il_570xN.1793117087_ignx.jpg
I haven’t found an example with feet yet but that could be because most of them have found a new home in a landfill?
Thanks for the Jimson lead. We’ll have to look into this more.
Pretty sure it’s a spencer gifts thing. I cant find the 240z but can find a similar vw bug.
Reminds me faintly of that scene from Pirates of the Caribbean where Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom use an overturned canoe to walk underwater. Orlando’s line from that scene “This is either madness…or brilliance.”