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]

The Wheelmen

The Wheelmen

This elegant tribute to turn-of-the-century bicycling includes memorabilia, photographs, and an index of 3140 bicyc… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

% 1960's Gilbert American Flyer S-scale Train Set In Box W/ Engine 21920Vintage Murray Dolphin Pedal Car Boat No ReserveVintage Star Wars Radio Controled Jawa Sandcrawler MisbNew 1980 Webra Boxer Getriebe Rc Twin 1.20 Model Airplane Engine Vintage Box NibAntique 1920's Buddy L Red Baby International Harvester Truck --all Orig 24inchAntique 1920's Buddy L Ice Delivery Truck W/tongs&blocks -all Original 26inches Wen Mac P 38 Lightning Twin .049 Gas Engines Vintage Airplane Not Comet Or CoxWen Mac P 38 Lightning Twin Gas Engine Airplane .049 Vintage Not Cox Or Comet Nice Vintage 1/24 Scale Cox Jim Hall Chaparral 2d Slot Car Mostly Unused BoxVintage Tonka Truck Mound Metalcraft Semi Truck & Trailer 1950's Private LabelAntique 1920's Buddy L Passenger Bus -all Original 29inches Transportation CoVintage Star Wars 1985 Kenner Droids R2-d2 Afa U85Antique 1920's Keystone Packard U.s. Army Truck --all Original 26inchesRare! Vintage Original 1950s Mechanized Robby Robot + Box Nomura Japan Space TinNew 1958 Mccoy 60 Red Head Model Airplane Engine Rear Rotary Race Vintage 10ccAntique Ford Mustang Pedal Car Amf 1965Unknown Inline Twin 38 Rc Ignition Model Airplane Engine 2 Cylinder Vintage W/mtVintage Star Wars Blue Snaggletooth With Gun Action Figure 1978 Sears CantinaVintage Original 1930/s Structo Semi Tractor Trailer Truck 26" Long 7" High Vintage Marbles Lot!! Akro, Peltier, Vitro, Etc. Wow!!!New 1985 Spielmaker Bantam 16 Ignition Model Airplane Engine Fuel Tank VintageAntique 1920's Buddy L Tank Line Pressed Steel Tanker Truck -all Original 26inchVintage Tonka 1956 Ford Pressed Steel Aaa Tow Truck Wrecker Missing Parts1950s Sonicon Rocket Space Ship Tin Battery Operated Japan Toy W/box Masudaya NrWind Up Clockwork Lehmann Zulu W/ Ostrich Tin Toy Original Condition Cir. 1913Vintage Team Associated Rc10 Gold Pan 6016 New Built Buggy56 Vintage Star Wars Figures W/ Blue Snaggletooth + Weapons & Speeder Lot 1977+Vintage Airtronics Adante 99" R/c Foam Wing Fiberglass Fuse Model Sailplane KitVintage Kenner Star Wars Tie Interceptor, Tie Fighter And Vader Tie Fighter Lot.Vintage Star Wars Action Figures/weapons Lot! ++++Vintage Mattel Shootin Shell Fanner Cap Pistol - NrSteam Engine Wilesco D20 --- Model On WheelsStar Wars Vintage Revenge Of The Jedi X-wing Boxflat - Proof Prototype% 1950's Marx Rin Tin Tin Fort Apache Play Set In Original BoxVintage Star Wars Yak Face, Potf Last 17 With Vintage Weapon... No Repro.Vintage 1976 Royal Chance Vought Corsair F4u-1d Rc Airplane Model Kit With Box!Vintage Star Wars Potf Luke Skywalker Stormtrooper Last 17 Action Figure Afa?Kyosho Vintage Heavy Metal Monster Tank Blizzard Tamiya Original Vintage Ohlsson & Rice Tether Race Car Motorjet Gas .049 Mite Midjet 76Cox Sb2c Helldiver Thimble Drome Us Navy .049 Gas Vintage Airplane Not Wen Mac Aurora P 47 Thunderbolt .049 Tornado Vintage Gas Airplane Not Cox Or CometVintage~1977~1984~1985~star~wars~potf~last~17~r2d2~popup~saber~lightsaber~droidsVintage Star Wars 1977 Original First 21 Action Figures Kenner No Reserve Nr1977 Super Tigre G 60 Abc Pdp Model Airplane Engine Twin Pipe Spinner Vintage ClVintage Star Wars Action Figures 1977-1980,original Star Wars 12 Action FiguresVintage Custom Works Dominator Iv 4wd Dirt Oval 1/101969 Vintage Corgi Juniors Husky Batmobile, Batboat & Trailer Paper Label BatmanAntique Vindex Cast Iron John Deere Tractor With Nickel Driver & Steering WheelStar Wars Lot Of 31 Vintage Original Action Figures And Darth Vader Case- Rare!!Vintage, New-in-box, Os Fs-20 Pre-surpass, R/c 4 Stroke Glow/nitro EngineVintage Tinplate Battery Operated High Wheel Robot Toy, Yoshiya (ko) Japan AfVintage He Man Masters Of The Universe Motu Lot - Castles Vehicles *no Reserve*Vintage Star Wars Blue Snaggletooth Rare 1978 Hong KongVintage~1988~glasslite~star~wars~r2-d2~pop-up~lightsaber~moc~kenner~80nm~figure!Gilbert James Bond's Aston Martin Goldfinger Thunderball Toy Japan 1965 Orig BoxNew 1974 Taipan 2.5cc Rc Quarter Midget Pylon Race Model Airplane Engine VintageAntique Rare Mercury Model Electric Boat Outboard Motor In Original BoxVintage German Tin Lithographed Airplane Penny Toy - Globe Trade Mark GermanyAntique Brass Miniature Dice Roulette Spinning Spinner Pub Gambling Game ToySuperb Rare Antique French Nodding Mr Punch Figure C1850 Original Paintwork