Monday, January 30, 2012

Cast Iron Toy Motorcyles

Monday, January 30, 2012

Cast Iron Toy Motorcycles

     Last week, I had the opportunity to bid on 2  toy motorcycles. One is authentic (Champion smaller one) and the larger is a "reproduction".  So for today's instalment, I thought I'd present them to you.
There has always been a fascination in North America with motorcycles. Of course, the biggest company in the USA for production is the Harley-Davidson Company. At one time, they were owned by AMC -a large sports company,then the company was sold to their employees. The employees managed to return the company to profitability,  and continue to produce a fine product even and hold their own market share, even with the flood of the Japanese cycles.

4" (L) x 2 1/2" (W) x 2 1/2" (H)
100mm (L) x 63mm (W) x 63mm (H)

* The toy is missing a passenger for the red sidecar.


An Authentic Champion 1930's
Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Cast Iron Toy


7" (L) x 2 1/2" (W) x 4 3/4" (H)
175mm (L) x  64mm (W) x 119 mm (H)



A "reproduction", I'm assuming.
It had no company name on E-Bay, and it was low-priced.
Also, It has a screw to hold the 2 mould sides together, whereas on most "authentic" toys, a bolt round-headed on 1 end and hammered at the other, holds the 2 parts (halves) together.

    The 2 toys Together

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Showing the Beauty of Old Toy with Lighting

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Showing the Beauty of Old Toys with Lighting

     Being a photographer allows me to photograph these magnificent toys. Not only do I light the toys for E-Bay to show their detail and faults,  but I also like to light them  dramatically for their presentation to my readers.

     Yesterday, I said that I would show you the slush toys today with dramatic lighting. However, I didn't have enough photos, so I thought I 'd add some of the recent toys photos. So today's instalment has nice toy photos with lighting to compliment the toys. 

 I hope that you'l enjoy the photos as much as I enjoy photographing them.

As always, have a nice morning, afternoon, or evening,  
wherever you may be, and thank you for dropping by.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Slush Toys

Friday, January 27, 2012

Slush Toys

     Slush toys is a process similar in nature to cast iron or die cast. A mould or form is created from a material that resists high temperatures. The shape is the opposite of the toy that will form. A special coating called a refractory wash or mold (mould) wash is applied to the inner surface to prevent the liquid metal from sticking to the sides of the mould. Molten liquid metals  in toy times circa 1930's , such as lead, zinc, tin or alloys (mixtures of different metals) were used . The liquid metal was poured at the top through a hole and allowed by gravity to exit through another hole.  I'm not sure if the liquid metal was swished around  (e.g.the name slush) and allowed to coat or line the inner surfaces of the mold, and the excess was drained through the bottom hole. When the molten metal stuck enough to the inner surface, the mold was opened and the new toys was removed.

    I was awaiting more toys, however so far I only have 5 to present to you. I'm going to add a continued instalment tomorrow presenting the same toys with nice lighting. I find that most toys when photographed with dramatic lighting bring out their best features. ZToday's lighting , circa 2012 is usually very flat, with little shadow, and lots of light.

     Left to Right:

Cast Iron, Slush , Die Cast, Hard Rubber, Soft Rubber (Vinyl)

     3 Nice Examples of Slush Toys

    I The 2 large holes on the bottom of the toy.
1 hole is the entry for the molten metal, while the other hole is the exit for the excess molten metal.

    What's interesting about these particular toys is that for their size , these toys are heavy. 
Most of the toys above  are relatively small at about 3"- 3 1/2"  (75mm - 88mm).
Notice how beautiful the taxi presents itself when lit for 3-D (3 -dimension) and texture.

To be continued......

Thanks for dropping by to visit, and to everyone have a nice weekend. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Vintage Rubber Toy Vehicles

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Vintage Rubber Toy Vehicles

   The term "vintage" has become to be a  general  "buzzword" or term for old. An antique is something that is at least 100 years old. When I started to buy and sell on E-Bay, I kept coming across the term vintage. It was an easy way of being ambivalent about the description of a toy. These wonderful toys that I'm talking about today, are "youngsters" on the relative scale of old, but I call them "vintage" with a positive note.

   If you've been reading this blog, you'll note that I initially focused on only 3-6 companies. They are Hubley, Wyandotte,Tootsietoy,and a little of Jane Francis, Manoil, and Barclay. These have been enough to learn about in 1 year, and I haven't even touched the surface, as the expression goes.  Since I only buy within my budgetary limits, I can only buy, sell and write about those.

   I was looking at what other toys were within my budget, and which could be resold either for a small profit, or to not be sold for too much of a loss. As a well-experienced buyer/seller of toys once told me at a local flea market: you're not going to get rich selling old toys! Anyway, I kept seeing rubber toys on E-Bay, and thought: "hey, they're rubber toys, do I really want to buy and sell them?" 

   I dove head first into buying about 8-10 rubber toys, and my intuition was correct.  These toys that I am presenting today range in age form 50-75 years, and they're in very good shape for their age. Also, they're beautiful in design, colour, and detail. Also, as a photographer, they're wonderful "challenges" to make them come back to life with lighting.

   The toys that I'm presenting today are the Sun Rubber Company, Arcor, and the Auburn Rubber Corp. 

I've just added this brief part about the  histories of the companies:

    When you read any history about toys, you can't help but read about true American history, and since I buy and sell almost exclusively American toys, you begin to realize how the 2 - toy companies (toys) and American history are linked so close together.  

     Since I'm only writing 1 instalment on rubber toys, I am writing only a brief few paragraphs about  the industry. But what occurred simultaneously in the real  world history,cannot be overlooked, nor forgotten.

    The rubber toy industry about 1935, when the U.S.A. was coming out of the Great Depression. There were many people who had lost their jobs and also lots of people who moved from the countryside to urban (city) areas of the country. In harmony with theses events, some toy companies  such as the ones that mention below (Sun Rubber and Auburn)  decided to expand their production by producing rubber toys.Both Auburn and Sun had already produced "play toys" for children. These included rubber small figurines such as soldiers, small dolls,and even small animals.  Interesting,  both companies  were producers of rubber products (I'll find this information at another time), so getting into an expansion of their factories was not as hard as one would think. They had the materials from the far east, and a skilled workforce that was already familiar with the rubber process.

   As America came out of the Great Depression, real car production started to improve.Also, many very interesting cars started to be made. America also was expanding,more roads were being built, and more people started to actually see many types of cars on the road. So the natural evolution to toy car production became a big hit.

   Unfortunately, WWII (World War II)  came upon the world, and toy production was stopped for the war effort.  Companies produced such diverse items as gas masks or special airplane rubber aviation fuel containers (bladders) that were bullet  resistant!

    After the war,  toy production returned to meet the demand of children.  Unfortunately the history of the world and America moved on, as well as did toys. Foreign-produced toys were imported and plastic research was expanded to produce new raw variations to be used in toys and other products. Some companies never returned to production after WWII, and the Sun Rubber Company and the Auburn Rubber Company  managed to stay in the toy production business until the early 1960's. I also happened to discover that  the Auburn Rubber Company also used the name Arcor in producing rubber toys.

Left to Right:
A green Auburn, A Barclay slush toy, and a Sun Rubber sedan.

A Sun Rubber Sedan
This toy is a hard-rubber toy.
The Sun rubber toys are all black and are painted over with paint

A Beige and red Sun Rubber Coupe

A Yellow and Green Sun Rubber Coupe

A Sun Rubber Bus

A Soft-Rubber Auburn Fire Truck

These Auburns are soft-rubber, are newer (1950's), and are solid in colour.

Any  minor paint (e.g. silver) is airbrushed on. What's interesting to note is that the paint job is purposely "crude" and not exact. There is spillage and overpainting all over!

The truck above is the largest item in this instalment today. 
It measures 7 1/2" (L) x 2 1/2" (W) x  2 1/8" (H).
In metric that's 19 cm (L) x 6.5 cm (W) x 5.2 cm (H).

 A Nice Auburn Truck

Auburn hard-Rubber Sedan

An Arcor Convertible

What's interesting to me is that how a rubber mould can capture the fine detail.
Also, as I mentioned before these toys certainly have stood the test of time and are in quite good shape considering they range in age from 50- 75 years "young". 

If you've never been to Blogger, you can click on any image to enlarge it.
Doing do , will present the fine detail even better than the large size presented here.

So thanks for dropping by, and have a great morning, 
afternoon or evening, and a restful day also.