|Tin wind up monkey xylophone player, available at Tin Toys and Collectibles|
Whether it has a mechanical action or not, a tin toy is a beautiful object to look at and lovely to hold -it's that smooth, shiny surface, the rich colours, the quirky patterns and for many, the nostalgic image of childhood it conjures. A tin toy has charm.
|Tin merry-go round from Litily Maha|
By the early 20th century, Germany, which had developed the spring activated tin toy, had pretty much cornered the tin toy market and was the largest producer. During this period the most famous and innovative tin toy maker was Ernst Paul Lehmann who exported almost 90 % of his stock to the rest of the world.
|Classic spinning tops from Tin Toys and Collectables|
|1966 Tin Robotank-Z Robot|
In the heydays of tin toy manufacturing, there were literally hundreds of products made from tin - anything from simple hand clickers and buckets and spades to mechanical robots and pedal cars. The world's first toy robot was made from tin. Of course, many of these early pieces are now quite collectible and as is the case with most collectibles, condition and original packaging go a long way toward premium prices- although, the 1966 Japanese Tin Robotank at right, sans box, sold for auction in 2007 for $557.Included below are a few resources for those with a deeper interest in tin toys.
|Robot timer from TinToyArcade|
The Art of the Tin Toy - David Pressland has been collecting tin toys since the 1950s and he now advises and sources for serious tin toy collectors. The website includes some terrific pictures of vintage toys.
Tin Toy Arcade - this website has a vast selection of contemporary tin toys, many of which are reproductions of older styles.
ebay, Antique Tin Toys - there's some real beauties among this lot. Vintage toys from sellers all over the world.
My Tin Toys - includes a lovely selection of tin toys for sale and a resource page for collectors.