Comments are always welcomed as I’ve learned quite a bit from reader feedback. As always, thanks for stopping by and while you’re at it, feel free to visit my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com (CC Design Studios hosted by Etsy). – Chris Whelan
Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris, Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris.
Under the heading of silly cool things to add to my collection, this one definitely fills the bill. Available during Expo ’70 which was held in Osaka, Japan between March and December 1970.
The “badge” is about 3 x 3 inches and is sewn onto a felt back with a pin for quick attachment.
Yashica was still promoting its first generation of electronic cameras in 1970. The famous Yashica TL Electro-X first hit the market in October 1968. The Electro 35 came out in 1966.
The original Yashica Sailor Boy on the left (1962) and his undated cousin on the right. My best guess is that the guy with the camera was fashioned after ‘Wee Willie Winkie’ spreading the word about Yashica’s new camera (the Electro 35) in this case. The sleeping cap, the slippers and his hand up to his mouth (not ear) to better shout the news.
I’m at a loss to explain the whys behind the apparent clown costume in this case. I get the partial reference to the previous Wee Willie Winkie design but can’t even begin to imagine why Yashica’s marketing folks took away his original sailor suit. This little figurine was pretty popular during the 1960s and 70s as the Sailor Boy was made in a wide variety of sizes from small 4 inch models up to a nearly 24-inch dealer model.
Yashica’s possible inspiration. There are enough similarities to suggest that Yashica’s Sailor Boy was modeled after WWW.
Large dealer display model. I had the opportunity to acquire this guy a short time ago but apparently, I missed out.
Anyway, happy Sunday to all! – Chris
Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica 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!
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