Horikawa was one of the most famous wholesalers of battery operated Japanese toys. From the start in 1959 it carries the SH trade mark, you'll find this logo in the battery compartment but most robots don't have a logo but just 'Made in Japan'. At first, they made Horikawa robots and other space toys. The toy company sold thousands of different space rockets, stations and tin robots.
Funny is that Horikawa sold so many different robots from the 1950's through the 80's that occasionally new variations are being found by die-hard collectors.
The brand Horikawa is a known name among Japanese toys collectors, but many don't realize that they were a wholesaler and not a producer.
Most of the (and other companies) robots they sold were made by the Metal House company, Tokyo.
The first generation robots were about 22 cm in height and were wind-up. Later they replaced the wind-up spring for an electric motor which ran on AA batteries (2nd generation). The 2nd generation was very successful, many new manufacturers emerged in the space toy market to produce a variety of robot toys. Horikawa robots became bigger, around 30 cm. and had lots of new action features with complicated mechanics and tricks. This was the golden time for tin toy robots. In the 1970's plastic became a popular material in the 3rd generation of robots. Many tin parts are replaced by plastic.
The company made: Super Space Commander, Dino robots, Robot Astronauts, tinplate Space Capsules, tin toy cars, wind-up moving figures like clowns, Mr. Zerox, Mr. Hustler, Mr. Patrol Man, Space Stations, Gear Robots, Lunar Spaceman, Space Explorer Astronaut, Rotate-o-Matic and lots of lithographed tin toys.
The firm closed its doors in the late 1980s but remains famous for their vintage 1960s toy robots.
What's your 'Horikawa' worth? Here are some recently sold items (Australia).
See all sold items for more prices.
Do you want to know more about collectible tin toys, and want to learn about value and identification? Take a look at these books on old toys on Amazon.