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Vintage Tin Toy Collector!

Updated on February 5, 2013

Vintage Tin Toys!

This lens is all about tin toys and how to acquire them. I'll be adding imformation on collecting tin toys, history on some tin toys and sources for books on tin toys.

Below there there are several lists of tin toys that are up for bid on eBay. These lists show toys that will be sold shortly so if you're interested, click on them and get your bid in before the auction ends.

Bookmark this page and stop back often! I'll be adding new information and sources regularly.

Please leave a comment below if you have a request for something that you would like to see on this lens!


Re-Conditioned Tin Toys!

There are a lot of vintage tin toys out there. You see them at garage sales and flea markets all of the time. Sometimes you can pick them up real cheap but there are always those people who see a price in a book and think that their toy is worth a lot even though it is all rusty and in real bad condition.

Since I've retired, I like to pick up the cheap ones and re-condition them. My question is: Are their collectors out there who add re-conditioned toys to their collections?

These re-conditioned toys can not be considered as "original" because of the new paint and/or decals but they still make a great addition to a toy collection, and they are still vintage toys! And, they look better sitting in your collection than some old rusty one does.

Please leave your comments and opinions at bottom of this page as to what you think about re-conditioning vintage toys!

Looking For Unusual or Vintage Items?

Check Out My On-Line Store!

Jerry's Place!

Louis Marx and Company

Louis Marx and Company was an American toy manufacturer from 1919 to 1978. Its boxes were imprinted with the slogan, "One of the many Marx toys, have you all of them?"

The Marx logo was the letters "MAR" in a circle with a large X through it, resembling a railroad crossing sign. Because of this, Marx toys are sometimes misidentified as "Mar" toys.

Marx's toys included tinplate buildings, toy soldiers , toy dinosaurs, mechanical toys, toy guns, action figures, dolls, doll houses, toy cars, and HO scale and O scale toy trains. Marx's less-expensive toys were extremely common in dime stores, and its larger, costlier toys were staples for catalog retailers such as Sears and Montgomery Ward, especially around Christmas. Although the company is now largely forgotten except by toy collectors, several of its toys remain well known. Rock'em Sock'em Robots, introduced in the 1960s, remained popular for years and has been reintroduced by several different companies. Its last hurrah was the Big Wheel ride-on pedal toy, which was introduced in 1969 and became one of the most popular toys of the 1970s.

Looking For Vintage Tin Toys? You Might Want To Check Out This On-Line "Tin Toy Garage Sale"!

There's nothing more fun than a "garage sale" for the collector, and this one has over 750 vintage tin toy related items! Just click on this link to check them out:Tobacco Collectables Garage Sale!

All of these items are from people just like you and me who have a shop on Bonanzle. The link above only gives you the "tin toy related" items and their prices. Like a garage sale, if the shop owners happen to be on-line, you can dicker the price because each shop has it's own "chat board".

Who knows! You may enjoy checking out these items so much that you'll want to open your own shop. And why not! It's free!

Here's the link to My Bonanzle Store!

Bandai Co., Ltd.

Bandai was founded in 1950. Some of the early tin plate toys are highly collectible; the pictured model car will sell for around US$150.

In the 1960s Bandai expanded to include export sales. Bandai's racing car set, which first appeared in 1962, became a huge success.

The 1970s continued to see Bandai expand, with Bandai Models being established in 1971. Although not their most profitable range, Bandai's 1/48 scale AFV models dominated that segment of the model kit market. Bandai America Inc. was established as local US sales/marketing operation in 1978.

Since the 1980s, Bandai has become the leading toy company of Japan, and to this day, has the main toy licenses in Japan to popular properties including Daikaiju, Ultraman, Super Robot, Kamen Rider, the Super Sentai series (which they took part in creating), Gundam and many others.

The Nylint Corporation

For several years in the early to mid-1950s, Nylint made construction pieces exclusively. In 1956, Nylint started to take advantage of the country's entrenchment in the Cold War military craze and began to enter phase 5 of its life cycle -- the "Cold War Era" toys. (1956-1961) For the most part, they followed their formula of success for the heavy construction toys -- make dynamic products of high-quality, and realistic design. They made several missile-launching gun toys and even made an uncharacteristic plastic ballistic missile set. These military toys were action-packed with lots of operating features, and sold extremely well. Nylint also made a couple of battery-operated toys in this period including a modified version of the Elgin Street sweeper and a military Electronic Cannon truck.

During the late 1950s, Nylint's construction toys, while still very high-quality and realistic, moved away slightly from the requirement that the toy had to be a replica of real-world equipment. Now, after the cold war phase ended in the early 1960s, Nylint returned to its strict "realistic" formula for its Phase 6 evolution. Interestingly, other toy companies were moving in the opposite direction -- going to more generic or futuristic looking toys not patterned after real vehicles. This 6th phase, "Ford Motor Company Era," (1959-1974) began around 1959 and peaked about 1965 when Ford toys dominated the Nylint product line. This era lasted throughout the 1960s into the early-1970s. By 1962, Nylint was producing Ford toy replicas for Ford dealership promotions. Nylint was building excellent renditions of the Ford F-100 line of trucks, the Ford "C" tilt-cab, and the smaller Econoline series. By the mid-1960s the company would also make a very nice replica of the Ford Bronco series as well. Nylint was blatant about using the Ford label on its toys, stamping "Ford" on tailgates, above the grille, on hubcaps, depicting the Ford "Twin-I-Beam" badge, and making a nicely-detailed hood decal. Its toys resembled the "real thing" very well. Some of these Ford toys were exclusives for the Ford dealers such as an excellent Nylint pickup replica of a camper that housed a Philco AM radio, and was offered as an enticement to bring parents into the dealership for a test-drive.

For more on the history of Nylint click here!

Erector Set

Erector Set is the trade name of a toy construction set that was wildly popular in the United States during much of the 20th century. Like Meccano, it consists of collections of small metal beams with regular holes for nuts, bolts, screws, and mechanical parts such as pulleys, gears, and small electric motors. Erector beams have flanges, which make them more sturdy than those of Meccano.

The Erector Set was invented by A.C. Gilbert in 1911, and was manufactured by the A. C. Gilbert Company at the Erector Square factory in New Haven, Connecticut, from 1913 until its bankruptcy in 1967. It is manufactured today by Meccano S.N. of France, part of the Nikko Group of Japan. In the U.S., since Jan. 2006 it is distributed by Nikko America.

The Erector Set is said to have been the subject of the first national advertising campaign in America for a toy. Its great success made it part of American folk culture, although its popularity has faded in recent decades in the face of competition from molded plastic construction toys, electronics, and other more "modern" toys.

Scores, perhaps hundreds, of different Erector Set kits have been made over the decades, most famously the "No. 12 1/2" deluxe kit that came with blueprints for the "Mysterious Walking Giant" robot.

Tin Toy Video

About This Site!

If you've made it this far, I'd appreciate it if you would check out Dene's Place to see if there's anything that you might like for yourself or as a gift. It helps me pay the bills!

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to check out my other lenses when you have time.

Much of the information used here has been researched from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

Tell us about your tin toy collection or just let us know what you think of this site. If you enjoyed the site, please give us a rating point by clicking on the "like" button below or at the top of this page.


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    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      7 years ago from Central Florida

      How fun! I'm featuring this on my Turn of the Century lens.


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