Antique And Collectible Toys

Collecting antique toys, from dolls, games, tin, teddy bears, and companies like Disney, Ideal, Barbie, and games fashioned from television shows, like Dark Shadows

Antique toys encompass a very wide range, including Dolls, Games, Tin Toys, and Teddy Bears, just to name a few. Among these are then other categories, broke down even more, often by a famous name or company, such as Shirley Temple or Disney. As wide a selection as there is, there are as many different types of collectors. Some who collect across the whole span of whatever they encounter, to those who only collect a certain type or name. Let us look at some of these categories so the beginning collector, or someone experienced, but looking to spread their collecting wings in a new direction, can develop a feel for what may be out there hiding in an undiscovered toy-box, corner of a dusty barn, maybe even their own attic.

Tin Toys

A longtime favorite of many collectors, toys made of tin were made in nearly every possible configuration. Airplanes, trucks and cars, animal shapes, people, even cartoon characters. Many of these were simple pull toys; others, elaborate, moveable specimens, such as a merry-go-round, complete with music. Also common among tin toys, were useable items, like sand pails and shovels, brightly decorated with wonderful summer scenes, including flowers, children playing, zoo animals, etc. All of these examples are very desirable, especially if found in good condition with little or no rust.

Teddy Bears

Manufactured Teddy Bears are not as old as some might think. First made in 1902 as a gift for the President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, hence the name "˜Teddy' -bear, they were also first made overseas at roughly the same time. Steiff, a German company, is a brand that many collectors look for today. Bears were often made of wool, mohair, felt, and stuffed with what was available, often sawdust. Jointed bears are a favorite, as are editions that had "˜growlers' or noisemakers, inserted in them. A problem that new collectors run into when searching out authentic Teddy Bears, is telling the difference between reproduction teddy bears and authentic versions, as many companies that made bears and marked them, still make them today. Then, other bears that are worth collecting may never have been tagged at all. A good rule to keep in mind when collecting bears, or any item, is only collect what you find desirable, what you like, never collect for resale value, unless you are certain of what you are buying.


Board games are top collectibles. One reason for this being that the games often depicted popular characters from television and the comics, including the likes of Dennis the Menace, GI Joe, Spider Man, Pink Panther, Captain Kangaroo, Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone. Even adult theme shows, such as Dark Shadows and The Six Million Dollar Man, had games fashioned after them. Many of these same figures were also available in decks of cards, and finding a complete deck, still in it's original wrapping, would be a good find. Board games are often not complete, as pieces are lost through the years, so again, finding a complete set would be an excellent find.


Dolls are so varied that you will collections and specimens beyond your imagination. Baby dolls, walking dolls, German dolls, American manufactured dolls, and hundreds more of distinctions. Dolls have categories such as porcelain, china, bisque, or cloth. Sleeping dolls, animated dolls, or dolls that pee. Barbie and other Mattel dolls have a following all their own, as does Betsy Wetsy, by Ideal. The Ideal Company also produced such favorites as a Smokey the Bear doll, Wizard of Oz character dolls, Peter Pan, Pinocchio, and many others. Many companies, as advertisement for their products also issued dolls as premiums. An example of this is the Blue Bonnet Sue doll, or a white or a black, composition style doll, issued by the Mobil Company as a premium for gasoline purchases.

While these listings may seem like a lot to weed through, they barely touch the surface of toy collecting. Marbles, spin tops, trains, model boats, and automobiles, cap guns, miniature kitchen sets, child sized tools, and a never ending assortment of other adult items in child sized versions, are just more examples of what a huge selection is out there, waiting for you to start collecting. Toy collecting is a simple way to extend our pleasure of fun things into adulthood, and allowing us to have an excuse for needing "˜just one more Barbie'!

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