Toys of Yesterday and Today

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Cast Iron: Reproductions & Fakes



Whatever you call them – replicas, reproductions or fakes – they’ve been around for quite a while. Add to this the digital age that allows incredible duplicating of marks and lithographs, you have to know what you are buying lest you be taken advantage of by an unscrupulous dealer. This is especially true for toys since in some cases the original molds are used for the repros.


In a series of articles over the next few weeks, we’re going to take a look at fake and reproduction toys along with what to look for when buying.


Our first article will look at cast iron toys (and banks). These are some of the more commonly reproduced toys as they are fairly easy to copy and ‘age’. However, don’t be fooled by something that ‘looks old’ as it may have been chemically treated or buried in the ground to accomplish this aged effect. Also, keep in mind that the old toys and banks were for the most part hand finished and manufactured with pride unlike the modern repros that are factory produced with little attention to details.


Check back as in addition to cast iron we’ll be covering the following:

  • Hubley
  • Lehmann
  • Marx
  • Tin Lithograph
  • along with other manufacturers.


To read today’s cast iron article and see pictures, please visit this link on the Texas Antique Mall Compendium’s Toy Section – Cast Iron:  Reproductions & Fakes.

To see all of our helpful articles on collecting, visit the Compendium Index.




Posted 4 years, 4 months ago at 8:58 pm.

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Collector Bank: The Crusin 1986, Laser Firing Van



The pictured “Van Bank” is one of the most unusual multi-action toys that I have seen in my years of collecting. And, while it may not have the value of some of the older toys, it is unique in its operation. This plastic bank transforms by opening – down the middle (long ways) – thus converting into twin cannon firing guns plus twin mini-guns.

When you pull open the roof of the van bank, the two mechanisms are displayed, i.e, laser cannons and cockpit. The laser cannons are deployed by pushing a button located on the rear of the van. The min-guns in the front are are operated manually – and display by rotating the front grill.

The most surprising feature of this bank is that the wheel action of pushing it either forwards or backwards causes the large laser gun (rear) to rotate in a 360° arc. Also, one is able to view several landscape picture decals located along the inside ‘window’ panels that show different firing views of targets and angle of projectory.

The deployed rear moveable cockpit firing position and the front cockpit can be manually folded down putting the van bank back into the ‘normal’ position.

This van is approximately 9-1/4 inches long, 3-5/8 inches wide and 4-1/4 inches tall. The roll-o-mattic mechanism is enclosed in the flooring of the van – which is all plastic – with the exception of the wheels that are rubber with metal axles. The base of the van has raised features on the bottom molded in, i.e. exhaust system, drive system, etc.


This toy bank, six-action toy was produced by Kenner Parker of Ohio in 1986, and was manufactured in Hong Kong. Even though this toy has many different actions, it is still considered a still bank because the action is not caused by the depositing of money into the bank but rather actions taken by the owner.


This is a very unique bank that I think any collector would appreciate due to the uniqueness that it offers as both a bank and a toy. Like most toys, especially those with moving parts and pieces, if you’re lucky enough to find one not broken and complete with accessories, it will make a fine addition to your collection.

Friendly reminder – Don’t forget to check out my Online Store where you’ll find Vintage & Current Toys   as well as over 600 other items – with new items added almost daily…. best part – Shipping is FREE!


Posted 6 years ago at 9:56 pm.

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