Sunday, November 20, 2011

Little Metal People

Meet my peeps: a bunch of vintage 1940s and '50s cast metal figures originally sold in the popular dime stores of the day. In the early '40s, these 3 1/4 inch toys sold for a nickel apiece...alas, such is no longer the case! Made by companies like Barclay and Manoil, whose lines were predominantly filled with toy soldiers, these 'average citizens' are a bit more scarce.

They remind me of characters from a film noir production...

For instance: this couple appears to be full of secrets. Where is the husband rushing to, his camel hair coat casually draped over his arm? Could it be a meeting with The Other Woman? And what is his wife carrying in that violin case? Is it really a violin, or, could it be...a gun?! Does she suspect something? She certainly looks suspicious: see how she's giving him the eye?

Could this shapely stewardess be The Other Woman? Probably.

And just what is this rather stout and fearsome nurse up to? Is she blackmailing one of the elderly twin bachelor millionaires in her care?


Yes, they look anxious and fretful, don't they? 

Perhaps the lady in blue can help...I'm sure she saw something.
She looks the curtain-twitcher type.

She's on her way to confide her worries to the Vicar. Such a sensible man, always knows what to do, and has such a calm manner, even after his unfortunate head injury:

But the Vicar can't really talk now: he has a wedding to attend! Hopefully this young couple's marriage will turn out better than that of our friends in the first picture.

Fortunately, grandma comes to the rescue, telling everyone to stop making such fusses, sit down, and have a slice of pie. Pie makes everything better, don't you know?


  1. What a wonderful collection! and so many hidden stories, too. (Whatever caused the vicar's unfortunate head injury seems to have occurred to the bride, too, so perhaps things are not so innocent there after all ...)
    Thanks for showing us all of these :-)

  2. Very special this old tin dolls and I love the story you write! :-) Gr. Nancy

  3. Those are wonderful! Are you going to repaint them? They look like victims of a hurricane.

  4. And I just discovered you can still get these figures at! At greatly increased prices, of course. They run from $8 up. I am greatly tempted . . .

  5. Aren't they brilliant! I love your possible scenarios.

  6. thanks for the hearty chuckles!! that was a great one.. u are a toy comedianne :) ps. i love film noir, so it made it extra funny ;)

  7. Hah, great story-telling with these figures! And thanks once again for an introduction to a vintage toy I know nothing about.

  8. I think you're missing a character. Probably a big, burly figure carrying a billy club. This character would have been the one who beat everyone else and caused all those injuries! Also, the vicar's eyes tell a whole 'nother leg of the story.