Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I'll Take any Arcade Toy!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Clear skies, very,very cold!

I'll Take Any Arcade Toy!

  For yesterday's post, I wrote about the Arcade 1927 Buick sedan. It's a beautiful car, and some writers have described that toy as "one of the finest Arcade toys ever built". However, I disagree. So I decided to look at a quick sampling of Arcade toys for today. A few years ago, I had purchased a  reproduction CD of an Arcade 1920's  # 33 catalogue . The CD had 136 pages, but the index in the catalogue has 1 listing with the page numbered 207. Imagine, that at the height of success and production, Arcade had about 190-200 pages of toys being produced.

  I didn't know where to begin for today's post. Should I pick cars, trucks, banks, fire trucks, doll house furniture - I was in a quandary! Should I pick high-priced or low priced? Make a 5 part series and each day have a different point of view such as the colours of the spectrum. IN the end, I select toys on Liveauctioneers from Bertoia Auctions that sold from high to low. However, I didn't pock the first 10 toys, but went down the page of 120 images,and picked what I liked. Not necessarily the best,but what caught my eye first.

Most of us, including myself (until I started to write about toys),look at the toy overall,but not the features. When you start to search for the "real" items and their photos, you see details that you would say "I didn't know that!".

As an example,  cars in the 1920's had their visors on the outside of the car,and the visor was one continuous cover outside the top of the window. 

Before the 1920's trucks did not have roofs, and the truck cabin was called a C shape.
So when it rained or snowed, you got wet! These trucks still did not have windows- imagine!

It's -13 degrees Celcius  today or 8.6 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Imagine having no side windows to the truck!

Malinda Trollinger  (November 27, 2014 post) wrote me a while back to ask about a toy. I later wrote on November 17, 2014 about a Thomas cast iron Hubley  reproduction Checker Taxi , circa 1939.

With the Arcade toy below, I now know that Arcade made a Checker Cab toy!

These Arcade "wreckers" were great toys. It's interesting how we call these trucks now "tow trucks", but at one time they were called "wreckers" - a more "scary" title. What's amazing about Arcade and other cast iron toy companies of the time was the fact that you had plenty old choices of colours and sizes of the same toy. As an example,the wrecker below came in several different sizes. However, I would think that if your friends or your parents were able to purchase Arcade or Hubley toys, they might think of  purchasing them in proportion to the relative size of the wrecker. You wouldn't want a large wrecker with a Volkswagen-sized car, or  the reverse- a mini-wrecker towing a giant-sized car.

Of course, when I was 6-12, I didn't think about relative to sizes, nor I'm sure did most kids.

I especially like this Yellow Cab truck because of its simple but eye-appealing design.  I like the repeating tire shapes (circles) and the contrast of the lines of the truck with the curves of the fenders.
Of course, that's me talking from the photographer's point of view.

When busses were first made, they were not engineered properly and would roll over. I don't know if this buys was modelled after the Fageol  bus, but here's the "story". The Fageol bus company designed a new safer bus that would not roll over as the older ones used to.As a result, there were fewer bus accidents , fewer deaths,and less need for the wreckers.

As for this toy, I always like the nickel-plated drivers whether they're part of a Hubley, Kenton, Dent, or Arcade toy. Also,how come these 90 year old tires still survive today? My first car's tires lasted 50,000 miles (90,000 KM), and my last sets of tires (both  winter and summer lasted a mere 30,000 miles or 50,000 Km ,including switching fem summer to winder on rims!

I'd like to know where I could get the tires below!

Aah, those nickel plated spoke wheels! I like that nickel-plated hammer as well. Arcade made these miniature tools and they are also my favourite . I purchased a set for my wife Heidi. I leave all of the important house maintenance to her - I'm all thumbs!

I don't think North America had double-decker busses, but this one is a beauty. 
You'd see these in Britain in those old movies, and toy can still find them there today. Montreal has a few for sightseeing.

Andy Gump was kind of a "goofy" comic -strip character in the 1920's-1930's newspapers of the "funnies" section (comics). Many of toy companies would occasionally get licenses to manufacturer some of the popular comic characters of the times. Popeye was a favourite of those times.

I chose this as the closing toy, because of those criss-cross latticework  windows and divider of the passengers from the driver. This particular toy is beautiful in colour and features, but most interestingly, it is also a bank.  At the time, many of the cast iron toy companies were foist hardware companies. As such,they produced household hardware such as door handles, hinges, and locks. 

But they also produced door stops and cast iron banks.  The one below is more of a dual function toy - banks and toy.  MOst cast iron banks of the time were either figures or mechanical. Figural banks  accepted money through a coin slot. Mechanical banks had  a trigger mechanism that you you cocked or tensioned. A coin would be placed on part of the toy, and when triggered,the coins would fall into a slot. There were 100's of different movements, characters, and styles to these banks,and they are a special "niche' for toy collectors in the USA.

So that's it for a very cold Tuesday this December 2, 2014. If you're reading this in some warm part of the world,  I can always come and visit you and your toys. Of course, I might have to rest in the warmth to recover from the cold up here- the toys might have to wait.

Only a mere 110 days to the spring equinox or the beginning of spring!

Thanks for visiting, and as always,
have a great part of the day or night,
wherever you may be,

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