Sunday, January 24, 2010

Arcade Toys – Daryle Lambert's Antique and Collectibles Blog – Smart marketing.

Arcade Car for the Ages - Thanks to

The first company I would like to discuss is the Arcade Manufacturing Company. This small company was founded in 1885 and produced industrial castings and household goods, but no toys. After a disastrous fire in 1892, they rebuilt and toys started appearing in their catalogs. But it wasn't until the early 1900's that they began to put out 50 page catalogs of toys that included small stoves, banks, trains and even a few items like pile-drivers. There was a wonderful article on Arcade toys in the Monday July15, 1996 issue of the Antique Week. You may be able to find it on the internet or Antique Week may provide you with one if you contact them. Why would I suggest going to the trouble of getting this information on Arcade toys? This may answer that question. In September of 2004, a circa 1932 Arcade Cab sold for $20,350.

The company continued along but it wasn't until a young man came to the company with a very unusual idea that it really prospered. His idea was to make toy copies of vehicles that were the leading ones being used during those days, such as Yellow Cab, General Motors, Ford, Deere and Harvester. Approaching these companies for their okay to duplicate their brands, he would give them exclusive right to use his toys for their advertisements. This was so successful that by 1927 they had to build larger facilities. However, it wasn't going to last long because the Great Depression was coming their way. The company was purchased in 1946 by Rockwell Manufacturing Co. and they soon discontinued the toy line. Even though this company was a little before my time, through my research I have found that they were one of the better toy makers ever, especially in the United States. They produced quality cast iron toys that have lasted through the ages and often, when found today, they are nearly as good as new. Probably the thing that distinguishes them from other manufacturers was the attention to detail. If you own one of their toys today, you know what the real item looked like back in the 20's and 30's.

If you acquire O'Brien's book on collector toys, there is a full section on Arcade toys with pictures. Some of my favorites are the Steamroller, Century of Progress Bus and the Double Decker Bus. The car lines are quite popular with the automobile collectors and the farm implements are also highly sought after.

These little jewels can command prices in the thousands if the are in near mint condition and regardless of that, there is a ready market for any Arcade toy.

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