Vintage Antique Tin Toys

Tin toy collecting is a popular hobby for those who like to reminisce about days gone by. Most production and large-scale manufacturing of tin toys took place during the mid-1800's to the mid-1900's. The big players were in Germany, Great Britain, France and America. Australian made tin toys also entered the market in the early 1900's. Australian made tin toys also entered the market in the early 1900's. Vintage or antique tin toys from these earlier periods and other unusual toys have the most value for collectors. The more recently mass-produced toys can hold sentimental value, particularly for those who may have played with them as children.

Vintage Tin Facts

During the industrial revolution, tin was a popular material for making toys. It was inexpensive and lightweight, yet sturdy and long-lasting. The proof lies in the condition of the tin toys collected by enthusiasts today. At first tin toys were either spray painted or hand painted with enamel. Later innovations included new techniques for printing directly onto the tin. The tin was then shaped and moulded into the final product.

Early Tin Toys

Popular collector's items are tin toy trains, planes, and automobiles. You will also find tin toy collectors love tin animals, tin boats, tin robots, and tin lunch boxes. For Australian tin toys, look for Boomaroo tractors, diggers, bulldozers and trucks. Lehmann tin toys, produced by a German manufacturer include an animal range. Lehmann's toys have exquisite attention to detail in the moulding and colouring techniques and moving parts. Japan produced a series of toy tin robots and spacecraft inspired by the space race and sci-fi movie culture in the mid-1900's.

Pop Culture Themes in Vintage Tin Toys

Tin lunch boxes became popular for everyday use for three decades, the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's. Collectors now enjoy tin lunch boxes with themes popularised by movie and music revolutions. Lunch box themes include James Bond, The Beatles, Yogi Bear, Snoopy, Disney characters, the US Wild West, Popeye and the Partridge Family. The bold and beautiful decade of the 1980's produced a new range of tin sports and racing cars, and antique replicas. These are now collected keenly by members of Generation Y becoming nostalgic for the 80's vibe.