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Vintage Toys

August 6th, 2007 at 11:59 am

Recently, (Saturday) I bought my first vintage toy. It was a tin patriot drum manufactured by J Chein & Co. When I bought it at a yard-sale I was intrigued by its worth but after researching it I think it is more the manufacture (J Chein & Co) that intrigues me.

Here is a brief overview:

J Chein began his toy company in 1903. His trademark was all his toys were lithographed tin. He had a line of drums, coin banks, wind-ups, tops, and all his products were American made. In 1926, Chein died and his wife took over the company. She turned management of the company over to her brother Samuel Hoffman. He did very well with the company until the 1950s when the USA starting importing japanese toys. The japanese toys were less costly and competing with them caused the company to struggle financially. Even though Hoffman was already dealing with a decrease in sales he also refused to start producing plastic toys, which had become the new rage. In the 1960s the US government put limitations on tin toys because of safety reasons. Because of costliness in retooling their toys with smooth edges the Chein tin toy lines were stopped.

I love that they toys are American made and I love that faced with making them in plastic or not making them at all they chose to end their toy production line. Business-wise it was not the smartest decision but morally I think it was a wonderful decision. Hoffman felt that plastic was an inferior product and he didn't want to use it.

I am guessing with the Fisher-Price "debacle" (oh I mean) Recall that the lithographed tin toys are safer for my children to play with then the plastic lead paint toys!

Any vintage toy collectors here in "frugal world"?

To check out my other blog click here:
http://toysonsale.clubmom.com/

2 Responses to “Vintage Toys”

  1. disneysteve Says:

    Can't say that I personally collect them, but I'm very well acquainted with them and am friends with some serious collectors. I collect Disney memorabilia and my collection includes some items dating back to the 1930's, but I never got into the vintage toys. I have one friend who has a world-class collection that has been featured in several collector guidebooks by Tomart and others.

  2. lou petrone Says:

    I just bought a j chein toy drum.It is about 3 feet around and 1 ft deep.It has an island seen on it looks to be from the 40s the island seen has black people with instruments and fruit on there heads only a little rip in it.can you tell me what it may be worth?

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