Friday, June 28, 2013

A Fine Rubber Truck Toy from A Fine E-Bay Seller

Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Fine Rubber Truck Toy from
A Fine E-Bay Seller

   I wrote this post earlier in the week as I would have been toy busy on Sunday to write. Therefore you are not confused if you are reading this post on Friday or Saturday (june 28, 2013).

   I like to go to E-Bay to see what  toys there are for sale. Another good feature on E-Bay is that you can view about a month's worth or previous toy sales from the past if you do a search for finished auctions or bidding.  With both live auctions and finished  auctions, there certainly are a lot of toys to be found that I can write about. 

   I was doing a search on E-Bay,when I came across today's new seller - Mr. Jim Hartman. He has some very nice toys for sale currently. However, I wanted to see his other toys that had been sold, and lo and behold, I came across a fine rubber toy that I had not seen before. I'll return to the toy later, but first an an introduction about Mr, Jim Hartman.

Jim's store name on E-Bay is Tootoy. He's been selling on E-Bay since 1998 and has sold  4650 toys as of today's writing. He also  has an excellent reputation when you check  what people have to say about him on the feedback page.

* Courtesy of Mr. Jim Hartman

I liked Jim'e e-mail to me, and asked if I might use it for this post. When I was buying and selling toys on E-Bay, the thought of having "safe toys" for children never really occurred to me. However, a memory that I completely forgot came back to me. My youngest late brother Jay, was about 2 years old when he decided to crayon a very old coffee table in our living room. The coffee table never moved with us when we moved in 1963, so I guess he did  some great "artwork" on it.

What Jim wrote about his mother buying rubber toys was a real "treat" for me. I never thought about rubber toys in that way. I have often though about cast iron toys of the 1920's and 1930's and how some children must have has very sore toes after dropping these toys. I also have seen some pressed steel toys with sharp edges (heavens forbid in the 21st century!). But those times were certainly different then. Children could play outdoors, people left their doors open, and most parents didn't think about whether or no a toy met the US Government's safety list - there weren't even safety departments then!


What I always like in an auctioneer or seller is their presentation of an item. Not only does Jim write a  thorough description of a toy, but he knows his toys.  He also takes lots of photos even for this toy, that  as far as price goes is within easy reach for most toy collectors. For myself, that says something about a seller - taking the time even for a less-costly toy!

What I also liked and wrote to Jim, is that I said that he seems to have an excellent "eye" from camera angle and composition.  He also knows lighting as in some cases you can tell that he either used 2 lights or  1 light and a reflector. Doing this adds extra detail into the shadow areas, as we;ll as adding some shinier areas on the toy which are called "highlights" in photographic terms.

Casting in Rubber has the nice quality and ability to create fine detail. The front view of this toy, as well as Jim's lighting on the toy, certainly illustrates that point well. 

 Great Camera Angle!

 Another example of the fine detail that rubber can reproduce from a mould.

A great trio of images!

That logo from Arcor says it all - "Arcor Safe Play Toys"!

I forgot to include the description and information about the toy, so here it is:

Arcor*  1937 GMC Cabover (c.o.e or cab over engine) Truck
Coloured rubber with metal axles and rubber tires.
(Auburn Rubber Company (USA)
Circa mid-1940's (After WWII)
Length:   10 1/2"    .266M)

* The Auburn Rubber Company manufactured toys under several different labels or names. 
Arcor was one of them. 

I usually don't present so many photos for 1 item, but I'm glad I did for this toy.With Jim's talent for taking photos, and the toy itself, that GMC truck and cab were certainly presented very well!

Thanks for dropping by,

and have a restful part of the day,
 wherever you may be.

Some Hoge Manufacturing Company Toys

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Some Hoge Manufacturing Company Toys


   The Hoge Manufacturing Company was established in 1906 in Manhattan, New York (USA) in 1909, by Mr. Hampden Hoge. The company initially produced office supplies, and Mr. Hoge had left the company in 1919, some 10 years later.  In 1931, the company decided to stop producing office supplies and produce toys - a bold move considering the timing! A few years later, the Great Depression would occur. The actual toy designs were contracted out to be manufactured by the Mattatuck Manufacturing Company. Products included pressed steel passenger and animated circus cars. There were also electric and clockwork (wind-up) locomotives and trains. Production stopped in 1939, and Hoge was bought by Mattatuck, and eventually dissolved (closed down) in 1958. *

 History written from* :

   I've written about the Hoge Manufacturing Company before, but just about the fire chief's car. As was browsing through Liveauctioneers website, I got a glimpse of another Hoge (pronounced Hoagy) toy. Most of the time, that fire chief car seems to be the only Hoge that you can find, but I was luckier this time. From there I did a search,  and found more Hoge toys. 

   For today, I decided to limit the post just to 3 of their toys. The reason for my decision is simply to illustrate how looking at several listings of the same toy, can better help you decide on what you might want to bid or purchase a toy for. The condition is but 1 factor that determines the final price of a toy at auction. Sometimes, if you look on E-Bay or on Liveauctioneers, you'll see higher and lower prices for same toy. Obviously, other factors come into play in bidding, such as the time of the day, the auctioneer, how many people are interested in the toy and so forth.

I bought and sold a Hoge fire chief's car, but not in such excellent condition as the one above!
It's a beautiful car, and there were even some rival companies that produced a similar model (e.g. Louis Marx).

Another factor in determining the final bidding price is whether or not the original box comes with the toy. Collectors like to have the original box. For myself, I'd just like to have the toy, and pay less, if I could!

The "Popeye the Sailor" toy  was licensed from  King Features Syndicate in 1935. Comic books and the "funnies" in newspapers were very popular the, so having toys made after the comic characters was very popular and sold toys! LAter, the Hoge company would stop licensing the Popeye character, and make their own sailor rower. I'm wondering how sales went without the Popeye character.

By looking at several different listings of the same item, you can learn to better set your pricing ceiling when bidding. The Popeye rowboat and Popeye were quite sophisticated in terms of reproducing the actual "realistic" movements of the rower.

By the way, the pipe in Popeye's mouth was made of brass. This is a small detail, but worth noting in terms of the actual material for the toy.

Here's another Popeye toy, but this time it's a speedboat wind-up toy. The actual toy was meant to move on water. As far as value goes, the motor boat  brought higher prices at auction that the rowboat.

 What's interesting above is that the above box is a reproduction. About a year ago, I write about a fine store who actually makes high-quality reproductions of boxes for original toys. I keep thinking about this lady, and will try and contact her to write again about her fine company!

The series of photos above were photographed by Bertoia Auctions on a green foundation or seamless paper (what the object rests on in photographic terms). I though the sides of the car might have been green from light of the green foundation reflecting up tot he sides. Therefore I removed the green. I'm unsure what the exact colour is, since the other series of toys are green or slightly green on their sides.

It's too bad the Hoge company closed down, as they did produce some fine toys.  However, that's the history of most  older toy companies, and that's how history goes.

It's raingi n again here in Montreal, as it seems to have for most of May and June. I hope that July will fare better. On the bright side, our flowers and lawn are great!

Thanks for dropping by,

and have a great part of the day,
wherever you may be.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Some Very Interesting Arnold Toy Motorcycles

Friday, June 28, 2013

Some Very Interesting Arnold Toy Motorcycles


   Yesterday, I posted about a Tippco and Co. motorcycle racer, and that's what led me to post today.
German toy manufacturers always excelled in new designs and mechanical creativity. Most of the ealry 20th century toys were from Europe and much more sophisticated than North American (mostly USA) toys. THat's not to say that American toys were not popular, but they were certainlt different (cast iron, paper on wood, pull toys).

    Prior to WWII and later, lithographed tin mechanical toys were very interestingly designed, and some of the exceptional creativity in the mechanics transferred to toy motorcycles. Europe had always been a popular place for motorcycle racing, so the transfer from "real" to toy, came naturally and easily to the toy industry.

   As you'll see with today's presentation, the toys certainly are very "mechanical" anf have interesting features and movement. I've added a link to one toy that connects to a short video on YouTube. I'm sure you'll find the videos very interesting, and better to demonstrate the outstanding movements of  such a fine Arnold toy motorcycle.


   The history of the Arnold Toy company is very interesting.  It was founded in Nurnberg, Germany by  Mr. Karl Arnold in 1906. Known as K. Arnold & Co., it began produced tin toys. such as model ships,doll houses and other toys. Mr. Arnold hired Mr. Max Ernest as the managing director of the company.

 The company was heavily damaged during WWII, but continued operation in what is called the Upper Palatinate (Oberpfalz). A "Palinate" is an administration of Bavaria. The son of Karl Arnold, Ernst, and a Mr. Max Ernst helped with the rebuilding of the company, along with KArl Arnold, and eventually the company moved back to Nurnberg. The company had initially manufactured window hardware just after WWII, but later manufactured model railroad toys that became less costly and would become available to most consumers.

The Arnold Toy Company continued  until 1995. It went bankrupt , was purchased by the Italian toy manufacturer Rivarossi, which sadly also went bankrupt. The assets were sold to the British company Hornby, and production moved to China.*


Notice the elaborate detail of the lithography

Here's a more-complicated toy. 
The unit turns around as and the rider rotates along with the man inside the blue wheel.

This toy has been described as "the most complicated design" in a motorcycle toy.
As the toy is wound and released, the rider dismounts from the motorcycle as the toy moves and meanders left and right. The movements from afar look quite realistic!

If you use the words "YouTube Arnold toy motorcycle" .you will see many videos of this toy!

Thanks for dropping by,

and as always,
have a great part of the day, 
wherever you may be.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Tippco #5 Racer

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Tippco #5 Racer

   A few days ago, I was searching for motorcycles on E-Bay when I came across a more-modern older toy. It was a Tippco # 5 Silver Racer. What first caught my attention was the excellent photography with of course large file sizes and plenty of photos to help explain exactly the unique quality of this particular toy. What was even more interesting, was the fact that this person lives in Canada, and  in Toronto, where coincidently, I had just returned from after having visited my sister and brother-in-law.

  So I e-mailed the person, and I got a friendly reply with a "Yes" - go ahead!  The E-Bay store's owner is Mr. Thomas Liger-Belair , and his E-Bay name is legacymemorabiliacanada and his store name is "The Toy Guy"

Thomas has been selling on E-Bay since 1998, and he's a respectable E-Bay seller. I always like to look at the feedback for a seller and his is excellent. Currently, he's selling a nice collection of toys for a collector. Thomas also has a website that he uses to advertise that he is always looking to buy toys. He's also on Facebook. I just joined Facebook, but I don't have a lot of contacts, so I was also interested in Thomas's Facebook page. It's quite interesting, and I'll have to ask him a few questions about that!  My interest in Facebook is to try and get more readers to visit my blog.

That's  Matthew's Logo, and below are 3 of his links
 (addresses/websites) that he sells and publicizes.

Please click this to visit Matthew's website

   The toy that I'm presenting today is a fabulous wind-up lithographed tin toy from Germany. It was made circa 1948-50 in Germany by the Tippco toy company.  It measures  7 1/2" or 19cm. What's interesting about the toy is that the side passenger  moves off from his seat as the motorcycle unwinds and moves around to the left and right. It's similar to what you'd see if you ever watched motorcycle races with the passenger.

   Motorcycle racing has always been popular in Europe, more so that in North America. However North America eventually caught up. I remember when I went to photography school, there was a younger classmate who had taken up the sport. He raced on a closed circuit with hills and mud, and he told us (other students and myself) that he had to wear a protective suit, kidney pads, a helmet, with a visor to protect from the mud, and special boots.

   Thomas did a great job in presenting lots of photos to illustrate how much the passenger moves.

I really like the photo above. It's as if these 2 motorcylists appear to be in front of a gate ready to rise for the race!

What's interesting here is that the original box is also listed on E-Bay. For some collectors, the original box is always in demand, and having one in good to very good condition as a seller will usually garner a higher price at either an auction or on E-Bay.

I can see the allure (attraction) for this type of "real" racing, but you'd never catch me in this sport. I prefer to watch this on TV. As for the toy, this is fantastic! I can see why Europeans, especially motorcycle fans would have been enthusiastic to but such a toy!

And I can't tell you what a great job Thomas did on capturing the"essence" of just how much fun this toy would have been for anyone who received it as a gift!

"Thank you for visiting! I’m The Toy Guy & I pay cash for old and used toys. I buy single items & entire collections consisting mainly of vintage toys & diecast cars from the 1900’s to the 1970’s & 80’s.I specialize in Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Dinky Toys, Corgi, Majorette, Tonka, Structo, Marx & Buddy L. I also buy action figures, dolls and stuffed animals, tin toys, board games, train sets and much, much more.

Don’t let your childhood toys gather dust or rot away in the basement. Turn them into extra income and help them find a good home that will ensure they remain preserved for generations to come. Please note that I do not buy new or recent toys unless they are rare or desirable. Also keep in mind that worn and broken toys aren’t worth nearly as much as items in good to mint condition." **

** From Thomas Liger-Belair's website:

Thanks for dropping by,

and as always, have a great day, 
wherever you may be.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Hubley Harley-Davidson Motorcycles

Wednesday, June 25, 2013

The Hubley Harley-Davidson Motorcycles


   The history of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle company is a true American story. It's had its ups and downs, but has survived to this day. There's a large-sized motorcycle store near me, that sells all kinds of motorcycles, but the Harley-Davidson's still have that "tough guy" appeal. Whenever I hear that famous rumble of a motorcycle, there's little doubt in my mind that it's a Harley, and most of the time, when it comes into view, I'm correct.

   Two days ago I wrote about the "Indian" brand of Hubley cast iron motorcycles. I had originally intended just to write about Hubley motorcycles, but when I looked more closely at my screen captures from Bertoia Auctions, I noticed that I had both "indian " and Harley-Davidsons. So I did a "detour", and decided to focus on Bertoia Auctions "Indian" brand of motorcycles, and then go to Morphy Auctions for the Harley-Davidsons.

   For those of you who don't know, I prefer to use only one auction house, collector, or E-Bay seller for each blog.  I appreciate the help these fine people have contributed to the success of my blog, and it wouldn't be fair to mix toy images from several sources. I receive between 160-350 page views per day. That's not  on the top 100,000 blogs in the world, but after about 2 years or more, I'm happy for now.


   In working on the images and descriptions from Morphy Auctions, I was able to learn a lot about the Hubley Harley-Davidsons. I'm still missing a lot of the puzzle, but there is a lot of information that was quite interesting to learn. I don't have a lot of dates, but as it turns out, the early Harley-Davidsons and the Indian motorcycle toys had decals (stockers) on them. Later, the stickers were replaced by the Harley-Davidson name that was raised up from the cast iron mould. 

   The story behind the above toy is quite interesting. I'm a bit confused by the written description, so perhaps some export might help me out.   The toy above was made after Hubley had stopped using the "Indian" and Harley-Davidson names. My confusion lies in the fact that the decal "Harley" was still on the side of the toy.

   Julian Thomas had received this unique toy from Mr. J. E. Buubaker's family. Mt. Brubaker was a Hubley toy designer.  Mr. Julian Thomas is a highly-successful toy parts seller, as well as an author and authority on toys. When I was buying and selling toys on E-Bay, I initially would sometimes buy "wrecks", and then purchase parts from Mr. Thomas to put the toys "whole" again. However, these "restorations" are not for everyone (buyers). When I needed a particular part or needed assistance, I would phone the company, and would speak to Mr. Thomas' son or his daughter Julie. Julie would  always help me, and keep me up to date regarding my "small orders". Now thats service!  Mr. Thomas even made a new generation of cast iron toys from old cast iron toys, that I assume were no longer owned by anyone. His toys nowadays are quite in demand, and I was surprised to see how much that they sometimes are purchased for at auction!

   Notice that the toy has a yellow ball and a cord attached to the front of the toy on a ring.  These toys are called "pull toys' as they were pulled by children on the road or on sidewalks. THis particular toy was a showroom model,hence it is almost in perfect condition!

The above cast iron Hubley Harley-Davidson is described as having a "sport rider". The lady rider and the "sport" driver are quite rare. 

Here's the "sport" driver only. If I ever edit this post, I'd like to find out when Hubley changed from nickel-plated spoke wheels and rubber tires to simply metal spoke wheels.

If you compare the 2 orange police officers on the above 2 pairs of photos you'll notice several things that are different between the two:

1. Notice that the lower photos have round decals compared with the original rectangular decal of the topmost photos.

2. The smaller  bracket under the policeman's feet has changed in the paint theme, as well as from  steel wheels to wood wheels and white small rubber tires. As well, this particular model of motorcycle would make a "clicking" noise to represent the roar of the Harley.

3. The angles supports from the steering wheel to the front wheel are different between the 2 motorcycles. The top one has both supporting rods straight, while the bottom one has one straight and one curved towards the rider.

4. The top has a dual pair of headlights, while the bottom one has a single  headlight.

There are a few more differences still to be noticed between the two models.

Notice the raised gold letters of Harle-yDavidson. 
If someone out there knows when the transition from decal to raised lettering occurred, would you please send me the information.

On this particular Harley, the lettering is not raised but embedded (etched) into the gas tank. Also, only the initials H-D are presented compared with the entire names before or would that be later?  

Here's the final model with the letters raised for comparison  to the previous orange model where the lettering is "etched' into the side. It's not actually "etched' but was part of the original mould.

Thanks for droping by,

and as always, have a great part of the day,
wherever you may be.