Mr Arnie Prince founded Iron Man Toys around 1980 after evolving from auto restoration. His business was always based in Lodi, California until a recent relocation.
Arnie’s business started on a shoestring budget in the early1980’s, specializing in cast iron repair, and supplemented with custom cast creations. He recalls that his first complete custom was an 8″ Arcade-style taxi to Panel truck that was hand fabricated. Arnie made his living by restoring his finds and adding value; often taking on customer restoration jobs. His workmanship was always disclosed, but very difficult to spot.
He did an incredible ten years straight “on the road” with 7 shows a year. Arnie would pick up jobs on the road and ship his work back. He would attend Sacramento’s antique show, Haywood, San Mateo, The Glendale All American, The Chicago Toy Show (3 shows a year), Allentown (2 shows a year), Mckungie, and Bob’s Smith’s show in Rochester NY (2 a year).
Then as his craft evolved, Ironman added more custom toys to his resume. IronMan toys is Arnie’s branding, and he has made everything from Chevy top up touring cars, to police motorcycles, to custom panel side trucks, to scaled up 1936 Fords.
Below is just a beginning of documentation on his work. There will be countless rescues of broken and discarded toys as well as custom jobs from originals and complete customs. Work is often restored to that “just right” patina of age and light wear.