Toys of Yesterday and Today


Posted 8 years, 12 months ago at 5:42 pm. 15 comments


Almost any toy that was produced in the period of 1930’s – 50’s can fall into the category of ‘vintage toys’.  And depending on public opinion – this period has been known to fluctuate in either or both directions.

Toys of this period can include tin lithograph, stamp steel, diecast, plastic, battery-op – including but not limited to cars, trucks, trains, space toys, robots, holiday favors like Halloween noise makers and tin-litho pumpkins for Trick-or-Treating, and paper-mache Christmas and Easter figures to name a few. 

Some of the more recognizable manufacturer’s names are Hot Wheels, Tonka, Marx, and Chein.  It should also be noted that some of these toys were produced overseas after the war and will be marked U.S. Zone German and Occupied Japan.

As antique toys – pre 1920’s – become more difficult to find, vintage toys have risen in popularity.  And, it can be said that while vintage toys are still relatively easy to find in the secondary-market, that the cost of those vintage toys is quickly rising due to an increase in demand.


15 Replies

  1. Don Nesbitt Jun 9th 2009

    I’d like to e-mail several photos of vintage toys.
    One is my yellow Thimble Drome racer #6…
    then a similar vintage racer from E.M. Roach Bros.
    a name that turns up zero on a Googlesearch…
    and two trucks – 1930’s and 1940’s – that I cannot
    identify. But I’ll wager that you can.
    May I have your address in reply?
    Thanks for your interest.
    Oregon Don

  2. Send them on Don, I’ll see if I can help you out. David

  3. Do you know of a Bazooka called the screamin meemie or something like that from the 60’s? I really would like to find one. Or even a picture of one.

  4. I have several Lithograph toys. I have a lady pushing a child in a chair with wheels, her feet move with the wheels of the chair.
    I have a child in a go cart, as the wheels move the kid moves back & forth.
    I have two more. If you respond to me with your e-mail address I can send you pics.
    Thank you,

  5. first of all i love those matchbox cars, i think i had the rv, i vagely remember breaking out the blue windows, anyway i just saw a guy selling a toy on ebay called a streater excavating something, it seems like one of those rare finds, thwe guy say its the first ever tonka

  6. Thanks for the comment! Re the first Tonka’s issued in 1947, two toys were simultaneously issued and they are:
    1. No. 050 Steam Shovel
    2. No. 150 Crane and Clam
    Hope this info helps you – David

  7. Please help.
    I have a family keepsake that I need to repair and I’m fairly certain that I can figure it out if I can get some photos from another working model.

    The toy is a cymbal playing monkey. It is identical to the one on your page. http://www.txantiquemall.com/toyguide_metal.html

    Would it be possible to get some photos of the inner workings? My toy has deviated from standard over the years and I’d like to get it back to original.

    Thanks for any help,

  8. Don,

    I don’t have any pictures of the inner workings. Best bet would be to try and find one at a flea market and use it as a go by. At least that way, you’d have an idea of what it looks like and possibly some spare parts. Thanks, David

  9. david moose May 11th 2010

    I have a toy that my grandpa gave my gave my father when he was young and trying to find info….It has …STREATER EXCAVATING CONTRACTOR on the side, boom and bucket are steel body is wood base is wood hard rubber tires, red and blue great shape.Any idea how old? Value? Thank You !

  10. Can you send me a picture to my email at texascv@gmail.com? That will help me identify your toy.

  11. Hello DGM I’m going to email a picture of two vintage iron figurines I have. Can you tell me what they are? I have no clue about these two items. I’m 47 and all I know is that I remember them from when I was a very young boy. Thanks.


  12. Today I bought an OLD Wyandotte car that looks very similar to the lasalle except theres no chrome on the hood. Also the hood raises. I cannot find a wyandotte anywhere that the hood raises. Please help me!

  13. Hey Sammy –
    Nice find! From your description, the vehicle is La Salle Land Cruiser, No. 385, circa 1939. This car had a hood that opened and electric lights. The length was 15″ Thanks for your inquiry…. David

  14. Hi ,noticed your not on ebay anymore,any chance of a blue repop tailgate for a 58 tonka pickup? Or another avenue.Thanks

  15. Due to illness, not on ebay anymore – try tottent.com for parts. Thanks, David

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