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Toys - General

Beyond ancient times, the first evidence of mass production of toys came in 15th-century Germany. Here, craftsmen produced a wide variety of toys, but none so much as Christmas holiday toys including elaborate miniature villages, belsnickles, and most of all, Noah’s arks. Artisans of the period produced their wares out of wood, cardboard, tin plate, and a host of other period materials.

Beginning in the 17th century, trade routes became the norm, creating a way to ship goods to England and on to the colonies. Though most of the materials were books, cards, and newspapers, the shipments also included children’s puzzles, games, and miniatures. Much of the material produced at the time has a heavy undertone toward religion, often using Christianity and animals or symbols associated with religion.

After the American Revolution, artisans opened workshops throughout the United States, carving unique and desirable toys out of wood. By the 19th century, wood toys turned into machine-made metal toys, revolutionizing the entire industry. In this same period, early production of cast iron toys came about, including some of the earliest toy cap guns created just after the Civil War. This period produced some of the most desirable tinplate and early mechanical toys ever manufactured.

Later in the 19th century, the method of sand casting was perfected, making cast iron toy production easier, most notably early mechanical banks. During the turn of the 20th century, technology made it possible to produce toys in the same manner as early cars and trucks. By the middle of the 20th century, battery operated, friction, and mechanical toys took over due to their unique mesmerizing movements that entranced children of all ages.


Quick Facts

  • An exceedingly rare Althof Bergmann clockwork Santa in a sleigh pulled by two goats sold at a James D. Julia Auction in 2010 for $161,000, the highest price ever paid for an American tinplate toy at auction
  • A rare Lionel special order 400E limited passenger train set in original boxes that had not seen the light of day for 70 years sold at Stout Auction in October 2006 for $253,000
  • Some of the biggest toy inventions in the 20th century include the hula hoop, Slinky, Silly Putty, Mr. Potato Head, Legos, the yo-yo, hacky sack, skateboards, Etch-a-Sketch, and the boomerang

Recommended Items at Auction

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MARBLES
Apr 18, 12:00 PM CDT
MARBLES
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$4917 Bids
JUNIOR CHAIN DRIVE WAGON
Apr 18, 12:00 PM CDT
JUNIOR CHAIN DRIVE WAGON
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$3713 Bids
A Collection of Fifteen Thunderbirds Figurines & Diorama Sets, Including 1992 Match Box Die Casts & 2000 Plastic Carlton Vehicles.
Apr 18, 6:00 PM AEST
A Collection of Fifteen Thunderbirds Figurines & Diorama Sets, Including 1992 Match Box Die Casts & 2000 Plastic Carlton Vehicles.
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD40- AUD60
AUD42510 Bids
MARBLES
Apr 18, 12:00 PM CDT
MARBLES
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$1410 Bids
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1960S JAPANESE TIN TOY STUNT CAR BATTERY OPERATED IN ORIGINAL BOX BY T.P.S JAPAN
Apr 18, 9:00 AM AEST
1960S JAPANESE TIN TOY STUNT CAR BATTERY OPERATED IN ORIGINAL BOX BY T.P.S JAPAN
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD809 Bids
BAG OF MARBLES
Apr 20, 11:00 AM CDT
BAG OF MARBLES
by Dees Auction Company,LLC
Est: $15- $25
$207 Bids
A Group of Dog Items Inc. Food
Apr 20, 10:00 AM AEST
A Group of Dog Items Inc. Food
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD506 Bids
Daisy Superman Krypto-Raygun Projector Pistol with Film and Original Box
Apr 20, 9:00 AM CDT
Daisy Superman Krypto-Raygun Projector Pistol with Film and Original Box
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$906 Bids
TOY CAP G..
Apr 18, 12:00 PM CDT
TOY CAP G..
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$44 Bids
The Corner Grocer Children's Toy Set
Apr 20, 9:00 AM CDT
The Corner Grocer Children's Toy Set
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$304 Bids
Marx Electric Robot and Son Plastic Toy
Apr 20, 9:00 AM CDT
Marx Electric Robot and Son Plastic Toy
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$304 Bids
Various Marbles and Leather Pouches
May 06, 9:00 AM EDT
Various Marbles and Leather Pouches
by Atlee Raber Auctioneer
Est: $10- $1,000
$704 Bids
Funko BAZOOKA JOE Wacky Wobbler Toy Bobble Head Figure
Apr 19, 10:00 AM EDT
Funko BAZOOKA JOE Wacky Wobbler Toy Bobble Head Figure
by South Florida Auction & Estate Sale Services
Est: $6- $1,000
$153 Bids
Forbidden Planet Robby The Robot Toy
Apr 20, 10:00 AM MST
Forbidden Planet Robby The Robot Toy
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$153 Bids
Three Geoffrey Beetem Art Glass Marbles
Apr 23, 12:00 PM EDT
Three Geoffrey Beetem Art Glass Marbles
by C Biddle Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$403 Bids
OUTER LIMITS THE ZANTI MISFITS, SEALED IN BOX
Apr 20, 10:00 AM EDT
OUTER LIMITS THE ZANTI MISFITS, SEALED IN BOX
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$603 Bids
BILLIKEN MECHANICAL WALKING GODZILLA w/ BOX
Apr 20, 10:00 AM EDT
BILLIKEN MECHANICAL WALKING GODZILLA w/ BOX
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$603 Bids
A Toy Set Marked Monster Jam
Apr 20, 10:00 AM AEST
A Toy Set Marked Monster Jam
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD303 Bids
Vintage T. Cohn Inc. Childrens Halloween Noise Maker
Apr 20, 9:00 AM CDT
Vintage T. Cohn Inc. Childrens Halloween Noise Maker
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$253 Bids
(2) Cases With Marble Collection
Apr 20, 10:00 AM MST
(2) Cases With Marble Collection
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$403 Bids
VINTAGE TOYS & RELATED ITEMS
Apr 24, 9:00 AM CDT
VINTAGE TOYS & RELATED ITEMS
by Jackson's International
Est: $25- $50
$403 Bids
A Group of Baby Accessories Marked Tippy Tommy etc.
Apr 20, 10:00 AM AEST
A Group of Baby Accessories Marked Tippy Tommy etc.
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD303 Bids
Horikawa SH Tin Litho Fighting Robot Toy
Apr 20, 9:00 AM CDT
Horikawa SH Tin Litho Fighting Robot Toy
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$353 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Toys - General


Auctions By Moldenhauer

Auctions By Moldenhauer

Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers

Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers

Bodnar's Auction Sales

Bodnar's Auction Sales

Milestone Auctions

Milestone Auctions