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Vintage Antique Pull Toys

The original pull toys were ancient Greek and Egyptian clay animals with wheels on their feet dating from around 2000 BC. The vintage and antique pull toys made from tinplate and cast iron are from the 1800s, and the vintage wooden toys are from the late 1800s into the 1900s. Other materials used to make vintage pull toys include folk art toys carved from wood by individual craftsmen and paper maché toys decorated with flocking, glass eyes, and other trims.

What are the differences in metal pull toys?

Antique tinplate and cast iron pull toys were made from the middle 1800s to just before 1900. Thin sheets of steel were tin-plated, and then cut, shaped, and assembled. The tinplate toys usually had cast iron wheels. They either had wheels attached to their legs or were on a base with wheels underneath. Around 1870, manufacturers started using molds to make these vintage toys entirely from cast iron. This enabled them to be mass produced.

When were wooden pull toys first produced?

In 1875, the W.S. Reed Toy company of Leominster, Pennsylvania, started making vintage wood pull toys. It decorated its vintage wood toys with bright and detailed lithographed paper. In Jutland, Denmark, Ole Kirk Kristiansen began making wooden pull toys in 1932. This was the start of the Lego toy brand. Fisher-Price started making vintage wood pull toys with colorful lithograph designs in 1930. Its toys featured animal and Disney character designs.

What is the history of the vintage Steiff pull toys?

In the 1870s, Margarete Steiff was a seamstress and felt-maker. She made some elephant-shaped pin cushions, but she noticed that her nephews played with them as if they were toys. That is when she started selling them in her shop. This was the beginning of vintage Steiff toys. The animals were made of felt with leather trim. The Steiff button was added in 1904.

What are the names of some other manufacturers?
  • The Rich Toy Company made vintage wood toys starting in the 1920s.
  • Empire started making blow mold versions in the 1950s.
  • Gong Bell Manufacturing Company made vintage wood versions with bells starting in 1872.
  • The colorful Kouvalias wooden versions are from the 1980s.
  • The Ted Toy-lers wooden versions were made in the 1920s.
What does AAFA mean?

It is an abbreviation of Antique Americana and Folk Art. It signifies that the item is an unenhanced antique and not a reproduction. The AAFA label is not an official designation from any organization, it is merely a descriptive term.

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