Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Toyclaus - Want to learn about Toys?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Want to Learn About Toys?

  Earlier on this week, I went to E-Bay to have a look. My attention was drawn to some nice Marx toys from the 1930's. So naturally (for me that it),I had to check out the seller, and all of his/her toys. As it turned out, his name is Mr. Nathan Forman, and he's been selling toys on ebay since August 1998. He's very busy now, but he promised to provide more  information about himself at a later date. In one of his listings for a toy, he mentioned that he was the past president of the Western Division of the TCA (Train Collectors Association) in the USA.

  What caught my attention about Nathan was his excellent record of feedback from ebay buyers. Second, was presentation of 12 photos for most of his listings. And third, was his written descriptions of his toys. That's how today's sub-title "Want to Learn About Toys?" came about. It's rare that someone writes a lot of information about a toy, so when someone does, I read it. 'm like that - I like details, and how a toy works!


With these 12 photos,you can see exactly what this toy does (without a written explanation).
The front wheels turn left or right via the steering wheel, and the dump part of the truck tilts via a chain and handle mechanism. Nathan also described the wheels as aluminum - I didn't know that!

Once again, there is not much need for a written narrative to explain what this toy does. However, this is a Smith-Miller toy made in 1954. The company is still in existence and still makes an excellent product. These heavy-duty toys are in high demand and garner high prices at auction or sales. With the photos that Nathan took, that I forgot to mention are excellent, you can see why these toys are so  much in demand.  Everything is heavy duty, and still works - from 1954! I like the tilt of the dumpster via the piston, the heavy duty tires, and the doors that open and close!

I saved this Hubley 1920's-1930's cast iron grasshopper for last. It's one of my favourite toys, but I'll let Nathan's written narrative explain it all.

"Original, large size, Hubley cast iron pull toy grasshopper.  JUST LIKE THE GRASSHOPPER IN DISNEY’S, “GRASSHOPPER AND THE ANTS” Animated Cartoon.
This toy was made by the Hubley Toy Company of Lancaster, Pa. circa 1920's-1930's.
This example is entirely, 100%, original & complete in all respects. The toy retains all of its original colorful green paint which still has its superb original gloss intact.
The head has the original wire springs which form the antenna. The original red wooden hubs for the front wheels are present as well as the two original white rubber tires. There is a Hubley “Motorcycle Type wheel/tire” that is inserted in the crevice of his torso.  When pulled, the wheel/tire has a centrifugal motion that allows the grasshopper’s legs to move up and down, walking across the grass, getting ready to hop, skip, and jump, to the ant’s house.

Patina is all there.  Has few minor paint loss, very few as the pictures show. 
There are no flattened places on the large wheel. There are no repairs, no cracks, no chips to the iron, & no replaced parts anywhere on this toy. The toy is 100% original as shown in all respects. It is unusual to find one of these that is in this condition as nice as this is without any repairs or replacement components.
The only thing missing on this toy is the original pull string and wooden ball used to hand-pull for action.  Has the original loop for this on top of his head for string.
The middle sections of the large back legs are made of aluminum as issued and is correct.  The back sections of the large legs are made of iron and, they too, are correct. All of the rest of the components of the body of the grasshopper are made of iron.
The toy measures approximately 11 1/2 inches long with the legs extended out in the back and to the top front of the wire springs in the head.
The height to the top joint section of the large legs is 5 inches. The width across the middle lower legs is 4 3/8 inches. As the toy is pulled the flat spring under the toy runs across a gear & makes a sound in imitation of a grasshopper, A WONDERFUL AND UNUSUAL TOY WITH AN IMPRESSIVE SIZE.  DO NOT CONFUSE WITH SMALLER VERSION."

The reason that I like this toys is first for the fact that the Hubley company made it.  I can't imagine what made Hubley and its designers and salepeople come up with such an idea, but they did, and they sold many! However,it's the design and engineering of the toys that fascinates me. The toy moves, it articulates, and it makes noises, and all of this had to be designed. Just figuring out how to attach the 2 parts of the grasshoppers legs is a feat unto itself!

Please have a look at Nathan's fine photos in the slideshow mode of Blogger.There the photos are much larger than can be shown in the normal view mode.These photos are great, especially in illustrating how a toy works, or presenting the features of the toy. It's easy to see why Nathan is such a well-received seller on E-Bay!

Ah to be 7 years old again!

Thanks for dropping by,

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

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