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Vintage and Antique Playsets

Vintage and antique playsets are sought out for a plethora of reasons. When something is coined and sorted into one of those two categories, it likely has history and character, it may be collectible, or it may appeal to you for a nostalgic reason. There are a number of things to consider before the purchase of an antique or vintage toy.

Who makes antique toys?

There are several different manufacturers of antique or vintage toys. They range from the obscure to household-name companies. If you are looking for a particular item, it is beneficial to first start with the company that made it. Some of the makers of playsets include:

  • Acedo
  • Nintendo
  • Corgi
  • Marx
  • Mattel
  • Matchbox
  • Little Tikes
  • Creepy Crawlers
What is the difference between vintage and antique?

Vintage and antique are often used interchangeably. Both terms stir up a mental image of something that is "old" but may not have any specific age. For something to be categorized as an antique, it should be 100 or more years from the time of its original construction. Agencies like the U.S. Customs office also have a standard of originality. According to these standards, the item must be less than 50% restored in order to be considered a genuine antique.

Vintage is a more relative term. These toys are sometimes also coined retro. If a playset is titled as a vintage product, it should reference the decade it comes from. One example is a vintage 1950s Marx Battleground board game.

Can you play with antique or vintage toys?

Many vintage or antique toys are structurally sound enough to be played with. This is especially true for board games, plastic figurines, playhouses, and other sturdy types of items. Some playsets may include paint or other arts and crafts materials. In these instances, if the toy still has the original parts, those products may need to be replaced. On the other hand, antique items made of fragile or delicate materials should be handled with care.

How should antique or vintage toys be cleaned?

Antique or vintage toys can be cleaned using normal methods. In most cases, the items can be simply dusted with a non-abrasive cloth or duster. If the item has accumulated a concentrated amount of debris, take only a barely damp rag to the item. This is especially important if the playset has any paper or sticker components.

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