New tin toys copy vintage originalsBy Mark Chervenka
New tin toys copy vintage originals
ask the right questions when buying without a firsthand examination
The American toy company, Schylling Toys, has been selling new metal toys virtually identical to well known originals made ca. 1930-1940s.
One new example, the wind-up walking crocodile with native rider, originally made by J. Chein & Co. of the United States, is being made from the original 1930s tooling. This was confirmed by a representative of a nationally circulated mail order catalog which carries the new toy. "Jack Schylling [of Schylling Toys] bought the original tooling. The new toy is essentially exactly the same as the original," the representative said.
The action of both new and old toys are the same. Once wound, the crocodile lurches ahead on waddling feet while the jaws open and close. Original crocodile toys are usually, but not always, marked "J. Chein & Co., Made in USA" or similar wording. All the new crocodile toys are plainly marked with the Schylling name and "Made in China."
But if you're viewing the toy online without a firsthand inspection, you might assume it's the vintage toy, not the reproduction. It's important to ask the seller about the marks to determine age. The new toy currently wholesales for $6 each and is being sold nationally for $15-$18 retail. Original crocodile toys sell for $125-$250 depending on condition.
Other new metal toys by Schylling are based on originals first produced by Louis Marx & Co. in the United States during the 1940s. There are four different new cars based on four different vintage originals which shared the same body style but with a variety of lithographed designs on the outside.
The four designs include an olive green "Riot Car," a yellow "City Cab" taxi, a blue and white "State Police" patrol car and a red "Chief, Fire Department" vehicle.
All the new cars are just under 7 inches long; originals are only slightly smaller at about 6¾ inches. Both old and new cars have friction motors and a siren noisemaker. Originals are almost always marked Louis Marx, United States of America (USA), although the exact format and arrangement of the wording may vary. The key element of the vintage mark is USA. New cars are marked Schylling, Made in China.
The new cars are retailing for $15-$18 each. Originals can sell for $125-$225.