Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Looking for classic toys

For a while, I've been wanting some toys to photograph. I want some classic toys like they did it 100 years ago, made of wood or metal, not plastic. And with nice colors, not just bright colors. (The clashing neon colors on modern toys make me puke.)
And what makes it really difficult is that I'm looking for things that are visually arresting. Things I consider beautiful. And complex is good.  I know they exist, I have seen them, but they are so durn rare. 

I've tried in toy stores, and I've searched on eBay, but don't fin' nottin'!

Anybody know a source, either for actual old toys, or somebody making fine toys today? (Maybe for collectors instead of children.)
Toys that move might be especially interesting.


Alex said...

What you need is a toy and doll swap meet. I used to go to Dinky/Train swapmeets, they had some older trains, but not early 1900's.

I know you are averse to travel, but there were two good markets for collectors in Manchester, one was the Royal Exchange, the other the Corn Exchange, both an easy stroll from Victoria or the Arny, which is your side of the city anyway.

The other alternative is to try and hunt down a toy museum. Unfortunately the Matchbox Museum in Chester closed down. The other one I knew of was in Beaumaris, it was "The Museum of Childhood".

TC [Girl] said...

Found these two sites:

Traditional and Collectible Wooden toys

eolake said...

Thanks, guys.

Anonymous said...

Using "classic wooden toys" as a search term show 1,500,000 hits. Are none of those worthy?

Try "old classic wooden toys" or "old wooden toys"

Good luck.

Alex said...

Tin robots.

There are a boatload of classic 50's/60's style robots, either beat up or semi-collectable. Places like "Forbidden Planet" have them.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, aren't toys from that long ago - in good condition - really, really expensive?

eolake said...

Well. I suppose you're right.

I was sort of hoping maybe somebody made quality toys today also. If people will pay that kind of money for very old toys...

Alex said...

There are good wooden toys, Plan Toys is one brand, there is another, it's a couple of peoples names. Wendy and Doug or Mellissa and Doug or something. Though these tend to be solid, playable and cleaner in design than what I believe you are looking for.

Hamleys toyshop in London (do they still exist) and FAO Schwarz of NY have the sort of modern classic you are looking for.

Have you considered 1950's and 60's Matchbox and Dinky toy cars, or maybe even Tonka, Mamod engines, Lone Star, Meccano? There are independent dollmakers too, if you are serious about that I know some people who are involved in that area too.

Anonymous said...

Maybe this is what you're looking for? Their prices seem very reasonable.

eolake said...

Dave, you're right, very reasonable indeed.
At first I thought "way too colorful", but on second look, they really have something.