Errors in listings occur nearly every week for these valuable antique toys. Some are mistakes while others are intentional. I hope to provide the info that will help you identify the true facts about the Coney Island series. Buyers, if you have any questions about a Chein ride toy please message me. Sellers, if you want to make sure you are listing your Chein ride toy correctly please message me.
ROLLER COASTERS PICTURES TO COME
1949-1963 1964-1968 1969-1972
ROLLER COASTER First produced in 1949 by Eugene Bosch. Has a red & yellow stone base, orange tracks and a big side show on the front. Vendors sell salt water taffy, hot dogs, shooting gallery, etc. The cars have wings on their sides. Many people claim their toy is from the 1930's. This is probably due to the O'Brien's Toy Guide which provides this inaccurate information in every edition.
1964 A complete new lithograph with the tracks now red & white. Vendors sell hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn, etc. 2 duck ponds are on the inside base. The cars had the wings removed from their sides. Here you need to know the logos. On the sidewalk there will be a shield logo for the earlier versions, and Playthings for the final versions. Both versions will have another logo, a shield under the ticket taker's booth, but it's what is on the sidewalk that makes the difference. Many people claim their toy is from the 1950's. Not so. The Ski Ride and Disney Coaster are 2 other versions, and much more rare.
1930'S & 1950'S FERRIS WHEELS
PICTURES TO COME
1930's front 1950's front
FERRIS WHEEL It is a 1930's if the background is orange, the ticket taker is male, the vendors sell hot dogs and orangeade, and the side litho is a freak show. It is a 1950's version if the background is blue, the ticket taker is female, the vendors sell giant franks and frozen custard, and the side litho is a trained seal and hula dancers. Many people list their 1950's ferris wheel as a 1930's to get more money for it. Beginning in the 1960's, the ferris wheel was made with only 4 spokes and gondolas, and is much more rare. A Disney version also exists and is also rare.
Merry Go Round First produced in the early 1950's with a red base with the key wind on the side. The Chein logo appears on the side of the base. Later produced with a blue base and the key wind on top. Many people claim their red based version is the most rare. However, the blue base is the more rare, and is worth more. The rarest Merry Go Round is the one with the swans removed, as this was made for a short period in the 1960's when cost-cutting measures were being taken. No Chein logo exists on the blue base version. BEWARE: O'Briens Toy Price Guide lists this toy being from the 1930's, which is perhaps why ebay sellers do also.
Musical Mechanical Aero Swing early 1940's-early 1950's and somewhat rare. The earlier versions have a flag on the top. The middle version had a red tin cap on top. The later versions have a yellow tin or plastic cap. Flag versions are worth more. Chein used the same gondolas as the ferris wheel for this ride. No Chein logos appear on any aero swings. Aero-Whirlers used airplanes instead of gondolas, and are ultra rare. Some people buy after market planes and fake the Aero-Whirler, but the way to know that you are getting a true Aero-Whirler is to find a 5 plane version.
Ride A Rocket 1952. Chein shield logo appears on the top of the base. This was Chein's largest ride toy, standing at an impressive 18 1/2" high on a base 11" in diameter. 4 celluloid propellers were added to the otherwise all tin ride. Extremely rare if all propellers are original and in tact. The key here is original propellers. After market ones are sold all the time. The way to tell the difference is by sight and touch. The fakes don't look exactly like the originals, and the feel is not brittle like a 60 year old one would be.
Whip 1953 and very rare. Chein logos appear on most, but not all whips. This was never a huge seller so the whip ride is very hard to get ahold of.
The J Chein Co. at this time was feeling the tremendous competition that the new plastic toy companies were applying. Children were no longer content with a toy that just went around in circles. New companies emerged and presented children with plastic toys that lit up, made noises, and were much more interactive than winding a key and watching. The ferris wheel was reduced from six to only four gondolas. The merry go round no longer had the swans on it. The mammoth rocket ride was shrunk down to height of 12" on an 8" diameter base. In 1964, Chein gave their biggest seller, the Roller Coaster, a whole new look, and managed to squeeze 8 more years out of it before ending its reign. But by the early 1960's, the majority of the J Chein Coney Island series amusement park ride toys, had all been retired. Thus creating a collector's market for these old tin wind ups in either a rare, very rare, extremely rare, and ultra rare categories.
Message me if you ever need additional help, or have questions regarding Chein toys. I hope this guide helps take you through the various years, types, and versions of the many Coney Island Series toys that were made by Chein. From the more common to the ultra rare, collecting the amusement park rides can be great fun.