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).

The trailer seems to come in different styles - similar sizing, but some have a printed text logo, while a very few have the script type logo, like the one on this truck.  It turns out, the manufacturer is probably Yamaichi.

There is yet another trailer/box style which is the same shape as this, though horizontally ribbed, with a cream upper and orange lower section, but the same script logo in blue. That one has a rather high price on it, given that the cab is green, and not even a close style to the original design.

This truck is an Allied Van Lines , and the white plastic insert in the tires says "Li'l Beaver" (see the below image enlarged).  Along the lower edge it says "Cooke Cartage and Storage movers. 

This appears to be in it's original condition, but while some parts of the paint look new (the grey, for example), the logos and lines are not in as good shape - overall, it's in good shape though, and I have to say, this is one I don't have any clue why he owns it, or when and where he got it.  

From what I could find, it appears to be circa early 1960s to late1960s but that's about as close as I can come, and I'm not that certain of that date either. As it turns out, the "Lil' Beaver Trucks company is one of those companies that is (or was) fully Canadian, manufacturing toys right here at home. They apparently made use of both symbols used to represent Canada - a maple leaf, and the beaver.

The other thing I discovered is that Lil' Beaver was apparently a division of Irwin Toys, after Lincoln Toys went out of business. On another site (Old Antique Toys) it mentions that the original logo for Lil Beaver belongs to Irwin Toys (which by the way, was a Toronto company). Irwin Toys I remember, but not for toy trucks. As well as manufacturing some of there own brands, they were distributors  of other companies brands from the looks of it. Finding references to Lil Beaver Trucks is difficult at best.

In an obituary for one of the Irwin's, is a small bit of history, but again no mention of the Lil Beaver toys. 

Nearly everything I found related to Irwin makes no mention at all of Lil Beaver Trucks, however, there are images from several catalogues from 1967 for these toys, and the address on the catalogue is that of the building owned by Irwin Toys, and housing their manufacturing plant.

Someone on eBay listed a Lil' Beaver Toy as being associated with Buddy L, however, I found no mention of that either except on that one listing.

The other interesting thing is, according to this site (See: Hobby Talk ) Imperial Toy Imperial Toy Corp, 1969, Los Angeles and Imperial Toy Canada in Mississauga) purchased the Buddy L name in 2003 and is still making the brand. Whether they are the same style or quality, I don't really know, and if there is some link between Buddy L and Lil Beaver Trucks ... I also don't know.

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