Toys of Yesterday and Today
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Nodders – German ‘Hot Dog’



A favorite vintage collectible are nodders also called nodding figures. These figures are constructed of separate pieces that are connected – usually by wire – that allow movement. Depending on the type of figure, you’ll likely to find that the body is usually stationary with the extremities such as head, tail, hands being the moving parts. The purist collector considers a nodder to be one that is kept in motion by gravity by way of a counter-balanced weight(s) inside the body. Unlike bobble-heads that stand vertical, nodders – particularly the horizontal ones – required precision and skill to build so that all the parts would produce movement.

Nodders have been dated as far back as the 1700 – 1800’s – with production continuing today. During this early period many nodders were built to be exported from Germany. Materials used ranged from:

  • Metal
  • Plastic
  • Celluloid
  • Wood
  • Bisque
  • Porcelain
  • Paper-Mache
  • Pressed Paper

These early nodders came in many different forms including people, caricatures and animals. The finer nodders – bisque and porcelain – were often sold in stores while the ones made of lesser materials were used as prizes at fairs and circuses.

Although not dating back to the 1700 or 1800’s, the nodder we’re taking a look at today is from Germany. This Dachshund dog – commonly referred to as a ‘Hot Dog Nodder’ has two moving parts – head and tail. Both head and tail move up and down, as well as left to right when he is touched. The head and tail each have their own counter-weight so they move independently of one another.

While I could not find any information about manufacture date for this item, I’m of the opinion that it is a vintage piece. It is made of molded plastic with particular care to the facial features. The bottom is marked SA Reider, Made in Germany. Overall length is 5″.

It is difficult to find the really old nodders today, but if you do -you’re likely to find it will need repair. Before purchasing such a piece, understand that dexterity, knowledge of counter-weights and skill will be needed to make necessary repairs.




Posted in Nodder and Texas Toy Man Favorites and Vintage Toys 3 years, 11 months ago at 5:04 pm.

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