How Do You Identify Tootsietoy Toys?

Tootsietoys, a brand of metal die-cast vehicles, trucks, and various play toys dating back to the early 1900s, are difficult to identify because many lack a trademark insignia or are missing their original packaging. However, collectors can examine Tootsietoy listings on eBay, talk with vintage toy dealers, or purchase David E. Richter’s “Collector’s Guide to Tootsietoys, Identification & Values, Third Edition” from Amazon.

Clint Seeley, a toy historian, reports that Tootsietoys, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, began as a metal die-casting company in the late 1800s, but by the early 1900s, it began manufacturing a line of popular toy vehicles.

According to Robert Newson, the company patented the term Tootsietoy in 1924, based on the pet name of the daughter of one of the company’s proprietors. Newson further observes that while the company began using the Tootsietoy brand on catalogues and toy boxes prior to 1925, the name didn’t appear on the undersides of the toys until a year or two later, and some toys manufactured after 1930 lacked a company mark.

Collectors interested in recognising authentic Tootsietoys can consult Richter’s guide, which contains 850 pages of colour photographs of the older toys and their original packaging. In addition, it is advisable to seek for expert antique toy merchants who are conversant with Tootsietoy production techniques throughout the years.

J. Lloyd International, Inc. now owns Tootsietoy and continues to manufacture toy vehicles in Chicago, Illinois.


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