Vintage Tin Toys from Argentina. Some of the finest, most expensive and highly sought-after toys today are tin toys. Originally conceived back in the 1800s in Europe, this kind of toys rapidly spread around the globe. Only a century after the first tin toys were industrially produced, hundreds of companies from China to Japan, from Europe to America, tin toys had conquered the market of sophisticated toys. The range is hugely diverse, covering pull-along, clockwork, wind up, battery-operated, friction cars, trains, planes, boats, animals - in fact the manufacturers were enormously enterprising in the variety of toys they made. The early 1800’s were the times in which many German companies began to produce tinplate toys of outstanding quality and design. Bing (1863), Fleischman (1887), Lehmann (1881), Gunthermann (1880) and Marklin (1859) are some of the companies who firstly developed and set the high standards for the Germany tinplate industry. Due to the deep interest in tin toys in the old continent, other Germany manufacturers such as Arnold (1906), Tipp & Company (1912), Schuco (1912) and Levy (1920) continued to carry on the tradition. The European interest for tin toys would grow deeper during the early days of the 20th century mainly in France and England. The British companies continued to flourish after the First World War when the British public shunned all German products, including toys. Lines Brothers Limited (1919-1983), later known as Triang was a famous British company producing a range of fine wind up tin toys, Mettoy (Metal Toys) Company Limited (1933) flourished as it supplied toy lorries and aircraft to Marks & Spencer Stores. Wells-Brimtoy Limited was known for producing a vast selection of high-quality tinplate items, some of which are very unusual and highly collectable today, such as their clockwork fish (1954), flying Superman (1957), dancing Fairy Queen (1954), Mickey Mouse drawing tutor (1955) and walking pig and jumping kangaroo (1945). Reaching further towards the Far East, Japan appears as a head zone for tinplate toys. According to specialists, these kinds of toys first were produced in the Meiji and Taisho era, then Japan crafted conventional tin plate toys such as rattles, Jinrikisha(a rick shaw), and kamenoko. However, Japan’s worldly acknowledgment for been a major producer tin would take place during the late 1940's, 50's and 60's. As every where else, it was the early German industry the one who set the tone for the tin toy industry by means of importation of printing machines for the tin plate, and the technology of clockwork from Germany. Japan’s tin toy companies and manufacturers were and still are amongst the biggest, thought Marusan Co. LTD. with roots dating back to 1924 is still a major producer of toys. Yet one other trademark leader was the 1923 founded Masudaya builder of mechanical and battery operated toys. This company unlike most of their competitors managed to survive to this day. Featuring M-T, or Modern Toys logo these Masudaya toys are easy to spot by collectors. As to post war companies, we can point out Nomura, also known at TN and Yoshiya (1950--1970) also known as Kobe Yoko Ltd. specialised in mostly mechanical or wind-up toys featuring fanciful designs, but their extensive Robby the Robot knockoff toys have gained them also a strong popularity. Bandai (1950) was and is still a powerhouse in Japanese toy making. Masuo founded 1950's, also identified as Masuya, was a small Japanese toy maker best known for their mechanical and friction toys marked with an SM or MS logo type. 1950's Yonezawa, also known as Y, or Yone, was one of the biggest and certainly the most creative of all post war Japanese toy makers had manufactured till the 70s thousands of different battery operated and mechanical toys in all categories. Horikawa industry robot/astronaut battery operated toys with great marketplace success.is one of the greatest contradictions, for this is one of the most successful post war Japanese toy makers, but one of the least respected by collectors. But a turning point in Japan’s industry took place under the American occupation of Japan, the tin plate toy industry was granted a right to resume its operation and export. Working as we stated in different articles, it was the tinplate leftovers of the occupation army what would become the raw material for the 50s-60s first tin toys. The United States also has a long history of tin toy manufactures. Philadelphia Tin Toy Manufactory, was the first toy manufacturer of record in America, working in the toy biz from as early as 1838. As important American companies of the mid-late 1800s we should point out George W. Brown Company of Connecticut, James Fallows and Company of Philadelphia, Althof, Bergmann and Company of New York, Ives Corporation in Bridgeport, Connecticut and the Leo Schlesinger Company of New York. Amongst these, we should definitely point out Brooklyn's Buckman Manufacturing Co. who produced its first early version of a steam-powered tin toy around 1872. In between wars, the US was the heart of mass produced tin, functioning as breakthrough for an industry, which thrived well into late 1950’s. Marx Toys, J. Chein and Co., Wolverine U.S.A. and the Ohio Art Company were some of the companies producing at that time what would latter become the highest most sought after tin toys for the collectors market of today. Spain, while not as popular in today’s collectors market, had also had great in toys manufactured by Paya Company. In 1902 Rafael Paya, a local tinsmith, made his first toy. Four years later he would have his first toy factory in Spain. By the 1920's Paya's toys were considered the equal of then great and famous toy makers to the north. Not only was Paya quality the equal of Marklin of Germany, but Paya's colors and imprints were graphically more interesting. The 1930's, were when the famous Bugatti race car was made. After the war, in 1946, Paya once again started making toys. Turning around the globe, we need to point out the importance of Chinese toys before this country became the producer of world’s toys very inexpensively. Not folk Chinese toys started as early as 1908 producing tin and celluloid toys featuring great quality and unique designs. However, we feel it’s important to highlight the fact often overseen: whilst indeed Chinese toys are noted for their cheap prices, this reflects negatively on the conception of their quality. China produces all sorts of tin toys ranging from reproduction to own creations with new ones being continually introduced to the market each year, they have elevated to a much higher quality standard, while retaining the edge of being very affordable. China. While the history of tin toys remains to our days, but in a less mass production feel, the eras pointed above were their golden ages of conception, design and production… It’s unquestionable that tin plate toys had gradually disappeared as plastic and super alloy toys emerged, those, nowadays being outcast by electronics and technological games. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------  Japan continued to produce high quality tin toys until after the World War II, tin cars, novelty toys, wind up toys, robots and celluloid animals. Mostly aimed for the American market, they where marked "Foreign" (rather than "Made in Japan") to ease international attitudes..
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Tin Taxi Friction SAXO made in Argentina
...... activities of the Buenos Aires Toy Museum, a virtual museum on the internet, where I am working on a research project on vintage toys and games from Argentina. This website is not only a virtual museum with permanent exhibitions, but also has information on shown items, their history and their cultural significance to Argentina, Latin America and world wide. We cover hand made toys as well as industrial items, objects abandoned in the last decade in favour of electronic video games. The Buenos Aires Toy Museum is intended to be a gathering point for those looking for collectors items from Argentina or information on them. I am the creator of the museum, an antique dealer and collector, interested in all kinds of toys, including robots and space toys. With the help of Florencia Rodriquez, Leonard Candiano, and Julian Rodriquez the museum has tackled many research projects on vintage toys. This group of three young university students works full time on the project, putting their heart and soul into the museum. They are working on two books, one on Argentine diecast cars, the other on toy robots, both soon to be published. We invite visitors to the website at www.ba-toymuseum.com.ar. The Spanish version has been updated and we are in the progress of updating the English one. Or you can contact me: Bob Frassinetti, Director, Buenos Aires Toy Museum, . Argentina. For more information on the Buenos Aires Toy Museum email: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Bob Frassinetti. Contact me by phone Skype, ID: Bob Frassinetti or you can also chat with me thru Yahoo, press here: Yahoo Contact Find me on MySpace and be my friend!