This blog discusses old toys from the early 1920's to the end of the 1950's. All kinds of topics are discussed.
The time span was the greatest period for "hands-on" toys, where a young child could actually go outside and play for hours at a time.
You can see the elegance but simple design of these toys. It was a time when huge machines, and people made and finished toys by hand.
The era has long passed, but many of the toys are still around, and that is what I would like to share.
"Johann Distler, Nuremberg, Germany, 1895 - 1968. Produced lithographed tin penny toys, comic and erratic action transportation toys. The company "Johann Distler KG" was established in Nürnberg in 1895. Johann started as a penny-toy manufacturer, specialized in lithographed tin toys but his range of products comprised 500 items. In 1917, Distler took on Brown & Mayer as partners. His partners took over when Distler died in 1923. Eventually, in 1935, they sold out to Ernst Volk.
After the Second World War Distler started to produce electric trains and, later, electric toy cars as well. Distler's electric model of the Porsche 356, produced since 1955, was beautifully designed. Distler's also made more simple models, but these were usually sold in department stores. Unfortunately, in the beginning of the 1960s, the company could no longer maintain it's position against the larger brands like the German Marklin, and Trix, and the British Dinky Toys.
The production in Germany was discontinued in 1962. The company was sold to a firm in Belgium (including machines and production rights), where Distler Toys S.A. in Nivelles continued to produce under the Distler brand name until 1968.Distler not only made toys, but also electric shavers." *
*History Courtesy Fabtintoys.com on ebay
Germany, a fabulous oversized tin lithographed racer, striking graphic pipe images
on sides,bonnet (hood) vents embossed, spare wheel graphics on tail rear,
seated tin driver, features electric headlights and clockwork (wind-up key) mechanism.
Length: 20" 508 mm
A bright German-made tin lithographed car with separate side pipes, spare tire
mounted on side, seated driver, clockwork wind-up by key.
Length: 12 1/2" 318 mm
Lithographed tin by Distler of Germany. The design is based on an AUto-Uniobn racer by Bernd Rosemeyer*. Seated driver, clockwork driven by a key wind-up, nice detail to rivet graphics on body.
I often like to revisit people and companies who have given me their permission to write about their fine toys and to be able to use their photos. When I revisited the Opamerica Toy & Bank Museum, I wash;t disappointed. I had to go to their already sold part of ebay in order to view what they had already sold, as they didn't have anything up for auction at the moment.
I came across a rare Marx wind-up mechanical coupe with battery-operated headlights. The 1933 toy was in superb condition, albeit the lightbulbs were most-likely modern-era replacements.The toy is made from lithographed tin, and is wound up with a key on the rear right side of the toy.
The toy measures (L x W x H): 8" x 3 1/3" x 3" (202 mm x 82 mm x 71 mm).
The condition of this toy surely is quite amazing for being 84 years old. You don't find such old toys in such good condition, and I hope that you enjoy this toy, as much as I did.c
I received an e-mail from my friend Ed who is the owner of Antique Toys. He had a very nice Fokker cast iron toy, but was in a quandary. His O'Briens "Collecting Toys" book identified the toy as an Arcade, However, Ed's knowledge of these cast iron toys had characteristics of a Vindex toy. Ed e-mailed me to see if I could find information in my Arcade toy catalogues of yore. Unfortunately, my 1936 Arcade catalogue and the other one had no photos of airplanes, so I couldn't help Ed much.The best that I could do was to ask Ed's permission to use his photos of the toy, and ask any viewers if they could identify the toy. So this is basically what today's post is all about.
If anyone out there has a toy like this and knows what it is, would you please e-mail me with your photos, and any catalogue page scan that would cross-reference the catalogue image with that of the actual toy.
The photo below is one of an Actual Fokker airplane that the toy photos below are based on.
The dimensions of Ed's toy are:
L x W x H:
3 7/8" x 4" x 1 7/8"
98 mm x 101 mm x 48 mm
Ed wrote a more thorough and interesting article about his Fokker toy than I did. So if you visit the website address below, you'll have more information about why Ed is not sure whether the toyu is an Arcade or a Vindex.