Toy History and Manufacturer Listings – Alphabetical Order K-Z
**Note that text is copyrighted. Please ask for permission to copy data.**
Georg G. Kellermann Nuremberg, Germany
1910 to date
Founder: Georg Kellermann
Specialty: The company began manufacturing clockwork tin motorcycles and penny toys under the trademark C.K.O. C.K.O stands for “Georg Kellermann & Co.” It was a well-known brand name associated with the company. The firm specialized in the production of high-quality tin toys. These toys were crafted using lithographed tinplate, which gave them a distinctive and vibrant appearance.
The company gained a reputation for its innovative designs and attention to detail. CKO Toys produced a wide range of tin toys, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, airplanes, and other mechanical toys. The company became particularly famous for its tinplate wind-up toys. These toys were powered by clockwork mechanisms that allowed them to move and perform various actions when wound up.
Kellerman’s son “Willy” took over the firm following his father’s death in 1931 and continued to produce toys throughout the pre-war and post-war periods. CKO Toys enjoyed international success, exporting its toys to various countries worldwide. They were known for their craftsmanship and durability.
The Nuremberg Toy Fair, one of the largest trade fairs for toys and games, served as a platform for CKO Toys to showcase its latest creations and connect with distributors and customers from around the world. CKO Toys had a significant impact on the tin toy industry and played a role in shaping the development of mechanical toys during its active years.
The company experienced challenges during World War II, as toy production was affected by the war effort. After the war, CKO Toys resumed production and continued to introduce new designs.
Kelmet Corp. New York City, New York
1923 – late 1920s
Specialty: There is a lot of information about this company that we could find other than it was founded in the early 1920s (1923?) in New York City, New York, and stayed in business into the late 1920s.
Kelmet specialized in large-sized painted pressed steel trucks. The company also produced toys under the name “Trumodel” and the “Big Boy” line which they manufactured for J.C. Penny. The “Big Boy” decal that appears on the sides of Kelmet toy trucks are also accompanied by the “White” decals or marks on them. The name “White” is for the famous White Motor Company which was an American automobile, truck, bus, and agricultural tractor manufacturer from about 1900 until 1980. The White Motor Company also produced bicycles, roller skates, automatic lathes, and sewing machines.
An interesting side note, many of Kelmet’s parts were subcontracted to the American toy company A.C. Gilbert. The A.C. Gilbert Company was famous for once being one of the largest toy companies in the world, who originated the Erector Set, which is a construction toy similar to Meccano in the rest of the world.
Kenner Products Cincinnati, Ohio
1947 to date
Founder: Al, Phil, and Joe Steiner
Specialty: First toy was “Bubble Gun” in 1947. “six Million Dollar Man” and “Bionic Woman” were mid-1970s favorites, but most spectacular success was line of “Star Wars” toys.
Kenton Hardware Co. Kenton, Ohio
1890 – 1952
Founder: F.M. Perkins (Patented line of refrigerator hardware).
Specialty: Toy production began in 1894 with a line of horse-drawn fire equipment, banks, and toy stoves. Renamed Kenton Hardware in 1900. Became part of mammoth National Novelty Corp. merger in 1903, it continued its toy line under the name Wing Mfg. Co. Involved in several unsuccessful takeovers, it eventually emerged as a separate unit, the Kenton Hardware Co., and again produced toys successfully from 1920-1935. Kenton ceased production in 1952 and assets were sold in 1953. The Littlestown Hardware & Foundry acquired many Kenton toy designs and marketed them under the brand “Utexiqual”. Littlestown folded in 1982.
Keystone Mfg. Co. Boston Massachusetts
Founders: Edward Swartz, J. M. Welsman, Isadore Marks, and Benjamin Marks
Specialty: Originally produced toy motion picture machines and children`s comedy films (Keystone Moviegraph). Gained permission from Packard Motor Co. in mid-1920s to market pressed-steel riding trucks copied from full-size Packard models, including famous radiator design and logo. Keystone, in competing with “Buddy L”, added such refinements as nickeled hubcaps and radiator caps, transparent celluloid windshield, and engine crank. For 50 cents extra you could get rubber tires and headlamps. Keystone trucks also featured steering and signal arms for “stop” and “go”. Keystone introduced line of “Siren Riding Toys” in 1934 with saddle riding seat and handlebars for steering. In 1936, one of its big sellers was a “Ride-em” mail plane. In the post-WWII years, most of Keystone`s toy output was based on tools and dies purchased from the defunct Kingsbury toy division.
Keystone Manufacturing Company was founded in 1919 to produce moving picture machines. Interestingly, at the time Isadore and Benjamin Marks were the president and treasurer, respectively, of the Marks Brothers Company, which had been in the toy business since 1911. In 1924, Keystone started their line of pressed steel toys, for which it is best known. The line of toys was modeled after the Packard trucks of the day and featured the Packard logo on the grill. In 1932, Keystone introduced a line of pressed steel “Ride ‘Em” vehicles of which the mail plane is the most recognized.
Keystone began producing wooden toys in the 1930s with the acquisition of Jacrim Manufacturing Company, another local Boston toy company. Isadore and Benjamin Marks had a controlling interest in Jacrim since 1926, only four years after Jacrim was founded. Keystone Manufacturing would continue producing film equipment, pressed steel and wooden toys until 1953 when the company was divided. Keystone Manufacturing produced the film equipment and pressed steel toys while Keystone Wood Toys handled all of the wooden and “tekwood” toys. In 1954, the company would split again forming the Keystone Camera Company and Keystone Manufacturing Company, which continued to produce the pressed steel toys. Keystone Wood Toys ceased production in January 1958 and Keystone Manufacturing continued on until 1960. In 1965, Keystone Camera Company was purchased by Berkley Photo and in 1967 was moved from the Boston location, thus ending the existence of the Keystone Manufacturing Company.
Kiddies Metal Toys, Inc. Elizabeth, New Jersey
1914 – 1931
Specialty: The name, Kiddies Metal Toys Inc., is a name that most collectors don`t associate with the “Oh Boy!” line of toys, and for good reason. The history of the company, besides having an unfamiliar name, is shrouded in mystery. What we do know is that printed advertising establishes proof of the companies existence in 1920. It is likely the company was in existence much earlier, perhaps as early as 1914. However, without factual evidence to support this belief, this capsule history will commence with the date it is certain the company was conducting business.
The Kiddies Metal Toys, Inc. toy line for 1920 consisted primarily of games and novelties. Other toys in the line included a wide range of “Jack and Jill Sandhill Toys”, along with assorted sand pails, toy shovels, tea sets and doll house furniture sets. By 1926, a number of automotive toys were being produced under the trademark “Oh Boy!” and “Big Motor Toys”. These toys, made of lightweight steel, as the company so emphatically advertised, ranged in size from 19 to 23 inches. Characteristics of one of Kiddies lithographers Louis Emmets toy truck designs were the toy`s large, non-functioning steering wheel, metal wheels and high crown fenders. Nearly all of Kiddies automotive toys were affixed with a Kiddies Metal Toys, Inc. decal which carried the manufacturers production number. Some toys were lithographed entirely, while others received a single coat of enamel. Kiddies Metal Toys, Inc. continued to advertise in the major toy trade publications until the middle of 1931. After that, the company seemed to have simply disappeared.
Kienberger & Co. Nürnberg, Germany (also see Huki Kienberger & Co. (HK) Nürnberg, Germany)
1910 to date
Founder: Hubert Kienberger
Specialty: Penny toys; simple mechanical motor toys and wheel-mounted animals. One of the most popular exports to the United States was the Billiard Player marble toy. Trademark ; HUKI.
In 1910, Hubert Kienberger founded HUKI, Kienberger & Co., in Nürnberg, Germany. They specialized in mainly producing Penny Toys and animals on wheels. Before WWII, they used the brand name KiCo, which was later altered into HUKI for the first two letters of Herbert Kienberger’s first and last name.
In 1943, they had an unfortunate event in which the company was destroyed by a fire. This stopped production for some time, but by 1951 they were back up and producing toys again. The company history gets hazy, but sometime during the second half of the 1970’s Huki ceased to exist. What may have attributed to Huki’s downfall was that they always produced tin toys and did not change to plastic cars like many other manufacturers. They had developed new toy models until the late sixties; in their last decade (or less) they only produced from their old molds.
Kilgore Mfg. Co. Westerville, Ohio
1912 – 1985
Founder: Joseph D. Kilgore
Slogan “Toys That Last”
Specialty: The Kilgore Manufacturing Company was started in 1912 by Joseph D. Kilgore in Homestead, Pennsylvania to manufacture small cast iron cap pistols and mechanical toys. In 1918, Kilgore moved its operation to Westerville, Ohio.
In 1925 with the purchase of George D. Wanner Co., who made a brand of kites called “E-Z-Fly”. Its merger with Andes Foundry and the Federal Toy Co, in 1925 under the aegis of American Toy Co. In 1928, Kilgore introduced cast iron cars, trucks, and fire engines, including cast-iron cannons, cap guns, and toy paper caps. Butler Brothers became its biggest distributor. At one time, Kilgore was the largest toy cap pistol maker in the United States. Kilgore expanded its product line in 1929 with the establishment of the International Flare-Signal Division in Tippecanoe City, Ohio.
The company faced challenges in the post-World War II era due to changes in toy manufacturing trends and materials, which eventually led to its decline. Kilgore Manufacturing Company ceased operations in the early 1960s. The company then moved to Toone Tennessee in 1961 and remained in the cap gun and signal flare business until 1985 after this is switched hands a few times and was eventually acquired in 2001 by a British company and is now known as Kilgore Flares LLC, a member of the Chemring Group. Kilgore has been involved in many ventures throughout its history, but two areas, toy cap pistols and pyrotechnics have always been the mainstay of the business. Today, the toys and caps are no more and can only be found in the wild, but Kilgore Flares is a known leader throughout the world in the development and production of airborne expendable countermeasure decoy flares.
Kingsbury Mfg. Co. (also see Wilkins Toy Co.) Keene, New Hampshire
1919 – 1942
Founder: Harry T. Kingsbury
Specialty: In 1895 Harry T. Kingsbury bought Wilkins and combined it with the Clipper Machine Works, which specialized in farm equipment. In the early 1900s, toy automobiles were introduced to the company line. The Wilkins line was dropped following WWI in favor of Kingsbury, which was by know an established name in the field. Kingsbury specialized in copying famous models of aircraft and assembly-line, trucks, and buses. WWII saw Kingsbury shifting to war contracts and never returning again to toy production. All production equipment was sold to Keystone in Boston. The company still exists, but as Kingsbury Machine Tool Division, a subcontractor for such giants as IBM, General Motors, and GE.
Other names known by: Wilkins Toy Co.
Kingston Products Corp. Kokomo, Indiana
1890s to 1989
Founder: George Kingston, Charles T. Byrne, and James F. Ryan
Specialty: Byrne and Ryan started Kokomo Brass Works to produce brass castings for the plumbing industry. George Kingston had worked for Ford and Donnelly foundry, during his time at the foundry he tinkered with a new design for a carburetor. In 1903, he left the foundry to produce carburetors for his friend Henry Ford’s Model T. When production outgrew his small shop, Kingston soon became an alliance of many kindred companies to start the Byrne-Kingston company, which eventually merged with Kokomo Brass and Kokomo Electric to become Kingston Products.
The success of the carburetor led to other designs and products, including spark plugs and coils and a line of toys. The race cars, fire trucks and roller skates manufactured under the name of Kokomo Toys are highly prized today by collectors. Their line of toys, under the name Kokomo Toys, came into its height in the 1920s and 30s with fire engines, racers, trucks, and transportation toys a specialty. Electrically run model racers aptly named ‘Electricar’ were one such innovative addition, though expensive for Depression times, as such, Kingston had to drop the toy line in 1931. During World War II, Kingston shifted to war production, building high explosive shells and parts for military vehicles. The company earned production awards from the Army and Navy in 1942, 1943, and 1944. Kingston Products operated in Kokomo until 1989. Kingston today is part of Scott & Fetzer Co., and makes components for auto manufacturers.
Other names known by or associated: Scott & Fetzer Co.
Kirchoff Patent Co. Newark, New Jersey
1852 to date
Founder: Charles Kirchoff
Specialty: Small metal toys, noisemakers, Christmas ornaments and novelties. Kirchoff essentially was a developer of patents and in addition to toys produced Braille printers and ticker-tape machines. (Although no longer in business under the name Kirchoff, the company did undergo a lot of changes in ownership through out the years and was still recorded as being active up to the 1950s.)
Knapp Electric Novelty Co. New York City, New York
1895 to 1940s
Founder: David W. Knapp
Specialty: One of earliest manufactures of transportation toys powered by wet cell batteries. Carlisle & Finch, noted for electric toy trains and other novelty toys, served as Knapps distributor.
Knickerbocker Toy Co. Albany, New York/Middlesex, New Jersey
1850 to 2001
Founder: Leo L. White/Weiss/Van Whye and family
Specialty: The Knickerbocker Toy Co. was founded in 1850 by a family of Dutch immigrants named Van Whye in Albany New, York and manufactured educational toys like wooden alphabet blocks and puzzles. Later in 1922, Leo L. White/Weiss/Van Whye’s small family business would be officially registered as a company in New York and go on to make popular toys such as, Holly Hobbie, Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy, Curious George, Snoopy, Cookie Monster, and many other plush toys.
Since there isn’t a lot on the company that we could find, we can only speculate that Leo changed his last name to “Americanize” his Dutch last name and this is why there is conflicting information on who founded the company exactly. Leo L. White’s obituary in The New York Times lists him as the founder, but we have seen where it states that because he was the first to register the company officially he is listed as the founder, even though we have evidence to suggest that Knickerbocker, possibly under another name, produced toys long before 1922.
During the 1930s, Knickerbocker experienced tremendous success through a licensing partnership with Walt Disney. They obtained the rights to produce dolls based on Disney’s beloved films, such as “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and “Pinocchio.” These dolls were crafted using composition materials as well as cloth. In addition to Disney characters, Knickerbocker also secured licenses for the popular comic strip “Blondie” during this fruitful period.
Knickerbocker, a company originally known for manufacturing small hard plastic dolls and animal figures in the post-war era, expanded its product line to include toys such as guns, trucks, and sand pails. Although the company was headquartered in New York, its products from that time were produced at a factory in North Hollywood, California.
During the late 1950s and 1960s, Knickerbocker shifted its focus to producing dolls and anthropomorphic animals with soft vinyl faces, as well as vinyl-headed dolls with plush bodies. The catalog also featured all-vinyl squeaky toys. In the 1960s, the rise of animated children’s television series presented lucrative licensing opportunities. Knickerbocker capitalized on this by featuring popular characters from Hanna-Barbera cartoons, such as The Flintstones, Huckleberry Hound, and Yogi Bear. By this period, the dolls were manufactured overseas.
In 1962, Knickerbocker achieved a significant milestone by acquiring the rights to produce the iconic rag dolls, Raggedy Ann and Andy, created by Johnny Gruelle. Over the next two decades, they offered an extensive variety of these dolls. The 1970s marked deals to create cloth and vinyl dolls based on Holly Hobbie, Bozo the Clown, and characters from Little House on the Prairie. During this time, the company relocated its headquarters to Middlesex, New Jersey. Additionally, Knickerbocker established Applause as a separate division to handle licensed products in the late 1970s. Leo L. White, founder, chairman of the Board, and President of Knickerbocker Toy Company, died June 1st, 1976 of a heart attack enroute to a meeting of his ‘company. He was 83.
In the early 1980s, Knickerbocker seized the opportunity to produce dolls and accessories based on the movie adaptation of “Annie.” However, despite significant investments, the movie didn’t achieve the anticipated success, leading to the discontinuation of the related dolls.
Facing financial challenges, Knickerbocker underwent changes in ownership. The Applause division, along with its licenses, was sold to Wallace Berrie & Company, while Hasbro acquired the remaining assets. It seemed that the Knickerbocker name would fade away. However, in 1986, Louis L. Knickerbocker and Tamara Knickerbocker, based in California, revived the brand under the name Knickerbocker Toy Company. They specialized in selling dolls and teddy bears, including designs by Marie Osmond. Eventually, they consolidated their various business ventures under the name L. L. Knickerbocker.
In 1996, Knickerbocker made an acquisition of The Georgetown Collection, a company based in Maine. This acquisition included the renowned line of Magic Attic Club dolls, which were skillfully designed by Robert Tonner. However, due to financial challenges faced by Knickerbocker in 2001, they had to divest their doll division, leading to its sale to Brian Blosil, the husband of Marie Osmond. The newly formed company was named Marian LLC. Consequently, the Knickerbocker name gradually receded into the annals of doll history.
Kohner Brothers. Tachau, Czechoslovakia.
1946-1969 (Aquired by General Foods)
Other names: Kohner or M. Kohner & Sons (father’s business)
Founder: Frank and Paul Kohner
Specialty: Wooden Toys and Furniture.
Kohnstam Furth, Germany
1875 – 1959 (Became part of Lesney)
Other names: Lesney
Founder: Moses Kohnstam
Specialty: European distributor of German-made toys, under the Moko trademark. J. Kohnstam Ltd. Was established in London in early 1920 and helped launch Lesney Products.
Kuramochi Co. Japan
1920? – 1950? (Please help us pin down dates)
Other names: Company Kuramochi. Kuramochi & Co., Ltd., C.K or CK or C.K. with a diamond
Specialty: Tin toys and early windups. Kuramochi is known for excellent automobile toys and very early windups from the pre-World War 2 era with imaginative designs.
Kyser & Rex Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1880 – 1884
Founder: L. Kyser and Alfred Rex
Specialty: Cast-iron toys and mechanical banks. Among their highly desirable banks are: Hindu with Turban, Uncle Tom, Chimpanzee the Organ Bank, Lion and Monkeys.
Lefkowitz Toy Co. Brooklyn, New York
Early 1900s – ?
Specialty: Ingenious Rube Goldberg-type mechanical tin toys(i.e., The Flying Cupid).
Ernest Lehmann Co. Brandenberg, Germany
1881 (Re-established in 1951 in Nuremberg and still producing toys).
Founder: Ernest P. Lehmann
Specialty: Lehmann exported vast quantities of toys to the United States from 1895 to 1929 (excluding years of WWI). Specialized in lithographed tinplate, mechanical transportation toys, and figures known for colorful patina. Some of the most desirable Lehmannn`s include: Mr. and Mrs. Lehmann, Dancing Sailor, Icarus, and Autobus.
Lenci Turin, Italy
1920 to date
Founder: Enrico and Elena Scavini
Specialty: Seamless stuffed felt dolls. The Lenci trademark was registered in Europe in 1922; in the United States in 1924. (Lenci was Elena Scavini`s pet name).
Le Rapide Paris, France
1920s – 1954
Founder: Louis Rouisey
Specialty: Electric and clockwork “O” gauge model trains, toy racers on oval tracks.
Lesney (“Matchbox”) London, England
1947 – 1982
Slogan: “Models of Yesteryear”
Founder: Jack Odell and Leslie and Robert Smith
Specialty: Die-cast miniature cars and transportation vehicles, many of which were copies of real-life models.
Georg Levy Nuremberg, Germany
1920 – 1971
Founder: Georg Levy (“Gely” trademark)
Specialty: Produced automotive tin toys under Kienberger name (“Kiko”) until 1920, then launched his own firm. Sold out and left Germany in the 1930s, but factory resumed under name of Nuremberg Tin Toys Factory.
Lindstrom Tool & Toy Co. Bridgeport, Connecticut:
Founder: Frank L. Lindstrom
Specialty: Lindstrom made mechanical toys and games of lithographed pressed steel and tin. These items included a child’s phonograph, boats/ships, animals, vehicles, stoves, sewing machines, film projectors, and notably amusement park-type vehicles such as the “Skeeter Bug” bumper car. Lindstrom stopped production in the early 1940s due to World War II but picked back up for a few years following the end of the War. They had various licenses for items such as the” Bing Crosby Junior Jukebox” and a license with Disney to produce mechanical Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck toys.
Lineol Brandenberg/Havel, Germany
1905 to date
Founder: Oskar Wiederholz
Specialty: Tinplate military toys and trenchworks; also composition armies, barnyard scenes, zoo menageries, Christmas cre`ches, cooking and tea sets, wooden toys. Lineol`s 7.5cm military miniatures are deemed superior to Elastolin. Lineol was nationalized in 1949 and moved to Dresden. It still produces miniatures today under the name VEB Lineol-Plastik Dresden.
G&L Lines and Tri-ang Lines Bros. Ltd. London, England
1919 – 1971
Founder: George and Joseph Lines and later Arthur Lines (Tri-ang 1931)
Specialty: In about 1927, the Lines Brothers produced wooden toys marked “Triangtois”. The company produced small, clockwork, tin, motor toys; the “Minic” series, in the 1930s. George and Joseph Lines produced very early wooden dollhouses before their brother Arthur joined and they made the separate company of Tri-ang Lines Bros. Ltd. absorbing the G & L Lines. Their newly formed company was one of the biggest manufacturers of dollhouses sold throughout Britain in the 1930s and 1950s. In 1959, they produced the “Spot-On” series of die-cast models. The Lines Brother’s company eventually closed its doors in 1971 following financial difficulties.
Linemar/Louis Marx & Company New York City, New York
Louis Marx and Company was an American toy manufacturer in business from about 1919 to 1980 founded in New York City by Louis & David Marx. Its products were often imprinted with the slogan, “One of the many Marx toys, have you all of them?” Arguably, Marx was the most well-known toy companies through the late mid-20th century. Best known for their lithographed tin windup toys Marx was also one of the big four among American electric train manufacturers. An interesting fact is that Marx also successfully revived the Yo-Yo in 1928; it sold well even through the Depression.
Line Mar was founded in the 1950s as a manufacturing and import subsidiary of the successful American toy manufacturer Louis Marx & Co.
The Japanese company was responsible for overseas manufacturing and distribution relationships involving the importation of mechanical and battery-operated toys made in Japan.
Marx was able to secure several important character licenses, such as Popeye and the Flintstones, and had the toys made in Japan to keep the cost down. This meant huge profits when the tin toys were sold in the US. Linemar continued to produce a variety of character toys until it went out of business in the late 1960s.
Mechanical toys produced by Linemar include a variety of licensed character toys that performed multiple actions when the toys were wound. The packaging was always colorful and eye-catching.
Linemar Co. Inc. or more simply Linemar toys was the trade name under which Marx toys were manufactured in Japan, then sold in the United States and other countries. The reason to make Linemar toys in Japan was to keep costs down. Under the Linemar name, Marx produced The Flintstones and other licensed toy vehicles (Linemar Tin Toys 2015). The Linemar line also included airplanes that were produced in the colors of KLM, Pan Am, and other airlines.
Lucotte Miniatures Paris, France
1780 – 1825 (acquired by Mignot)
Specialty: One of the earliest toy makers; many miniatures feature “L.C.”, the Lucotte trademark, was well as the Imperial Bee of Napoleon. Many of the figures replicated Napoleon`s army members. Known for anatomical detail and meticulous painting. Early Lucottes can be distinguished by their separate removable parts.
Gebruder Maerklin Goppingen, Germany
1859 to date
Founder: Theodor and his wife, Caroline Maerklin
Specialty: Originated as a maker of doll-sized tinplate kitchenware. When sons took over the business in 1888, firm name was changed to Gebruder Maerklin. Branched out to a variety of enameled tinplate boats, carousels, aeronautical toys. Unsurpassed in production of clockwork, steam, and electric trains. Introduced first standardized tinplate tracks in 1891. Maerklin switched to plastic train sets in the late 1950s.
Manoil Mfg. Co. New York City, New York and Waverly, New York
1937 – 1941
Specialty: Hollow-cast toy soldiers (sometimes called dime store soldiers).
Fernand Martin Paris, France
1887 – 1919
Specialty: Widely copied maker of amusing double-action tin mechanicals, including Le Clochard (Tramp) and Ivrogne (Toper or Drunk).
Martin & Runyun New York City, New York
1860s – ?
Specialty: Manufacturer of the earliest known clockwork toy, “Autoperipatetikos”, designed by Enoch Morrison, in 1862; soon followed by “Walking Zouave”.
Louis Marx & Company New York, New York
1919 – 1979
Founder: Louis Marx
Specialty: Louis Marx and Company was an American toy manufacturer in business from about 1919 to 1980 founded in New York City by Louis & David Marx. Its products were often imprinted with the slogan, “One of the many Marx toys, have you all of them?” Arguably, Marx was the most well-known toy company through the late mid-20th century. Best known for their lithographed tin windup toys Marx was also one of the big four among American electric train manufacturers. Interestingly, Marx also successfully revived the Yo-Yo in 1928; it sold well even through the Depression.
Mason & Parker Winchendon, Massachusetts
1899 – 1966
Founder: H. N. Parker and Orlando Mason
Specialty: Pressed-steel transportation toys. Later, (1907), Mason & Parker switched to wooden products, including proven standard, Boy`s Tool Chest.
Masutoku Toys Tokyo, Japan
1945 to date
Specialty: Mechanical and battery-operated tin toys. Trademark: “MT”.
Mattel Creations/Mattel. Inc. Los Angeles/El Segundo, California
1945 to date
In 1945, Mattel Creations was founded by Harold Matson, Ruth Handler, and Elliot Handler and operated out of a garage. They specialized in picture frames, dollhouse furniture and their first of many hit toys the “Uke-A-Doodle”. In 1948, Mattel Creations became Mattel, Inc. Mattel would go on to become the first sponsor of the Mickey Mouse Club, and manufacturer of the Magic 8-Ball.
In 1959, Mattel’s best-selling product of all time the Barbie came out, followed by the ever-popular Chatty Cathy in 1960. During the 1960s Mattel acquired a number of other companies to expand its portfolio of toys. They of course built upon their success of Barbie by putting out many versions of Barbie and her friends, as well as, accessories, pets, animals, houses, and cars. Building on the Chatty Cathy pull string toy success they came out with the See n’ Say in 1965.
In 1968, Mattel put out its Hot Wheels line. In 1969, Mattel changed their Mattel Creations and the Mattel, Inc. Toymakers marketing brands to what we now know as just “Mattel” with their “red sun” logo.
Mattel would even acquire The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus from 1971 to 1973 when they sold it. They would go on to acquire/manufacture/ UNO, the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe line of action figures, comics, television shows, electronic games, Monster High, Ever After High, Enchantimals, Thomas & Friends, and brands like Fischer-Price (1993) and the Mega Brands (2014) to name a few.
McLoughlin Brothers New York City, New York
1850s – 1920
Specialty: Known early on for “revamping” popular European juvenile game, Mcloughlin also created such staples as “Pilgrims Progress”, “Fish Pond”, “Peter Coddle”, and “Jack Straws”. Lithograph paper-on-wood construction toys included the Palmer Cox Brownie series; also alphabet blocks and numerous educational toys.
Meccano, (Dinky Toys) Liverpool, England
1901 – 1964
Founder: Frank Hornby
Specialty: Metal construction sets (a la Erector). First produced miniatures called Dinky Toys in 1933. Taken over by Lines Bros. In 1964.
Mechanical Novelty Works New Britain, Connecticut
Early 1800s – ?
Founder: Andrew Turnbull, James A. Swanson, George Eddy.
Specialty: Cast-iron mechanical banks, including “Initiation Bank” (1st and 2nd degree models), “Squirrel and Tree Stump”.
Johann Phillip Meïer/Meir Nuremberg, Germany
1879 – 1917
Specialty: One of the more prolific penny toy manufactures at the turn of the century. Meir also produced painted tin mechanical toys. Trademark: Dog pulling a cart.
Merriam Mfg. Co. Durham, Connecticut
1856 – 1880
Specialty: Enameled tinplate clockwork toys. Continues today as a box manufacturer; ceased toy production in 1880s. Known for such classics as “Horse on Sculptured Base”, ptd by William A. Hardwood, Brooklyn, New York, plus “Rabbit in Hoop”.
Metalcast New York City, New York
1899 to ?
Other names: As Sachs Tot Mfg. Co.; subsequently The Toy Soldier Mfg. Co.; changed to Metalcast in 1929.
Founder: H. Sachs
Specialty: 2 1/2 inch hollowcast soldiers, cowboys, and Indians; later, 3 1/4 inch hollowcast soldiers.
Metalcraft Corp. St Louis, Missouri
1920 – 1937
Specialty: Playground equipment such as teeter-totters. Produced pressed-steel trucks in 1928 and acquired rights to pressed-steel airplane in kit of Lindburgh`s “Spirit of St. Louis”. Produced millions of toy truck premiums known as “Business Leaders”.
Metalgraf Milan, Italy
1910 – 1930s
Specialty: Exquisite hand painted tin clockwork automobiles.
Mettoy Co. Ltd. Great Britain
1934 – 1984
Founders: Phillip Ulmann, dispossessed owner of Tipp & Co., who was forced to flee Nazi Germany.
Specialty: Tinplate automotive mechanicals and novelties; after 1945, Mettoy converted to plastic toys. Introduced Corgi Toys in 1959. Went into liquidation in 1984.
C.B.G Mignot Miniatures Paris, France
1900 – ?
Founders: A partnership between Messrs. Cuperly, Blondel, and Gerbeau (hence the initials C.B.G.) and Henri Mignot, the chief stockholder.
Specialty: Produced their own miniatures as well as limited editions using Luccotte molds acquired in 1825. (See Lucotte Miniatures). Later Mignot examples differ from Lucotte in that they were singly cast, without separate removable parts and accessories. Mignot boasted over 20,000 molds of warriors from Ancient Rome to WWII.
Milton Bradley East Longmeadow and Springfield, Massachusetts
1860 to date
Slogan “Maker of the World`s Best Games”
Founder: Milton Bradley
Specialty: Games, puzzles, blocks, optical toys, kindergarten aids. Noted Bradley games included, “Babe Ruth Baseball”, “Checkered Game of Life”, “Game of Mail Express & Accommodation”. Logos at various stages identified firm as Milton Bradley Company, Milton Bradley & Co., Milton Bradley Co.
Mohawk Metal Toy Company New York, New York
1919 – 1921
Other names: Mohawk Metal Toy Company, Inc.
Founder: Samuel Hoffman
Specialty: Limited information indicates that the Mohawk Metal Toy Company was founded in January 1919, and the toy factory was located at 43 Bleeker Street in New York City. The company manufactured a line of metal toys and novelties including miniature wagons, trains and automobiles. The company commissioned Louis Wolf and Company as their selling agent. By 1920, the company incorporated and expanded the line to include a lightweight tin dump truck measuring approximately 7 inches in length and a “Main Street” trolley car measuring 6 1/2 inches long, Mohawk Metal Toy Company advertising disappears from the various trade publications during 1921 and the company is not heard from again.
Muller & Kadeder (M.&K.) Nuremberg, Germany
1900 to date
Specialty: Lithographed tin wind-ups; aeronautical toys including zeppelins and a fanciful balloon with a parachute; also carried carousels and character toys (i.e., Buster Brown With Poodle”, “Tailor Riding Buck”, and “Clown on Pig”). In the post-WWI years, turned to lithographed tin automobiles.
National Novelty Corp. New Jersey
1903 – 1907
Specialty: A trust or consortium of over 30 leading manufacturers of cast-iron and wood toys, formed to cut costs and stifle competition. Poorly managed, the “Toy Trust” soon failed. A number of toy makers reorganized under the aegis of Hardware & Woodenware Manufacturing Co., but it, too, soon faded.
Neff-Moon Toy Co. Sandusky, Ohio
1920 – 1925
Specialty: Pressed-steel automotive toys with interchangeable bodies packaged with a single chassis.
NOMA Electric Corporation/NOMA Toys New York City, New York
1926-present (Christmas Lights)
Founder: Joseph Block and Henri, Leon, & Albert V. Sadacca (TICO Plastics, 1962 acquired the American Pre-School Toy Company)
Specialties: “NOMA Lights” a line of Christmas lights to include our personal favorite the “bubble lights”. Around the start of World War II NOMA started making wooden, wood composition, metal, and plastic toys. NOMA’s heritage originally goes back to Chicago in 1926, when 15 small manufacturers formed the National Outfit Manufacturer’s Association and started selling NOMA-branded light sets from 1927.
Other names: National Outfit Manufacturer’s Association, or N. O. M. A., and later, simply NOMA. NOMA Lites Inc., NOMA Worldwide Inc., Worldwide Inc., NOMA Corporation. As of 2021, the NOMA brand and rights belong to the Canadian Tire Corporation, Ltd (Canadian Tire). They continue to sell NOMA-branded products in their stores in Canada and online to the U.S. thru their website.
Nonpareil Toy & Novelty Co. Newark, New Jersey
Post-WWI to late 1940s
Specialty: Lithographed tin toy trucks and wagons, mostly of the penny toy or tiny prize package toy variety.
North & Judd New Britain, Connecticut
1812 to date
Specialty: Originally in saddlery parts. Started small line of cast-iron toys in 1930s, but could not compete with the “giants” and discontinued the line after one year. Now part of a Gulf & Western conglomerate.
Ohio Art Company Bryan, Ohio
Founder: Henry Winzeler
Specialty: Metal picture frames and novelty items (1908) in Archbold, Ohio. In 1912, the company moved production to Bryan, Ohio, and began manufacturing picture frames made out of lithographed wood-grained metal sheets. In 1917, they began producing tin lithographed toys such as windmills, a climbing monkey (1917), windup toys such as the crawling Native American, colorful tea sets, trains, lunchboxes, tops, pails, planes, drums, and even cap guns. In the late 1950s, a French electrician named André Cassagnes created a drawing toy he called the “Telecran” that used a joystick, glass, and aluminum powder combination that allowed a person to draw a picture and erase it. The Telecran would be perfected and renamed the more familiar “Etch A Sketch” in the late 1950s after collaboration between many individuals. They followed up their popular Etch A Sketch with another popular toy the Bizzy Buzz Buzz (1966 to 1972) a drawing pen that looked like a bird and strongly reminds one of a tattoo gun. Although the Ohio Art Company partook in the toy industry and was very successful, their metal lithography sector remains the core part of its business and is one of the leading producers of specialty lithographic components.
Parker Brothers Salem, Massachusetts
1883 to date
Founder: George S. Parker
Specialty: Created first card game, “Banking”, in 1883. World renowned for producing board game “Monopoly” beginning in 1934. Another game “Chivalry”, later updated under the name “Camelot”, has been regarded by many board game experts as a more challenging game. Acquired the rights of a number of smaller makers, including W. & S. B. Ives and the U.S. Playing Card Co.
Parker White Metal Erie, PA
The Parker White Metal Co., makers of ERIE toys, made toy airplanes and cars in the mid 30’s. They were pressure die-cast (zinc alloy based) devised by pioneers at W.A. Parker- represented an advanced reproduction technology which enabled fast and accurate reproduction to scale of models from the actual prototypes. The Parker White METAL Co. was founded in 1906 by W.A. Parker and inventive toolmaker in Erie Pa. Erie Metal Specialties was a spin-off of the Parker casting company, who did fine aluminum casting for machinery and home products. They ventured in making diecast toys in 1933 as there was great demand for metal toys at the time. Erie made small and large cars, trucks and airplanes for only three years(1936-39)and they had to stop due to patent issues with Dowst Brothers, makers of Tootsietoys, who sued them.
Paya Alicante, Spain
Specialty: Tin clockwork and A pioneer of the Spanish toy industry, tinsmith Rafael PAYÁ, produced his first metal toy, a hand-painted horse drawn coach, in 1902. The firm PAYÁ Hermanos S.A. (PAYÁ Brothers S.A.) built the first toy factory in Ibi, Alicante, Spain and began producing toys in 1906. The metal toys were well received and PAYÁ quickly produced a wide range of toys for the domestic market, being the first serious Spanish rival to imported toys
Peco (Product Engineering Co. ) Tigard, Oregon
1952 – 1956
Founder: John Benneth
Specialty: Realistic military figures, first made of a clay-like material called Pyrocon, and, later, Vinylite. Most popular in line; cowboys and Indians.
G. Pericaud Company Paris, France
Founder: Georges Pericaud
The G. Pericaud Company was founded in 1900 in Paris, France by Georges Pericaud. Pericaud specialized in electric scale model scientific instruments for demonstration purposes and a primitive form of radio signal detectors called coherer detectors. By 1910, the company was making electrolytic detectors and later crystal radios to receive time signals from the Eiffel tower. When World War I ended in 1918, Pericaud became the first French manufacturer to make tube radios for civilian use. In 1924, Pericaud sold to La Compagnie des Compteurs and by 1930 despite being the largest French radio manufacturer they ceased production. It has been theorized that Pericaud may have made steam engines and accessories marked “GD”.
Philadelphia Tin Toy Co. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Specialty: Toy firm of Francis Field and Frances carried this name in Philadelphia area in late 1840s.
Ernst Plank Nuremberg, Germany
1866 – 1900
Founder: Ernst Plank
Specialty: Tin trains, airplanes, boats, and automobiles.
Pratt & Letchworth Buffalo, New York
1848 – 1923
Founder: William Letchworth, Samuel Pratt, and Pascal Pratt
Specialty: Cast-iron toy trains, horse-drawn hansom cabs, pumpers, artillery wagons. Originally known (1870s) as Buffalo Malleable Iron Works, Francis Carpenter`s stock and patent rights were acquired by Pratt & Letchworth in 1890. The Dayton Malleable Iron Company acquired Pratt & Letchworth in 1923. The Pratt & Letchworth foundry consisted of three buildings on 25 acres of land on Tonawanda Avenue in Buffalo, New York. In 1981, Pratt & Letchworth closed, and in 2005, the foundry was knocked down.
Radio Flyer Chicago, Illinois
Founder: Antonio Pasin
Specialty: Born in a small town outside of Venice, 16 year old Antonio Pasin dreamed of a new beginning in America. His family sold their mule to help pay for his voyage, and before long, Pasin made his way to Chicago where he looked for work as a cabinet-maker. He made his way through several jobs and by 1917 had saved enough money to purchase some used wood working equipment and rented a one-room workshop. In this workshop, Pasin began fashioning wagons by night and selling them during the day. By 1923, Pasin`s business grew to include several employees. They became known as the Liberty Coaster Company, named after the Statue of Liberty, and soon created their first wagon Ð the Liberty Coaster. The No. 4 Liberty Coaster was handcrafted in wood and sold directly to stores by Pasin himself.
W. S. Reed Toy Co. Loeminster, Massachusetts
1875 – 1897
Founder: Whitney S. Reed
Specialty: Lithographed paper-on-wood toys and construction sets. Patented one mechanical bank, “The Old Lady in the Shoe”.
Rempel Manufacturing, Inc. Akron, Ohio
1946 – 1970s
Founder: Dietrich “Dick” Rempel
Specialty: Rempel Manufacturing, Inc. was founded in 1946 by classically trained artist, entrepreneur, and innovator Dietrich “Dick” Rempel, a Russian immigrant, who built his original plant in “the rubber capital of the world’ Akron, Ohio on Morgan Avenue.
Rempel worked with artist Fred G. Reinert who designed toys for Rempel, and was well known for his attention to detail. Rempel is known for his industrial design innovations, including the system that revolutionized the process of making rubber products by using a Roto-cast mold, that was patented by Reinhart and would make about 30 toys from one cast. Rempel also obtained numerous patents and copyrights for his industrial designs.
Rempel Manufacturing started with the production of three rubber toy animals, designed and molded from clay by Rempel. They were then made with a revolutionary rubber processing system that created seamless rubber products. Some notable rubber character toys are the Cleveland Indian’s Chief Wahoo rubber toy, The Brooklyn Dodgers mascot the “Brooklyn Bum” or “Ho-Jo the Bo”, Josie the Lamb, Little Folk from Sunnyslope characters, and Smilin’ Ed McConnell’s “Froggy the Gremlin” of Smilin’ Ed MConnell and His Buster Brown Gang and later names Andy’s Gang TV show (also known as, Smilin’ Ed’s Buster Brown Gang show, Smilin’ Ed’s Gang show, and The Buster Brown Program).
By 1963, Rempel Manufacturing, Inc. was the last firm in the country still making toys from 100% rubber. However, by the 1970’s Rempel would end production and close up shop.
Renwal Manufacturing Company New York, New York:
1939 to 1976
Founder: Irving Lawner
Renwal Manufacturing Company of New York was an American toy company that operated from 1939 to 1976. They produced a wide range of plastic toys, including model kits, dolls, dollhouses, and other play sets.
Renwal is known for their highly detailed and realistic model kits of aircraft, ships, anatomical models, modern armor and military equipment, nuclear submarines and naval warships, and military vehicles, which were popular with children and hobbyists alike. Some of their most famous model kits included the USS Missouri battleship, the M3 Lee tank, and the B-25 Mitchell bomber. The company was also known for their innovative use of plastic molding techniques, which allowed them to produce highly detailed and intricate toys at an affordable price. Today, Renwal toys and model kits are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts around the world.
Rich Manufacturing Company Sterling and Morrison, Illinois and Clinton, Iowa
1915 – 1941
Rich-Illinois Company, Rich Toys Inc.
Founder: E.M. and M.E. Rich
Specialty: Most of the Rich Company`s early toys were horse-drawn, wagon pull toys, in one form or another. These early toys were without motion. However, after 1931, most, if not all of Rich`s horse-drawn wagons incorporated mechanical motion. This mechanical action was limited to the legs of the horses, featuring a “galloping” motion through the use of an off-center axle and 2 small wheels. The Rich Company, over the next 10 years , would become known as a leader in the production of quality wooden toys. In 1935, the Rich-Illinois Company was dissolved with the Rich Manufacturing Company moving their entire toy producing operation to Clinton, Iowa. Therefore, toys found with the Clinton, Iowa marking can be identified as being produced in 1935 and later. The name of the company was again changed to Rich Toys, Inc. Rich Toys remained on the toy scene until WWII, after which all traces of the company are lost. They produced toys in Clinton, Iowa until 1954 when they moved to Tupelo, Mississippi. There they continued making toys until a flood in 1962 destroyed their production and they closed the doors of the company. (latest information provide by Rita Goranson).
Richter (Anchor Blocks) Rudolstadt, Germany
1508 – 1920s (Reputedly the oldest toy company, with a 16th century founding date).
Specialty: Anchor Toy Building Bricks, alphabet and puzzle blocks. A.C. Gilbert, the Erector Set people, bought the American interest of Anchor Blocks in 1913.
Rico Alicante, Spain
1930s – 1950s
Specialty: Tin mechanical autos and airplanes. Trademark: RSA.
Riemann, Seabrey Co., Inc. New York City, New York
1920s – 1944
Specialty: Manufacturers` representatives acting as sole sales agents for Kenton, Grey iron, N.N. Hill Brass, J. & E. Stevens and other leading cast-iron toy makers.
William Rissmann Co. (RI-CO) Nuremberg, Germany
1907 – ?
Founder: William Rissmann
Specialty: Toy trains and tin mechanical motor toys. Not to be confused with Spanish firm, Rico. Look for additional word “Germany”, to differentiate from the two.
Karl Rohrseitz Zindorf, Germany
1890s – ?
Specialty: Tinplate novelties
Charles Rossignol Paris, France
1868 – 1962
Founder: Charles Rossignol
Specialty: Painted tin clockwork vehicles. Logo was of entwined letters “C” and “R”. Made first automotive toy, a Renault taxi, in 1905. Parisian buses, produced by Rossignol in the 1920s, are highly prized.
SABA Amriswil, Switzerland (see Bucherer)
1921-1935 Savoye Pewter Company New Jersey
Speilwarenfabrik August Burcherer Amriswil
Savoye Pewter Company New Jersey
Information: Not much can be found on this company, we do know they made lead and slush mold vehicles.
Schieble Toy & Novelty Co. Dayton, Ohio
1909 – 1931
Specialty: Carried on line of “Hill Climber” friction toys, initiated by D. P. Clark & Co.
Leo Schlesinger Co. New York City, New York
1880s – 1900
Founder: Leo Schlesinger
Specialty: Painted and stenciled tinplate horse-drawn vehicles, producing as many as 6 million a year. Later, Schlesinger made open-front tinplate miniature kitchens, including the utensils.
A. Schoenhut & Company Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1872 – 1935
Founder: Albert Schoenhut
Specialty: Began manufacturing toy pianos in 1872. They featured a series of over 20 different Living Pictures in the 1890s, which were framed cardboard figures animated by a clockwork mechanism. Schoenhut is best known for high-quality dolls and wooden-jointed circus and comic strip characters, including Felix the Cat, Maggie & Jiggs, Barney Google, and Sparkplug.
Schoenhut doll houses hit the assembly line from 1917 to 1934 and doll house furniture from 1928 to 1934.
In the 1950s, Schoenhut granted Nelson B. Delavan of Seneca Falls, New York, the rights to produce toys in the style of the A. Schoenhut circus and to use the Humpty-Dumpty Circus name. Delavan manufactured reproductions of wooden-jointed figures and a series of circus animals under the name Humpty-Dumpty Toy Company, until 1952. Many of the toys closely resemble their predecessors, though some differences in design-such as the clown’s face paint do exist. These toys received a lukewarm reception and are not up to the quality and charm of their predecessors. Schoenhut circus tents were known to have been produced in the 1970s.
Schuco Toy Co. Nuremberg, Germany
1912 – 1970
Founder: Heinrich Muller and Heinrich Schreyer.
Specialty: Mohair-covered mechanical toys. An idendent Schuco Toy Co. with import rights to the German toys was formed in the U.S. in 1947 by Adolf Kahn`s son, Eric ( following WW1 Schreyer Muller formed a new partnership with Kahn). Schuco declared bankruptcy in 1970.
Jerome Secor Manufacturing Bridgeport, Connecticut
1872 – mid1880s
Founder: Jerome B. Secor
Specialty: Introduced a line of sewing machines plus mechanical singing birds at the 1873 World`s Fair, Vienna. One of the first patented toys; a sheet brass whistling bird, the American Songster. His ingenious clockwork creations included; “Brudder Bones, the Banjo Player”, “Sister Lucinda at the Play”, and the rarest most coveted of all mechanicals “The Freedman`s Bank”. Secor sold his business to Ives in the mid-1880s. He continued to design and manufacture clockwork toys through Ives.
Seichow and Righter New York City, New York
1860s – present
Founder: Elish G. Selchow (John H. Righter became a partner later).
Specialty: Board games and puzzles. Best known for SCRABBLE, the crossword game.
Selwyn Miniatures London, England
1951 – 1952
Founder: Roy Selwyn-Smith
Specialty: Selwyn Smith started Selwyn Miniatures with the financial aid of Otto Goldstein.He produced Miniature lead medieval knights in true heraldry. He designed and produced the masters for 5 of the original Courtenay Knights. These being figures Z14, Z17, Z19 & Z20 and one figure that was not issued. His company lasted 9 months.Upon Goldsteins death, Selwyn went to work for Herald and designed some of their earliest plastic figures. Selwyn sold his rights to the Knight molds to Britains who eventually issued them as the Knights of Agincourt. Britains eventually bought Herald to acquire the talents of Selwyn and their plastic capabilities. Britains recognized the importance of this “new” material. Selwyn design most of their plastic figures in the 1950`s, 60`s and early 70`s including the legendary Swoppets. (Credit for this information goes to collector Glenn)
C. G. Shepard and Co. Buffalo, New York
1866 – 1892
Founder: Walter J. and Charles G. Shepard
Specialty: Tin horns; still and mechanical banks (beginning in 1882). Sold mechanical bank business in 1892; three Shepard banks were later re-issued by J. & E. Stevens.
William Shimer & Son Co. Freemansburg, Pennsylvania
1875 – 1913
Founder: William Shimer
Specialty: Cast-iron toys, banks, trains for several years prior to WWI. Toys often featured front foot oscillating mechanisms on the horses or oxen. The factory burnt down and wasn’t rebuilt in 1913. Catalogs would be GREATLY appreciated from any readers, email us if you can help.
J. H. Singer New York City, New York
1893 – 1895
Founder: Jasper Singer
Specialty: Primarily a jobber of games and novelties in lithographed paper on wood. Included toy theaters and popular games (i.e., “Authors”, “Cuckoo”, “Jumping Frog”). Lines once sold by George S. Parker. Box or novelty often identified by initials: J.H.S.N.Y. or J.H.S.
Smith-Miller Toy Co. Los Angeles, California
1944 – 1958
Specialty: Pressed-steel motor toys. Fred Thompson, Canoga Park, California, acquired the Smith-Miller name as well as existing stock in the late 1970s, and still operates under the Smith Miller name to this day.
SON-NY (see Dayton Toy & Specialty Company)
Stadden Miniatures London, England
Late 1940s to date
Founder: Charles Stadden
Specialty: Military miniatures targeted to the connoisseur collector as display specimens; sized 30 to 54 mm.
Star Collectibles (Marlborough, a toy firm in Wales) Wales, England
1950s – early 1960
Founder: Michael Curley and his wife, Star.
Specialty: Formed a distributorship out of the Midwest, importing miniatures cast by Frank and Jan Scroby in Wales. Following Curley`s death, his wife continued doing business, offering limited editions of 50 and later 100 sets, with Highland Black Watch Band and Grenadier Guard figures among the most popular.
Steiff Giengen, Germany
1877 to date
Founder: Margarete Steiff
Specialty: Stuffed toy animals and character dolls. The founder`s nephew, Richard Steiff, designed the first Teddy Bear in 1903. Steiff button and label identification is stamped in one ear or on clothing, with white and black lettering and blank buttons signifying a 1903-1904 manufacture.
J. & E. Stevens Cromwell, Connecticut
1842 – 1930s
Founder: John and Elisha Stevens
Specialty: Cast-iron mechanical banks from 1870 to the turn of the century. Elisha Stevens later joined George Brown to establish the Stevens & Brown toy firm. J. & E. Stevens supplied Gong Bell And Watrous with Castings for their bell toys.
Stevens & Brown New York City, New York
1869 – 1880
Founder: Elisha Stevens and George Brown
Specialty: Pooled their tin and cast-iron lines and also distributed for other toy makers.
Walter Stock Solingen, Germany
1905 – 1930s
Founder: Walter Stock
Specialty: Lithographed tin mechanical toys much similar to Lehmann line; also penny toys exported to America.
Ferdinand Strauss Corporation New York City, New York
1900s – mid1940s
Founder: Ferdinand Strauss
Specialty: Major producer of tin mechanical toys from 1914 to 1927
Structo Mfg. Co. Freeport, Illinois
1908 to date
Founder: Louis and Edward Strohacker and C.C. Thompson.
Specialty: Erector construction kits, ready-built and construction kit auto toys.
The Sturdy Corporation – Sturditoys Providence, Rhode Island; Sales Office; Factory, Pawtucket
1929 – 1933
Founder: Victor C. Wetzel and Charles I. Bigney
Specialty: Child-sized, pressed-steel trucks, closely akin to Buddy “L” and Keystone, but generic rather than replicating real life truck models.
S.A.E. (Swedish South African Engineers) Capetown, South Africa
1952 – 1960s
An offshoot of Comet / Authenticast, which went out of business in the early 1950s. A Swede, Holger Eriksson, resumed casting these miniatures, imported from South Africa by distributors curt Wennberg and Fred Winkler.
Specialty: 30mm scale miniatures.
Thomas Toy Company Newark, New Jersey
1944 to 1968
Founder: Islyn Thomas and Benjamin Shapiro
Specialty: Thomas Manufacturing Company was a toy company that was founded in Newark, New Jersey in the 1940s by ex-Ideal Toy employee Islyn Thomas, who partnered with Acme Plastic Toys, Inc.’s Benjamin Shapiro. The company was known for producing a range of popular plastic toys, including model cars, trucks, and airplanes, as well as other play sets and figurines. The toys were marketed under the ACME brand until 1949 when Thomas bought out Shapiro and became marketing the toys under the Thomas Toys brand.
One of the most famous products made by Thomas Toys was a line of plastic cars and trucks called “Tommy Toys,” which were popular with children in the 1950s and 1960s. These toys were known for their durability and bright colors, and they were sold in a variety of different sets and configurations. Banner acquired Thomas Toys in 1960. Thomas was inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame in 1979.
Over time, Thomas Toys expanded its product line to include a wide range of different toys and playsets. However, the company faced increasing competition from other toy manufacturers, and by the 1980s, it had ceased production.
Despite the fact that Thomas Toys is no longer in business, its toys remain popular with collectors today.
Other names associated: Acme Plastic Toys, Inc., ACME
Tipp & Co. Nuremberg, Germany
1912 – 1971
Founder: Tipp and Carstans
Specialty: Military line of tin toys.
Toledo Metal Wheel Company Toledo, Ohio
1887 – ?
Founder: Frank E. Southard
Specialty: Under the trade names of “Toledo” and “Blue Streak”, Toledo Metal Wheel produced a vast array of beautiful pedal cars and tricycles. The company was recognized for their fine workmanship and originality which included the innovation of adjustable rubber pedals and the “no dead-center driving gear” on their pedal toys. This unique feature made it possible for a child to start pedaling a Toledo Metal wheel toy vehicle from a stationary position without a push. Toledo Metal Wheels “Bull Dog” trucks are easily recognized by the 3-5/16-inch oval decal appearing on the sides of the service bed of the truck, and a 1-1/8-inch x 5/8-inch oval decal affixed to the front of the truck. Both decals feature a standing bull dog and the words “Bull Dog”. A few of Toledo`s early trucks were produced with a “Blue Streak” oval and diamond decal. This decal features a lightning bolt and the words, “Blue Streak”. Even rarer is a rectangular “Blue Streak” decal which appears on only a few of the earliest trucks. This decal, measuring 2-3/4-inch by 1-3/8-inch, is bordered by fancy scroll artwork. Trucks with this decal are not known to have the oval hood decal. The two, 30-inch pressed-steel automobiles do not have the “Bull Dog” or “Blue Streak” decals, but have “Toledo” on the nameplate at the top of the radiator. Knobby tread, black rubber tires, marked “Juvenile Federal Rubber Co., U.S.A.” are found on “Bull Dog” trucks. Additional, each truck has a hand-cranked noisemaker at the front of the toy.
Tommy Toys Union City, New Jersey
1935 – 1938/39
Founder: Dr. Albert Greene, Charles Weldon, John Zeman, and Leon Donze
Specialty: Miniature soldiers and nursery rhyme figures and vehicles under name “Tommy Toy”. Sculpted and designed by Olive Kooken and Margaret Cloninger. Tommy Toy was acquired by Barclay following financial difficulties.
Tops All Toys San Francisco, CA
Founder: Unknown. 102 Clay St, San Francisco
Specialty: Die cast Metal Trolleys have been found. Unknown product line.
Tower(Guild) South Hingham, Massachusetts
1830s – 1850s
Founder: William S. Tower
Specialty: Founded Tower Guild, a marketing cooperative for woodworkers and carpenters, who fashioned much prized wooden toys.
Trix, Mangold Nuremberg, Germany
1930s to date
Specialty: “OO” gauge locomotives railroad accessories under “TTR” trademark. Set up British subsidiary with Bassett-Locke as agent.
Tru-Scale Rockford, Illinois (See Carter Tru-Scale)
John C. Turner Co. Wapakoneta, Ohio
1915 – 1948
Founder: John Turner
Specialty: Known for line of “Victory is won” flywheel toys sold by direct mail.
Union Manufacturing Co. Clinton, Connecticut
1853 – 1869
Founder: Hull & Stratford acquired this small tin toy-producing firm in 1869.
Unique Art Mfg. Co. Newark, New Jersey
Founder: Samuel Berger
Specialty: Unique Art Manufacturing Company Inc. was an American toy company, founded in 1916, and based in Newark, New Jersey. They made inexpensive toys, including wind-up mechanical toys out of lithographed tin. The “Rap & Tap in a Friendly Scrap” was one of its earliest products. Other toys they manufactured were, comic/character tin mechanicals including “Li`l Abner Dogpatch Band” and “Gertie, The Galloping Goose”.
Unique’s president, Sammy Bergman, was a good friend of toy magnate Louis Marx, and the two men’s companies at times cooperated, with Marx providing tooling to Unique and sometimes acting as a distributor for Unique’s products.
Unique Art’s eventual fate is unclear but the company appears to have disappeared by 1952, with some evidence of Marx picking up the line later on.
U.S. Hardware Co. New Haven, Connecticut
1896 – 1901
Specialty: Cast-iron toys (i.e., “Marine Oarsmen”, “Fairy Rubber Balls”).
Vindex Toys – part of National Sewing Machine Belvidere, Illinois
1886 – 1955 (toys approx. 1931-1940)
Founder: Harold D. Neff
Specialty: National Sewing Machine Company was a Belvidere, Illinois-based manufacturer formed before 1886. The company manufactured sewing machines, washing machines, bicycles, an automobile, home workshop machinery, and cast-iron toys and novelties (under the Vindex Toy Company label).
H. Wallwork & Co. Manchester, England
1880s-1890s (time producing toys)
Founder: William Munslow, Henry Wallwork, and Miles Platting
Specialty: H. Wallwork & Co. an ironworks company made model railway parts and cast iron floor trains which was unusual for British ironworks companies.
Wamoo Toys France
1952 – 1970s
Founder: France by Jean-Marie Moheng, Pierre Moheng, and Armand Walther
Specialty: Wamoo was founded in 1952 in France by Jean-Marie Moheng, Pierre Moheng, and Armand Walther. Wamoo often gets confused with France Jouets (FJ, JEP) which was founded in 1899 by Jean-Marie Moheng and Henri Fauvel in Marseille, France. France Jouets (FJ) became JEP in 1929, after the merging of SIF and JdeP (Jouets de Paris). In 1957, France Jouets (FJ) bought GEM toys.
In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, the company became France-Toys SA. They produced a diverse collection of toys in tin, plastic, and diecast zamak/zinc. By the mid 1970s the company had closed its doors.
Warren Lines New York City, New York
1936 – 1940
Founder: John Warren, Jr.
Specialty: Upscale quality 60mm solid cast and hollow cast soldiers, including U.S. infantry, cavalry, and horse artillery lead figures. Some of the more limited production models included the Scout Car and Staff Car. Horses were Margaret Cloninger, one of Tommy Toy`s specialists. More figures feature two movable arms and plug heads.
Watrous Mfg. Co. East Hampton, Connecticut
1880s – 1930s
Founder: David Watson Watrous
Specialty: David Watson Watrous was one of the founders in 1851 of the East Hampton Bell Company. He left in 1860 and founded the company Clark and Watrous, and then in 1865 created D. W. Watrous & Co., which later became Watrous Manufacturing Co.. The company created sleigh bells, and bell toys. By the early 1900s Watrous Manufacturing Co. had developed a distinct style. Their toys often utilized nickel-plated or coppered steel frames and nickel-plated steel wheels. Flattened cast iron figures often move to strike a bell or chime. The mechanisms were frequently exposed. Parts were often lacquered over the nickel-plating, which gave the paint an iridescent quality.
The Watrous Manufacturing Co. became associated with two neighboring companies. For a while Watrous Manufacturing Co. and N. N. Hill Brass Co. combined their catalogs into one while they were both branches of the short lived, 1903 -1907, toy manufacturers consortium, National Novelty Corporation. The Watrous family was also associated with Gong Bell Manufacturing Co. In 1912 Clifford M. Watrous became general manager at Gong Bell Manufacturing Co.. In 1921 he patented the popular Playphone 600. D. W. Watrous died in 1918. His son John Lazarus Watrous ran the company till his death in 1923. The family owned company stock was sold to the Gong Bell Manufacturing Co. in 1923. Watrous Manufacturing Co. toys are often incorrectly attributed to N. N. Hill Brass Co. or Gong Bell Manufacturing Co.. In addition to the bell toys, chime toys or gong toys, the company also produced an erector set called Modelit around 1916, and a mechanical tin and wood airplanes toy called Flying Areoplanes. Provided by Robert K. Watrous
Waverly Toy Works Waverly, New York
1885-1905, Possibly Later (we need catalogs if you have one to share)
Founder: Charles M. Crandall
Specialty: Charles Martin Crandall (1833-1905) worked in his father’s Pennsylvania furniture factory and, upon his father’s death in 1849, took over at age 16. In 1876, Crandall Toys was founded by Charles M. Crandall, who would later found Waverly Toy Works. He became famous for producing Crandall’s Building Blocks and many other wooden toys and games. In 1885, financed by industrialist Moses Lyman (1836-1917), Crandall moved to Waverly, New York and started Waverly Toy Works. It was founded around 1885, and produced a variety of toys, including dolls, trains, banks, and tin lithographed toys. The company was particularly known for its “Waverly Express” train sets, which were made of tin and featured intricate details and working parts. The Waverly Toy Works continued to operate until the early 20th century, although the exact date of its closure is unclear.
Weeden Mfg. Co. New Bedford, Massachusetts
1883 – 1852
Founder: William N. Weeden
Specialty: Produced working toy steam engine in 1884; also steamboats, fire engines, and automobiles in miniature with steam as motor power. Manufactured several ultimate rarities among clockwork tin mechanical banks, including “Ding Dong Bell” and “Japanese Ball Tosser”.
Welker & Crosby Brooklyn, New York
1883 – 1888
Founder: Joseph H. Welker and Charles F. Crosby
Specialty: Meticulously detailed cast-iron, animal-drawn toys, featuring distinctive swivel wheel.
Wells Brimtoy Holyhead, Wales, Birmingham, and Wells, London, England
1919 to 1960s
Founder: Alfred Wells
Specialty: Wells Brimtoy was a British toy company that was founded by Alfred Wells in 1919. The company was based in Birmingham, England, and produced a wide range of tinplate toys, including cars, buses, and trains. They produced tinplate automotive toys; Wells Brimtoy also ventured into Die-cast motor toys. Most popular are the post-WWII tinplate buses. In 1925, the company merged with another toy company, Hobbies Ltd., to become Wells-Brimtoy Ltd. The company continued to produce toys and expanded its product line to include other items, such as aircraft models and dolls. During World War II, the company shifted its focus to military production, and after the war, it returned to producing toys. The company went out of business in the 1960s.
Also known by: Brimtoy Co.
Whiteley, Tansley & Co. Ltd. (Whitanco) Liverpool, England
1912 – 1924
Founder: Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Tansley
Specialty: The company was founded in 1912 in the United Kingdom. Whiteley, Tansley & Co. Ltd. while producing toys was called “Whitanco” an abbreviation of the main company name. Whitanco continued to produce toys and other metal products until they eventually closed down with the company going in to receivership in 1921, and ceasing trading in 1924.
Whitanco was a prominent company in the toy industry, especially during the mid-20th century. They manufactured tin plate toys such as trains, cars, buses, spinning tops, horse & carts, cannons, and tanks. Their metal toys were known for their durability and quality, and many collectors still seek out their products today.
Wilkins Toy Co. Keene, New Hampshire
1890 – 1919 (see also Kingsbury)
Founder: James S. Wilkins
Specialty: One of the earliest manufacturers to produce toy automobiles, circa 1895. Another Keene, New Hampshire, firm, headed by Henry T. Kingsbury, bought out Wilkins that same year, but the toy line carried the Wilkins name and trademark until 1919.
A.C. Williams Co. Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Ravenna, Ohio
1844 to date
Founder: John W. Williams
Specialty: The A.C. Williams Company was started in 1844 in Chagrin Falls, Ohio by John Wesley Williams. A.C. Williams, Jr. bought his father’s business, the A.C. Williams Co., in 1886. At the time, it was a leading manufacturer of hardware items in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. When fires in 1889 and 1892 destroyed the Chagrin Falls operation, Williams Jr. decided to move the company to Ravenna, Ohio. In 1905, the business was incorporated as The A.C. Williams Company and A.C. Williams’ son-in-law, J.H. Bigalow joined the company. Williams produced cast-iron, horse-drawn rigs, autos, airplane, and tractor toys from 1893 to 1923; the line included mostly miniatures distributed through Woolworth, Kresge`s, and other five-and-dime stores.
Wolverine Supply & Manufacturing Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1903 – 1950
Founders: Benjamin F. Bain and his wife.
Specialty: The Wolverine Supply & Manufacturing Company was founded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1903, and incorporated in 1906. Wolverine`s early toys were set in motion by the weight of sand or marbles. These popular toys were usually designed to unload sand or marbles from an elevated hopper. The toys, once set in operation, continue to operate unattended until the supply of marbles or sand was exhausted, thereby providing endless hours of fun for youngsters. These type of toys were called “Sandy Andy”. In 1918, Wolverine`s line expanded to include girls` toys. Introduced at the New York Toy Fair in March of that year, were such toys as tea sets, sand pails, wash tubs, glass washboards, ironing boards and miniature grocery stores. In 1928, Wolverine introduced their “Sunny Andy” and Sunny Suzy” toys. Company advertising explained that the new names for the toys would cover all toys not operated by sand. By 1929, airplanes, boats, buses, and other toys had joined the Wolverine family of toys. Wolverine continued to expand their toy line throughout the 9130s, right up to the beginning of WWII, almost as if they were immune from the effects of the Depression. Even the sand toys, relatively unchanged from the early 1900`s, were still being sold into the 1950`s.
Wyandotte Toys (All Metal Products Co.) Wyandotte, Michigan
1920 – 1956 (Toy production began in 1921).
Founder: George Stallings and William F. Schmidt
Specialty: Toy guns, rifles, targets, pressed-steel airplanes, and other motor toys with baked-enamel finish and battery-operated headlights. Their biggest year was 1935 with 5 1/2 million dollars in toy guns. Acquired Haffner Trains (1950-1955).
Yonezawa Toys Co. Ltd. (Y) Tokyo, Japan
1946 to 1996
Specialty: Yonezawa Toys is a Japanese toy manufacturer that was established in 1946 in Tokyo, Japan. The company started by producing tin toys and then expanded to plastic and die-cast metal toys. Yonezawa Toys is known for producing high-quality, detailed toys with intricate designs and mechanisms.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Yonezawa Toys produced a wide range of toys, including cars, trucks, robots, space toys, and character toys based on popular TV shows and movies. Some of their most popular toys included the Space Explorer Robot, the Atomic Robot Man, and the Space Patrol Car.
It appears that Yonezawa Toys started to use “Yone” as a brand name in 1964 and S.Y. trademark from 1950-1964. However, it is unclear if this was a formal name change or just a branding decision. Yonezawa Toys continued to produce toys under the Yonezawa name as well.
In the 1970s, Yonezawa Toys began to shift their focus to electronic toys, such as electronic games and robotic toys. They continued to produce toys into the 1980s but faced increasing competition from other toy manufacturers and a changing toy market. At this time Sega entered into a business alliance with Yonezawa Toys in the late 1980s to jointly produce and market toys under the Sega-Yonezawa name. Yonezawa Toys continued to operate independently under the Sega brand until the mid-1990s when it faced financial difficulties and eventually filed for bankruptcy in 1996. Sega abolished the Yonezawa brand in April 1998. Today, Yonezawa Toys are highly sought after by collectors for their high quality and intricate designs.
Other names known as: Yonezawa Toys Co., Ltd., Yonezawa Gangu, Yoneya Toys Co., Ltd., S.Y. Toys Co. Ltd., Yone, S.Y., Y, Sega-Yonezawa, STS.