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News Releases

May 22, 2017


SANTA ANA, Calif. - A collection of vintage tin toy robots from the private collection of Orange County resident Steve Canning is on display now at John Wayne Airport (JWA). The collection is in the Vi Smith Concourse Gallery, located on the Departure (upper) Level, across from Gates 18 through 21 in Terminal C. Ticketed passengers can view the exhibit through September 4, 2017.

"This exhibition provides an opportunity for the traveling public to view remnants from an era of great ingenuity," said Board Chairwoman Michelle Steel. "The Tin Toy Robot Collection at John Wayne Airport showcases the imagination of a generation that dared to reach for the stars."

Vintage Tin Toy Robots

Vintage Tin Toy Robot Collection at JWA

More images can be seen here.

The great space race of the 1950’s and the inventiveness of the decade lead to the Golden Age of tiny toy robots. The culture of this period is reflective of the significant advancements and achievements made by some of the greatest innovators of the time.

Toy collecting is a globally recognized endeavor and in many instances, a professional cultural endeavor, predominantly circulated by the internet. Currently, many broadcast television shows illustrate the high values of historic toys and their original boxes. The exhibition at John Wayne Airport is a presentation of a particular niche within the toy collecting realm. There are close to 100 toy robots, boxes and catalogs with a historic overview provided for each.

To learn more about JWA's Art Programs, visit


John Wayne Airport (SNA) is owned by the County of Orange and is operated as a self-supporting enterprise that receives no general fund tax revenue. The Airport serves more than 10 million passengers annually and reaches more than 20 nonstop destinations in the United States, Canada and Mexico. More information can be found at Like us on, or follow us on Twitter @johnwayneair and Instagram @johnwayneair.