Toys are objects for the imagination, the physical things children manipulate in the real world as their minds race with fantastic scenarios and secret adventures. Toys don’t have to be complicated in design or made of expensive materials. Indeed, the best toys are often the simplest, used way past their breaking points, which makes collecting vintage toys in good condition a challenge.

One of the most popular categories of vintage toys encompasses toys that move. Pull toys on wheels are powered by the user, while wind-up toys—which are sometimes called clockwork toys for their internal similarity to the movements in clocks—walk, crawl, or roll along a floor or flat surface when cranked or wound with a special key. Friction toys are propelled forward when a spring in the toy is wound backwards, while battery-operated toys are powered by cylindrical cells that are, as every parent knows, usually not included with the toy when it’s purchased.

Then there are doll-like toys, but please don’t call them dolls. We’re talking action figures here, from G.I. Joes to “Star Wars” figures and playsets. Other examples of figural toys include My Little Ponies (collectors go for the first-generation ones made between 1992 and 1995), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and tin robots (Lilliput, Atomic Robot Man, and others made in mid-20th-century Japan are especially rare).

Building toys such as Lincoln Logs, Erector sets, and LEGOs have long been popular with kids, as have toys targeted to toddlers, and even infants, from companies such as Fisher-Price, Playmobil, and Playskool. These toys are designed to give a child’s imagination a kickstart, as are the playsets made by Marx and other toy manufacturers. At the other end of the play spectrum are toys that are positively elegant in their simplicity yet require a certain amount of dexterity and skill to enjoy, the yo-yo being a good example of this type of toy.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Museum of Childhood

Museum of Childhood

Embrace your inner child on this website from the Victoria and Albert Museum, filled with high-quality images and i… [read review or visit site]

Gallery of Monster Toys

Gallery of Monster Toys

Raymond Castile's homage to vintage monster toys from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Browsable by decade and m… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

Old Antique Large Live Steam Engine Joseph Falk Early 1900's Dampfmaschine1940 Syncro Rocket Very Early Tether Car! Syncro "ace" Power, Fully Wired 1950s Tonka Red Owl Semi Tractor Trailer Vintage Toy Truck FordAafa Large Early Primitive Folk Art Platform Horse Pull Toy Antique Pull ToyC.1900 Antique "pony" Cast Iron Toy Sewing Machine - Excellent & Original Cond.1900s Gunthermann Sg German Tin Toy Carousel W/6 Riders& Inside Lanterns 12"Phantom Tipp & Co. Western Germany 1945-1950's Wind Up 36 Cms Toy With BoxMac 700 Arnold Motorcycle, Tin Toy, Vintage1960s Nomura Vw Beetle Space Patrol Car R-10 Scarce Vintagetin ToysJosef Falk? Stationary Steam Engine, Germany, Pre-wwii, Rare, Nice!Wyandotte Circus Truck And Trailer German Guntermann Rear Entrance Tonneau Tin Mechanical Wind Up Toy Auto Car1950s Louis Marx Flash Gordon Rocket Fighter Space Ship Wind Up Runs Great! 12"Japan Battery Operated High Way Patrol Police Motorcycle Tin ToyVintage Japan Battery Operated Mr Baseball All Stars Baseball Slugger Tin ToySss Shioji Sears Tin Battery Op Indy 500 Watson Offy Race Car 14" With BoxLehmann New Century Motorcycle W/ Red & White Umbrella German Tin (dakotapaul)Rare 1930s Marx Bunny Express Tin Litho Wind Up Train Freight Car Hopper ChicksOriginal Antique Boy On Trapeze Cast Iron Mechanical Bank No Res (dakotapaul)Vintage 1966 Mattel M-16 Marauder Toy Gun Plastic Rifle Action & Sound Works Nr 1930s Louis Marx Tin Amos & Andy Fresh Air Taxi Excellent Wind Up Runs Great!Rare 1960s Tinplate Bandai Japan James Bond Aston Martin Db5 Car All WorkingVintage Technofix "merry Clown" Tin Windup Toy1898 Cast Iron Toy Floor Train Railroad Locomotive Engine By Dent Hardware CoEvel Knievel Sealed Authentic 2nd Edition Stunt Cycle "nos No Reserve"Rare Robot Piston Action Nomura Japan Vintage Remote Control Boxed Tin ToyTin Friction 1959 Plymouth Hardtop Car Beautiful Shape Alps JapanAntique German Tin Litho Key Wind 1905-1915 Toy Car Vehicle Red Touring AutoFerris Sydney Suburban Electric Train 1950’sArnold Tin Wind Up Motorcycle Acrobat Toy1900 Bing/gunthermann/carette German Tin Mechanical Soldier & Rifle Hand PaintedYonezawa Tin Battery Operated 1958 Ford Police Car 12.25"1900 Cast Iron Toy Floor Train Railroad Locomotive Engine By Harris Toy CompanyVintage Gray Wwii Era Cast Iron Wheeled Anti-aircraft Rapid Fire Machine Gun ToyToonerville Trolley Tin Litho Wind-up Toy 1922 Germany No Reserve (dakotapaul)Super Rare Miniature Of Parrot Head Hopkins & Allen Miniature 2m Cap Gun Superb!Old Toy And Game Box Lot Pez Sports Cards Magic The Gathering Deckmaster Atari 1960 Vogue 7.5" Ginny Blonde Boy & Girl Doll Pair W Traditional European OutfitsHtf Antique Cast Iron Arcade Showboat # 433 Pull Toy Original Paint Decal Anchor1957 Ford 16” Japanese Tin Police Car By Yonezawa Nr Antique German Nuremberg 1905-1915 Hess Tin Toy Car Edwardian Vehicle Friction1970's Original England Mammod Sa1 Roadster Live Steam Engine W/box No ReserveOriginal Prewar 1930s Meccano Aeroplane Constructor Outfit No. 10 - SeaplaneHall's Lilliput Mechanical Bank J & E Stevens Cast Iron No Reserve (dakotapaul)Antique Vintage Bing (gbn Wind Up Tin Lithographed Car/ Coupe 1st. Paint N.r 5 Large Heyde British Life Guards, Made In Germany Ca.1900, Box***no Reserve***Antique Pressed Steel Kingsbury Windup CarVintage Schuco Acrobat Mouse 887 Wind-up Toy W/key And Original Box Vtg 1950's Japan 12" Sss Shioji Friction Car & Trailer W/ Boat, Tin Metal ToySuper Rare! Evel Knievel Sidewinder, 1970's Vintage By IdealRare Antique C1900's Dayton/ Schieble Cast Iron Hill Climber Toy Car Carriage NrTin Friction 1952 Oldsmobile Olds Convertible Open Fat Car Ichiko Yonezawa JapanVintage Tin Friction Toy Bus --- Greyhound Lines World Bus --- San - JapanVintage Grey Hubley Texan Cast Iron Cap Gun Toy & Rare Roy Rogers Holster * B14Kts Tatsuya Japan Tin Friction 1952 Ford F1 Good Humor Ice Cream Truck 10.75"Tonka Turbine Style Ramp Hoist Roll-off Vintage Toy Truck Car Hauler1952 Masudaya, Space Ship No.x-5 In Original BoxVintage Marx Merrymakers Band Lithograph Tin Wind-up Toy - Louis Marx & Co. UsaVintage Schuco 969 Fox Wind-up Toy With Key And Original BoxVintage Black Americana Tin Toy Amos & Andy By Louis Marx Co. Made In The Usa