Tin Toys

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"I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now."
Bob Dylan

 

 

Tin Toys

This is a representative sample of the tin toys in my collection.  Most of the older pieces are from Japan, with the exception of the noise makers, many of which were made in the good old U.S.A.  Although most modern tin toys are made in China, many are still made in Japan and also the Eastern Bloc.  Japanese tin is the most prized . . . and of course, the most expensive.

Tin Toy History

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Noise Makers Guns Trains, Planes & Automobiles Robots & Rockets Music Box Other

Just CLICK on a thumbnail to view it . . . a new window will open, after viewing, just close the new window.
 

Noise Makers Back to the TOP

1

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1940's & 1950's
U.S.A. & Japan (small horns)
US Metal Toy Manufacturing Company & Unknown Japanese MANUFACTURER:
Lithographed tinplate party horns.

2

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1940's & 1950's
U.S.A., Japan (middle) & Italy (round one at far right)
Kirchhof & US Metal Toy Mfg Co (USA), Unknown (Italy & Japan)
Lithographed tinplate noisemakers that make a clacking sound as you twirl them.

3

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1940's & 1950's
U.S.A. & Japan (clowns)
US Metal Toy Mfg Co (USA) & Unknown Japanese Mfg
Lithographed tinplate noisemakers that make a clacking sound as you twist the handle or twirl them.

4

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1940's & 1950's
U.S.A. & Italy (second from left)
Kirchhof & US Metal Toy Mfg Co (USA) & FCB (Italy)
Lithographed tinplate noisemakers that make a clanging sound as you shake them back and forth.

6

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1940's & 1950's
U.S.A.
LTL Mfg Corporation (left) & T. Cohn (right)
Lithographed tinplate noisemakers that make a loud rattle as you shake them.

7

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DESCRIPTION:

1940's & 1950's
U.S.A.
US Metal Toy Mfg Company & Kirchhof (2 far left & 2nd from right)
Lithographed tinplate noisemakers that rattle when shaken.

8

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1950's & 1990's
Japan & China (2 far right)
Unknown
Lithographed tinplate noisemakers that make a clicking sound when the bottom lever is pressed.

9

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2000
China
made for Department 56
Hand painted tinplate Halloween noisemakers with front & back detail & a hand painted wooden handle.  The eyes are on wires and clang against the eye sockets - very cool

Guns Back to the TOP

10

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1950's
U.S.A.
All Metal Products Company, Wyandotte, MI
Lithographed tinplate dart pistol with rubber tipped suction darts.

11

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1960's
Japan
Unknown
Lithographed tinplate crank machine gun with 10 bullet clip.  Fires plastic bullets & makes a bang sound as you turn the crank.

12

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DESCRIPTION:

1960's & 1990's (Japan)
China (silver) & Japan
Unknown
Lithographed tinplate space guns with sparks & noise.  The silver one has a tube on the top to enable you to replace the flint.

Trains, Planes and Automobiles Back to the TOP

13

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DESCRIPTION:

1950's
Japan
Masudaya - identified by the Modern Toys trade mark
Masutoko K.K.Toy Factory, Tokyo
Lithographed tinplate battery powered train with whistle, forward and backward motion.  Overland Express No. 3140

14

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1950's & 1970's (large tank)
Japan & China (large tank)
Suzuki (medium tank), others unknown
Lithographed tinplate: Small - friction motor, Med - push with sparks at gun, Large - friction motor with moving gun and hatch.

15

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1950's & 1990's (large helicopter)
Japan & China (large helicopter)
Unknown
Lithographed tinplate planes and choppers with friction motors.  Blades spin on the choppers.

16

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1960's
Japan
Taiyo
Lithographed tinplate battery powered cars that move to the edge of a table then turn around and go to the next edge, etc.

17

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1960's
Japan
Unknown
Lithographed stamped steel cars - ambulance, fire chief and police.

18

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1990's
Czech Republic
Kovap
Lithographed tinplate steamroller wind-up with a back and forth movement.

19

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1990's
Czech Republic
Kovap (tractor & trailer distributed by Schylling)
Lithographed tinplate wind-up tractor with trailer and other farm accessories.   3 forward speeds and reverse.

20

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2000
China
QSN - I could not find any information on this MANUFACTURER:
Lithographed tinplate windup motorcycle with sidecar.  Goes in a circle.

21

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2000
China
Xonex in Cleveland, OH under license from Harley Davidson
Lithographed tinplate friction power motorcycles with engine spark

22

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2008
China
Ningba Rainbow Trading Co. Ltd. (trademark NR) for Schylling
Lithographed tinplate wind-up race car

23

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2008
China
Unknown for Schylling
Lithographed tinplate wind-up Bugatti T-35 Racer

Robots and Rockets Back to the TOP

24

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1950's & 1990's (right)
Japan
Masuya Toy & Rocket USA Inc. (right)
Lithographed tinplate rockets w/friction motors.  Standing rocket moves forward until it hits an object with it's noise, than an arm is released that causes it to stand up . . . very cool.

25

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1990's
China
Distributed by Schylling
Lithographed tinplate battery powered Robot.  He walks, body rotates, chest doors open and guns fire and spark.

26

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1990's
China
Distributed by Schylling (red hats), others unknown
Lithographed tinplate wind-up robots.  All walk and the large green one also sparks.

27

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2008
China
Unknown for Schylling
Lithographed tinplate wind-up robot walks and arms swing.  On-Off switch on the back.  Reproduction of the first wind-up robot built in the 40's in Japan.

Music Box Back to the TOP

28

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1960's
West Germany
Lorenz Bolz Zirndore
Painted tinplate crank music box.

Other Battery, Friction and Wind-up Toys Back to the TOP

29

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1960's
Japan
Nomura (trademark TN)
1962 Rosko battery operated Charlie Weaver bartender.  Shakes, pours & drinks then his ears smoke.

30

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1998
China
Unknown - for Fabri-Centers of America in Hudson, OH (owners of Jo-Ann Stores)
Lithographed tinplate toys.  Friction Dog - you push down on the tail and he rolls forward.  The windup Duck on a Bike goes in circles as the wings of his hat spin.

31

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2000
Japanese company - made in China
Young-Epoch Company Japan under license from Disney
Lithographed tinplate windup Mini, Mickey, Donald and Pluto.  Mickey walks and moves his upper body left & right, Mini hops forward, Donald waddles left & right and Pluto rolls forward and moves his head left and right.

32

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2000
China
Unknown - under license from Schylling
Lithographed tinplate version of a 1920's toy called the San Francisco Express.  The Plane and train circle the city.

33

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2000
Russia
Unknown - under license from Schylling
Lithographed tinplate Russian train and car wind-ups

34

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2000
China
Unknown - under license from Schylling
Lithographed tinplate windup Elephant on a bike.  Ball and Tassels spin as the elephant rolls

35

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2002
U.S.A.
Schylling Toys
Lithographed tinplate windup of Roy & Trigger with rocking action causing the rope to swing in a circle.  #4,969 of 5,000.

Tin Toy History
 Back to the TOP

Lithographed tin was introduced to toys in the 1880's whereby various colors and detail were printed on flat sheets of metal by a lithographic press; the various pieces were then formed by dies and assembled with small tabs.  The sheet metal for tin toys and noise makers is made of steel that is rolled into thin flat sheets or plates.  First toy usage for tin plate in the United States dates back to 1895.

In the early decades of the 20th century, Germany was the leading producer of tin toys in the world. German tin toys were innovative and well made.  They dominated the market up to the outbreak of World War II.  When peace returned, toy makers everywhere had a great deal of lost ground to recover.  However, once the toy industry was back in full production, Japan assumed the lead and began to control the market with the addition of many new novelties. Not just wind-up and friction driven, some Japanese tin toys were powered by batteries and able to provide flashing lights and sounds.  In the 50's and early 60's, the Japanese had flooded the market with many appealingly designed tin toys and a large percentage of them were aimed at the USA with items familiar to Americans.   But despite the initial resurgence of tin toy popularity in the post-war era, tin toy manufacturing was faced with steadily increasing difficulties.  They included changing consumer demands, new safety regulations and competition from plastic toy makers.  By the 70's, Japan had reduced the tin toy output so dramatically that many factories had ceased production altogether.

China began to produce tin toys in the early 20's. They were primitive and poorly made.  After Japanese tin toy manufacturing was in decline, China assumed the role of the leading tin toy maker in the world.  Early Chinese toys were noted for their cheap prices, which often reflected in their quality.  Nowadays they are made to a much higher standard, yet retain the edge of being very affordable.
 

 Back to the TOP

This site was last updated 05/08/12 by Marvin Mackey