Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Meccano's Exceptional Cars - Part II

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
    (Great weather if you're a duck!)

Meccano's Exceptional Cars
Part II

This is the second part of a two part story about Meccano's great Motor Car Constructor Outfits (Kits). These were manufactured in the 1930's and came in parts, tools for assembling the toy, and of course instructions. Meccano also built ( I didn't know that!) a series of cars that came pre-assembled.

As I was searching for photographs, I came to realize that Meccano had different-sized boxes for their cars. I assumed wrongly,that perhaps there was a change in design as time went on. However, the reason for the different sizes was due to the fact that Meccano had in fact made a "non-constructor (pre-assembled) model, and of course their constructor models called "outfits".

This kit came with additional parts that would allow the child to create different cars. What I also found in researching this post was that there was also a special additional kit that could be purchased. This would allow the child to add lights with wiring and I assume a battery in order to give light to the headlights.

I'm assuming that that huge handle to the side of the driver is a brake.
Also notice that the toy was build with right-sided driving. I know in canada, when I was a kid, we had Meccano sets. I wonder if they made left-handing steering for us Canadians?

A 1930's complete set in its original box.

 You can see an extra rear part that came with this car.
removing the hard top, and chaining the back, would make the car more of a sports car than roadster.

The car also came with a clear celluloid windshield (windscreen) that 
was inside the metallic windshield frame.

I assume that this is 1 combination of parts that would result in this nice car.
Changing the roofs, the back, and adding a roof, would result in some of the cars that were presented above.

It's interesting how the celluloid yellowed over time on this car, yet in a previous car, 
the celluloid remained clear and neutral in colour. These cars also came with mechanical wind-up mechanisms. what's interesting is that when I went to (Great Britain),
 I saw some motors that were available for sale.
 Even toy cars have "scrapyards" to find replacement parts!

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

Meccano's Exceptional Cars - Part I

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
(Cold and cloudy-great if you're a duck!)

Meccano's Exceptional Cars
Part I

  Yesterday, I received an e-mail from a reader asking me a few questions. The first was how much might the value of this toy car be, and secondly, where he might get replacement parts. Not examining the photo (a copy of one of Bertoia Auctions that I wrote about), I scoured the Net, found the information, and sent him a reply. Just as I finished sending, I took a closer look, and I had sen him the wrong information.

  The reader had wanted information on a Structo (USA) toy that came as a kit to build, and I had send him all kinds of information on Meccano's car kits! Fortunately, I caught my mistake right away, found the correct information, and send him a new back of information.

  Before I wrote this blog, I only know of Meccano kits as coming in sets for erecting buildings or ferris wheels and so forth. However, as I write more anymore, I get to learn lots about toys. Meccano came in kits to build trains, airplanes ( a future post), and of Meccano Motor Car Constructor kits, or complete.

  As I was compiling my screen captures for the post, which was to become in fact 2 posts, I  found a treasure trove of great ephemera (written material) on Wikipedia. The material was contributed via the Brighton Toy and Model Museum, and so I decided to credit them and add their logo. I will be writing to them to see if I can in fact use their photos, because the image usage was not 100% clear. Of course, as I am writing to them, I will be asking if I might write them up on  my blog.

The Meccano Motor Car Constructor Kits were manufactured in the 1930''s in Great Britain. They came with beautiful artwork of their car on the box. Inside was the kit with tools to assemble the car, as well as extensive sets of instructions.

*Please view the Brighton Toy and Model Museum screen captures in Google Blogger's slide mode. You will be better able to read the writing.

What I always like about the old advertisements is that more often than not, the images were drawn rather than photographed. The original advertisements are sometimes as valuable in terms of their worth compared with the actual toys.

Please go to the next post to see the beautiful photos (courtesy Bertoia Auctions)
that accompany this first post of two.

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

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Classic Boatworks and a Great Airplane

Tuesday, April 29, 2014
      (Partly sunny and warmer)

Classic Boatworks
and a Great Airplane

   It's about 05:15 a.m. and I'm starting the day. What's going to be today's title? I started with "A New Seller and a Great Airplane, but I had previous used "New Seller" in several introductions, so why not use the actual name of the company. And so I decided to use Classic Boatworks in the title.  Google Blogger spellcheck now keeps telling me to correct the name, but I can't - go figure, that is the name!

   I had written to the ebay store, and got a speedy reply. Mr. Dean  Reynolds gave me the "go-ahead, and we then wrote back and forth. Dean photographs his items on nice white and red satin materials, so that you know it's his item for sale on ebay. I sent Dean several variations of one of the airplane photos, and he said that he's be fine with the airplane against white, and so that's what I decided. However, I still like the concept of people adding their own way of telling viewers that that is their item for sale. I think that's smart, because when you're on ebaor Liveauctioneers, there are thousands of toys for sale, and if you already have dealt with 1 person and are happy with him or her, then why not continue? By identifying your photos with a particular style or item, it's easy to match up the item with the seller quite easily.

   In the end, I decided to include several variations of Dean's airplane to illustrate what I mean.  I even included 1 photo with the nice red material - that one worked superbly with the red! 

Dean and his wife, Angela work together in their several businesses.  

The actual Classic Boatworks is a business where all kinds of vintage boats and boat parts and accessories are for sale. I took a sampling of some of the times to show you. I'd been wanting to present non-toys from sellers because many of them have the most interesting items to see.

What's interesting about these vintage parts is that they are still around. Even boats and boat parts are useable and collectible. I haven't been in a modern-era speedboat, but I'm sure many of the parts are plastic and the measuring instruments are digital.

And now for that airplane that caught my attention!

Air France Tin Litho Wind-up Plane Jostra F-PA-N-AM Paris to New York RARE

Air France Tin Litho WAir France Tin Litho Wind-up Airliner 
                                                          Made in France by Joustra 
22" Long x 23" Wingspan x 6½" High at the nose  ( 558 mm x 583 mm x 165 mm)
Nose and cabin lights Passenger cabin windows covered with red cellophane type material 
See the plane on YouTube.One blade was broken off one propeller - repaired with a wire for strength and solder (see photo) Battery box is missing from what I can tell.  I added a two AA battery box 

The battery box is held in place with velcro so it can be easily removed if an origianl battery box is found. If you are looking for a unique and very rare center piece for your collection this is it 
This plane is delicate and probably why they are so rare. This toy airplane would not survive most kids 
Air France began flights from Paris to New York in 1946. In 1947 Air France was flying Lockheed Constellations worldwide Based on this information we believe the aircraft was produced between 1946 to perhaps the late 1940s and is an extreamly rare surviving example of this very cool model aircraftItem Number 0286 with a wire for strength and solder (see photo) Battery box is missing from what I can tell.  I added a two AA battery box. The battery box is held in place with velcro so it can be easily removed if an origianl battery box is found.If you are looking for a unique and very rare center piece for your collection this is it. This plane is delicate and probably why they are so rare .This toy airplane would not survive most kids. Air France began flights from Paris to New York in 1946. In 1947 Air France was flying Lockheed Constellations worldwide. Based on this information we believe the aircraft was produced between 1946 to perhaps the late 1940s and is an extreamly rare surviving example of this very cool model aircraft.*

* Description Courtesy of Dean and Angela Reynolds

 This is  Dean's classic photo identification. He always adds that nice satin red material, along with the white fabric.

 This is how I have been presenting toys. I like to extract the toy and add it to a white background because I feel that the toy presents itself best without any distractions.

If you read the begging description of this great airplane, you would have read that the airplane came with both a nose light and cabin lights. As well, the windows had red cellophane material covering the cabin windows.

Initially, I had retouched out the red in the cabin windows, thinking the red coming through was from the nice satin material in the back. But when I reread the description, I know I had made an error in my photo-editing. The toy came with a transparent red material . I wrote Dean back and mentioned this. I then redid the images to present the red window effect. After all, this is an important feature of this toy!

I did some minor work on this image.  In this case, the red works superbly. It's dark enough to not detract from the plane,but it's there to contrast with the blue colour of the airplane. Also, placing the lit plane against white, would lose the light effect of the front searchlight  on the airplane, which is a very important characteristic of this unique toy.

Here again, the red fabric works well.  It contrasts well with the blue airplane, and adds contrast to  a lot of white space. Also, by being out-of-focus, it doesn't distract from the airplane.

I've never seen an airplane toy with 6 propellers. It's amazing that a manufacturer would make one with such complexity, yet they did. And the front searchlight is also a great feature. I'm sure many of the children who received these toys had lots of fun playing with them.

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

Monday, April 28, 2014

An Amazing Find of Swedish Cast Iron Toys

Monday, April 28, 2014
              (Sunny and cool)

An Amazing Find of 
Swedish Cast Iron Toys

   Last night, before I shut down my computer, I checked my email and found Mr. Mike Matuska's  email and attachment for his 71st auction. Mike's company is in Sweden, and is called  Matuska doll and toy auctions.  About a year or so after I had been blogging, I thought that I'd like to invite people and companies from around the world to help me blog. This would allow me to write and add toys from the world rather than just what is on ebay (USA and Canada). What's great about being on a mailing list is that I get Mike's latest information on his upcoming auction. This this offers me an opportunity to search for new toys, and of course write about Mike Matuska

   When I awoke this morning, I decided to check out the auction, and as I was selecting toys to present, I kept seeing more and more Skogland and Olson's cast iron toys. Skogland and Olson were a fine toy company in the early quarter of the 20th century that made cast iron toys. When I first started blogging, I thought these particulate toys were exclusively American. I was wrong! So for today, before I present Mike's auction # 71, I decided to present his fine selection of Swedish cast iron toys. tomorrow, I'll try and present some exceptional European toys from his upcoming auction.

The Swedish Flag

The above image is a straightforward screen capture from Mike's website. I like to improve toy photos, and always ask the auction company or collector or seller if I may do this.

I haven't added any description here because  Mike's website is mostly in Swedish,but for english instructions about bidding. For tomorrow, I'll present some examples of Swedish to English translation. However, web translation sites are not 100% accurate, and so I don't want to add written descriptions that might be incorrect.

I would say that I think that the Skogland and Olson company made these toys mostly in the 
1920's-1930's. The airplane below is particularly interesting because it appears to have a pressed tin (or pressed steel) wing.  The propeller looks like nickel-plated, the tires are rubber, and the rest of the airplane is cast iron.

Mike's website has an enlarging feature that allows you to magnify each toy image. This is great when you want to see all the features and the condition of the toy.

An early 1920's -1930's Skogland and Olson Volvo which can be identified by their unique logo on the front grill (upper photo). Volvo is now owned by an India (Asia) company.

The toy is painted cast iron with rubber tires mounted on painted cast iron (?) hubs. There is a missing spare tire on the spare rim on the back of the car.

The above toy car is an early Chevrolet coupe (USA) made by Skogland and Olson in the 1920's.
Painted cast iron with painted  disk (?) wheels. The metal tires appear to be separate and mounted on metal hubs.

I like the painted blue disk hubs with rubber tires contrasting the bright red bus.
 There are rubber tires mounted on the disk wheels (hubs).

Again, that great blue and red colour theme! 
Painted cast iron with a nickel-plated driver.

This tractor is my favourite of all the Skogland and Olson toys presented today.

Well, I got to leave now. The day is sunny and I have to do my spring "chores"): 

1. Put away my winter tires in storage.
2. Store the salt, shovels, and large snow scoop.
3. Take out the summer chairs.
4. Start taking out the swimming pool leaf scooper and brush.

and on and on…….

(such hardships for a retired teacher!)

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

Sunday, April 27, 2014

So Many Different Farm Machines

Sunday, April 27, 2014
  (Cold, cloudy, and some rain)

So Many Different Farm Machines

   If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know that I always like to return to people or companies who have helped me out by allowing me to write about them. Today's contributor preferred to remain anonymous. I had written about him on  January 11, 2014, and at the time he had a fine collection of farm machines for sale.  I recently wrote about 2 weeks ago to ask if he'd like me to write anything, but I had not heard from him as of today. He had sold many more farm machine toys, and so I thought I'd present them.

   What's interesting about today's items is that they actually have been played with. I assumed that most farm toys were collected by farmers, but in this case, these were mod likely played with by their children.

It's truly amazing how many different machines there are for farming. This was just a "sampling", and if you were to  a search on the Net or on ebay you would find an astronomical amount of these fine models and toys up for sale. Of course, when you think about how many people live in cities and have to be fed, then you realize just how important the farmers are to society.

Thanks gor dropping by,
and I hope you have
a great part of the day or night,
wherever you may be.