Yashica’s ‘Sailor Boy’ with his Electro 35 camera

We’re super lucky to have run across a rather hard to find Sailor Boy – this one came to our attention from a visitor to our blog – then through eBay by way of South Africa to Florida! Welcome, little guy!


This unique version of Sailor Boy – complete with his Yashica Electro 35 camera. He was introduced in 1966 to promote the new camera release. He’s based on the Scottish nursery rhyme ‘Wee Willie Winkie’.


Cousins, not brothers. The only thing missing on our little guy is his green decal which should be on the front of his hat.


Sailor Boy convention. The new guy cleaned up nicely. A little bit of warm soapy water and a soft brush and he’s good as new!


Made in Japan is about all we know at this point. We’re not even sure about when he was made.


Cool shoes – but are they really Wee Willie Winkie’s shoes? Yep as best as I can tell. Yashica didn’t leave a paper trail for history to discover his true identity.

More about the history and variations of Yashica’s advertising figurine soon. As always, feel free to share your Sailor Boys with us – we’re looking to add to our collection with new versions of this cute guy.


Chris and Carol

Yashica’s ‘Sailor Boy’ – 1962

Here’s another look at this cute little guy and his cousins. We’ve added a new boy via South Africa -more details shortly!

Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris

Yashica’s advertising figurine the ‘Sailor Boy’ first appeared in 1962 – closely associated with the launch of Yashica’s J-3 35mm single-lens reflex camera. It was made for Yashica by Modern Plastics of Japan and was produced in a variety of sizes – from a 20cm shop and dealer display model down to this little 10cm guy.

This one ⇓ came to our collection from Germany and man was he a dirty guy!

DSCF5218 Covered with a coat of nicotine and grime, he looked like he was in a bar room fight! But he has a good casting and the paint looks good. Notice how grungy his hat is.

DSCF5219 Since he was covered with a thin film of nicotine he was sticky! 

DSCF5220 Looks like he has a black eye! 

After some restoration work in the studio, he’s looking ⇓ much better and brighter.

DSCF5221 Nice and shiney! Still a hint of a black smudge…

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Ida and Thomas Whelan

I recently found the time to scan some wonderful photographs of my family. This one of my father’s parents is one of my favorites. This is a direct scan of the print that was made back in the early 1930s. I haven’t touched up the image in any way except to add a touch more brightness. The tones are original. The image was taken in Brooklyn, New York c1932.


Chris’ grandparents – Ida and Thomas c1932

Thanks for stopping by!