Toy Robots and Space Toys
Home > 5: Vintage Flying Saucers


Tin with plastic dome and spark window.
Action: Sparkling, direction changing wind up.

The recognizable logo on the Jupiter flying saucer is a white K inside a black medallion but the name of the manufacturer is Ohta. From the checkerboard motif around the cockpit and on the pilots helmet which lends a nice mid sixties "Speed Racer" feel to the toy, to the simple yet ingenious method of changing the direction during operation, not to mention the excellent box art, the Jupiter has a lot going for it. One of the most simple yet effective mechanical gimmicks is the over sized wind key. While racing across the table, as the key unwinds and gets to the vertical position it lifts one wheel off of the table momentarily, this allows the opposite wheel left in contact with the table to pivot the saucer around the key until it passes though the vertical position and lets the saucer down again - thus completing a perfect U turn. With a good winding the Jupiter can do several laps back and forth before dying down. Somewhat like a slot car without the track. The frequency of mint in box examples appearing for sale leads me to believe there may have been a warehouse find at some point. The common version is the blue and silver Jupiter, but there is also a white and red variation which is harder to find. While very similar, the litho design does vary in many small details between the two saucers plus one major way - the red and white version reads "Jupitep" instead of Jupiter. Another difference is that the red and white version has plastic drive wheels while the silver and blue has metal wheels.