What types of toys are considered collector's items? Antiques 07/11/2022

Today in the Balclis post we talk about toys, these beautiful objects that the little ones have used to have fun since long ago. But of all the types, shapes and materials with which they are made, what kind of toys are considered collector's items, and where to buy vintage toys worth collecting?

Tin toys

Small cardboard or wooden objects or even the famous lead soldiers are very common toys, but perhaps the tin ones are the ones that have the greatest number of followers, it is for this same reason that you can easily find them in auctions of old toys. These were characteristic of the thrust of the Industrial Revolution and superseded the homemade toys that were traditionally common and that were made of wood or cloth. Since the 19th century, serial production has been increasing and each factory competed to offer the most successful objects.

English and Germans were pioneers in the elaboration of stamped tin plates representing characters, animals, vehicles or boats... that were occasionally equipped with some movement mechanism. In the 20th century, it is perhaps electric cars and trains that have enjoyed the greatest preaching and if they are in good condition, they can have an important value. The fact that they are objects with a traceable brand or provenance has made them very attractive ingredients for collectors of old toys.

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The Dolls and their evolution over time

One of the typologies most clearly related to children's games has traditionally been dolls. Also their aesthetic characteristics, the reflection they represent of fashion, their technical execution and their brands, have made them the object of great collecting.

Traditionally they were made of wood, wax, papier-mache, cloth, among other materials, but it was in France in the mid-19th century that they began to be made of porcelain and more specifically biscuit. This material provided a satin and naturalistic appearance, as well as soft tones, which would have a devastating success. While the heads and hands were made of that material, glass eyes and natural hair wigs were often added, while the bodies were usually made of wood or composition ("papier mache").

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Progressive advances led to sleeper eyes or crying sounds or articulated bodies or even walkers. French manufacturers such as Jumeau, Bru, Fernand Gaultier or Rabery & Delphieu, with their "Babys of Paris" models or their "mannequins" in the fashion of the moment, are still enormously successful today and especially the closed mouth specimens are particularly valued.

Entering the 20th century, German dolls were also very successful, particularly the "character babies", highlighting those of the Simon & Halbig brand. Other materials and models from the last century are also the subject of active collecting, such as the Italian Lenci felt dolls or the Spanish Mariquita Pérez composition dolls.