Sunday, January 19, 2014

Antique German Tin Clockwork Clown Toy

Pictures don't do this toy justice: it is truly a beautiful thing. Circa the 1890s-1900s, it was most likely made in Germany, and is of painted tin with a clockwork mechanism (no longer working.)

Spotted in the cluttered corner of a toy show table, it was quite a find even in its non-working condition. The little six inch clown still charms, even with his chipped paint. His delicate construction and soft colors are very appealing, all the more so for how well they have lasted over the past 100 plus years.

1930s Buck Rogers Board Game

Found at a recent toy show, this game board was one of three in a Buck Rogers multi-game boxed set made by Lutz and Sheinkman in 1934. The illustrations are classic vintage Buck, filled with fantastic spacecraft, dazzling futuristic cities, robots, ray guns, villians and heroines.

This game was titled "The Siege of Gigantica;" the other two boards, now missing, were "Cosmic Rocket Wars" and "Search for the Secrets of Atlantis." Finding any of the boards is difficult today, but finding the complete set is a rare feat. Maybe someday...

Toy Show space toy finds. 

1950s Tin Toy Space Port by T. Cohn/Superior/Pyro

Found at a toy show recently in a booth full of vintage space stuff, this tin litho space port was made in the 1950s by T. Cohn (who also made tin litho dollhouses) and released by Pyro, who manufactured the spaceship housed inside.

Toy Show space toy finds.

The space port measures 10 inches long, and features wonderful imagery of helmeted spacemen, rocket ships, flying saucers, fantastic machinery, and futuristic cityscapes:

The spaceship can be launched via a lever at the back of the port. Unfortunately, launching tended to damage the fragile plastic craft, often snapping off its fins, which makes finding the port complete with an intact ship quite a stellar feat. This one is in remarkable shape, and the whole playset is just an out-of-this-world-gorgeous toy.

The Pyro X-300 Space Cruiser

Toy Show Finds

Yesterday was one of my high holy days: the annual toy show that happens each January in our part of the world. It was a good day for tin and vintage space stuff: here's a quick peek at the finds.