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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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R. H. Brown & Co., brass barrel signal cannon
Dec 06, 9:00 AM EST
R. H. Brown & Co., brass barrel signal cannon
by Pook & Pook, Inc.
Est: $800- $1,200
$2,05012 Bids
Action Figures (15) MIP [Mad Max]
Dec 08, 9:00 AM PST
Action Figures (15) MIP [Mad Max]
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $70- $100
$1258 Bids
NOS EMBOSSED TIN THERMOMETER SIGN SUNCREST ORANGE
Feb 11, 9:00 AM CST
NOS EMBOSSED TIN THERMOMETER SIGN SUNCREST ORANGE
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$1507 Bids
EMBOSSED TIN SIGN DRINK DOUBLE EAGLE BEVERAGES
Feb 12, 9:00 AM CST
EMBOSSED TIN SIGN DRINK DOUBLE EAGLE BEVERAGES
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$907 Bids
Spawn (12) Figures [Dark Ages / Souls] MIP
Dec 08, 9:00 AM PST
Spawn (12) Figures [Dark Ages / Souls] MIP
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $50- $70
$1007 Bids
Funko Hikari (6) Vinyl Figures [ Buzz Lightyear]
Dec 08, 9:00 AM PST
Funko Hikari (6) Vinyl Figures [ Buzz Lightyear]
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $50- $70
$907 Bids
TIN SIGN BEAR WHEEL ALIGNMENT ODD VERSION
Feb 12, 9:00 AM CST
TIN SIGN BEAR WHEEL ALIGNMENT ODD VERSION
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$1506 Bids
Funko (18) Pop! and More MIB
Dec 09, 9:00 AM PST
Funko (18) Pop! and More MIB
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $60- $100
$806 Bids
EMBOSSED TIN THERMOMETER SIGN SUPER PYRO ANTI
Feb 12, 9:00 AM CST
EMBOSSED TIN THERMOMETER SIGN SUPER PYRO ANTI
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$1756 Bids
EMBOSSED TIN SIGN VICTROLA PHONOGRAPH ANNAHEIM CA
Feb 12, 9:00 AM CST
EMBOSSED TIN SIGN VICTROLA PHONOGRAPH ANNAHEIM CA
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$3005 Bids
Marvel Legends (10) Action Figures MIP
Dec 08, 9:00 AM PST
Marvel Legends (10) Action Figures MIP
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $80- $125
$1255 Bids
Action Figures (26) [Robotech VF 1J]
Dec 08, 9:00 AM PST
Action Figures (26) [Robotech VF 1J]
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $50- $70
$1005 Bids
Assortment Of Vintage Marbles, Boulders, Clearies
Dec 11, 10:00 AM MST
Assortment Of Vintage Marbles, Boulders, Clearies
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$555 Bids
Action Figures and More (30)
Dec 08, 9:00 AM PST
Action Figures and More (30)
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $50- $70
$1255 Bids
Marvel Legends (6) Action Figures MIP
Dec 08, 9:00 AM PST
Marvel Legends (6) Action Figures MIP
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $70- $100
$804 Bids
[COMICS] [FIGURINES] HERGÉ. TINTIN FIGURINES
Dec 07, 7:00 PM CET
[COMICS] [FIGURINES] HERGÉ. TINTIN FIGURINES
by Zwiggelaar Auctions
Est: €70- €120
€1404 Bids
Marvel (11) Action Figures and Collectibles MIP
Dec 08, 9:00 AM PST
Marvel (11) Action Figures and Collectibles MIP
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $80- $150
$704 Bids
Action Comic Figures (16) Assorted MIP [Hulk]
Dec 08, 9:00 AM PST
Action Comic Figures (16) Assorted MIP [Hulk]
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $70- $100
$604 Bids
6 marbles ranging from 1.75”-2” (no flat bottom)
Dec 08, 9:00 AM EST
6 marbles ranging from 1.75”-2” (no flat bottom)
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$354 Bids
Miscellaneous toys
Dec 06, 9:00 AM EST
Miscellaneous toys
by Pook & Pook, Inc.
Est: $80- $120
$804 Bids
DC Direct (6) Action Figures MIP [Batman]
Dec 08, 9:00 AM PST
DC Direct (6) Action Figures MIP [Batman]
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $50- $70
$603 Bids
Elseworlds (5) Series 1 MIP [Batman]
Dec 08, 9:00 AM PST
Elseworlds (5) Series 1 MIP [Batman]
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $50- $70
$503 Bids
Character Action Figures (15) DC Direct/Comic MIP
Dec 08, 9:00 AM PST
Character Action Figures (15) DC Direct/Comic MIP
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $70- $100
$603 Bids
Marvel (7) Action Figures [Dr. Strange; Thor]
Dec 08, 9:00 AM PST
Marvel (7) Action Figures [Dr. Strange; Thor]
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $50- $70
$503 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Toys - General


Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC

Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC

Harley Jackson Auctioneer

Harley Jackson Auctioneer