Tin Toys

Tin Toys testify to the rebirth of an old tradition which in the decades before and after 1900 brought great pleasure for both children and adults alike.

Mechanical tin toys as our grandparents and great-grandparents knew and loved them, were in their time admired childhood companions.

In countries such as Great Britain, the U.S.A., Germany, France and Japan such toys were made. Not only were they pretty and colourful but with the help of a spring movement, they could move in a most pleasing fashion. There was an endless variety of wonderful tin toys.

By re-issuing old tin toys an attempt has been made to recapture some of the atmosphere prevalent in the tin toys made at the turn of the century and later decades.

Many originals, although produced in large quantities have been long lost, the victims in the hands of children who played with them until they fell to pieces or rusted. The few surviving examples are either in museums or with collectors who prize these valuable treasures.

Reproduction Tin Toys have been produced in the same way as they were 80 to 100 years ago. This means for the most part they are hand made.

Initially, sheets of tin are used onto which are printed designs with up to eight colours due to the different motives of the toys. These tin plates are then cut up. By using heavy presses exactly in the same way as they were years ago, the individual pieces are punched out. This is done by using heavy forms known as punching tools which cut the tin piece by piece. The pieces are then bent, shaped and trimmed. Most of the machines used today are over 60 years old.

The parts are then taken and assembled by hand. The final step is testing the toy before it is given a final polish and packed. It is time intensive work but it is the only way to faithfully reproduce the charm and character of the original toys.

As such, reproduction tin toys are just as delicate as toys of years ago. They are not nearly as robust as the toys of today. This has to be taken into consideration as the old originals could not be tested for strength and load without damaging them.

Tin toys are just filigree works in thin tin which are to be held carefully and respectfully in one’s hand. In the olden days both children and adults were aware of this. So the mechanical tin toys of today need exactly the same careful handling, if one is to continue to enjoy them.

The surface of the toys may be slightly scratched or blemished, which is unavoidable due to the nature of the presses which can have a pressure of up to 70 tons.

The clockwork spring is also not to be compared with the toy motors of today. The workings may jam or stutter occasionally. Give the model a little push and it will run further. But do not use force. A little sewing machine oil will work wonders on the spring but just a drop.

The toys will only run on even, not too smooth surfaces, carpets are too soft and linoleum, plastic and glass to smooth. Children a hundred years ago played on wooden floors and tables.

We wish you much pleasure with the toys, which we hope will take you back to those days of Yesteryear.

Remember that these toys are not designed for children who can become injured from sharp edges and corners. Do not put the toy into a child’s hands and think of your responsibility.