Thursday, February 24, 2011

3 Kenton Sulkies

February 24, 2011

Today's article is about Kenton Sulkies. Kenton was a company that produced fine cast iron toys in the early 1900's. One of their beautiful toys was their sulky- a type of horse-racing cart. These toys are called "pull toys", as a small rope or string is attached to the open circle at the front of the hoof. Initially, I purchased the golden one below to re-sell, but decided to keep it as a present to my wife to remind us of her great late father George. George used to have racehorses and raced them in Montreal (Quebec,Canada) at a racetrack called Blue Bonnets, which later became the Hippodrome. Eventually, the racetrack closed, and will soon become a development of some sort or another. However, I digress.

During my buying in early October-December of 2011, I came across 2 other of these Kenton toys. When my wife saw the multi-coloured one, she immediately liked it more than the golden yellow one, and I  of course exchanged it for her.

I purposely added the 9 golden-yellow images for you to peruse the fine detail of this fine toy!
Now the grey sulky below.

Now the multi-coloured one below.

And finally all 3 together

I might as well explain tin brief what the cast iron process is. A mold (Canadian spelling, eh!) is a cut-out shape made from a material that will not melt. In the above case, the mold is the driver, the wheels, and the horse. With the horse and driver, a left mold and a right mold are made. The iron metal 
(a composite) is melted at its' melting point of 1260 Celcius or 2300 Fahrenheit, and then is poured into the mold through a hole in the top. Once poured, the casting cools for a few minutes, then the cast-iron worker carefully separates the newly-formed half from the mold. 

Once the 1/2 shape is completely cool, it is filed down to remove rough edges and polished to allow for painting. Holes are made in identical positions on the left and right sides, and a small nail-sized solid-metal cylinder is passed the holes. The ends of the  cylinder are then carefully hammered or a huge machine press is carefully positioned to the form a dome at each end to hold the 2 pieces together.

You don't always have semi-circular end caps of the cylinder. Instead the hammered or pressed end is carefully sanded down just to the point of blending it with the 2 halves, and then is painted over.

I'll let you search out these held-in-place points.  Don't forget that double-clicking on a photo will enlarge it.

Because this process is "crude" in the sense of looking rough, many times, counter-fitters will produce fakes of the more expensive models. You can usually know a fake, because the forger will use a screw instead of the longer and harder and more delicate process of hammering the cylinder.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The TootsieToy Airplanes

February 18, 2011

Tootsietoy is another toy company that produced toys in the 1930's and after.  I should have known form their name, that their toys were small. Needless to say, the work that I would best describe my first receipt of these toys was "huh?". I wasn't expecting something so small.

The reason was that many people on E-Bay make the assumption that the buyer or viewer is familiar with the item being listed. Therefore, often they forget (even myself) to include the dimensions of the toy, or to add a familiar reference (penny) to the image.

The detail on these small items is remarkable. Unfortunately being small, parts are often broken and you have to search them out either from Thomas Antique toy Parts or the Classic Ton Toy Company.

I'm unsure what they're made from, but the oxidation looks to be like aluminum.
Notice that I placed a penny as a reference as to their size.

Don't forget that you can double-click on a photo to magnify it.
I just received this one today - a P-39.
It has a yellowish film on it, and so I tried to clean it.
The film wouldn't come off with an orange oil cleaner, and then
I realized that Tootsietoy probably applied a clear lacquer 
to seal the decals on to  the wings.

Notice the 15 cent price tag, and the
penny I placed in the photo. Also, you may 
have noticed the glue applied to the left (right in the photo) wheel.

When I have time in the future, I'll place a large plane and and of these together to give 
a true reference as to the actual size of this airplane.

Thanks for dropping by,
and have a great part of the day,
wherever you may be.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Manoil Toys

February 13, 2010

Manoil is another one of the American companies that made and sold toys. However, the major difference from other companies of the time, was that their toys were mostly small.

They're usually about 4 1/2" (L) x 1 3/4" (W) x 1 14" (H).

Some of them look like similar toys of the era, while others have a very futuristic look to them.

The above 2 oil trucks are similar, but for their grills and overall colour.
The red truck is entirely red, while the green truck has its' grill painted silver.

Here's another truck, this time a fire truck.

The 4 images above represent 2 different colour choices. The car looks like a vintage MG convertible roadster of the 1930's or early 1940's.
The model # is 707

This last roadster is in the blue (cyan) colour. 
It looks like the other 2, but I think it lost its' front bumper in an "accident".

Now we start to get into very interesting designs. 
The car cab is pushed back like some of the racing cars of that era. 
This model is # 707, and the same one below is also, but it comes in that blue-cyan colour.

Below again is the model  #701.
It too had an "accident".
But take a look at it up close. 
The design features are awesome.

Finally, the "piece de resistance" 
The model below is # 704.

It measures 6" (L) x 1 1 3/4" (W) x 1 1/2" H)
Both  the 701 and 704 models are just great "eye candy"

This Manley is larger than the rest, but its' design is terrific.

With many of the cars of that time being red, it reminded me of what Henry Ford said when 
his model T was proving to be a success. Someone asked him if he would ever change the colour from black. His response was yes, to black! 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Tale of 3 Marx Coupes

February 12, 2011

This instalment has to do with 3 almost-identical Marx Coupes from the 1930's. Many sellers on E-Bay don't seem to know their product (antique toys), so they identify this  and other toys as "Marx ++++ Wyandotte+++++. I guess this protects them from potential complaints from buyers.

The coupes were made in the 1930's-early 40's and are made from pressed steel, or is it die-cast. I'll figure that out soon! They're almost the same but for the following different characteristics:

1. The least expensive one was made from thin steel, has no gas cap, and no front steel decor/headlights

2. The middle-priced coupe has thicker-gauge steel and has the gas cap and decorative front steel decor/headlights

3. The most-expensive car has all of the features of the middle-priced car, but has a wind-up mechanism.

1. The least Expensive Coupe - Missing Front Grill

1. Below - Another Least-Expensive Coupe with the Front Grill

2. Below - A Composite of the medium -priced coupe

3. Below - The Most Expensive Coupe

 The 3 Coupes Together