Monday, 30 January 2012

1968 vintage Tokai Humming Bird - cool Japanese-made rarity
Here's quite a glorious Tokai Humming Bird from the late 1960s way before Tokai had gotten into the swing of producing such accurate and well-made replicas of Fender and Gibson guitars that those companies became seriously worried by the Japanese competition.

The Humming Bird is a guitar of its age. It has the same generic pickups that we see on other Japanese guitars of the same era, plus a very basic sub-Bigsby vibrato arm. The body horns are quite pointed which again brings to mind various of its Japanese-made contemporaries (e.g. Yamaha's early solidbodies, the SG-2 and SG-3) and the body has some German carve contouring around the top edge. The front pickup is angled a la Mosrite guitars. (Mosrites were famously used by The Ventures, a band who were seriously BIG in Japan).

I admire the seller's honesty when he/she says that it is "not the best playing guitar ever made by far, but more of a desirable collectors item". There's no BS and no hyperbole, it's just telling it like it is, and I wish more eBayers would take a leaf out of this seller's book.

Likewise, the pricing is not out of this world. The starting price is £250 and the Buy It Now price is £375 (currently listed on eBay UK).

G L Wilson

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