Lone Ranger History

March 10, 2009 by  
Filed under Antique Toy History

Lone Ranger Pictures, Images and PhotosThe Lone Ranger began as a radio show and continued as an early television show. The title character was a man named Texas Ranger Reid who had survived an ambush. Tonto, a Potwatomi Native American, nursed him back to health. His reason was that Reid had rescued him after an attack by renegade Indians and Tonto gave him a ring which is how he recognized him. The Lone Ranger, renowned for his mask, and Tonto fought for law and order in the early western United States.
The Lone Ranger radio show offered premiums or gifts to children. Some examples of these included the Lone Ranger Six-Shooter Ring and the Lone Ranger Deputy Badge. A common motif used in the premium was the silver bullet.
Traditional Lone Ranger toys included figurines, cap guns, and mask. Gabriel Toys released a profitable line of 10-inch action figures and accessories in 1973. Of course, the Lone Ranger riding Silver was very popular as well as Tonto riding Scout. The nickel plates cap guns cocks to shoot one cap at a time and one side is stamped president. The other side is marked with the letter K and a single star. Another popular Lone Ranger toy is the Lone Ranger mask. It is black and ties in the back.
Lone Ranger toys remain popular as new generations watch “The Lone Ranger” television shows on reruns and older collectors think back to the days when the Lone Ranger was the hottest show on TV.

History of the Barbie Doll

March 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Antique Toy History

Barbie Doll Pictures, Images and PhotosThe Barbie doll is an icon in the toy industry and has been for many years. Many generations of little girls have played with and imagined with Barbie.

The Barbie doll was created by American businesswoman Ruth Handler. Her inspiration was her daughter, Barbara. She was playing with a typical doll, one that resembled a baby, but she was pretending the doll was an adult. Ruth realized that there was a need for a doll that represented adulthood. Ruth suggested the idea to her husband Elliot, a co-founder of the Mattel toy company who did not share her enthusiasm. During a trip to Europe with her two children, Barbie and Ken, she came across a German doll named Bild Lilli. It was the adult doll that she had envisioned. Lilli was an ambitious working girl with a fabulous wardrobe.
Ruth returned to the United States with steely determination. With the assistance from engineer Jack Ryan, Handler revised the design of the doll and was named Barbie after her daughter. Barbie was introduced at the American International Toy Fair in New York on March 9, 1959. Mattel obtained the right to the Bild Lilli doll in 1964 and production of Lilli ceased.
Barbie’s appearance was very modern. The first Barbie doll wore her hair in a signature topknot ponytail and a black and white zebra striped swimsuit. The doll was produced in two versions, a blonde and a brunette.
The Barbie doll continues to be a favorite toy of little girls around the world.

G.I. Joe History

March 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Antique Toy History

As the Barbie doll was a favorite toy for girls, the G.I. Joe was the equivalent for boys. Boys who loved to play with toy guns embraced G.I. Joe. In fact, the Barbie doll spurred the conception of the G.I. Joe action figure. Stan Weston, a toy creator and licensing agent, wanted to duplicate the success of the Barbie doll with young boys. His idea was to create a line of Barbie-sized dolls with a military theme. Weston submitted his idea to the creative director of Hasbro, Don Levine. Hasbro introduced the G.I. Joe products in 1964. G.I. Joe, first toy titled an action figure, was 12” long. The first G.I. Joes represented the four branches of the U.S. Armed Forces: Action Soldier (Army), Action Sailor (Navy), Action Pilot (Air Force) and Action Marine (USMC). Originally, the action figures were named “Rocky”, “Skip” and “Ace.” Levine was inspired by the popular 1945 film The Story of G.I. Joe which became the name for the popular action figure.

The G.I. Joe series has evolved with the times. A black G.I. Joe action figure was introduced in selected markets in 1965. Soldiers from France, Germany and England, joined the G.I. Joe line in 1966. The Action Nurse was made in 1967 and was the first female G.I. Joe. Today Vintage GI Joe Action figures are more popular than ever and collectors and enthusiasts are eager to find vintage action figures and accessories.

Antique Porcelain Dolls

March 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Antique & Vintage Toys

Antique porcelain dolls are an object that is collected and displayed and the value of antique porcelain dolls depends on many factors.

The price of antique porcelain dolls is contingent upon the quality. There is a distinction between a true antique and vintage. A vintage porcelain doll is one from the 1940s and after while an antique porcelain doll is a doll made before the 1930s.

One major concern with antique porcelain dolls is how to properly clean them. In order to determine if cleaning is safe to do, test an area such as the bottom of the feet. The cleaning solution should be a gentle dishwashing liquid on a soft cloth. Careful attention must be paid not to get any of the cleaning solution on the wig or hair because this can loosen the glue. A can of compressed air can rid the doll from dust without damaging. Soiled clothing can usually be hand washed with diluted Oxy-Clean or Woolite. Also, antique porcelain dolls must be properly stored in a moisture-proof container in order to maintain the quality. If value is the collector’s goal, the dolls should be kept in their original boxes to maximize their value.

Antique porcelain dolls are often found at estate sales or auctions as well as online auctions like the dolls listed below.

Vintage Johnny Hero Toys

February 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Antique Toy History

During the 1960’s, GI Joe was quickly becoming one of the hottest action figures on the market. In response to the success of GI Joe, Sears asked Rosko Industries to build a toy that would rival GI Joe and thus, Johnny Hero was born.

The action figure itself was about 13 inches tall with a plastic head and heavy foam body. Unforunately this foam was a bit of a downfall with the toy as it made it hard to remove the many outfits that children would collect and change the action figure into a new outfit. Over time the foam would break and therefore many of these action figures did not survive.

Johnny Hero was not specifically a soldier like GI Joe action figures, but a toy that could be dressed up like an athlete. Buying the Johnn Hero action figure was only the first step for a child receiving the Johnny Hero action figure. Now came the fun part of buying clothes to change the look of the action figure. The stock outfit was a red track suit complete with socks and running shoes. Soon, sports teams would catch on to Johnn Hero and used the toy as a means of marketing their team brand. Some of the teams that created Johnny Hero outfits in their team colours and logos were the Vikings, Redskins and Eagles to name just a few.

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