Hi, My name Is Jay Kerch, and I am a major seller of vintage dog figurines with a specialty of made in Japan dogs. Before and after world war two, Japan was the main source of inexpensive decorative arts just as China is today, and Taiwan was in the 60's and 70's. Many retailers such as Woolworths, and even upscale stores such as Marshall Fields had large sections of their floors devoted to small figurines to be sold as gifts of souvenirs. I can even remember as a child going to Woolworths, and seeing rows and rows of small animals on their shelves, most costing just 25 cents to a dollar. The quality of these animals is very naive in nature. They were crudely painted and molded, and had very little resemblance to real dogs. The japanese would often bring in a high end dog such as a Royal Doulton, and copy it to sell for a lower price in gift shops, mainly for children to buy. For example, one dog I am very fond of by Doulton is a dog eating from a dish on the floor. The Japanese copied this figure dozens of times in all sizes, and it is alot of fun to display the two together in your collection to show how crudely they were made. Just as staffordshire figures in England in the 1800's were very naively painted, so were these Japanese dogs. As children grew up, or better quality dogs became available, most of these figurines were thrown away as they were considered to be quite tacky. So, it is getting harder and harder to find these animals in garage sales and such, as collectors like myself have snatched them up and they are mostly now in private hands. Some people collect just dogs made in "occupied japan" which is the period directly after world war II when the US was involved in the reconstruction of the country. Some people just collect certain makers, such as Lefton or Napco. Some people just collect the breeds they like. Either way, it is a great way to collect affordable items that can only someday increase in value. Some of these dogs are very fragile, and it is getting harder and harder to buy them. Current values on ebay range from one dollar to over 50 dollars, and the prices have been going up quite a bit over the past few years as the supply has started to dry up. Many dealers on ebay specialize in these figures, such as myself and nancy87. You really can't go wrong in investing in these adorable figures, as they can only hold their value or go up in time as they become more appreciated by the collecting public. Sometimes the sillier or cheaper they look, the more valuable they are, as those items were the most discarded. The higher quality ones were generally taken care of and kept out of reach of children. The area is so vast that it is best to focus somehow, perhaps just particular breeds, particular sizes, or particular makers. The key thing to keep in mind when buying these animals, is that if they have ever been broken and repaired, or if they have even the smallest chips, the value goes down considerably, almost 80 percent. It is much better to invest in mint condition dogs. Paint loss and crazing are really not a problem, as these condition issues only enhance the collectible quality of the dogs. Good luck in your collecting, and if you have any questions, I would love to help you in your endeavors!!! Jay Kerch, Owner Phineas Swann Antiques Gallery, handle perk2401 on ebay.