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    

Antique / Vintage Doll Twin Cylinder Live Steam Engine Toy - Model 362 ? Vintage Japan 12 Inch Marusan Kosuge Tin Plate Battery 1951 Cadillac Tin Toy CarEarly 1926 Scarce Gendron Packard Pedal Car Unrestored As Found Condition Original 1950's Linemar (japan) Moon Space Ship (robby Style Sled) Bo Tin Works Rare Tippco Germany Tin Wind-up Tc-1334 Airplane 1930s Tinplate Plane Distler !Vintage Louis Marx Merrymakers Band Tin Wind-up Toy With Box1920s Louis Marx Ring A Ling Circus Tin Wind Up-ringmaster Activates The Figures1955, Alps, Batt. Op. "lincoln Futura" In Original BoxTippco Tco Germany Vintage Tinplate Truck Ultra Rare Prewar Item Very Good Cond.Automaton Stevens & Brown "goodwin's Patent" Walking Boy Doll & Carraige C1868Vintage Japan Ito Wood Rocket Speed Boat Battery Operated Tmy Motor Pond BoatVintage Weeden Live Steam Toy Traction Engine / Farm TractorVintage Metal Ohlsson & Rice Gas Engine Toy Tether Car Race Car Racer No ReserveVintage Tin Toy Scooter Vespa Lambretta Technofix Germany 1950's MotorcycleVintage Marx Westgate Gas Service Station Playset With Cars & Accessories (nice)Afa 85 Rare Kenner 1978 Star Wars Blue Snaggletooth Vintage Action Figure Nm+Marx Merrymakers Band Tin Wind UpAntique Milk & Cream Wood Horse & Wagon Ride On Golden Pasture Farm Product ToyRare Vtg 1960 Marx Johnny Ringo Series 2000 Western Frontier PlaysetRare! Bindschedler Imprimeto 1955 Desoto Made In Germany 10 Inches LongVintage Antique 1930's Wind-up Marx Tin Car With A Driver 9" LongVintage 1920s/30s German Tippco Tin Litho Wind-up Two Seated Motorcycle ToyTri-ang Minic Toys No 9m Vintage Tinplate Prewar Streamline Saloon Very Rare Vg Vintage 1960 Marx * Official * Gunsmoke Dodge City # 4268 Playset In BoxAntique Lehmann Old German Litho Tin Wind-up Wild West Bucking Bronco Child ToyAntique 1920's Stitchwell Miniature / Toy Cast Iron Sewing Machine In Orig. BoxVintage Japan Battery Operated Atom Motocross Motorcycle Tin Toy Masudaya Marx Hootin Hollow Halloween Haunted HouseIdeal Evel Knievel Gt Stunt Cycle 4l-0771 1977 In Mint - Never Used Condition!!1930s Marx "joe Penner And His Duck" Tin Lithographed Windup Toy (dakotapaul)A Rare Tco Tippco 587 Motorcycle And SidecarAntique Wood Wind Up Clockwork England Pond Boat Model Sea GullToy Missile Launcher Nylint W/box Attic Find Tonka Buddy L Structo No ReserveAfa U85 Rare 1988 Brazilian Glasslite Potf Star Wars C-3po Vintage Action FigureC 1910 Lehmann's Tin Litho Wind-up Autobus 590-germany Tin ToyVintage Vw Volkswagen Pick-up Split Window Truck Bandai Japan Friction Tin ToyOriginal Box Vintage 1954 Marklin G800 Locomotive Train Large Lot Germany YqzVintage Marx Wind Up Tin Litho Climbing Fireman With Original BoxAntique Effanbee Marilee Composition Doll 29" Tall W/ Box Sleepy Eye Vintage OldExtremely Rare Vintage Tri-ang Minic Pre-war Presentation Set, Circa 1936 Antique Arnold Wind Up Metal Motorcycle Toy With KeyLinemar Tin Friction Anti-aircraft Truck W/box Battery Operated1959 Nomura Japan-the Car Buick '59-friction-11.5"-mib!! Ships WorldwideVtg 1959 Hartland Horses Rifleman Lucas Mccain Original General Store Display1922 Toonerville Trolley Tin Windup Toy Nifty GermanyHubley Red 1934 Roadster Car Terraplane Nickel Grill Rumbleseat Take-apart?~~1930's~~marx Toylands Farm Products Milk Wagon Tin Litho "wind Up" Toy (nr)Drgm 772 Lehmann - Tin Toy Garage + 2 Wind-up Cars - Vintage AntiqueAntique German Santa Claus Candy Container On Donkey Pull ToyLouis Marx Sons Of Liberty Sears Heritage Play Set 1972Tri-ang Minic Toys 9m Vintage Tinplate Prewar Streamline Saloon Very Rare GoodTippco Esso Petrol/gasolene Pump Car Windup/winder/key Tin Toy Station Marx Wagon Train Playset Lot With Gray TopVintage Wwii Cold War Era 1940's A C Gilbert Atomic Bomb Dexterity Game Puzzle1930s J Chein Tin Wind Up Popeye The Sailor Walking Toy Works Nice Litho! 1960s Nylint Ford Bronco In Box #8200 Vintage Toy TruckTin Friction 1959 Buick Hardtop Police Highway Patrol Car Antenna Ichiko Japan1961 Hubley-japan-official Mr. Magoo Bat/op Vintage €Ltd Toy Stamp & 1930s Daisy Buck Rogers Atomic Pistol Beautiful ConditionBeautiful 1950's Blue Prameta Jaguar Xk120 Windup Diecast 6" Long No Reserve