Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Lloyd Ralston Gallery - Seeing and Buying the Rarer Toys

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Lloyd Ralston Gallery
Seeing and Buying the Rarer Toys

Please press on the address above to visit the Gallery

     I already written an instalment about the Lloyd Ralston Gallery. However, thanks to Glenn and Terry, I'll be able to use their photos to write future instalments about old toys. 

    I was looking for rarer toys that I haven't seen on E-Bay,and was able to "harvest"  a nice mini-collection. What's nice about an auctioneers such as the Lloyd Ralston Gallery, is that  sellers come to them in order to sell their collections.  Most people with nice collections don't really want to have 
to list on E-Bay, or Etsy, or Rubylane. Not everyone wants to have to do all the work to photograph and list, then package. As well, many collectors are older (I'm 63), and don't want to have to do all that "computer stuff". So they'll have the auctioneer handle all of the work for them, for a fee of course. As such, I've been able to find some real nice examples of rarer items today.  Some,I haven't seen before on E-Bay, and others I've seen a variation, but not the ones I'm writing about today.

 I've only seen Marklin ships on the Bertoia site. 
A collector of these fine toys used Bertoia to sell his collection. This area of toys is a whole different world from cars, planes, and trucks, and of course way beyond 
my budget.

This is the first time that I've ever seen this Hubley Cast Iron Airplane.
I've never even seen it on the Net! I'm sure however, that I might find it in my giant book of O'Brian's Collectibles - one of the "Bibles"of toy book references.

  I've had all of the Tootsietoy Grahams pass through my hands at one time or another.
I'ver also written about them, and even painted one or 2. But I've never seen so many sold listings by the Ralston Gallery  of original toys in their original boxes. 

I've "heard" about the fine graphic design of the 1930's boxes, and now I get to see it.

THe next time that I buy any Tootsietoy Grahams, I 'll know the right colours to use!

 I mentioned that of the limited toys that I have bought and sold, one segment that I'm more partial to is the cast iron toys. It's that solid and firm feel that gives me that feeling! I don't know about the A.C. Williams enough, but I like the Arcade and Hubley take-a-part toys! 

I have a feeling though, that the A.C.Williams are also take-a-part toys as well.

 Imagine back then in the 1930's that the drivers of cars, planes, trucks, and machines were 
nickel-plated!  The toy-makers know that kids would play out side and get the toys wet. Consequently they nickel-plated the toys so they would last longer and not rust. I wonder if the tracks are also nickel-plated.

The above toy is in great shape, and even has its label!

Getting off-topic for a second, here's something interesting. About 10 years ago , my wife and I went to Rhode Island and went to tour some of the mansions at Newport that the wealthy of the time (1880's-1940's) has for their summer sojourn. We went into the downstairs (I don;t know if it's proper to say basement for a mansion) where the food was prepared. In the kitchen areas was a 
wire-brush on a handle that was used to grind the rust off the knives of the time. That made me wonder when stainless steel was invented!

 I've sold 1 or 2 Kilgore toys. Even time I hear the word Kilgore, I link it with the famous marchers down south  in the U.S.A. called the Kilgore Rangers. The Kilgore toy above is again a toy that I have never seen before.  At 10" (266 mm) long, that's a toy I certainly would like to have my hands on!

 The recent lawsuit by Apple against  Samsung and vice versa about copying designs and software makes me think about these old toys. One of the more "frivolous" parts of the Apple lawsuit was Samsung making their corners on their cell phone "round" thus copying Apple. Now apple is making their IPhone larger, and making their IPad smaller.Will someone now sue them for copying the size?

I've sold several Arcade and Hubley Cast Iron Airflows cars. Now I've seen the Champion one.
All 3 are similar in design, and imagine that all 3 companies at the time could make toys similar in nature, and not have to go through the courts! Those certainly were different times back then!

If you have the time, do a search for the Chrysler Airflow. This particular car was a real marvel at the time, and you'll see why when you see the photos. Unfortunately, the toy companies sold many more of these toys than Chrysler did at the time.. The "real" Airflow was in production for about 3 years (1937-39), and due to lak of demand,  ceased to be made.

 I saw this Arcade Tanker on E-Bay, but after my top bid d of $ 400.00, I watched sadly, as I was outbid, and left in the wind, so to speak. This toy appears to be a combination of tin or pressed steel, rubber, and of course, cast iron. This one is in super shape - FANTASTIC!

Many toy manufacturers kept their popular toys, but changed materials as time moved on. THe Wyandotte car and trailer remind me of this fine Hubley Ford Sedan and Trailer, both of which I've never seen on E-Bay.

What I find interesting is how the paint really sticks to the cast iron. I wonder just how much the lead in the paint at the time had to do with this?

I haven't added any prices of what these toys sold for. However you can register with Live Auctioneers, will then give you a gateway to see the prices of past sold listings.

  I've seen plenty of Arcade busses on E-Bay, especially those Chicago world's fair ones. But this one , I've not seen. Many toy busses on E-Bay have been mostly Greyhound, so this one - a National Trailways Bus, is for me a rarity.

 You don't see that many Kenton toys on E-Bay or anywhere if you try to do a search. I'll have to learn about the Kenton toy company to write about it in the future. Once again, the flatbed truck of the 1930's made from cast iron, carried over into the 1940's as the toys were re-engineered into die cast design.

Car iron toys were made in 2 bi-symmetrical halves ,a left and a right, that were attached together with a metal pin. ONce the pin was placed through the holes on both side, one end was cut off, and then hammered with a pean hammer. The other end had a rounded head, that stayed secure flush with the hole on the other side. Almost all of the cast iron toys of the day were made like this.  "Fakes" were made with a screw and nut that held the 2 sides together. The rare "real' cast iron brand name once in a while was made with the nut and bolt, but you really have to know your toys so as not to get "scammed"!

 I've bought and sold 2 Tootsietoy Lasalle die cast toy cars. I'sure the real LaSalle was a beauty at the time. This one  was made by Dent, which like Kenton was, I assume smaller and less popular than the Arcades and Hubleys of the time. 

It's also most likely a take-a-part toy, and sold to the cores, as toy can see.
It's also rare, as I haven;t ever seen one of these.

When Charles Lindburgh became the  first person to fly across the Atlantic, millions of toy collector and children had to have a part of history. I've seen smaller "Lindys" on E-bay from other manufacturers,but never a Hubley.

This certainly is a faithful design of what I can remember of what the original airplane looked like.

 I think I had one of these pass through my hands, but not with the hook. Most of the tires appear to be replacements, but the cast-iron parts are in their original condition.

I think these toys and their respective parts could be interchanged, just like the Tootsietoy Grahams a decade later. This type of toy was also called a "pull-along", as a cord would be attached to the front of the truck, and the child would pull it along the dirt road.  You have to remember that many rural  areas at the time did not have asphalt roads.

I've certainly enjoyed writing this instalment both from the point of being able to view these photos, and as usual, talking about my personal recollections as they relate to the toys.

The Lloyd Ralston Gallery

Please press on the address above to visit the Gallery

Thanks for dropping by,
and have a great morning, afternoon,
or evening,wherever you may be.


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