Tuesday, December 31, 2013

All The Best for A Healthy and Happy New Year

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

All the Best for a Healthy and Happy New Year

   Yesterday, I was searching for a company logo which I had used in anther post, and wanted to add to a newer post. I couldn't find the specific one, so I didi a search on my computer and up popped hundreds and hundreds of logos. Many were duplicates, since that's what computer like to do - make backup copies and more copies.  I was so taken aback at how many different logos and of course people that I wrote about, that I decided to simply add all of the logos, and say thank you to all.

  If by accident, I forget to add someone, please, please write to me, so that I may add you to the post.
I'm adding the posts by no special order, but simply from the files of the search that I did on my computer.

So to all of my sponsors ,who are more like my friends
and to everyone who has ever visited this blog,
a big, big thank you. 

And as for the New Year,
 a wish for health and happiness,
and success in whatever you do.

Stacey Bindman

December 31, 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013

An Exceptional Pull Toy

Monday, December 30, 2013

An Exceptional Pull Toy

   As soon as I saw the photo of this toy, I know I wanted to see it larger.  I already wrote about the ebay company  -Traders of Lost Art  on November 11, 2013, but I like to revisit people, websites, auctioneers, and collectors again. 

  I can try and explain why I like this in terms of geometry, colour, the subject, but I cant quite explain to you why I like this toy so much. So the best thing that I can do, is show you the photos that Mr. Mradul Singhal took, and let you see if you also like this toy a lot.

I like nature and wildlife, so perhaps that's one of the reasons that I like this you. The beautiful rack on this deer , the prongs and so forth are designed so well.  Also the way the front legs are bent, as if the animal is jumping over something. I also like the contrast of the warm and cold tones - orange and blue, as well as the harsh the contrasting shapes (the deer, the antlers,and the radiating spokes of the large wheels.

Fantastic top view photograph!

A detail photo of the underneath of this toy

A close-up photo of the  deer's antlers.
The texture (indentations) of the deer's folds of skin are done exceptionally well!

I saved the  description of this toy for the last.
This was a"surprise" for me. 

The toy is:

A Huge Early Hand-painted German Deer Pull Along Wheel tin Toy, in Good Condition.
It's a very big collection piece.
Size:    18: x 6.5" x 10"      46 cm x 16 cm x 26 cm 
Weight:  2 Pounds 1.11 ounces   1082 grams 

Now that's  certainly a collectible!

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

Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Beautiful Collection of Toys for a New Year (2014) Auction

Sunday, December 29, 2013
     (Moderately Cold with some Sleet)

A Beautiful Collection of Toys
for a New Year (2014) Auction

   When I started out writing this blog, I purchased and resold toys on ebay. There was a slow period to sell toys, so I decided to sell off all my toys, and wait until the market picked up. I came up with an interim idea,which has since (so far) become permanent. I'd ask collectors, sellers, and auctioneers if I might use their photos. The Lloyd Ralston Gallery was one of the first auctioneers that I contacted.Mr. Lloyd ralston sadly had passed away much too young,but his two sons have done a marvellous job and keeping the company in excellent hands. I always like to go there to see what I can find for new writing material. And today, was as usual, most interesting. Some of today's toys I have seen, but I thought I'd share my personal felling with you.

Metalcraft was an American company manufacturing pressed steel toys in the 1920's-1940's (approximately). I like these toys because of the way they were made - pressed steel. Designers and other professional would have to create plans for heavy presses and dies to press the moderately thick steel sheet rolls into their form. After the pressed shake would be bend on their pre-cuts.

The idea of pre-determing the shapes and cuts always fascinates me to this day.
I'm sure these "artisans" worked with paper to pre-determine where the bends and cuts would be made, and made all of their plans the old-fahioned way - by hand and by drafting on drafting tables.

Today in the 21st century, I can imagine how these most-talented people would marvel at the computer and the accompanying software that today makes the world's toys.

Britains is most-famous for their toy soldiers (I believe lead). They have made these fine toys since the later 1800's and today. Almost every British regiment soldier has been sculpted, then moulds made followed by the pouring of molten metal. Later, the toys would be hand-painted.  

The fact that there are so many of these historic toy "documents" still around, and that every individual one (I would assume mostly the earlier ones) were hand-painted astounds me.
If you were to look at an auction listing and magnify any image, you would see slight variations in the painting of soldiers of the same kind. 

The Shackleton toy company (Britain) was only around for 4 years, I believe in the early 1950's.
Please excuse my approximations, as I'm running late in today's post and can't specifically cite exact dates. When I first saw this model which  I wrote about this only recently,I was awestruck. Although moderately "young" at a mere almost 60 years,it was made to last forever!

I tried to get the permission of a Flickr member to use his fine collection of Shackleton toy photos, but he denied me the permission. Someone had abused his permission, and thus his turning me down. However, if you go to Flickr,and search for "Shackleton toys",or Shackleton Trucks", you will find his marvellous collection of both these superb toys,and his fantastic photo collection of British (real) trucks.

The Arcade toy above has been restored with some purposeful scratching to give it that aged appearance.When I first started out writing,  I bought a few cast iron toys that were in my price range. What I like so much about this type of toy is that it's solidly built and heavy. There's something about a heavy weight in my hands that I like. I've had that feeling with ebony wood,where a small piece  of this wood is very heavy.

If you ever have seen any WWII photo of  Great Britain, or watched movies of the "Battle of Britain", you would have seen those "blimps" or barrage balloons as the "Brits" call them.
However, you never hardy ever see the accompanying "lorry" or truck,or at least I've never seen them. 

 Now I have!

What I thought was so ingenious is the fact that some collector had filled the repaired ballon with plaster, although to some other collector or bidder,this is a major "faux-pas" or mistake in English. 

Tootsietoy was an American company that made fine die cast small-sized toys. Tootsietoy is to America as is to Great Britain. The company lasted from approximately 1920-1960,when it was purchased by some huge company, and eventually closed down. If you like "old" of any kind,you can;t help buy like the old designs,especially of toy cars. Fortunately,I was able to be lots of these fine toys, and re-seel them All of the Tootsietoys are favourites of mine,  but the Grahams ( a car) are my favourite favourite of the Tootsietoys. I've written about this fine company many times,and never tire of writing amount these fantastic "minis".

It's funny that I would find several non-soldier Britains toys,when during normal search periods, I can never find them!  This is a beautiful collection of these small toys made of of animals and circus people.

 I've written about Marx toys plenty of times. At one time, Mr. Marx produced 1 in every 3 toys purchased in the USA. You cannot stop and think in admiration about how someone could be  so driven in his company and be able to be so successful at that time in history. Many of the Marx toys are lithographed wind-up toys,and are always in demand,. with some of the rarer toys yielding great returns to their owners at auction.

I don't know if I've begun to like toys like food,but I do. I like most foods, and have even tried exotic foods when Montreal had an International food tasting fair on Ile Notre Dame for several years. I've eaten alligator, (tastes like chicken) emu, red deer, and several other exotic food sources. However, as with food,I like almost every pre-1940 and even pre-1950 toy.

The toys above are more like "charms" or collectibles, but when I first saw them I was enthralled.
I even purchased a small set made by the Arcade toy company for my wife.

Dinky toys have been around in Britain  for a very long time, and are still in existence. The famous Hornby company now owns them. Just like  the Britains company, Dinky has probably manufactured every British type of mechanical truck or car that was ever made. Of course, they also make other toys as well. Most of these toys are small  (4" or 102mm), and the rarest of the Dinky can cost you thousands of US Dollars at auction. Of course, the original box is needed for those prices.

The year 2013, is now almost over, and it's been a big commitment on my part to blog almost every day. On days that I didn't blog, I wrote several posts on other days, so at the year's end,I've probably written the magic number of 365. 

Naturally, I couldn't write and continue to write without the help from my "toy friends" who have allowed me the courtesy to use their photos and write about them.  So I would like to thank the larger companies like Lloyd Ralston Gallery , and every other person, collector, auctioneers, store, repair person, or parts seller who has given me this wonderful new pass-time of writing. I used to write books when I taught pro photography, so writing was easier. However,if you were to ask me 3 years ago,could I write day in and day out a post about old and antique toys, I would have said "whaaaaatttttt?" with an expression of shock on my face. 

I have succeeded in attracting  many readers who have viewed 80,00) plus of my pages ( less 5-15% for referrer spam). which in Blogger language are called"page views". I would like to escalate readership even more.So if you have friends, neighbours, or fellow sellers , auctioneers,who like to read,or would even like to have me write about them, but all means tell them about my blog.

As the year ends, I want to thank everyone who has helped me,written to me, and read my blog.

Stacey Bindman

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

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Beautiful Kingsbury Trolley

Saturday, December 28,  2013
                (Very Mild and Cloudy)

A Beautiful Kingsbury Trolley

   In 1955, our family moved to a part of Montreal called Outremont. We had outgrown our previous triplex apartment unit,and so we moved. About 1956-58, the City of Montreal decided to retire their streetcars, as we called them here,and modernize to busses. I remember vaguely that the streetcars were made of wood and of course steel, rode on steel tracks,and got their power from overhead electrical lines. When I was in San francisco many years later with my wife Heidi, we rode the trolley and it was a great experience. Of course, with Montreal winters, that experience would have been much different!

   So when I saw the Kingsbury trolley, I know immediately that I would have to post it for today. I have the pleasure and permission to use the exceptional "discoveries" that I always find on Opamerica's ebay store site. They have an excellent sales record and reputation, and  have a broad range of toys in terms of people's interests and budgets. And as a blogger, I like them because they take great photos, and I donlt have to improve them very much.

Fantastic photo - my favourite.
For those who don't know, I'm also a pro photographer.
I like that slightly-compressed foreground to background view.

 That round shape between the wheels on the left of the bus is the Kingsbury 
wind-up mechanism.  All of the moving Kingsbury toys appear to have this unique mechanism.
The painted blue tires is a small detail,but certainly caught my attention.
And the tires that are still intact after so many years!

I hope everyone is having a happy holiday, 
and having a good rest from the day-to-day 
hectic regiment of work.

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

Friday, December 27, 2013

Come Fly With Me.....

Friday, December 27, 2013
                    (Mild and overcast)

Come Fly With Me.....

    I remember the American Airline motto and song that always appeared on Tv in the 1960's-70's when we used to watch American NFL Football every sunday.  As usual, I was browsing through ebay's website, when I came across this beautiful orange and blue toy. It's a 1941 pull toy from 1941.  Being a toy having been produced during WWII, I would presume that it was purposely made from wood,as metal was in short supply and was being used for the war effort.

    I was fortunate enough to find this toy at Randy's Toy Shop, a fine seller with whom I have the pleasure and permission to use his great selection of toys, and excellent (as usual) photography.  With the photographs, you can see the ingenuity as to how the propellers work. 

   The above low-camera angle photo is excellent in terms of the way it adds a sense of "majesty" to the toy, as well as illustrating exactly how the propellers work.  Metallic coiled spring wires are attached to the axles on the inside of the wheels. As the toy is pulled along by a string (missing), the wire turns two axles inside both wings. Those axles  are connected to directly to the propellers.

There's another photo (above) to illustrate  how the propellers rotate - ingenious!

The design graphics are great! 
What I also like is the ingenuity of the rear support for the airplane - a bent wire.

I like old-style fonts, and the Fisher-Price logo is just that - circa 1941!

Another great photograph with a wide-angle effect.
What's interesting is the fact that the wood is so coarse, and wasn't planed and sanded smooth.
I wonder of that had to do with the conservation of electricity during WWII times, or just was made like that for a "folk-art" effect?

As usual, Randy presented a most -interesting toy with great photography.
What more could we ask for?

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

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Beautiful 1920's Structo Convertible

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Beautiful 1920's Structo Convertible

    I hope everyone had a great Christmas and Holiday yesterday, and are either resting, or running out for those Boxing Day specials. I 've been relaxing (as if I don't do enough of that!), and taking care of my neighbour's pets,since she went for a vacation in Florida with her 2 young boys. I feed her fish, turn a light on her lizard, and feed her 3 cats and give them fresh water. Two of the cats are friendly while I've yet to ever see the third one. I've seen him just once-ever.

    I had a brief visit to ebay, did a search for antique toys,and saw today's beautiful toy - a beautiful Structo convertible. What caught my attention was the fact that the convertible top was leather, and it was still there after at least 90 years. Also, the wind-up mechanism was very-complicated looking and well made.

   What also caught my attention, as a photographer was that Mr.Bob Citero knows how to use his built-in camera flash to add light into the shadows of his photos. On a bright sunny day, the contrast is too much for even a digital camera to handle. So what you can do is use a white cardboard reflector, a commercially available fold down silver reflector, or use the camera flash. What all three do is to add light into the shadow areas. As a result, you have more detail in the dark (shadow) areas), less contrast, and a better overall exposure. The important thing is to add just the correct amount of light. Too little and the shadow detail will be lost. Too much, and the effect of a sunny day will be lost when you add too much light to the shadows. All you have to do , is run a test. get the correct exposure just with the camera. Then pop up the flash, and run a series of tests as you adjust the flash exposure to -1, - 1/2, normal, + 1/2, and +1 flash exposure. One of those exposures will be just right.

(Bob Citero's ebay store name)

I had used the above technique with a fine Dutch toy seller,and decided to use it today. All I do is select the non-car parts of the photo, then remove the saturation (colour). I was going to go with my white background, but decided with this style. In this way, I could let Bob's excellent handling of his camera illustrate how the flash added just enough light into the shadow areas to allow you (the viewer) to see good detail there.

If you look carefully at the photo above, notice that there are 2 shadows. Behind the wheel on the right side of the photo is a very dark and distinct shadow, and a light and softer larger one.
Since there are 2 shadows, there has to be 2 light sources!

 I sent Bob an e-mail to say that his post was posted and that would he please proofread to see if anything needed correction or change. I also complimented him on his fine photography,both in the focus and the use of flash-fill. It's great to see sellers who make the extra efford to takequality photos.

If you look carefully behind the convertible top resting on the red part of the car, 
there again are 2 shadows.

 2 shadows once more.

There must have been a rear-mounted spare tire on the back of the  toy.
That's what that hole was for - to use a screw nut and bolt to fasten the tire.

That lever to the right of the steering wheel must be an on/off switch.

The large butterfly nut must be the wind-up mechanism.

You just got to love that leather convertible top!
90 years "young" and it's still there! 

A slightly different view of the convertible top.

Wow - look at the complexity of this wind-up mechanism. 
I've always been amazed at European early 20th century wind-up mechanisms, but this Structo easily is on the same skill and design level as any European toy of that era!
And don't forget that this toy is 16"  (40.7cm) long

This is what I would have wanted in 1920 for my Christmas present.

Maybe someone on ebay is having a Boxing Day special (in my dreams!).

Thanks for dropping by,

and have a great day,
wherever you may be.