Friday, July 30, 2021

The Micros and the Tinies

Micro Machines
Going through a plastic shoebox of little toys, I ran across some very tiny toys, some so tiny they fit on my thumbnail.  Not having raised boys (we have 2 girls), they had only a slightly familiar feeling to me, and I don't really know where they came from. Some were probably in 50 cent bags of Hot Wheels we picked up at garage sales.

Hovering over the undersides of these, they are nearly all marked as "Micro Machines", which I have actually heard of (TV commercials!) but these aren't really things he collects, so I was surprised at the things that were tossed into this small "keep" box. There is an even "tinier than micro" red car (bottom row, left) that isn't a Micro Machine, but has no markings and is hollow but, it is a metal car. Super micro, but I have no idea what it is.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Marx and Lumar: More Mystery

Lumar Contractors Logo found on toy trucks.
Having a husband that has collected a multitude of toy brands over the years, many of the brand names are things I'm familiar with ... at least I thought so.  Up until the last couple of years I basically looked at the toys and said "oh, that's cool", or "gee, that's kinda cute" and stuck them back on the shelf.

In the last few years though ... that's changed, quite a bit in fact. Now I study the shape, such as the cab styles, the box styles, the doors on the trailers, the underside, the tires/wheels, lights and grills ... and who knew all of this mattered?  I suppose an aficionado would, but that's not me. Not really.

A vintage metal contractor's dump truck from Louis Marx, with metal tires.
Marx Contractors truck with tires marked Lumar

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The Odds and Sods 2


 A Japanese tin lithographed truck, circa 1950s.  The trailer part is not in terrible shape, nor the cab, but the cab is not original to this particular toy, though it does seem to match one fairly close that I believe is original. The original has a "tool box" on the cab, between the cab and the trailer portion.

That particular one is a friction toy, and has a box and appears to be in new condition. The price is rather out of line for the size of the toy ($695 US), but it's condition and box would be the drawing card for serious collectors of Japanese tin toys (a whole other genre).

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

To Restore or Not

Several of the toys the Toyman acquired have been restored - basically stripped down and repainted, with new logos applied.

In some cases, doing this could be a good choice, if you aren't ruining an original toy to do it.  Original Otaco toys bring far higher prices that restored/refurbished toys do, but whether you choose to restore or not will depend on your purpose in collecting.

If you are collecting for the joy of having and displaying your finds and are less concerned with the dollar value of the purchase, spending the money (or learning to do it yourself) to restore old toys might be worth it, but that's really an individual's choice.

Me, personally, I would prefer toys to be left in the original condition ... while I don't "hate" that we have these as a collection, if I were left alone with them, some would be handed to our grandson's, but a lot of the collection would be sold off.  I like them, just not enough to keep them for myself, and given the cost of some of these purchases, resale value is something to consider.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Shout Out for Otaco Collectors

This is just a short post today, but I wanted to get the word out to any Otaco Minnitoy collectors (or those just interested in the history of Otaco) about J. Alan Johnston's book, recently published. This is a locally produced book, that's been well researched and has taken years to compile ... and if there are still copies available, very definitely worth buying.

The book has over 150 pages, filled with information on the original Otaco toys (did y'all know there were toys other than those big trucks the collectors want), including things like the kids wooden wagon, and the fishing rods. I knew about the watergun, but I didn't know about the fishing rods at all.  When I asked the hubby, he said "oh ya, Uncle Bob used to to have one of those."    Well, I'll be.  That would have been nice to keep just because in the photo in the book, they look a little different than modern rods.

Monday, September 28, 2020

The Upheaval of Toys

New Broadloom

Work  on the toyroom is progressing, albeit a little slower than I would have hoped. Finally, on Saturday the broadloom was installed. That was after our daughter and son-in-law stopped in to move all the cabinets out into the yard ... it looked like a garage sale with stuff everywhere.

After the carpet was down, we managed to bring in the TV stand and the desk ourselves, and all the drawers that got removed from the cabinets, but we couldn't manage the cabinets ... they got tarped and left outside overnight as we prayed it didn't rain.

Sunday afternoon, the 'kids' stopped by on their way home from their trip and moved them back inside for us. Still ... although everything is in the house, the room hasn't been put together.  We still have to wait for more renos - the baseboards have to be installed, and he's decided to remove the door and front end of the room and make more wall space. On the stair landing (would be left side in the photo) is an opening that used to be a window (the man cave was a garage at one time). We will get that filled in with drywall and small shelving for some of the little toys, hopefully, at the same time the door area is filled in.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The Smaller Collections

In our collection we have several collections of smaller toys, and those collections are limited in the number of toys we have (or will have). One of these small collections are of Studebaker models. That collection began way back in the late 1940s when my father-in-law worked at the Studebaker factory. Neither I, nor my husband, know exactly how my father-in-law acquired the first toy, but that car (made of plastic and rubber tires) was a prototype design for the car Studebaker was to build the following year (1950 or 1951). 

It surprises me even more that this car has survived all these years, in basically perfect condition. It isn't terribly detailed, but has a tin insert on the underside, and does have silver coloured bumpers and the typical Studebaker "pointed bullet" front.