Carol and I have been Yashica fanatics since the early 1970s and over the years we’ve collected some pretty silly stuff related to Yashica.
In 1962 the Yashica marketing guys and gals came up with a cute little fellow to act as a marketing mascot of sorts to promote Yashica’s extensive new line of SLRs and the next generation of 35mm rangefinder cameras. Yashica’s ‘Sailor Boy’ (never officially named) was born courtesy of a design executed by Modern Plastics of Japan.
The ‘Sailor Boy’ appeared in Yashica’s sales brochures and occasionally in a few instruction booklets. Here he’s pictured in an early flyer for the Minimatic-S (1963).
This is the larger dealer display ‘Sailor Boy’ – about 20cm tall.
Here’s the dealer display ‘Sailor Boy’ helping to promote the new (1962) J-3.
Anyway, here’s where the real silliness comes in. When you start to discover all of the different ways that Yashica employed their little mascot it’s a fun challenge to find him on some pretty unlikely things. Here he’s promoting the release of the Electro 35 – the world’s first electronic 35mm camera (1966).
Of course he’d be on a couple of beach bags – he’s Yashica’s ‘Sailor Boy’.
Whether riding a smiling dolphin or dancing in a grass skirt on a remote island, the ‘Sailor Boy’ was always there to remind you to take your non-waterproof Yashica Electro 35 along for the fun!
Thanks for stopping by! – Chris
BTW, there’s some neat new stuff (cameras and gear) over in our shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com – there’s always a few classic cameras to pick from as well as a nice collection of lenses.
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A couple of the advertising boys from Yashica
Could this be the camera that our Sailor Boy is holding? Yashica’s Auto Focus Motor 35 from 1981.
Since Yashica has never officially named their advertising doll, I’ve always referred to him as ‘Sailor Boy’ for obvious (to me) reasons. Sailor hat and blue sailor pants. The other boy – well that’s still up for discussion. I originally thought of him as being a party boy and then a Christmas elf and now back to party guy and now… Yashica’s take on the nursery rhyme, “Wee Willie Winkie”. Floppy hat with the little ball or tassels on the end, and pointy slippers. It appears that Yashica used him to “announce” the arrival of their new camera. A stretch but thanks to my friend Paul, a good stretch.
The camera that the boy is holding resembles the Yashica Auto Focus Motor which was released in the early 1980s. The brochure shows the camera on a table with party hats, presents and a cake with candles – a birthday cake?
Party hat? Christmas hat? Sleeping cap? It is missing a green decal on the front of the hat that says Yashica in katakana. The green decal and the white hat with red stars made me think that these were Christmas colors.
The Sailor Boy (far right) with his proper green decal on his cap. Pointy (elf?) shoes and what appears to be a Christmas ball hanging from the cap… or maybe not.
A true Christmas Sailor Boy – he’s a candle and so is his tree.
Could this be Yashica’s inspiration??? Hmmmm
Thanks for stopping by Y’all! Have a great day!
Chris and Carol
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!
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.
Since he was covered with a thin film of nicotine he was sticky!
Looks like he has a black eye!
After some restoration work in the studio, he’s looking ⇓ much better and brighter.
Nice and shiny! Still a hint of a black smudge near his right eye.
His hat is white again. If you look to collect one, be sure to look closely at the hat. Often the casting will be a bit porous there and show some pitting. This one is nice and smooth.
The manufacturer’s marks on the bottom. The round spot was meant to insert a small magnet so as to keep him in his place.
Made in Japan by Modern Plastics for Yashica. He’s never been given an official name from Yashica so we’ve always called him ‘Sailor Boy’ for obvious reasons. Some of the figurines will have ‘Yashica’ in katakana characters on the hat. We don’t have one like that – yet.
The 20cm shop model with the J-3. The eyelashes are different on the larger models otherwise they’re the same.
Not our collection! Wish it was! There is one missing – a 10 cm ‘Sailor Boy’ with green shoes otherwise this collection is complete. Notice the large doll on the back left does not have Yashica on his hat but does have green shoes. The one with the camera is a Christmas doll (we think). These are on display at a Tokyo store that specializes in collectible figurines and dolls.
Thanks for your visit! And yes, we take donations of unwanted ‘Sailor Boys’!!! JK
Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W