Pull toys are the simplest type of moving toys, powered entirely by the user. Usually on wheels, these toys range from wooden animals to cast-iron bell toys to little red wagons. Often they are pulled by a length of cord or rope, and many pull toys have holes in them for this purpose. Some pull toys, though, are meant to be played with on the floor, as the child kneels and crawls about, pushing and pulling circus trains, motorcycles, and other kid-powered vehicles through living rooms and hallways.

Many of the earliest pull toys were carved and painted wooden animals that rode on simple platforms, the ends of which were supported by a wooden axle and pair of wheels. Sometimes the painting on these toys was realistic, accurately depicting, for example, the mane of a horse or the feathers of a duck, but many more wooden pull toys were crudely made, having more in common with a piece of wooden folk art than something you’d purchase at Toy “R” Us.

While some animal toys stood or sat on platforms, others could be pulled around thanks to wheels mounted to their feet. These dogs, lambs, goats, horses, lions, and bears were often covered in fur, with glass eyes for added realism. Lines Brothers of England made such pull-alongs, as did Steiff, whose toys were advertised as “High Class Riding animals.”

Some of the most famous wooden pull toys were made in the 1930s by Fisher-Price and LEGO. The LEGO duck was released in 1935 by a Danish carpenter named Ole Kirk Kristiansen. Though plainly painted in red, gray, and black, the bird’s beak opened and closed when the toy was pulled, encouraging the child to play with it. Other early LEGO pull toys such as a pony pulling a blue trap featured wheels made out of LEGO yo-yos, whose parts were repurposed when the yo-yo craze of the 1930s fizzled.

LEGO also made pull-along cats and roosters, whose markings were painted using stencils, as well as a brown monkey with a blue wagon-like tray behind him. Like the duck, the monkey was animated when pulled—in this case, a lever attached to the toy’s front wheels caused the simian’s body to move forward and back.

Cast iron and tin were also popular materials for pull toys. In the United States, the Gong Bell Manufacturing Company of East Hampton, Connecticut, made cast-iron toys that were nothing more than a pair of wheels with a bell between them that chimed when the toy was pulled. Gong Bell also made four-wheeled toys that were basically platforms for animals such as eagles, bears, and bells that would ring when the toy was pulled. Another Connecticut toy maker was J. E. Stevens, which produced a cast-iron cart that carried a swan whose wings flapped, while Lehmann of Germany and Rossignol of France made tinplate pull toys that featured ostriches hauling African mail carriers or a Japanese man bearing a woman in a rickshaw.

But perhaps the simplest and most enduring pull toy is the wagon. The forerunner to the Radio Flyer wagon was the No. 4 Liberty Coaster, a wooden wagon with steel framing and wheels. Introduced in 1923 and hand built by company founder, Antonio Pasin, and his small crew, these wooden-body wagons soon gave way to stamped steel ones, which were painted fire-engine red. In the 1950s, Radio Flyer made wagons for Walt Disney, branded with the logos for the Mickey Mouse Club and Davy Crockett. By the 1960s, though, wood was back, as Radio Flyer released its Town & Country wagon, whose slatted side could be removed to give the wagon a versatile, flat bed.


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]



Most watched eBay auctions    

Antique Victorian Woolly Lamb Sheep Pull ToyAntique Wooden Toy Pull Horse1930s Steiff Duck Figural Pull Toy With Mohair ExteriorAntique Handmade Primitive Dairy Cow Pull Toy W/ Leather & Hair Dated 1905 Early 1930's Elastolin Horse Drawn Wooden Cart / Wagon Pull Toy - Supply WagonAntique 1800's Victorian Wood Pull-toy Horse W/ Hair & Leather EarsToy Story Woody And Jessie Pull String Talking DollsAntique Primitive Pull Toy - Straw Stuffed Steiff Cow On Cast Iron Wheels Vintage Antique Abbe's Cast Iron Boxing Mechanical Pull Chain Bell ToyAntique Elephant Pull ToyVintage Fisher Price Popeye Wooden Pull Toy 9 1/2" Tall No ReserveMiniature Dollhouse Winifred Holloway Baby Lamb Childs Pull Toy 1:12 PlayroomDisney Store Jessie Talking Pull String Doll Toy Story & Thinkway Woody Doll 16Keen Kutter # 98 Red Pull Wagon. Good Shape And A Rare FindRare Vintage Fisher Price Fred Flintstone Xylophone #712 Wood Pull Toy 1962Antique Harz Mountain Erzgebirge German Carved Painted Wood Horse Pull ToyPush Pull Ride Buggy Stroller Toddler Toy Car Handle Baby Pink StepMary Engelbreit Pull ToyMary Engelbreit Pull ToyVintage Rich Toys Milk Bottle & Metal Carrier, For Pull Toys. 3 & 7/8" BottlesVintage Fisher Price #132 Dr. Doodle Pull Toy Duck, Old Wooden, Fp, Doctor193-1941 Vintage Fisher Price Walt Disney Easter Parade Wee Bunny 3" X 2 1/4" New Lot 6 Super Mario Bros 2" Kart Pull Back Car Figure Toy GiftsJohn Deere Vintage Pull Combine, 1/16 Scale ToyBachman Toy Planes Mib And Redline Hot WheelsVintage Holgate Wooden Popeye Strongman Toy, RareVintage 50s Fisher Price Bucky Burro Pull Toy #166, Old Bucking Donkey,Primitive Vintage Black & White Cat Wood Pull Toy5 Original 1930's Toy Wood Milk Bottles 4: Little Sonny Dairy No ReserveMary Engelbreit Pull ToyPlaygro Puppy Pull Earthquake Shaking Lathe Lanyard Rings Paper Baby Toys!!!Playgro Puppy Pull Earthquake Shaking Lathe Lanyard Rings Paper Baby Toys!!Fisher Price Bouncy Racer Car Mint Unused Sealed On Card750 Space Blazer Rocket Ship. Wooden Pull Toy - Fisher Price Toy 50's Wyandotte S.s. America Boat Pull Toy Tin Lithographed 12" Large No Reserve1/43 Ertl Case 1-pr Pull Type Corn Picker Farm Toy Equipment Diecast Mip #2621Vtg 1940's Mccall Pattern 1296 The Pull-toy Pets Partially CutVintage Photo Darling Little Girl W Antiique Pull Toy Dog Hair BowVintage ©1951 Fisher Price Musical Chime Roll Pull Toy #722 Nursery Rhyme Litho2015 Carter's Just One Year Musical Pull Plush Crib Toy Giraff Dinosaur Musical Hotyellow Carter’s Just One Year Baby Giraffe Musical Pull Plush Crib Toy Lovely1950's Wooden Horse Wagon Circus Acrobat Pull Toy Wood VintageNew Pkolino Book Buggee Pull-along Toy Bookshelf Blue1986 Briere Folk Art Pull Toy Christmas Santa Claus And Cart Wooden Wood #419Vintage Grey Hound Wagon Silver Aluminum Deluxe Model Hamilton CoasterVintage George Pal Puppetoons Little Jasper Animated Pull Toy Black AmericanaNew Disney's Posebale Pull-string Woody From Toy Story 16" Think Way 1995Disney/pixar Toy Story Pull String And Talking Jessie Doll - Thinkway Toys Mattel Chatter Chum Pink Panther Pull String Talking Toy 1976Williraye Spring Delivery Ww7633 Girl On Cow Holding Flowers Pull ToyErtl "john Deere" 348 Model Kick Baler Pull Type Toy Baling Square Vintage Fisher Price Peter Pig Pull Toy Made In UsaVintage Pull Toy Digger Dog Playskool Yellow Hat WorksClassic Fisher Price Wooden Duck Pull Toy1982 Lanard Toys, Ltd Pull String Porsche Disney Pixar Toy Story Slinky Dog Pull Toy With String And Wheels 13" LongM & M's "gallerie" Manual Arm Pull Candy Dispenser Toy Mars, Inc. Red "m" Guy1943 Toy Kraft Bunny Easter Eggspress Early Toy #2 - More Wood Pull Toys Listed1985 Westrim Crafts Miniature "glass Duck Pull Toy" 1 1/8" Tall NipHot Playgro Pull-rebound Bed&pram Hang Toy ,bell,beep Bell,velvet Cloth Neddy