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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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2023 RADIANT CHARIZARD 020/159 CGC 9
May 23, 9:00 PM EDT
2023 RADIANT CHARIZARD 020/159 CGC 9
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $10- $100
$199 Bids
Jason Wu “Manhattan Moods™ Candi®” by Integrity Toys
May 29, 6:00 PM EDT
Jason Wu “Manhattan Moods™ Candi®” by Integrity Toys
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$328 Bids
2000 NINETALES BASE SET HOLO CGC 7.5
May 23, 9:00 PM EDT
2000 NINETALES BASE SET HOLO CGC 7.5
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $10- $100
$168 Bids
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DC DIRECT PORCELAIN COLD CAST MINI STATUES - (2)
Jun 01, 1:00 PM EDT
DC DIRECT PORCELAIN COLD CAST MINI STATUES - (2)
by Florida Estate Sales Inc.
Est: $120- $10,000
$807 Bids
3 Monsters from Godzilla Action Figures LOT 903
May 26, 5:00 PM EDT
3 Monsters from Godzilla Action Figures LOT 903
by Jones Auction House LLC
Est: $0- $0
$247 Bids
Cast Iron Toys
May 25, 9:00 AM EDT
Cast Iron Toys
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$507 Bids
Large lot of vintage marbles
May 25, 10:00 AM EDT
Large lot of vintage marbles
by TEG Auction Gallery
Est: $50- $110
$656 Bids
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DC DIRECT PORCELAIN COLD CAST MINI STATUES - (2)
Jun 01, 1:00 PM EDT
DC DIRECT PORCELAIN COLD CAST MINI STATUES - (2)
by Florida Estate Sales Inc.
Est: $120- $10,000
$906 Bids
Destoroyah Action Figure LOT 903
May 26, 5:00 PM EDT
Destoroyah Action Figure LOT 903
by Jones Auction House LLC
Est: $0- $0
$126 Bids
Lot of 4 Pop Figures LOT 696
May 26, 5:00 PM EDT
Lot of 4 Pop Figures LOT 696
by Jones Auction House LLC
Est: $0- $0
$186 Bids
Lot of 2 World of Warcraft Series 6 Action Figures
Jun 19, 11:00 AM EDT
Lot of 2 World of Warcraft Series 6 Action Figures
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $75- $150
$605 Bids
Lot of 2 World of Warcraft Deluxe Box Set Figures
Jun 19, 11:00 AM EDT
Lot of 2 World of Warcraft Deluxe Box Set Figures
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $100- $200
$805 Bids
Lot of Movie Maniacs Sota Toys Series 2 Action Figures
Jun 19, 11:00 AM EDT
Lot of Movie Maniacs Sota Toys Series 2 Action Figures
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $100- $200
$605 Bids
Big Godzilla Action Figure LOT 903
May 26, 5:00 PM EDT
Big Godzilla Action Figure LOT 903
by Jones Auction House LLC
Est: $0- $0
$125 Bids
3 Monsters from Godzilla Action Figures LOT 903
May 26, 5:00 PM EDT
3 Monsters from Godzilla Action Figures LOT 903
by Jones Auction House LLC
Est: $0- $0
$145 Bids
Lot of 3 Godzilla Monster Action Figures LOT 903
May 26, 5:00 PM EDT
Lot of 3 Godzilla Monster Action Figures LOT 903
by Jones Auction House LLC
Est: $0- $0
$125 Bids
Marx Power Shovel
Jun 10, 5:00 PM EDT
Marx Power Shovel
by Atlee Raber Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$405 Bids
Banpresto Dragon Ball Super Super Saiyan Gogeta Vol. 7 Solid Edge Works Statue Bandai Figurine in Original Packaging
May 30, 6:00 PM AEST
Banpresto Dragon Ball Super Super Saiyan Gogeta Vol. 7 Solid Edge Works Statue Bandai Figurine in Original Packaging
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD40- AUD60
AUD354 Bids
Lot of 4 McFarlane Metallica Super Stage Figures
Jun 19, 11:00 AM EDT
Lot of 4 McFarlane Metallica Super Stage Figures
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $100- $200
$704 Bids
Lot of 2 World of Warcraft Premium Series 2 Figures
Jun 19, 11:00 AM EDT
Lot of 2 World of Warcraft Premium Series 2 Figures
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $100- $200
$704 Bids
World of Warcraft Premium Series 4 Moonkin: Wildmoon Figure
Jun 19, 11:00 AM EDT
World of Warcraft Premium Series 4 Moonkin: Wildmoon Figure
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $75- $150
$604 Bids
Lot of 3 World of Warcraft Action Figures
Jun 19, 11:00 AM EDT
Lot of 3 World of Warcraft Action Figures
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $75- $150
$404 Bids
Lot of 3 World of Warcraft Action Figures
Jun 19, 11:00 AM EDT
Lot of 3 World of Warcraft Action Figures
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $75- $150
$404 Bids
Lot of 2 World of Warcraft Series 6 Action Figures
Jun 19, 11:00 AM EDT
Lot of 2 World of Warcraft Series 6 Action Figures
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $75- $150
$604 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Toys - General


Bodnar's Auction Sales

Bodnar's Auction Sales

Jones Auction House LLC

Jones Auction House LLC

Finarte

Finarte

Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers

Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers