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Tin plate & metal toy cars and trucks

On this page are some examples of tinplate & pressed steel toy car that would have been available in the 1930s - 1950s era.

Before manufacturers fully got to grips with plastic toy manufacture, the majority of toy cars that were available in the shops during the 1930s-1950s were either of die-cast, or tin-plate, metal construction.

On this page are some examples of the tinplate toys that fortunate children either side of WW2 could hope (!) to receive at Christmas time, or on their birthday. Such toys were a real luxury back then, and many will have been cherished for year after year - not something that happens so often in today's throwaway society, with nearly-new toys ending up in the bin after a very short time. Attention spans were longer in the 40s and 50s, hence children didn't get bored with just one toy in the way that happens today in many cases.

The fact that any toy has survived over 50+ years is testimony to one child's care and appreciation of it. Tin plate toys are quite vulnerable to knocks and dents, so finding perfect examples of original tin toys (don't mention reproduction stuff!) is not too easy. My own tin toys show varying levels of play-wear, ranging from good condition, right down to the borderline rusty example!

My own interest is in toys depicting racing cars of years gone by, hence the bias in the selection of toys shown below. If you have some photos of other tinplate toy cars that would look good on here, by all means fire them over and I'll happily include them here too. You can also see details of rare plastic toys and die-cast toys elsewhere in this toy section. Click any of these for more info:
Schuco Triang Minic Chad Valley Aston DB2 Auto Union
Schuco car (Germany) Tri-ang Minic Chad Valley (England) Aston Martin DB2 Auto Union LSR
Mercedes W196 Midget Breakdown truck Mercedes Gama toy
Mercedes W196 GP "Mighty Midget" Breakdown truck Mercedes streamliner Gama toy racer
Jet-Car Gescha toy Biller Toy Auto Union Mettoy England Schuco Studio toy Mercedes
Jet-Car Gescha Silver Arrows Auto Union (Biller Toys) Mettoy Ltd Schuco Studio
Huki rally car Wuco Joustra (France) Grand Prix car VW Beetle Bedford CA
Huki rally car Wuco race car R/C car Joustra (France) VW Beetle Bedford Police van
Toy pickup truck Esso petrol tanker Mettoy road roller Rolls-Royce Army tank by Marx
Wyandotte pickup truck Bedford Esso Fuel Tanker Mettoy road roller Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Army tank by Marx
Lehmann toy racing car Penny Toys Mettoy racing cars Mobo tinplate toy car Bond Bug toy car by Bandai
Lehmann / Gnom Toys "Penny Toy" racing cars Mettoy toy racing cars Mobo remote control car Bandai Bond Bug
Marx clockwork racing car 1930s metal lorry tipper Mettoy tinplate toy car Schuco 1750  
Marx (UK) racing car Pre-war tipping lorry Mettoy "Fire Chief" Schuco 1750 tinplate car  
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