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Construction toy vehicles have been a part of history for generations. Before the commercialization of cars and trucks, construction toys were a mass assembly of components that later turned into the bare elements of dirt moving, hauling, and construction from the ground up.
Construction toys gradually became commercialized and enjoyed popularity with both boys and girls throughout the 20th century. With the combination of 19th-century construction sets by Meccano and Hornby and the onset of revolutionizing construction equipment, it became possible to construct a miniature Eiffel Tower with modern construction play toys to lay out the platform.
During the ‘30s, companies such as Erector replaced Meccano-made sets. They recreated the ability to use pressed-steel modern construction toys while assembling structures to boot. Soon after WWII, companies including Tonka and various other construction toy companies created a building boom in sandboxes throughout the world.
A ‘30s Buddy L International truck-mounted steam shovel with its original box sold at Randy Inman Auctions in March 2005 for $35,200
In 1909, Caterpillar opened a plant in East Peoria, Illinois to create large scale machinery. Later, the plant produced some of the finest model and scale model toys through direct relations with numerous worldwide toy companies
Toy companies including Reuhl, Eska, and Ertl manufactured superior construction toys after WWII. Reuhl began in the ‘30s, while Eska came about in 1945. Eska later took on the family name of Ertl and still exists today in Dyersville, Iowa