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Nifty Toys by J. Chein Tin Lithographed ButterCup and SpareRibs Pull Toy *SOLD*

Nifty Toys by J. Chein Tin Lithographed ButterCup and SpareRibs Pull Toy

There is a slight bit of unknown on this toy– its origin.  We know that Georg Bergdoff licensed our animated characters.  We know his company marketed this toy under the Nifty Brand.  The maker is not well marked, we believe it is Chein Toys & kept secretive.

Early Nifty toys were also contracted to H. Fischer of Germany; this though was almost always marked “Made in Germany”.  Some of those toys then came into the US and were contracted by J. Chein.  This is the example with Buttercup and Spareribs.  Recently we found that one example of Buttercup was marked “Chein” on the wheel.

The action here is simple and funny.  The cute kid, Buttercup, likes to ride on the dog Spareribs.  Only this time Buttercup wants to get going faster, so is using a broom as a crop to get going.   The broom action is animated as the wheels revolve.  Spareribs raises his head in the second animated action as the front wheels turn.

Side panels have litho of crawling Buttercup with the dog Spareribs.  Great early character toy!

Condition is original but with a replaced wheel.  The lithography is mostly bright with some light playwear.

-Tough toy to find!



A brief history of J. Chein and Company of Harrison, New Jersey: 

J. Chein & Co. was founded in a loft in New York City, New York by Julius Chein. They produced toys from 1903 until about 1979. Chein specialized in tin mechanical toys, banks, drums, and tea sets. Chein’s tin toys were mostly lithographed. Chein`s line of comic and circus tin toys received wide acceptance in the 1930s and leading up to World War II.

In 1907, Chein moved to its full production plant to Harrison, New Jersey. In the 1920s and early 1930s, Chein produced a popular line of toys under the “Hercules” name, rather than their own name. In the 1970’s Chein became known as Chein Industries, Inc.     

In 1979, toy manufacturing was phased out entirely. Then in the late 1980s, Chein Industries, Inc. was sold to the Atlantic Can Company, which then changed its name to Atlantic Cheinco Corporation. The company was beset with problems with manufacturing resulting from environmental issues. Due to their issues, in 1992 they filed for bankruptcy protection. Atlantic Cheinco Corporation’s assets were then purchased by Ellisco, Inc. of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which was a division of CSS Industries, Inc. In 1994, CSS then sold Ellisco to the U.S. Can Company of Baltimore, Maryland, which continues to produce stamped metal products. 

Additional information

Weight 2 lbs
Dimensions 15 × 10 × 8 in