Tuesday, January 20, 2015

An Exceptional Collector of Rubber Toy Vehicles - Part I

Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Sunny and very, very cold!

An Exceptional Collector of 
Rubber Toy Vehicles
(Part I)

  I dislike the cold of winter and winter altogether! Today marks a mere 61 days to the spring equinox, followed by another 60 days  before I can actually walk around with shirts and a polo shirt. Today, it's  -18 degrees Celsius or -0.4 Fahrenheit. I let Buddy (our dog) go out through the front door to "do his business" and I stayed inside!

  Being locked up (it's really not that bad) in very cold weather does have some advantages. I can spend more time on my computer (not a real life-endearing function) checking my e-mails. And so a few days ago,I got a reader's e-mail saying that he had this nice website of rubber toys and would  I want to use his photos. I went to the site and there was a fantastic collection of toy vehicles.  looked through the collection, and wrote back yes,yes, and yes!  When I then went back yesterday to screen-caput the images, I had a bit of trouble - the images on Mr. Michael Lavopa's  website wouldn't show immediately or wouldn't show at all.  I wrote to Michael,and he didn't have any problem at all. So what I did was to download a different browser and see if that could be the problem. That was my problem. I was using an Apple iMac with their web browser - Safari. This sometimes happens on a Mac, so you have to try alternatives.  Changing the web browser worked.


The first section of Michael's website is cars. I've downloaded a large amount of this fine toys. However, Michael's presentation (photographs) are  vert well done. I like how he has managed to collected some different paint combinations of the same toy. As such, he had experimented very successfully with the composition of several items in a photo.

When I bought my first rubber toy car, I was "hooked" ( like a fish) immediately to this genre of toy. First, I was impressed with the fine detail that could be transferred from the mould (casting) to the final rubber toy. But  I was more amazed with a toy made of rubber that could last 85 years intact! Some of Michaels' toys have cracks in them, but that adds more of the allure (attraction) to them. Interestingly, rubber toys were made before WWII, when there were material shortages in the USA, and toy manufacturers had to make a lot of their toys from wood. Rubber was also a restricted resource ( I think I am quite sure), since most of the raw latex from which rubber is made came from Asia, where the Japanese had taken over the vast  Pacific countries there.

Perhaps, in the 1930's rubber toys were made because rubber was less expensive than metal, and easier to manufacture as a toy. You only had to make 1 mild and add wood tires and steel axles.

Immediately, you can see the excellent arrangement (composition) that Michael applies to his photograph. Adding variations to the compositions in the photographs makes viewing much more interesting. If you look at the sizes, you'll see that many of the toys are very small. 

I'm always learning new information, and with Michael's collection, this was no different. I never even thought to look for other sources of rubber toys besides the USA. Yet, within Michael;s collection are toys from both South Africa and Czechoslovakia. I'll have to do a search now for non-American rubber toys and see how many other toys I can find.

ONce again, you can see the different arrangements for the visual presentation of Michael's toys.
Also, the lighting is very nice,because although it appears Michael used just one light source, he has nice depth (3D) to his photos. Leaving some shadow makes the items have more volume (3D).

I like this "futuristic"  Auburn Rubber toy. Initially, I thought that Michael might have photographed it back-to-front, but he photographed it correctly or did he? Are those 2 small lights in the front or are they 2 brake lights? Is that a radiator or a trunk ornament over the bumper?

I always like detail - anti me or anyplace or on anything. It's probably because I was always curious as a young boy, and as a photographer, you have to be to photograph the product or house properly, and see every flat or defect to mention to the manufacturer. Of course, nowadays, there is photo-editing software.

If you look at the 1935 Oldsmobile below, you can see an infinite amount of very small detail that shows so well.

Below is another first - The first Czechoslovakian toy, and the first Czechoslovakian rubber toy.

And below is still another non-American toy - 
Made in Great Britain.

I adore the Pontiac toy for the cracking in the rubber. It makes of ran excellent photo because we (people) like to see contrast and irregularities. The cracks which are irregularly-shaped contrast well with the very definite and positioned line design of the car.

I  "played around" with photo-editing ( I hope Michael won't mind) with this Pontiac  toy.
I reduced the overall exposure, then used a dodging tool" to make certain areas appear brighter  or have "highlights" - a photographic term.

I would have did this to all of the toys, but this is Michael's post, not mine, and I didn't want
 to take away from his exceptional collection, nor his excellent photography.

This is just the first of 2 or 3 posts about Mr. Michael  Lavopa's collection. I'll be following up with his racers and his "Misc." (Miscellaneous) category. If you think this "Car" category is fantastic, wait till you see the other toys!

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


Bob Walden said...

Wonderful collection! I'm at my computer looking up at my Auburn Cab over and my Futuristic and two others and agreeing that they are really cool! My green Auburn 513 truck may be a replica though. Lighter then the others but it does say Auburn on the sides. Nothing under the body though.

toysearcher said...

Hi Bob,

I hope all is well as the winter is moving along.
I can;t see that someone or a company would make "replica" Auburn Rubber toys.
They're not so costly as original cast iron toys and those "replicas".