What Are the Different Types of Tootsietoy Toys?

Tootsietoys, a series of metal die-cast automobiles, trucks, and other various play toys that dates back to the early 1900s, can be difficult to identify because many lack a trademark insignia or are missing an original labelled box. Collectors can look for Tootsietoys on eBay, talk to vintage toy dealers, or get a copy of David E. Richter’s “Collector’s Guide to Tootsietoys, Identification & Values, Third Edition,” which is available on Amazon.

According to toy historian Clint Seeley, Tootsietoys, founded in Chicago, Illinois, began as a metal die-cast firm in the late 1800s, but by the early 1900s, it had begun creating a line of popular toy vehicles.

According to Robert Newson, the company legally copyrighted the term Tootsietoy in 1924, based on a pet nickname of one of the company’s owners’ daughter. Newson further points out that, while the Tootsietoy name appeared on catalogues and toy boxes before 1925, it didn’t appear on the undersides of the toys until a year or two later, and that some toys made after 1930 were still without any identifying corporate logo.

Richter’s book, which includes 850 pages of colour images of the older toys and their original boxes, might help collectors identify original Tootsietoys. It’s also a good idea to look for skilled antique toy merchants who are familiar with Tootsietoy’s many production techniques.

J. Lloyd International, Inc. today owns Tootsietoy, which continues to make toy vehicles in Chicago, Illinois.

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