Toy Company Histories
At the top of this list will always remain
what to me is the king of US Toy Makers.....
|Louis Marx and Company|
In the Beginning
In 1919, after working several years at F.J. Strauss Company, a young man with visions of mass marketing and mass production ventured out on his own and began a toy company. Joined by his brother David a couple of years later, Louis Marx & Company was located at 200 Fifth Avenue, in New York City where it remained for 52 years throughout the Marx ownership. The company began without capital assets, sales base, patents, trademarks, products, processes, machinery, suppliers, or customers for that matter. However, they made up for this with conviction, commitment, good instinct, and Louis's talent and indomitable energy, combined with David's operational skills.
Two basic policies were instilled from the beginning at Louis Marx & Co.: "Give the customer more toy for less money," and "Quality is not negotiable." Louis and David worked long, hard days and nights to turn these policies into realities, setting an example for their staff and the entire industry. The company soon earned a reputation for excellent quality at low prices, making the Marx brand name synonymous with high value.
The 1930's were a period of rapid growth for Marx despite the Great Depression. The first major plant was at Erie, Pennsylvania. Marx Trains ran 'full steam' at the Girard, PA plant, and vehicles 'rolled' out of the Glendale, West Virginia factory. Solid growth continued until World War II, when the factories converted for the war effort. In 1945, following VE day, General Dwight D. Eisenhower invited Louis Marx to join him as Industrial Advisor in Germany.
Marx emerged from World War II as the world's largest manufacturer of toys, dominating the production of mechanical toys, model trains, guns, cars, ride-ons, playsets, doll houses, vehicles, service stations, and of course the world famous Yo-Yo, introduced by Marx in 1928. Having served with General Eisenhower to restructure Europe, Marx became internationally oriented. In 1946, at the time Marx was initiating operations in Japan, Fortune Magazine featured him in the January edition. In 1952, Marx pioneered Hong Kong. During the "Golden Era" of the fifties, Marx made over 20% of the toys sold in the USA and had factories in ten countries, while licensing and exporting to others. Truly global, the December, 1955 cover of Time proclaimed Louis Marx "The Toy King"!
By the Seventies, Marx innovations had become household names and industry standards. At age 76, having divested himself of his international interests, this "Henry Ford of the Toy Industry" (as the plaque of this initial inductee of The Toy Hall of Fame states), knew that it was time to get out. "Toys is a young man's business", he stated. In 1972, after careful negotiation, Louis Marx sold his U.S. empire to Quaker Oats for $52 million. Just 3 years later, Quaker sold to the British firm of Dunbee-Combex. Lacking the leadership and a star product (the Big Wheel was now 10 years old), they passed the control of development to English engineers, resulting in huge losses from returns of two expensive new toys in 1978. This was the last full year of production. The positive attitude that Marx was built upon quickly faded and they were no longer certain that they could ship the goods. Dunbee-Combex-Marx of England, unable to meet its obligations, lost control and filed for bankruptcy in 1980.
In 1982, American Plastic Equipment of Florida purchased the company's assets from the Chemical Bank of New York. Later, in 1988, they acquired the intellectual rights. By that time, Marx toys and playsets were trading in the collector markets at hundreds and even thousands of dollars. This strong demand was what triggered and gave rise to the Marx Renaissance. These and other sets were soon reissued at very reasonable prices, and in no time, Magic Marxie was back! In 1995 Marx Toys, * a new entity, Marx Toy Corporation, was formed in Sebring Ohio. Although Louis Marx & Co. no longer exists, their legacy of producing quality toy products continues. Marx Toy Corporation is a separate company from, and is not a successor to, Louis Marx & Co., however the original home of Marx, at 200 Fifth Avenue, still continues to house the new company's N.Y. Showroom.
Text courtesy of the New Marx Company web site. (No longer active)
Acme Toy Works Chicago, Illinois
Founder: Jacob Lauth
Specialty: Clockwork toy autos. All-NU Products Inc. New York City, New York
Other name: Faben Products Inc.
Founder: C. Frank Krupp
Specialty: Military Miniatures. Krupp designed and fabricated Barclay's tin helmet line of soldiers, then left to start his own company. He declared bankruptcy in 1945, but was back in business a year later. Alps (Shojo Ltd.) Tokyo, Japan
1948 to date
Specialty: Toy vehicles and novelties. A lot of these toys were battery operated; mixed tinplate and tin. Space toys are among the most popular.. Althof, Bergmann and Co. Corner of Church St. & Park Place - New York City, New York
Founder: Three Bergmann brothers and the jobber, L. Althof.
Specialty: Tinplate trains, bell toys, still banks, horse drawn vehicle. One of the first U.S. toy makers to build carpet running trains, renowned for painted clockwork toys, notably the hoop variety. Importer of toys, chna and Bohemian glassware. American Flyer Chicago, Illinois
Acquired by A.C. Gilbert
Specialty: Electric train engines and rolling stock. Also produced a popular line of comic figures on bicycle gravity toys, including Charlie Chaplin, Uncle Sam, Roosevelt Bears (Circa 1912). A.C. Gilbert revitalized the ailing American Flyer line; following the second world war , it moved to "S" gauge models, retaining the American Flyer name. Company absorbed by Lionel in late 1980's. American National Co. Toledo, Ohio
Early 1900s to ?
Trade name: Giant
Slogan: "Raise the Kids on Wheels"
Founder: Walter, Harry, and William Diemer
Specialty: Scooters, bicycles. Produced sidewalk toys including pressed-steel trucks, competing briefly with Keystone and Buddy "L" in the late 1920s. Andes Foundry Co. Lancaster, Pennsylvania
1919 - 1930s
Other names: Merged with Kilgore and Federal Mfg. In 1927, and became American Toys.
Founder: Eugene Andes
Specialty: Paper caps and components, airplanes, trucks. First made paper caps and cast iron components for Kilgore cap guns and cannons. Merged with Kilgore and Federal Mfg. In 1927 and became American Toys until the company dissolved a few years later. Specialized in Arctic ice cream wagons, airplanes, stake and dump trucks.. Arcade Mfg. Co. Freeport, Illinois
1868 - 1946
Founder: E.H. and Charles Morgan
Specialty: First made toys and coffee mills in 1884. As late as 1939, Arcade's toy line included over 300 toy items. Yellow Cab was their first successful toy. Andy Gump in 348 and Chester Gump in His Pony Cart were other popular toys for collectors. Arcade also made toy banks, doll house furniture, and cast-iron penny toys. Arnold Co. Nuremberg, Germany
1906 to date
Founder: K. Arnold
Specialty: Stationary steam accessories; nautical toys. Introduced "Rapido" gauge "N" model railroads in 1960s. Auburn Auburn, Indiana
1913 - 1968
Other name: Double Fabric Tire Corp.
Specialty: English Palace Guards toy soldiers and military miniatures. Made English Palace Guards toy soldiers, as well as miniatures for the European and American branches of the military service. Also made a number of animal and wheeled vehicle toys. Toy division moved to Deming, New Mexico.. Automatic Toy Works New York City, New York
1868 - 1874
Founder: Robert J. Clay
Clockwork tin toys
Girl Skipping Rope, Toy Gymnast, Creeping Baby were precursors of all Ives articulated dancing platform toys. Bought out by Ives in 1874. Barclay Mfg. Co. Hoboken, New Jersey
1923 - 1971
Founder: Leon Donze, a Frenchman, and Michael Levy
Introduced a line of toy soldiers in 1932; became the largest U.S. producer of toy soldiers up to World War II. Barton & Smith Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1890s - ?
Made cast-iron mechanical banks, including "Boy on Trapeze". Bassett-Lowke Northampton, England
1899 to date
Founder: Wenman J. Bassett-Lowke
Innovated mail-order catalog of toys concept.
The first to recognize the quality workmanship of German toy train manufactures (i.e. Bing, Maerklin, Carette, and Ismayer) and to commission specific British designs. Bassett-Lowke also innovated the mail order catalog of toys concept, mailing its first edition, with tipped-in photographs, in 1899. Bing Corp. New York City, New York
1924 - 1935
Founder: John Bing
Spin-off of German firm, Gebruder Bing.
Served as jobber for parent firm with mechanical boats, zeppelins, and steam engines. Gebbruder Bing Nuremberg, Germany
1866 - 1933
Karl Bub; toy trains/Fleischmann; toy boats
Founder: Brothers Ignatius and Adolph Bing
Wide-range of spring-driven, cars, buses ,boats. Perhaps its biggest coup was a line of trains initiated in 1882. Bing went under during the crash of 1929; Karl Bub acquired the toy trains division and Fleischmann the toy boats. R. Bliss Mfg. Co. Pawtucket, Rhode Island
1832 - 1914
Sold to Mason & Parker, Winchendon, Massachusetts.
Founder: Rufus Bliss
They were in the toy business for 100 years.
Bliss had over a one hundred-year history, although the earliest ad for toys appeared in the New England Business Directory in 1871. Pioneered in development of lithographed paper on wooden toys including dolls' houses, boats, trains, and building blocks. Blomer & Schuler Nuremberg, Germany
1930 to date
Tin mechanical motor toys.
Logo features an elephant with howdah.. George Borgfeldt & Co. New York City, New York
1881 - 1962
Founder: George Borgfeldt, and Marcell and Joseph Kahle.
Importer and wholesaler of toys.
Toys which included comic novelty tin wind-ups under the name "Nifty." Trademark was "Nifty" smiling moon face. Also distributed "Oh Boy" pressed steel trucks and cars. James H. Bowen Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Founder: James H. Bowen
Pattern maker for J. & E. Stevens mechanical banks.
Designed such classics as "Darktown Battery", "Girl Skipping Rope", "Reclining Chinaman. Bowman Norwich, England
1920s - 1935
Steam-driven locomotives and rolling stock. Milton Bradley & Co. Springfield, Massachusetts
1861 to date
Variously identified as Milton Bradley Co., Milton Bradley & Co., Milton Bradley and company.
Founder: Milton Bradley
Launched his business with "The Checkered Game of Life", a board game of high moral overtones. Milton Bradley also became well known for educational games, books, kindergarten teaching aids, and school supplies, as well as a small range of toys. William Britains Ltd. London, England
1893 to date
Founder: William Britain
Three dimensional hollow toy soldier, largest producer of toy soldiers
Introduced a three dimensional hollow toy soldier line, faithfully replicating over 100 British Army regiments in their first decade of doing business. Britains expanded to become the world's largest producer of lead toy soldiers. (Since 1966, alas, the figures have been made of plastic.. George W. Brown & Co. Forestville, Connecticut
1856 - 1880
Merged with J. & E. Stevens in 1868
Founder: George W. Brown and Chauncey Goodrich
First manufacturer to produce toys with clock-work mechanisms.
Beginning perhaps as early as 1850. Known for classic boats, vehicles, animal platforms toys, dancing figures, and hoop bell toy, fashioned in painted tin. Karl Bub Nuremberg, Germany
1851 - 1966
Founder: Karl Bub
Enameled tin transportation toys,
Superbly enameled and later lithographed line of clockwork tin transportation toys including trains. Many Bub toys reached the American market via exclusive distributor F.A.O. Schwartz, New York City, during the 1920s-1930s. Buddy L Salem, Massachusetts
1910 to date
Other names: Moline Press Steel(1910-1913); Buddy L Wood Products(1944); Buddy L Manufacturing (1930); Buddy L Corp.(to date).
Founder: Fred Lundahl
Cranes, steamrollers, trucks, construction toys.
Buddy L toys were named after the founder's son. Lundahl introduced the line in 1921, starting with a pressed steel pick-up truck that expanded into a veritable fleet of almost 30 cranes and other construction toys some five years later. Buffalo Toy & Tool Works Buffalo, New York
1924 - 1968
Lightweight pressed-steel aeronautical, automotive, and carousel toys.
Many of the toys were activated by a special spiral rod connected to a spring. Burnett Ltd. London, England
1920s - 1930s
Painted and lithographed tin clockwork vehicles, including London autobuses. Butler Brothers New York City, New York
1876 - 1950s
Largest wholesale distributors of toys in the U.S. during the first quarter of the 20th century.
Carried the most elite lines. Sold by catalog exclusively to merchants, with sample houses in most major cities. Cardini Omegna, Italy
1922 - 1928
Five main lines of small toy automobiles
Cardini's innovative packaging included outer box that could be transformed into the cars garage. Toys were marked by a large Cardini crest and the tires were marked Pirelli-cord. George Carette Nuremberg, Germany
1886 - 1917
Founder: George Carette (with Gebrudern Bing's backing).
Mechanical tin boats, cars, and trains.
Many of these toys were lithographed. Best known for electric streetcars and model trains. Carette, as a French citizen, was deported from Germany in 1917, thus closing the firm. Carlisle & French Co. Cincinnati, Ohio
1895 - 1915 (for toy line)
Founder: Robert Finch and Morton Carlisle
First successful electric train
Produced the first successful electrically run toy train in the United States in 1879. Later expanded line included steam outline locomotives and rolling stock. Also functioned a distributor, handling the first toy automobile. ( made by Knapp Electric in 1900).
Carter Tru-Scale Machine Company 1916 11th St. Rockford, ILL
Builder of steel farm equipment, trucks, trailers and cars. (Not to be confused with Tru-Scale Models)
Francis W. Carpenter Port Chester,
1883 - 1954 (toys from 1930-1936)
Founder: John and Ezra Hasenpflug
Cast-iron transportation toys.
Also made cast-iron parts for other leading toy makers.. J. Chein & Co. New York City, New York and Harrison, New Jersey.
1903 - 1979 (toy producing years)
Other names: Became known as Chein Industries, Inc., in the 1970s.
Founder: Julius Chein
Specialty: tin mechanical toys, banks, drums, and tea sets.
Tin toys were lithographed. Chein's line of comic and circus tin toys received wide acceptance in the 1930s and leading up to World War II. . D.P. Clark Dayton, Ohio
1898 - 1909
Other names: Re-named Schieble Toy & Novelty in 1909
Founder: David P. Clark
Specialty: Sheet-steel novelty and automotive toys with friction and flywheel mechanisms. Clark & Sowdon New York City, New York
Early 1890s - 1910
Specialty: Board games
Board games such as "Rough Riders", "Game of Golf", and "Yacht Race".. E.O. Clark New York City, New York
1897 - early 1900s
Founder: E.O. Clark (Successor to Clark & Sowdon).
Specialty: Board games.
Board games, including "The Charge", "The Hippodrome", and "The Owl & The Pussycat." Morton E. Converse Co. Winchenden, Massachusetts
1878 - 1934 (Mason & Converse until 1883)
Founder: Morton Converse
Specialty: Toytown Complex
"Toytown Complex" was once recognized as the largest wood toy factory in the world. Known for Noah's arcs, ABC blocks, and doll furniture, many of which were lithographs on wood. Made steel toys in the 1890s, comprised mainly of transportation vehicles with clockwork mechanisms. Corcoran Mfg. Co. Washington, Indiana
1920s - 1940s
Specialty: Large, pressed-steel riding toy autos and trains under the trademark "Cor-Cor". Corgi Toys, Mettoy Playcraft Ltd. Swansea, South Wales
Since 1956 (Mettoy Playcraft Ltd. Originated in 1934)
Specialty: Miniature toy vehicles in metal and plastic. Courtenay Miniatures (an extension of a Doran toy makers which dates back to 1892) Duran, England
1938 - 1963
Founder: Richard and Vida Courtenay
Specialty: very limited production of lead royalty figures including Knights of the Round Table. Frederick Ping with Courtenay made many of his own medieval figures.Courtenay chose Ping to take over his molds upon his death (1963). Ping was one of the most incredible makers of 54mm figures, working in the French style of building each figure from layers of lead, on a simple lead figure. Ping kept the molds from 1963, until Peter Greenhill purchased the Courtenay molds in 1978 and continues to market miniatures under Courtenay and Greenhill. (Credit for this information goes to Glenn) Charles M. Crandall Covington, Pennsylvania
Specialty: Inter-locking tongue and groove lithograph paper-on-wood joints.
Interlocking tongue in groove wooden joints that children used to create multiple figure forms. Some of the more popular sets; "District School House", "Acrobats", and "Treasure Box". Charles' son Jesse started his own toy business soon after the Civil War, relocating in Brooklyn. Jesse Crandall was issued a number of patents for rocking toys, alphabet blocks, and construction toys. Relocated to Montrose, Pennsylvania in 1875, to Waverly, New York in 1888. Jesse Crandall Brooklyn, New York
1840s - 1880s
Specialty: Hobby horses, rocking horses, velocipedes, and board games. Crescent Toy Co., Ltd. Great Britain
Specialty: Hollow cast lead soldiers and plastic figures, including "Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future"; also made die-cast motor miniatures.
Cox Industries - California
Producer of Slots cars during the 1960's and early 70's. Shifted to production of radio controlled airplanes after selling off slot cars to AMF who subsequently deliberately torpedoed the sport. Cox sufferred a terrible accident in the 1970's when their Anaheim factory was nearly destroyed when an acident involving model airplane fuel caused a massive explosion causing several fatalities..
A. A. Davis Nashua, New Hampshire
Founder: D.P. Clark (see D.P. Clark)
Specialty: Pressed-steel friction toys with patented horizontal flywheel.
Patented horizontal flywheel (1926) under trade name "Gyro"; maker of child-size, up to 24 inches long, SON-NY line of motor toys. Dayton Toy & Specialty Co. Dayton, Ohio
1920s - early 1930s
Specialty: Large, heavy-gauge, pressed-steel transportation toys. Dent Hardware Co. Fullerton, Pennsylvania
1895-1937 ( continued to manufacture cold storage hardware until 1937).
Founder: Henry H. Dent, with four additional partners
Specialty: Cast-iron and aluminum transportation toys and banks. "Pioneer" fire truck, Ford Tri-Motor, and large hook-and-ladder toys were popular items. Johann Distler Nuremberg,, Germany
1900 - 1968
Founder: Johann Distler. In 1917, Distler took on Messrs. Brown & Mayer as partners. In 1923, partners took over after Distlers death. Brown & Mayer sold out to Ernst Volk in 1935. From 1962-1968, a Belgian firm assumed the toy business.
Specialty: Lithographed tin penny toys; comic and erratic action transportation toys. Charles William Doepke Manufacturing Co. Rossmoyne, Ohio
1920s and 1930s
Specialty: Faithful replicas of transportation, fire fighting, farm, and construction vehicles under the name "Model Toy". Known for rugged, heavy-gauge steel construction and ease of operation. Doll Et Cte (& C0.) Nuremberg, Germany
1868-Post-World War II
Founder: Peter Doll and J Sondheim. Firm was taken over by Fleischmann in1938 but the name was retained until 1948.
Specialty: Steam engines and accessories; novelty trains and cars, some of which were steam propelled. Trademark based on the initials D.C.. Dover Metal Stamping Company - Dover, New Hampshire
Manufacturer of tinware; tin toys, tin kitchenware etc, The Dover Stamping Co. was, by 1869, one of the leading American manufacturers and distributors of houseware goods and tinners tools and machines.
Dowst (Tootsietoy) Chicago, Illinois
1900 to late 1920s
Founder: Hans Eberl
Specialty: Automotive toys bearing the initials H.E.N.; Borgfeldt was a factory agent for Eberl. Edmund's Traditional Toy Soldiers 1950s - ?
Founder: Edmund Fangonilo
Specialty: Confederate Regiment replicas in limited editions of 100 sets, created by the artist, Fangonilo. EFFanBEE New York City, New York
1910 to date
Founder: Fleischaker and Baum ( from which the trade name derives).
Specialty: Early on, EFFanBEE specialized in bisque, cloth, and composition baby and toddler dolls, with slogan: "They Walk, They Talk, They Sleep." Later the firm made a number of celebrity puppets and ventriloquists' dolls, including Charlie McCarthy, W.C. Fields, and Howdy Doody. Gebruder Einfalt - Nuremberg, Germany
1922 to date
Founder: Georg and Johann Einfalt
Specialty: Oversized penny toys; comic and erratic action tin wind-ups. Prior to 1930s, toys can be identified by the initials "G.E" or "G.E.N.". Assumed the mark "Technofix" after 1935. Eldon Industries - Hawthorne, California
Early 1950's ( as UNGAR) on into the late1970's
Leading manufacturer of plastic "Selectronic" brand slot car sets. Also famous for "Skee-Ball" and "Bowl-A-Matic" games. Products also inclded a wide variety of very inventive plastic toy cars. trucks and boats. They were aquired by Cox Industries in 1979. Ellis, Britton & Eaton - Springfield, Vermont
1859- early 1900s
Founder: Joel Ellis
Specialty: Wooden dolls, sleds, pianos, rolling hoops, and toy carriages.
In 1873, Ellis patented his most popular toy, the Jointed Wood Doll, made of maple with cast-iron hands and feet. Two nearby firms, Cooperative Mfg. And Vermont Novelty works, continued the patent. Toy Corporation (Emmets Dollar Trucks) New York, New York
1929 - 1932
Founder: Louis Emmets
Specialty: Emmets' toy line, like the lightweight metal toys of Chein and Kiddies, featured toy trucks made of 20-gauge steel. These trucks averaged 22-inches in length and 7-1/2 inches in height. All trucks were equipped with solid rubber tires, marked "Emmets", in bas-relief. Characteristics of Emmets' toys were the large, non-functioning steering wheel and the "modified C' closed cab. All Emmets' trucks had a decal positioned on only the left side of the truck's cab or service bed. The decal identified the toy as a product of the Emmets Toy Corporation, as well as indicating the toy's production. Emmets Dollar Trucks, as they were known, were on the market for a relatively short time, thought to be about 3 years at most. Therefore, the trucks are considered to be hard to find. Advertising by the Emmerts Corporation ceased in 1932 and the company's status after that remains unknown. Enterprise Manufacturing Co. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1876 - 1888
Specialty: Hardware manufacturer specializing in coffee grinders, turned out a series of still banks commemorating the U.S. Centennial Exposition held in that city (i.e., Independence Hall Globe Bank). Also produced such mechanical banks as Elephant with pop-out man and Memorial Money Bank (Liberty Bell). J. Falk Nuremberg, Germany
Late 1890s - 1940
Founder: J. Falk
Specialty: Stationary steam engines, optical projectors, and steam-propelled boats. James Fallows & Sons Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1870 to ?
Organized under name "C.B. Porter Company. In 1894, name was changed to Frederick & Henry Fallows Toys.
Firm began carrying his name about 1880. Principals were James Fallows and his sons, Henry, Charles, and David.
Specialty: Painted and stenciled tin horse-drawn, wheeled vehicles, trains, and river boats. Highly prized toys often carried marl "IXL", said to be based on word-play "I Excell". (Some feel that it signifies the date of Fallows' arrival in Philadelphia from the old country.) Fallows' demise coincided with the advent of lithographed tin toys in the 1880s. Georg Fischer Nuremberg, Germany
Early 1900s - 1914
Specialty: Tin penny toys and other novelties. Trademark "G.F". Fisher Price Toys East Aurora, New York
1930 to date
Founders: Irving L. Price, Herman G. Fisher, and Helen M. Schelle. Herman Fisher, who was the first president, resigned in 1966 and was succeeded by Henry H. Coords. Quaker Oats Company acquired the firm in 1969.
Specialty: Lithographed paper applied over wooden and plastic pull toys, including the early Doctor Doodle, Lookee Monk, Dizzy Dino, and Woodsy-Wee toys. Mickey Mouse, Donald, Goofy, Snow White, and scores of other Disney characters were featured in the 1930s and 1940s. To date Fisher Price, any toy featuring the vertical white reverse out of black logo predates 1962; any item containing any or all plastic parts was made after 1949. Gebruder Fleischmann Nuremberg, Germany
1887 to date
Founder: J. Fleischmann
Specialty: Quality tinplate boats in the 1920s, as well as automotive replicas. Took over Doll et Cie just before WW II and has concentrated on model railroads to this day. Gendron Wheel Company Toledo, Ohio
1872 to 1941
Founder: Pierre Gendron
Specialty: In 1872, Pierre Gendron made the first "Pioneer" vehicle in a small workshop in his home near Toledo, Ohio. The company was originally organized with the purpose of manufacturing wire wheels. By 1920, in addition to wire wheels, Gendron was making baby carriages, tot's push cabs, and doll vehicles. With the increasing popularity of bicycle riding, Gendron manufactured a complete line of bikes. In 1928, Gendron Wheel Company, now recognized as one of the leaders in juvenile pedal vehicles, added pressed-steel toy trucks to their "Pioneer" line" of toys, utilizing the trade name of "Sampson". Sampson trucks are easily distinguished from American's Giant and Toledo Metal Wheel's Bull Dog trucks by the unique shape of its redesigned hood and radiator. The hood was designed to follow a more conventional radiator shape than the previous Mack profile radiator used by the other manufacturers. Sampson's near rectangular decal, with the word "Sampson", is affixed to the sides of the various service beds and a small Sampson decal is located at the top of the radiator. All trucks, except the low end items, came equipped with hand-cranked noisemakers. In all likelihood, the American-National Company, after sharing the tooling for the trucks with Toledo Metal Wheel, sold the same tooling to Gendron in 1928. Gendron revised the design of the hood and radiator of the truck to give it a Gendron personality and continued to manufacture Sampson trucks until about 1930 or 1931.In all probability, Gendron's "Sampson" steel trucks and airplanes were victims of the depression. Gendron continued to produce juvenile pedal toys and outdoor gym equipment until the outbreak of WWII. Gibbs Mfg. Co. Canton, Ohio
1884 to date
Founder: Lewis E. Gibbs
Specialty: Originally manufactured plows. Added toys in 1886. Mechanical spinning tops, wagons, and lithographed paper-on-wood, metal, and advertising toys. A.C. Gilbert Co. New Haven, Connecticut
1908 - 1966
Founder: Albert C. Gilbert
Specialty: Began as a manufacturer of boxed magic sets. Introduced Erector Sets in 1913, an instant success( 30 million will be sold over the next 40 years). Bought out Richter Anchor Block, an American affiliate of Meccano, at the beginning of WWI. Pressed-steel autos and trucks were added to the line in 1914, plus a variety of scientific toys. Purchased American Flyer in 1938 and retained only the name for a line of trains. Gilbert subsequently had financial woes of its own and the toy train line was sold to Lionel in 1966. Girard Model Works, Inc. Girard, Pennsylvania
Other names: Girard Mfg. Co. 1922-1935; The Toy Works, 1935-1975(Spinning tops, skates, banks, trains, military toys).
Founder: Frank E. Wood
Specialty: In the late 1920s, Girard made Louis Marx a commission agent and for several years produced toys under the Marx label, along with its own line of steel autos, trucks, and trains, which were produced at Girard Motor Works. Marx and Girard toys are for all intents indistinguishable ( a few of the Girard toys bore the slogan "Making Childhood's Hour Happier"). Girard declared bankruptcy in 1934, although toy production continued until 1975. Quaker Oats had bought out Marx's interest in Girard when they bought Marx's American and English toy division 1972. Gong Bell Mfg. Co., East Hampton, Connecticut
1886 - 1960s
Specialty: Hardware bells and cast-metal bell pull and push toys. Absored Watrous toy company in 1923. Greppert & Kelch Brandenberg, Germany
1912 - 1930
Founder: Gundka, G.&K.
Specialty: Small lithographed tin mechanical toys; mid-1920s appears to have been the height of their popularity. Often marked "Gundka Werke", or with G.&K. Grey Iron Co. Mount Joy, Pennsylvania
Other names: 1900 ( Under name Brady Machine Shop) to date. First produced toys in 1903).
Specialty: Grey Klip Army toy soldiers (1917-1941) in cast iron, nickel-plated. "Iron Men" series, 1936; "Uncle Sam's Defender", 1938. The firm produced miniatures under the name "Greyklip Armies"; also an "American Family" series just prior to WWII. Still operating today as John Wright division of Cons Co. S.G. Gunthermann Nuremberg, Germany
1877 - 1965
Founder: Sifried Gunthermann
Specialty: Began producing tinplate mechanical cars in 1898; also a number of comic and character wind-ups in the early 1960s. When founder died in 1890, his widow married Adolph Weigel; toys from that period on bore makers mark with a shield inside circle and initials A.S.G.W. Wiegels initials were removed following his death in 1919. Company was acquired by Siemens in 1965. Gutmann Paris, France
1945 to date
Specialty: Lightweight tin motor vehicles. Trademark: MEMO Hafner Mfg. Co. Chicago, Illinois
1900 to 1950
Founder: W.F. Hafner
Specialty: Joined with Edmunds-Metzel Co. in 1907 to manufacture trains and mechanical toys. Became American Flyer Manufacturing in 1910 and was sold to Wyandotte in 1950. When Wyandotte closed its doors, Marx acquired Hafner dies. John Harper & Co., Ltd. Willenhall, England
1790 - 1940
Founder: John Harper
Specialty: Produced banks in the 1880s. Cast-iron still/mechanical banks and toys. Noted banks include; "Wimbleton Bank", "Grenadier", "I Always Did Despise a Mule", "Football Bank", and "Giant on Tower". Harris Toy Co. Toledo, Ohio
1887 - 1913
Specialty: Produced cast-iron toys in the 1880s. Harris also acted as jobber for Dent, Hubley, and Wilkins. Financial difficulties forced them out of toy production by 1913. Hasbro Mfg. Pawtucket, Rhode Island
1923 to Present
Founder: The Hassenfeld brothers
Specialty: Makers of plastic and wood toys, including Super Weeble, Potato Head, and G.I. Joe series, which has gone through several transformations. The articulated plastic figures in cloth uniforms were originally 11 1/2 inches tall; the new G.I. Joe's, recalled to active duty in 1982, measured a mere 14 inches. In 1987, G.I.Joe was the number one selling toy in America. Hasbro is now the world's largest toy manufacturer. O. & M. Hausser Stuttgart (AKA: ELASTOLIN) (Ludwigsburg), Germany
1904 - 1983
Founder: Otto and Max Hausser
Specialty: Dolls, toys, and military miniatures of composition sawdust and glue, made under the name "Elastolin". Also made still banks from 1929-1939. J.L. Hess Nuremberg, Germany
Specialty: Tinplate pull-along trains and various other parlor toys; toys autos that bore the trademark name "Hessmobil". Heyde Miniatures Dresden, Germany
1872 - 1945
Specialty: Full-round solid military miniatures. Decidedly topical, Heyde produced new sets of replications of soldiers whenever a war broke out, in a variety of sizes from 40 to 145mm. Highly prized are the special sets(i.e., "Buffalo Bill", "North Pole Expedition", "Tiger Hunting in India"). Heyde's factory was wiped out by Dresden firebombing in 1945. Heydes usually bear no trademarks, but can be distinguished by their highly stylized, thin and fragile appearance. N.N. Hill Brass Co. New Jersey
1889 - 1960
Founder: Norman N. Hill
Founder began career working for the Barton Bell Company at 18. Branch of National Novelty for four years ending in 1907. Specialized in cast-iron and pressed-steel bell push and pull toys, toy telephones, and target games. Also produced wooden toys for Walt Disney Company in the 1930's. At one time they boasted as having the largest toy and bell factory in the world.
Johann Gottfried Hilpert Nuremberg,
Founded in 1909
Specialty: Founded in 1909 in Manhattan, NY, by Hampden Hoge, who had left the company by 1919. They produced only office supplies until 1931, when Henry Katz dissolved his company and came to manage Hoge's new toy division. The firm contracted construction of their toy designs to Mattatuck Manufacturing Company. Products included stamped steel passenger and animated circus cars as well as electric and clockwork locomotives. The line ceased in 1939 and Hoge was bought and dissolved by Mattatuck in 1958. The name is currently the property of Robert Hoge (no direct relation to the founder), a Hoge collector. Holgate Brothers Company 200 Biddle Street - Kane, Pennsylvania
1929 to date
The roots of Holgate Toy Company trace back to 1789, the year the U.S. Constitution was signed and George Washington became President. Cornelius Holgate established a woodworking shop outside of Philadelphia in a colonial village called Roxborough. After many years, the Holgate family moved the company to northwest Pennsylvania because of the abundant hardwood forest. In 1929, Holgate was one of the first toy companies in the U.S. to research and develop the educational, preschool toy market for children. Holgate worked closely with the early educators in the emerging Kindergarten program to develop safe, educational toys that had play value. Jarvis Rockwell, brother of famous illustrator Norman Rockwell, originally designed many of todays most popular Holgate toys like the Rocky Color Cone, Jumbo Lacing Beads and the Classic Bingo Bed. Rockwells concern for safety, durability and multiple play earned him recognition as one of Americas finest toy designers. (From the Holgate Company Website)
Hubley Mfg. Co. Lancaster,
1860s - 1880s (Established as Hull & Wright; acquired Union Mfg. Co. in 1869.)
Specialty: Intricate, enameled tin toys.
1903 to date
Founder: Rose and Morris Michtom
Specialty: Stuffed toys and dolls, anchored by the original Teddy Bear. Ideal still ranks as one of the top producers of stuffed toys and dolls. Industria Nazionale Giocattoli Automatica Padova, Padua, Italy
1920 - ?
Specialty: Tin mechanical trains, cars, airplanes. Trademark: INGAP. Ives Corp. Bridgeport, Connecticut
1868 - 1932
E.R. Ives & Co.
1868 - 1870
Founder: Edward R. Ives
Specialty: Originally made baskets and hot air toys.
Ives and Blakeslee & Co. 1872 - 1932 Specialty: Ives joined partner Cornelius Blakeslee, a brother-in-law. Ives moved to Bridgeport in 1870; by the 1880s, they were leaders in superb clockwork toys designed by Jerome Secor, Nathan Warner, and Arthur Hotchkiss. Ives also acted as jobber for other toy manufactures' toys. The firm filed for bankruptcy in 1929, another victim of the Depression. Lionel took over the company at that time, and the name Ives and Blakeslee remained until 1931. Jeanette Toy & Novelty Co. Jeanette, Pennsylvania
1898 - ?
Specialty: Lithographed tin toys, including trays, tea sets, and figural glass candy containers. JEP (Jouets en Paris) Paris, France
1899 - 1965
Known originally as the Societe Industriel de Ferblanteriel, the firm underwent a name change to J de P in 1928; its contemporary came about in 1932.
Specialty: Lithographed, tin, clockwork toy automobiles, motorcycles, aircraft, and other motor miniatures. JEP cars traditionally carried a trademark on the radiator of the particular vehicle replicated. John Hill & Co.(Johillco) London, England
1900 - 1960
Founder: Wood (first name unknown), former Britains' employee.
Specialty: Primarily 54mm hollowcast toy soldiers in Britains' tradition, but in most cases lacking the quality and refinement of the latter. Never really recovered following the destruction of its Tottenham factory in the London blitz, Johillco closed its doors in 1960. Jones & Bixler, Co. Freemansburg, Pennsylvania
1899 - 1914
Founder: Charles A. Jones and Louis S. Bixler
Specialty: "Red Devil Line" of cast-iron auto toys (introduced in 1903, when J & B became part of National Novelty Corp.). From 1909-1913, J & B and Kenton Hardware (which also became part of National Novelty toy trust) produced toys that were indistinguishable from each other. Jones (Metal Art Miniatures Co.) Chicago, Illinois
1925 - 1941
Founder: J. Edwards Jones
Specialty: 3 1/4 inch military miniatures; primarily a dimestore line. Judd Mfg. Co. Wallingford, Connecticut
1830 - ?
Other names: Originally known as H.L. Judd Co. when founded in 1830 in New Britain; changed name to M. Judd & Sons in 1855; Judd Mfg. In 1870.
Founder: Morton Judd
Specialty: Cast-iron mechanical banks, including "Peg-Leg Beggar," "Ticket Collector," and "Standing Giant." Jumeau Paris and Montreil-sous-Bois, France
1842 - 1899
Founder: Emile Jumeau
Specialty: Bisque head, composition body dolls, including exquisite be'be'. Georg G. Kellermann Nuremberg, Germany 1910 to date
Founder: Georg Kellermann
Specialty: Clockwork tin motorcycles and penny toys. Trademark: C.K.O. Son Willy took over the firm following the death of his father in 1931. Kelmet Corp. New York City, New York
1923 - late 1920s
Specialty: Large pressed-steel trucks under name "Kelmet" and "Trumodel." Parts were frequently subcontracted and A.C. Gilbert assembled the finish product. A further designation was "Big Boy," modeled after the white truck. Kenner Products Cincinnati, Ohio
1947 to date
Founder: Al, Phil, and Joe Steiner
Specialty: First toy was "Bubble Gun" in 1947. "six Million Dollar Man" and "Bionic Woman" were mid-1970s favorites, but most spectacular success was line of "Star Wars" toys. Kenton Hardware Co. Kenton, Ohio
1890 - 1952
Founder: F.M. Perkins (Patented line of refrigerator hardware).
Specialty: Toy production began in 1894 with a line of horse-drawn fire equipment, banks, and toy stoves. Renamed Kenton Hardware in 1900. Became part of mammoth National Novelty Corp. merger in 1903, it continued its toy line under the name Wing Mfg. Co. Involved in several unsuccessful takeovers, it eventually emerged as a separate unit, the Kenton Hardware Co., and again produced toys successfully from 1920-1935. Kenton ceased production in 1952 and assets were sold in 1953. The Littlestown Hardware & Foundry acquired many Kenton toy designs and marketed them under the brand "Utexiqual". Littlestown folded in 1982. Keystone Mfg. Co. Boston Massachusetts
1920 to ?
Specialty: Originally produced toy motion picture machines and children's comedy films (Keystone Moviegraph). Gained permission from Packard Motor Co. in mid-1920s to market pressed-steel riding trucks copied from full-size Packard models, including famous radiator design and logo. Keystone, in competing with "Buddy L", added such refinements as nickeled hubcaps and radiator caps, transparent celluloid windshield, and engine crank. For 50 cents extra you could get rubber tires and headlamps. Keystone trucks also featured steering and signal arms for "stop" and "go". Keystone introduced line of "Siren Riding Toys" in 1934 with saddle riding seat and handlebars for steering. In 1936, one of its big sellers was a "Ride-em" mail plane. In the post-WWII years, most of Keystone's toy output was based on tools and dies purchased from the defunct Kingsbury toy division. Kiddies Metal Toys, Inc. Elizabeth, New Jersey
1914 - 1931
Specialty: The name, Kiddies Metal Toys Inc., is a name that most collectors don't associate with the "Oh Boy!" line of toys, and for good reason. The history of the company, besides having an unfamiliar name, is shrouded in mystery. What we do know is that printed advertising establishes proof of the companies existence in 1920. It is likely the company was in existence much earlier, perhaps as early as 1914. However, without factual evidence to support this belief, this capsule history will commence with the date it is certain the company was conducting business. The Kiddies Metal Toys, Inc. toy line for 1920 consisted primarily of games and novelties. Other toys in the line included a wide range of "Jack and Jill Sandhill Toys", along with assorted sand pails, toy shovels, tea sets and doll house furniture sets. By 1926, a number of automotive toys were being produced under the trademark "Oh Boy!" and "Big Motor Toys". These toys, made of lightweight steel, as the company so emphatically advertised, ranged in size from 19 to 23 inches. Characteristics of one of Kiddies lithographers Louis Emmets toy truck designs were the toy's large, non-functioning steering wheel, metal wheels and high crown fenders. Nearly all of Kiddies automotive toys were affixed with a Kiddies Metal Toys, Inc. decal which carried the manufacturers production number. Some toys were lithographed entirely, while others received a single coat of enamel. Kiddies Metal Toys, Inc. continued to advertise in the major toy trade publications until the middle of 1931. After that, the company seemed to have simply disappeared. Kienberger & Co. Nuremberg, Germany
1910 to date
Founder: Hubert Kienberger
Specialty: Penny toys; simple mechanical motor toys and wheel-mounted animals. One of the most popular exports to the United States was the Billiard Player marble toy. Trademark ; HUKI. Kilgore Mfg. Co. Westerville, Ohio
1920s - 1985
Slogan "Toys That Last"
Specialty: Originated in 1925 with the purchase of George D. Wanner Co., who made a brand of kites called "E-Z-Fly". Its merger with Andes Foundry and the Federal Toy Co, in 1925 under the aegis of American Toy Co. In 1928, Kilgore introduced cast iron cars, trucks, and fire engines, including cast-iron cannons, cap guns, and toy paper caps. Butler Brothers became its biggest distributor. In 1936 Kilgore released their "Jewels for Playthings" series of plastic injection molded toys. These were the first mass manufactured, injection molded, plastic toys. The company moved to Toone Tennessee in 1961 and remained in the cap gun and signal flare business until 1985. Kingsbury Mfg. Co. (also see Wilkins Toy Co.) Keene, New Hampshire
1919 - 1942
Wilkins Toy Co.
Founder: Harry T. Kingsbury
Specialty: In 1895 Harry T. Kingsbury bought Wilkins and combined it with the Clipper Machine Works, which specialized in farm equipment. In the early 1900s, toy automobiles were introduced to the company line. The Wilkins line was dropped following WWI in favor of Kingsbury, which was by know an established name in the field. Kingsbury specialized in copying famous models of aircraft and assembly-line, trucks, and buses. WWII saw Kingsbury shifting to war contracts and never returning again to toy production. All production equipment was sold to Keystone in Boston. The company still exists, but as Kingsbury Machine Tool Division, a subcontractor for such giants as IBM, General Motors, and GE. Kingston Products Corp. Kokomo, Indiana
1890s to ?
Scott & Fetzer Co.
Founder: Charles T. Byrne and James F. Ryan
Specialty: Byrne and Ryan started Kokomo Brass Works to produce brass castings for the plumbing industry. Kingston soon became an alliance of many kindred companies. Their line of toys, under the name Kokomo Toys, came into its height in the 1920s and 30s with fire engines, racers, trucks, and transportation toys a specialty. Electrically run racers were a innovative addition, though expensive for Depression times, Kingston had the dropped in 1931. Kingston today is part of Scott & Fetzer Co., and makes components for auto manufacturers. Kirchoff Patent Co. Newark, New Jersey
1852 to date
Founder: Charles Kirchoff
Specialty: Small metal toys, noisemakers, Christmas ornaments and novelties. Kirchoff essentially was a developer of patents and in addition to toys produced Braille printers and ticker-tape machines. (Although no longer in business under the name Kirchoff, the company did undergo a lot of changes in ownership through out the years and was still recorded as being active up to the 1950s.) Knapp Electric Novelty Co. New York City, New York
1899 to date
Specialty: One of earliest manufactures of transportation toys powered by wet cell batteries. Carlisle & Finch, noted for electric toy trains and other novelty toys, served as Knapps distributor. Kohnstam Furth, Germany
1875 - 1959 (Became part of Lesney)
Other names: Lesney
Founder: Moses Kohnstam
Specialty: European distributor of German-made toys, under the Moko trademark. J. Kohnstam Ltd. Was established in London in early 1920 and helped launch Lesney Products. Kyser & Rex Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1880 - 1884
Founder: L. Kyser and Alfred Rex
Specialty: Cast-iron toys and mechanical banks. Among their highly desirable banks are: Hindu with Turban, Uncle Tom, Chimpanzee the Organ Bank, Lion and Monkeys. Lefkowitz Toy Co. Brooklyn, New York
Early 1900s - ?
Specialty: Ingenious Rube Goldberg-type mechanical tin toys(i.e., The Flying Cupid). Lansing Company Incorporated Lansing, IOWA
? - 1950's
Brand Name - SLIK-TOY
Specialty: Cast aluminum cars, trucks,farm toys etc... Ernest Lehmann Co. Brandenberg, Germany
1881 (Re-established in 1951 in Nuremberg and still producing toys).
Founder: Ernest P. Lehmann
Specialty: Lehmann exported vast quantities of toys to the United States from 1895 to 1929 (excluding years of WWI). Specialized in lithographed tinplate, mechanical transportation toys, and figures known for colorful patina. Some of the most desirable Lehmannn's include: Mr. and Mrs. Lehmann, Dancing Sailor, Icarus, and Autobus. Lenci Turin, Italy
1920 to date
Founder: Enrico and Elena Scavini
Specialty: Seamless stuffed felt dolls. The Lenci trademark was registered in Europe in 1922; in the United States in 1924. (Lenci was Elena Scavini's pet name). Le Rapide Paris, France
1920s - 1954
Founder: Louis Rouisey
Specialty: Electric and clockwork "O" gauge model trains, toy racers on oval tracks. Lesney ("Matchbox") London, England
1947 - 1982
Slogan: "Models of Yesteryear"
Founder: Jack Odell and Leslie and Robert Smith
Specialty: Die-cast miniature cars and transportation vehicles, many of which were copies of real-life models. Company absorbed by Mattel toys in late 1990's. Georg Levy Nuremberg, Germany
1920 - 1971
Founder: Georg Levy ("Gely" trademark)
Specialty: Produced automotive tin toys under Kienberger name ("Kiko") until 1920, then launched his own firm. Sold out and left Germany in the 1930s, but factory resumed under name of Nuremberg Tin Toys Factory. Lindstrom Tool & Toy Co. Bridgeport, Connecticut
1913-early 1940s (resumed production after WWII)
Specialty: Mechanical toys and games of pressed-steel and tin. Included stoves, sewing machines; amusement park-type auto, the "Doodlebug". Lineol Brandenberg/Havel, Germany
1905 to date
Founder: Oskar Wiederholz
Specialty: Tinplate military toys and trenchworks; also composition armies, barnyard scenes, zoo menageries, Christmas cre'ches, cooking and tea sets, wooden toys. Lineol's 7.5cm military miniatures are deemed superior to Elastolin. Lineol was nationalized in 1949 and moved to Dresden. It still produces miniatures today under the name VEB Lineol-Plastik Dresden. Lines Bros. Ltd. London, England
1919 - 1971
Specialty: Small clockwork tin motor toys; "Minic" series, 1930. "Spot-On" series of Die-cast models, 1959; "Triangtois" on wooden toys, circa 1927. Lines closed its doors in 1971 following financial difficulties. Lucotte Miniatures Paris, France
1780 - 1825 (acquired by Mignot)
Specialty: One of the earliest toy makers; many miniatures feature "L.C.", the Lucotte trademark, was well as the Imperial Bee of Napoleon. Many of the figures replicated Napoleon's army members. Known for anatomical detail and meticulous painting. Early Lucottes can be distinguished by their separate removable parts.
1859 to date
Founder: Theodor and his wife, Caroline Maerklin
Specialty: Originated as a maker of doll-sized tinplate kitchenware. When sons took over the business in 1888, firm name was changed to Gebruder Maerklin. Branched out to a variety of enameled tinplate boats, carousels, aeronautical toys. Unsurpassed in production of clockwork, steam, and electric trains. Introduced first standardized tinplate tracks in 1891. Maerklin switched to plastic train sets in the late 1950s. Mattel Toys - El Segundo, CA
1940's to Present
Manufacturer of a wide variety of toys including the famous Barbie doll. Now the second largest toy manufacturer in the world behind Hasbro. Manoil Mfg. Co. New York City, New York and Waverly, New York
1937 - 1941
Specialty: Hollow-cast toy soldiers (sometimes called dime store soldiers). Fernand Martin Paris, France
1887 - 1919
Specialty: Widely copied maker of amusing double-action tin mechanicals, including Le Clochard (Tramp) and Ivrogne (Toper or Drunk). Martin & Runyun New York City, New York
1860s - ?
Specialty: Manufacturer of the earliest known clockwork toy, "Autoperipatetikos", designed by Enoch Morrison, in 1862; soon followed by "Walking Zouave". Louis Marx & Company New York, New York
1919 - 1979
Founder: Louis Marx
Specialty: Lithographed, tin wind-up toys; Marx successfully revived the Yo-Yo in 1928; it sold well even through the Depression. Marx was one of the big four among American electric train manufacturers. Mason & Parker Winchendon, Massachusetts
1899 - 1966
Founder: H. N. Parker and Orlando Mason
Specialty: Pressed-steel transportation toys. Later, (1907), Mason & Parker switched to wooden products, including proven standard, Boy's Tool Chest. Masutoku Toys Tokyo, Japan
1945 to date
Specialty: Mechanical and battery-operated tin toys. Trademark: "MT". McLoughlin Brothers New York City, New York
1850s - 1920
Specialty: Known early on for "revamping" popular European juvenile game, Mcloughlin also created such staples as "Pilgrims Progress", "Fish Pond", "Peter Coddle", and "Jack Straws". Lithograph paper-on-wood construction toys included the Palmer Cox Brownie series; also alphabet blocks and numerous educational toys. Meccano, (Dinky Toys) Liverpool, England
1901 - 1964
Founder: Frank Hornby
Specialty: Metal construction sets (a la Erector). First produced miniatures called Dinky Toys in 1933. Taken over by Lines Bros. In 1964. Mechanical Novelty Works New Britain, Connecticut
Early 1800s - ?
Founder: Andrew Turnbull, James A. Swanson, George Eddy.
Specialty: Cast-iron mechanical banks, including "Initiation Bank" (1st and 2nd degree models), "Squirrel and Tree Stump". Johann Phillip Meir Nuremberg, Germany
1879 - 1917
Specialty: One of the more prolific penny toy manufactures at the turn of the century. Meir also produced painted tin mechanical toys. Trademark: Dog pulling a cart. Merriam Mfg. Co. Durham, Connecticut
1856 - 1880
Specialty: Enameled tinplate clockwork toys. Continues today as a box manufacturer; ceased toy production in 1880s. Known for such classics as "Horse on Sculptured Base", ptd by William A. Hardwood, Brooklyn, New York, plus "Rabbit in Hoop". Metalcast Products Co. 1598 Boston Road, New York City, New York
1899 to 1950s+
Other names: As Sachs Tot Mfg. Co.; subsequently The Toy Soldier Mfg. Co.; changed to Metalcast in 1929.
Founder: H. Sachs
Specialty: 2 1/2 inch hollowcast soldiers, cowboys, and Indians; later, 3 1/4 inch hollowcast soldiers. Turned to production of cast metal cars and trucks on into the 1950's. Metalcraft Corp. St Louis, Missouri
1920 - 1937
Specialty: Playground equipment such as teeter-totters. Produced pressed-steel trucks in 1928 and acquired rights to pressed-steel airplane in kit of Lindburgh's "Spirit of St. Louis". Produced millions of toy truck premiums known as "Business Leaders". Metalgraf Milan, Italy
1910 - 1930s
Specialty: Exquisite hand painted tin clockwork automobiles. Mettoy Co. Ltd. Great Britain
1934 - 1984
Founders: Phillip Ulmann, dispossessed owner of Tipp & Co., who was forced to flee Nazi Germany.
Specialty: Tinplate automotive mechanicals and novelties; after 1945, Mettoy converted to plastic toys. Introduced Corgi Toys in 1959. Went into liquidation in 1984. C.B.G Mignot Miniatures Paris, France
1900 - ?
Founders: A partnership between Messrs. Cuperly, Blondel, and Gerbeau (hence the initials C.B.G.) and Henri Mignot, the chief stockholder.
Specialty: Produced their own miniatures as well as limited editions using Luccotte molds acquired in 1825. (See Lucotte Miniatures). Later Mignot examples differ from Lucotte in that they were singly cast, without separate removable parts and accessories. Mignot boasted over 20,000 molds of warriors from Ancient Rome to WWII. Milton Bradley East Longmeadow and Springfield, Massachusetts
1860 to date
Slogan "Maker of the World's Best Games"
Founder: Milton Bradley
Specialty: Games, puzzles, blocks, optical toys, kindergarten aids. Noted Bradley games included, "Babe Ruth Baseball", "Checkered Game of Life", "Game of Mail Express & Accommodation". Logos at various stages identified firm as Milton Bradley Company, Milton Bradley & Co., Milton Bradley Co. Mohawk Metal Toy Company New York, New York
1919 - 1921
Other names: Mohawk Metal Toy Company, Inc.
Founder: Samuel Hoffman
Specialty: Limited information indicates that the Mohawk Metal Toy Company was founded in January 1919, and the toy factory was located at 43 Bleeker Street in New York City. The company manufactured a line of metal toys and novelties including miniature wagons, trains and automobiles. The company commissioned Louis Wolf and Company as their selling agent. By 1920, the company incorporated and expanded the line to include a lightweight tin dump truck measuring approximately 7 inches in length and a "Main Street" trolley car measuring 6 1/2 inches long, Mohawk Metal Toy Company advertising disappears from the various trade publications during 1921 and the company is not heard from again. Muller & Kadeder (M.&K.) Nuremberg, Germany
1900 to date
Specialty: Lithographed tin wind-ups; aeronautical toys including zeppelins and a fanciful balloon with a parachute; also carried carousels and character toys (i.e., Buster Brown With Poodle", "Tailor Riding Buck", and "Clown on Pig"). In the post-WWI years, turned to lithographed tin automobiles. National Novelty Corp. New Jersey
1903 - 1907
Specialty: A trust or consortium of over 30 leading manufacturers of cast-iron and wood toys, formed to cut costs and stifle competition. Poorly managed, the "Toy Trust" soon failed. A number of toy makers reorganized under the aegis of Hardware & Woodenware Manufacturing Co., but it, too, soon faded. Neff-Moon Toy Co. Sandusky, Ohio
1920 - 1925
Specialty: Pressed-steel automotive toys with interchangeable bodies packaged with a single chassis. Nonpareil Toy & Novelty Co. Newark, New Jersey
Post-WWI to late 1940s
Specialty: Lithographed tin toy trucks and wagons, mostly of the penny toy or tiny prize package toy variety. North & Judd New Britain, Connecticut
1812 to date
Specialty: Originally in saddlery parts. Started small line of cast-iron toys in 1930s, but could not compete with the "giants" and discontinued the line after one year. Now part of a Gulf & Western conglomerate. Parker Brothers Salem, Massachusetts
1883 to date
Founder: George S. Parker
Specialty: Created first card game, "Banking", in 1883. World renowned for producing board game "Monopoly" beginning in 1934. Another game "Chivalry", later updated under the name "Camelot", has been regarded by many board game experts as a more challenging game. Acquired the rights of a number of smaller makers, including W. & S. B. Ives and the U.S. Playing Card Co. Paya Alicante, Spain
Specialty: Tin clockwork and steam motor toys; also "O" gauge model railroads. Peco (Product Engineering Co. ) Tigard, Oregon
1952 - 1956
Founder: John Benneth
Specialty: Realistic military figures, first made of a clay-like material called Pyrocon, and, later, Vinylite. Most popular in line; cowboys and Indians. Philadelphia Tin Toy Co. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Specialty: Toy firm of Francis Field and Frances carried this name in Philadelphia area in late 1840s. Ernst Plank Nuremberg, Germany
1866 - 1900
Founder: Ernst Plank
Specialty: Tin trains, airplanes, boats, and automobiles. Pratt & Letchworth Buffalo, New York
1880 - 1900
Founder: Pascal P. Pratt and William P. Letchworth
Specialty: Cast-iron toy trains, horse-drawn hansom cabs, pumpers, artillery wagons. Originally known (1870s) as Buffalo Malleable Iron Works, Francis Carpenter's stock and patent rights were acquired by Pratt & Letchworth in 1890. W. S. Reed Toy Co. Loeminster, Massachusetts
1875 - 1897
Founder: Whitney S. Reed
Specialty: Lithographed paper-on-wood toys and construction sets. Patented one mechanical bank, "The Old Lady in the Shoe". Renwal Toy Co. Somewhere, Somestate
Manufacturer of a wide range of plastic toys including toy cars, trucks, airplanes, model kits and dolls and doll furniture. Far and away the number one company in the number and variety of plastic toys offered. Company closed it's doors in the 1960's and it's assets were sold to Revell. Rich Manufacturing Company Sterling and Morrison, Illinois and Clinton, Iowa
1915 - 1941
Rich-Illinois Company, Rich Toys Inc.
Founder: E.M. and M.E. Rich
Specialty: Most of the Rich Company's early toys were horse-drawn, wagon pull toys, in one form or another. These early toys were without motion. However, after 1931, most, if not all of Rich's horse-drawn wagons incorporated mechanical motion. This mechanical action was limited to the legs of the horses, featuring a "galloping" motion through the use of an off-center axle and 2 small wheels. The Rich Company, over the next 10 years , would become known as a leader in the production of quality wooden toys. In 1935, the Rich-Illinois Company was dissolved with the Rich Manufacturing Company moving their entire toy producing operation to Clinton, Iowa. Therefore, toys found with the Clinton, Iowa marking can be identified as being produced in 1935 and later. The name of the company was again changed to Rich Toys, Inc. Rich Toys remained on the toy scene until WWII, after which all traces of the company are lost. Richter (Anchor Blocks) Rudolstadt, Germany
1508 - 1920s (Reputedly the oldest toy company, with a 16th century founding date).
Specialty: Anchor Toy Building Bricks, alphabet and puzzle blocks. A.C. Gilbert, the Erector Set people, bought the American interest of Anchor Blocks in 1913. Rico Alicante, Spain
1930s - 1950s
Specialty: Tin mechanical autos and airplanes. Trademark: RSA. Riemann, Seabrey Co., Inc. New York City, New York
1920s - 1944
Specialty: Manufacturers' representatives acting as sole sales agents for Kenton, Grey iron, N.N. Hill Brass, J. & E. Stevens and other leading cast-iron toy makers. William Rissmann Co. (RI-CO) Nuremberg, Germany
1907 - ?
Founder: William Rissmann
Specialty: Toy trains and tin mechanical motor toys. Not to be confused with Spanish firm, Rico. Look for additional word "Germany", to differentiate from the two. Karl Rohrseitz Zindorf, Germany
1890s - ?
Specialty: Tinplate novelties Charles Rossignol Paris, France
1868 - 1962
Founder: Charles Rossignol
Specialty: Painted tin clockwork vehicles. Logo was of entwined letters "C" and "R". Made first automotive toy, a Renault taxi, in 1905. Parisian buses, produced by Rossignol in the 1920s, are highly prized. Schieble Toy & Novelty Co. Dayton, Ohio
1909 - 1931
Specialty: Carried on line of "Hill Climber" friction toys, initiated by D. P. Clark & Co. Leo Schlesinger Co. New York City, New York
1880s - 1900
Founder: Leo Schlesinger
Specialty: Painted and stenciled tinplate horse-drawn vehicles, producing as many as 6 million a year. Later, Schlesinger made open-front tinplate miniature kitchens, including the utensils. A. Schoenhut & Company Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1872 - 1935
Founder: Albert Schoenhut
Specialty: Began manufacturing toy pianos in 1872. Featured a series of over 20 different Living Pictures in the 1890s, which were framed cardboard figures animated by a clockwork mechanism. Schoenhut is best known for high quality dolls and wooden-jointed circus and comic strip characters, including Felix the Cat, Maggie & Jiggs, Barney Google, and Sparkplug. In the 1950s, the firm of Delvan, Seneca Falls, New York, bought the patent rights to Schoenhut wooden-jointed figures and again produced a series of circus animals. These toys received a lukewarm reception and are not up to the quality and charm of the predecessors. Schoenhut doll houses hitter thew assembly line from 1917 to 1934 and doll house furniture from 1928 to 1934. Schoenhut circus tents were known to have been produced in the 1970s. Schuco Toy Co. Nuremberg, Germany
1912 - 1970
Founder: Heinrich Muller and Heinrich Schreyer.
Specialty: Mohair-covered mechanical toys. An idendent Schuco Toy Co. with import rights to the German toys was formed in the U.S. in 1947 by Adolf Kahn's son, Eric ( following WW1 Schreyer Muller formed a new partnership with Kahn). Schuco declared bankruptcy in 1970. Jerome Secor Manufacturing Bridgeport, Connecticut
1872 - mid1880s
Founder: Jerome B. Secor
Specialty: Introduced a line of sewing machines plus mechanical singing birds at the 1873 World's Fair, Vienna. One of the first patented toys; a sheet brass whistling bird, the American Songster. His ingenious clockwork creations included; "Brudder Bones, the Banjo Player", "Sister Lucinda at the Play", and the rarest most coveted of all mechanicals "The Freedman's Bank". Secor sold his business to Ives in the mid-1880s. He continued to design and manufacture clockwork toys through Ives. Seichow and Righter New York City, New York
1860s - present
Founder: Elish G. Selchow (John H. Righter became a partner later).
Specialty: Board games and puzzles. Best known for SCRABBLE, the crossword game. Selwyn Miniatures London, England
1951 - 1952
Founder: Roy Selwyn-Smith
Specialty: Selwyn Smith started Selwyn Miniatures with the financial aid of Otto Goldstein.He produced Miniature lead medieval knights in true heraldry. He designed and produced the masters for 5 of the original Courtenay Knights. These being figures Z14, Z17, Z19 & Z20 and one figure that was not issued. His company lasted 9 months.Upon Goldsteins death, Selwyn went to work for Herald and designed some of their earliest plastic figures. Selwyn sold his rights to the Knight molds to Britains who eventually issued them as the Knights of Agincourt. Britains eventually bought Herald to acquire the talents of Selwyn and their plastic capabilities. Britains recognized the importance of this "new" material. Selwyn design most of their plastic figures in the 1950's, 60's and early 70's including the legendary Swoppets. (Credit for this information goes to collector Glenn) C. G. Shepard and Co. Buffalo, New York
1866 - 1892
Founder: Walter J. and Charles G. Shepard
Specialty: Tin horns; still and mechanical banks (beginning in 1882). Sold mechanical bank business in 1892; three Shepard banks were later re-issued by J. & E. Stevens. William Shimer & Son Co. Freemansburg, Pennsylvania
1875 - 1895
Founder: William Shimer
Specialty: Cast-iron toys, banks, trains for several years prior to WWI. J. H. Singer New York City, New York
1893 - 1895
Founder: Jasper Singer
Specialty: Primarily a jobber of games and novelties in lithographed paper on wood. Included toy theaters and popular games (i.e., "Authors", "Cuckoo", "Jumping Frog"). Lines once sold by George S. Parker. Box or novelty often identified by initials: J.H.S.N.Y. or J.H.S.
A B Skoglund & Olson - Gefle - Sweden
SLIK-TOY - See Lansing Company Incorporated
Smith-Miller Toy Co. Los Angeles,
SON-NY (see Dayton Toy & Specialty Company)
Stadden Miniatures London,
England Late 1940s to date
Star Collectibles (Marlborough, a
toy firm in Wales) Wales, England
Steiff Giengen, Germany
J. & E. Stevens Cromwell,
Stevens & Brown New York
City, New York
Walter Stock Solingen,
Ferdinand Strauss Corporation New
York City, New York
Structo Mfg. Co. Freeport,
The Sturdy Corporation -
Sturditoys Providence, Rhode Island; Sales Office; Factory, Pawtucket
S.A.E. (Swedish South African
Engineers) Capetown, South Africa
Ted Toy-lers Inc. - New
Tipp & Co. Nuremberg,
Toledo Metal Wheel Company Toledo,
Tommy Toys Union City, New
Tower(Guild) South Hingham,
Trix, Mangold Nuremberg,
Tru-Scale Models USA
John C. Turner Co. Wapakoneta, Ohio
Union Manufacturing Co. Clinton,
Unique Art Mfg. Co. Newark,
(Courier font text copied directly from Wikipedia).
1896 - 1901
Specialty: Cast-iron toys (i.e., "Marine Oarsmen", "Fairy Rubber Balls"). Varney
Early 1940's til around 1950
Founded by Gordon Varney
Specialty: Model trains. Sold out to General Models Company around 1950. Gordon Varney was called the "Dean of HO scale". He played a part in bringing the hobby to the smaller size and offering those with less space the opportunity to enjoy model railroading. Varney's famous V-1 motor was the beginning of his HO endeavor. It was small enough to place in an HO scale loco, with enough power to provide modelers a nice sized consist. It was 6 volts, like most of the motors of that day.
Warren Lines New York City, New York
Watrous Mfg. Co. East Hampton, Connecticut
1880s - 1930s
Specialty: David Watson Watrous was one of the founders in 1851 of the East Hampton Bell Company. He left in 1860 and founded the company Clark and Watrous, and then in 1865 created D. W. Watrous & Co., which later became Watrous Manufacturing Co.. The company created sleigh bells, and bell toys. By the early 1900s Watrous Manufacturing Co. had developed a distinct style. Their toys often utilized nickel-plated or coppered steel frames and nickel-plated steel wheels. Flattened cast iron figures often move to strike a bell or chime. The mechanisms were frequently exposed. Parts were often lacquered over the nickel-plating, which gave the paint an iridescent quality. The Watrous Manufacturing Co. became associated with two neighboring companies. For a while Watrous Manufacturing Co. and N. N. Hill Brass Co. combined their catalogs into one while they were both branches of the short lived, 1903 -1907, toy manufacturers consortium, National Novelty Corporation. The Watrous family was also associated with Gong Bell Manufacturing Co. In 1912 Clifford M. Watrous became general manager at Gong Bell Manufacturing Co.. In 1921 he patented the popular Playphone 600. D. W. Watrous died in 1918. His son John Lazarus Watrous ran the company till his death in 1923. The family owned company stock was sold to the Gong Bell Manufacturing Co. in 1923. Watrous Manufacturing Co. toys are often incorrectly attributed to N. N. Hill Brass Co. or Gong Bell Manufacturing Co.. In addition to the bell toys, chime toys or gong toys, the company also produced an erector set called Modelit around 1916, and a mechanical tin and wood airplanes toy called Flying Areoplanes. Provided by Robert K. Watrous (From Antiquetoys.com)
1883 - 1888
Founder: William N. Weeden
Specialty: Produced working toy steam engine in 1884; also steamboats, fire engines, and automobiles in miniature with steam as motor power. Manufactured several ultimate rarities among clockwork tin mechanical banks, including "Ding Dong Bell" and "Japanese Ball Tosser". Welker & Crosby Brooklyn, New York
1883 - 1888
Founder: M. Crosby
Specialty: Meticulously detailed cast-iron, animal-drawn toys, featuring distinctive swivel wheel. Wells Brimtoy Hollyhead, Wales, and Wells, London, England
1920 to date. 1922-Acquired Brimtoy Co.
Specialty: Tinplate automotive toys; Wells Brimtoy also ventured into Die-cast motor toys. Most popular are the post-WWII tinplate buses. Wilkins Toy Co. Keene, New Hampshire
1890 - 1919 (see also Kingsbury)
Founder: James S. Wilkins
Specialty: One of the earliest manufacturers to produce toy automobiles, circa 1895. Another Keene, New Hampshire, firm, headed by Henry T. Kingsbury, bought out Wilkins that same year, but the toy line carried the Wilkins name and trademark until 1919. A.C. Williams Co. Ravenna, Ohio
1886 to date
Founder: John W. Williams
Specialty: Produced cast-iron, horse-drawn rigs, autos, airplane, and tractor toys from 1893 to 1923; line included mostly miniatures distributed through Woolworth, Kresge's, and other five-and-dime stores. Wolverine Supply & Manufacturing Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1903 - 1950
Founders: Benjamin F. Bain and his wife.
Specialty: The Wolverine Supply & Manufacturing Company was founded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1903, and incorporated in 1906. Wolverine's early toys were set in motion by the weight of sand or marbles. These popular toys were usually designed to unload sand or marbles from an elevated hopper. The toys, once set in operation, continue to operate unattended until the supply of marbles or sand was exhausted, thereby providing endless hours of fun for youngsters. These type of toys were called "Sandy Andy". In 1918, Wolverine's line expanded to include girls' toys. Introduced at the New York Toy Fair in March of that year, were such toys as tea sets, sand pails, wash tubs, glass washboards, ironing boards and miniature grocery stores. In 1928, Wolverine introduced their "Sunny Andy" and Sunny Suzy" toys. Company advertising explained that the new names for the toys would cover all toys not operated by sand. By 1929, airplanes, boats, buses, and other toys had joined the Wolverine family of toys. Wolverine continued to expand their toy line throughout the 9130s, right up to the beginning of WWII, almost as if they were immune from the effects of the Depression. Even the sand toys, relatively unchanged from the early 1900's, were still being sold into the 1950's. Wyandotte Toys (All Metal Products Co.) Wyandotte, Michigan
1920 - 1956 (Toy production began in 1921).
Founder: George Stallings and William F. Schmidt
Specialty: Toy guns, rifles, targets, pressed-steel airplanes, and other motor toys with baked-enamel finish and battery-operated headlights. Biggest year was 1935 with 5 1/2 million dollars in toy guns. Sold low priced pressed metal toys using the slogan "Wyandotte Toys are Good and Safe." To keep costs down, the company used scrap and surplus raw materials whenever possible. In 1929 Wyandotte added girls' toys and toy vehicles, and added novelty toys in 1937. Metal toys were banned during World War II because the metals were needed for the war effort, so the company survived by producing printed paper and wooden toys during the war. In 1948, die cast and plastic toys were added to the Wyandotte line, allowing it to compete with other companies who sold inexpensive dime store-type toys at lower prices than the Wyandotte pressed metal toys. In the early 1950s, the company moved to Ohio, hoping that closer proximity to Ohio's steel mills and cheaper labor would help them survive. The effort proved futile and All Metal Products Company filed for bankruptcy in 1956, resulting in the sale of part of its product line, including the former Hafner trains, to competitor Louis Marx and Company. (see Haffner).
Information courtesy www.antiquetoys.com , Richard O'Brien's "Collecting Toys" and numerous catalogs.
(Additions and corrections gladly accepted | email@example.com)
C-10 = Just like new. Absolutely ZERO defects or damage. C10 toys in boxes and newer factory sealed toys can command MUCH higher prices.
|C-9 = Near mint, A toy that appears like new in overall apearance, but exhibits very minor wear. Still should have it's original sheen.|
|C-8 = Excellent, A toy that is complete, functional but has been played with. Signs of minor wear may be evident, but the toy is very clean, well cared for, and is without anything but VERY minor damage.|
|C-7 = Very Good, A toy that has been played with and shows it but still looks pretty sharp. Very minor paint chipping around edges may be apparent. In metal toys some very minor surface rust may be evident. In sets, some minor pieces may be missing.|
|C-6 = Good, A toy with evidence of some play, light scratches, and possibly minor surface rust. The toy may be missing a minor replaceable component, such as doors, or maybe in need of minor repair.|
|C-5 = Toy looks pretty good but shows a lot of scratches and is missing a wheel, minor body part etc... Mechanical toys in the C5 range or below are seldom functional.|
|C-4 = a) Toy is in reasonably good condition and is non functional or is missing something major.|
|b) Toy works fine but looks like it has been sand blasted or soaked in sea water for a month.|
|C-3 = Still has it's basic shape but is missing something really major or in the case of a mechanical toy, it doesn't work and the gears roll around inside when you turn it over. This grade covers so-so battery ops that have had major battery meltdowns.|
|C-2 = Still has a little paint and if you turned it just right and squinted your eyes you might be able to see that it was a toy in a past life.|
|C-1 = The toy has been pounded with a claw hammer or heated with a blow torch until it is an unrecognizable lump of metal. Would make a good paper weight.|
A Word About Toy Boxes.
I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is to preserve the boxes of old toys. Frequently the box is worth more than the toy it contains. A recent auction resulted in the sale of a toy for $130,000 that without the box normally brings $30,000. That makes the cardboard box worth $100,000! While this is an extreme example, it does demonstrate how important the box can be.
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