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Harry P.

Automotive (and other) toys from our childhood

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All of us had automotive toys when we were kids, everything from pedal cars to Hot Wheels to Tonka trucks and more. Sadly, all of my childhood toys were thrown out long ago (thanks, mom...), so all I have now are the memories.

So I thought it might be fun to post some of the automotive toys we had as kids... and maybe some cool toys that were not necessarily automotive, but let's say "vehicular" in nature?

These photos aren't mine, I found them online. But I did have this toy as a kid. It was the "Big Red" hot rod by Marx. It was huge (maybe 1/6 scale or so?), had a cast metal frame, and was battery powered. It took four of those big old D batteries to power the thing. It could run forward, reverse, or just" idle." You could also turn on the "engine sound" function (that round white gizmo on the bottom of the car was the sound generator... don't really remember how it worked).

I remember "detailing" this thing back then. I painted the blower silver, painted the seats black, painted the steering wheel spokes, etc. I even wired the engine! One of my favorite childhood toys. Wish I still had it!

bigred2_zpsz3ipjdgd.jpg

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How about the rest of you guys? Any cool vintage toys you owned as a kid? Or maybe still own? :D

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This is where the model car mania began for me. In the early 50s, my Dad took me to a toy store and I fell in love with a dark gray version of this imported friction toy. It was $8, so my Dad said it was too expensive. I think I've been compensating ever since.

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That rod reminds me of when I built my 1/8 model.  I believe it was called The Big T.  I got it when I was 16 back around 1964 or 1965.  It took all of 6 months to build.  Even then with very limited knowledge I detailed the heck out of it.  Even painted the lettering on the tires.

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My Dad used to treat me to bags of toy soldiers and jeeps with swivel-mounted .50's every payday he could manage it... then it became Matchbox cars.... they were a LOT cheaper i think... but they were fun; shiny, and durable... I've got a couple of those and the really cheap Tootsietoy cars still... one's a Triumph TR3. 

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I didn't have any toy cars that I can recall, not one. It was all guns and airplanes. The first "toy" car I ever owned would have been my first model car, which I bought in 1966.

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One of my best childhood friends, who lived two houses down, had a big collection of Corgi and Dinky diecast cars. Some of them were really beautiful. One of my favorite childhood memories is playing with those cars in his back yard. We used to say "wanna play Corgi and Dinky?" B)

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My hot wheels and track (early 70's) are still upstairs.  :)

Almost forgot the Lincoln logs from the 60's are keeping the Hot Wheels company

Edited by GT4494
Foggy Memory

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My hot wheels and track (early 70's) are still upstairs.  :)

I wish I still had mine! :(

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Car toys!  man, I had them all.  I was a car guy since I was born.  Hot Wheels were special to me.  Here's a few I had.

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Edited by angelo7

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Not technically an "automotive" toy, but a very cool toy nonetheless... "Mr. Machine," by Ideal. You could take him apart and put him back together. I had one of the original releases, not the later knockoffs with plastic parts substituting for the original's metal parts. Again, a toy I wish I still had today, as original issues are worth some pretty serious dineros.

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Not technically an "automotive" toy, but a very cool toy nonetheless... "Mr. Machine," by Ideal. You could take him apart and put him back together. I had one of the original releases, not the later knockoffs with plastic parts substituting for the original's metal parts. Again, a toy I wish I still had today, as original issues are worth some pretty serious dineros.

mr_machine4_zps9hkuhyoa.jpg

I had one of those, too, at about age 5 or 6. I could take it apart and get it back together, too. Mine had the metal parts.

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My first automotive toys were Matchbox cars.........................had hundreds of them, all disappeared somewhere along the way. Also got into collecting Roco & Roskopf Minitanks at an early age, back in the early '60s. Those somehow stayed with me until just last year when I finally had to admit they were just too small for me to see! They are 1/87th scale, shown here is just one of about 50 boxes of them. So, I sold off all 2500 of them! Got a pretty penny for them, and promptly bought more 1/25th truck kits!

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Edited by redneckrigger

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 Also got into collecting Roco & Roskopf Minitanks at an early age, back in the early '60s. Those somehow stayed with me until just last year when I finally had to admit they were just too small for me to see! They are 1/87th scale.

I had DOZENS of those! All gone. Got back into them in a very small way a few years ago. I have maybe a dozen or 20 now, all WWII stuff. I paint them like models.

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I had a lot of stuff. Tonka trucks, Matchbox and Dinky small scale stuff, still have a couple of Wyandotte stamped steel trucks, one like this but with a different color cab.

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Also still have a firetruck in about the same scale that hooks up to the garden hose through a little hydrant and sprays water. Lionel trains (still have 'em, sometimes run 'em at Xmas), Tinkertoys, various building construction sets like this: CURTAIN3.JPG    Erector Set, steel construction equipment like dozers and graders in roughly the same scale as the Wyandotte truck. Oh yeah...a chemistry set. First thing I made was amorphous sulfur. What a stench. :D

Also still have a friction DeHavilland Comet that sparks as you pull it along the ground.

And one of these.

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Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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Hey... does that truck have a chopped top? :lol:

I never noticed that before. Must be one of those early evil subliminal influences that start us down the path to the dark side. B)

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I never noticed that before. Must be one of those early evil subliminal influences that start us down the path to the dark side. B)

Not all of us... ;)

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Another favorite toy of mine was the Kenner "girder and panel" building sets. You would build the skeleton of a hi-rise with plastic girders on a masonite base that had holes drilled in it to accept the girders, then snap on the outer skins with individual panels that you could arrange any way you wanted. I had several of those sets, and loved them.

Also... Tinkertoys, and the red and white plastic bricks made by Halsam. Loved those things.

http://toysbulletin.com/nostalgic-memory-american-plastic-bricks-the-predecessor-to-lego-2/

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Another favorite toy of mine was the Kenner "girder and panel" building sets. You would build the skeleton of a hi-rise with plastic girders on a masonite base that had holes drilled in it to accept the girders, then snap on the outer skins with individual panels that you could arrange any way you wanted. I had several of those sets, and loved them.

Also... Tinkertoys, and the red and white plastic bricks made by Halsam. Loved those things.

http://toysbulletin.com/nostalgic-memory-american-plastic-bricks-the-predecessor-to-lego-2/

My best friend Eddie had that Kenner thing. He also had an HO slot car set we played with sometimes.

I had Erector sets. Started with my Dad's WWII-era one (a collector's item today), and then one Christmas Santa added to it with a '60s set. The old stuff was all steel, the newer stuff was aluminum.

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Another favorite toy of mine was the Kenner "girder and panel" building sets. You would build the skeleton of a hi-rise with plastic girders on a masonite base that had holes drilled in it to accept the girders, then snap on the outer skins with individual panels that you could arrange any way you wanted. I had several of those sets, and loved them.

I STILL have my Kenner sets....................LOTS of them. Am saving them for my grandson who LOVES building things.

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Anybody have Tonka trucks? My friends and I had a ton of them. We would spend all day playing with them.

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Anybody have Tonka trucks? My friends and I had a ton of them. We would spend all day playing with them.

I had one of the metal Alaskan dump trucks..... The thing was Huge to me, but I was only about 3 or 4 at the time........

It was old when I had it, so it could of been one of the originals.....  ^_^

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It was just like this one.......

Edited by JollySipper
add pic

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Anybody have Tonka trucks? My friends and I had a ton of them. We would spend all day playing with them.

Yup. The working fire truck I mentioned earlier was a Tonka Ford, like this...

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The hydrant hooks to the outdoor hose. 

And like you, I had several of the "Girder and Panel" building sets. This one had little pumps and tubing, clear tanks and colored water to make "industrial plants". Of course, at the end all the water became dirty brown as the colors mixed.

                                                                                   kenner.jpg

Had one of this style too. The pieces were fairly brittle styrene, whereas the girders in the Kenner set were tougher polyethylene and the panels were thin translucent styrene. I remember the little V-shaped connectors on the Kenner beams would break off fairly easily, and the Elgo "Skyline" corner blocks were quite fragile. 

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Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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It took a lot of searching to find this one... all I could remember was German windup cars.

This is a German "tin toy" road layout made by Technofix. The cars were wound up with a silver key, and each car would come to a stop when it came to the colored spot on the road. You would control the traffic, avoid collisions, and make each car go again by pressing the correct color tab at the front of the layout.

I had this exact toy as a kid, and again... wish I still had it, as I would assume it would bring a pretty good price on the collector market today.

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