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 C 1890 Pratt & Letchworth Cast Iron Toy Horse Drawn Dray Farm Wagon Yqz1890's Cast Iron Horse Drawn Cinderella's Chariot Bell Pull Toy By Gong Bell Co.Antique 19th Century 1800's Carved Painted Wooden Pull Toy Horse Wood Tail YqzVintage Converse Us Mail Tin Horse And Wagon Pull Toy Large 18" LongAntique C1910 German Tin-litho Penny Toy Billy Goat Pull Toy NrVictorian Antique Die-cut Functioning Pull String Dancing Toy Adorable Clown Nr Near Mint Rare 1930's Disney Mickey & Minnie Mouse Fun-e-flex Seesaw Pull Toy1950's-john Deere 12a Pull Combine Conveyer Ertl Vtg Farm ToyAntique German Composition Deer Pull Toy On Platform...neat1931 Woodsy-wee Circus Toys - Fisher-priceAntique Lamb/sheep Pull Toy On Wheels - Furry - Estate FindFisher Price Mickey Mouse Band #530 Push ToyVintage Rosen Rosbro Halloween Zook The Clown Plastic Pull ToyFisher-price American Airlines Pull Toy -- RareDisney Toy Story 15" Pull String Woody And 12" Talking Buzz Lightyear JesseeRabbit Bunny Copper Mold Pull Toy Cast Iron Wheels Artist Signed Vintage RareVintage Halloween Hard Plastic Trojan Horse On Wheels Pull Toy RosbroVintage Fisher Price Katy Kackler The Red Hen #140 Wood Pull You Nice CleanVintage Tick Tock Toys Wood Penguin Pull Toy Wooden Pull Toy Fisher Price GibbsVintage Solid Wood Toy Wagon Circus Wagon Toy Box Chest On WheelsCow Pull Toy Statue*primitive/french Country Farmhouse Dairy Barn DecorVintage Fisher Price 140 Katy Kackler The Red Hen Wooden Wood Pull Toy Nice NrKouvalias Musical Toy/music BoxVintage Chippy Wooden Pull A Long Toy Painted Sweet Old Toy Antique Steiff "hoppel Dackel" Hopping Dachsund Wood Wheels Pull Toy 1920's DogVintage Antique Carved Pig Pull Toy Wolf Creek Figurine Primitive Wood Folk Art Lg Kenton Cast Iron Horse Drawn Sulky Pull Toy Driver Cart Early 1900sLot Of 2 Despicable Me 2 Minion Toys Ornaments Zipper Pull General Mills Cereal Vintage Fisher Price Dr Doolittle 132 Pull Toy Wooden DuckPlaygro Puppy Pull Earthquake Shaking Lathe Lanyard Rings Paper Baby Toys!!!Playgro!! Puppy Pull Earthquake Shaking Lathe Lanyard Rings Paper Baby Toys!1x Off-road Vehicles Kids Children Boy Toy 4wd Pull Back Cars Xmas Party GiftVintage Marquetry Craft Wooden Pull Wood Toy Wooden Toy Fisher Price GibbsRare Vintage Hermann Teddy Bear Pull Toy All Tags AttatchedVintage Intra Toy Wood Duck Playing Drum Pull Toy Wooden Toy Fisher Price GibbsFisher-price Humpty Dumpty No. 757 Pull ToyVintage Fisher Price Wooden Pull Toy Turtle #773 1962 Usa Perfect ConditionDisney Toy Story Rocket Running Talking Buzz Lightyear Pull String ActionVintage Fisher Price Pull Toy, Cackling Hen, 1966, #123, Still Cackles, NiceBaby Soft Toy Crib Toy Cute Hanging Animal Friends Pull Ring Bed Around PinkHot Pink Carter’s Just One Year Baby Giraffe Musical Pull Plush Crib Toy Lovely6pcs Super Mario Kart Luigi 5cm Pvc Four Wheels Pull Back Car Doll Toy 12015hot Sozzy Giraffe Octave Bell Lyre Music Pull Infant Educational Plush Toys6 Vt Toy Soldiers Manoil Barclay Aviator Bomb Pull Artillery Radio Pigeons ProneMattel Chatty Pull String Talking Larry Lion Animal Yacker Stuffed Toy / DollAntique German Composition, Wood, Canvas, Cloth, & Leather Pull Toy Horse2015 New Sozzy Crib Toy Animal Friends Pull Ring Baby Toy Monkey2015-hot Sozzy Soft Crib Toy Animal Friends Pull Ring Bed Around Baby Toy Monkey2015 New Hot! Sozzy Soft Crib Toy Animal Friends Pull Ring Bed Around Baby Toys Fisher Price * Little Snoopy * # 693 Pull Toy 1965 W/ BoxPlaygro Pull-rebound Bed&pram Hang Toy ,bell,beep Bell,velvet Cloth NeddyVintage Fisher-price Little Snoopy Puppy Dog Pull Toy 693Vintage Rare Toy Buck A Roo Joe Rabbit Pull 1924 Approx (very Old) On WheelsVtg 1900's Paper Mache ? Compo ?/ Leather Pull Toy Cow On Wood Platform Antique Wooden Pull Toy Universal Train ~ Horse Shoe Toys American Wringer Co.Vintage Wood/wooden S.s. Popeye Boat Pull Toy Featuring Popeye, Olive OylMattel Pull-string Talking Toy Casper The Friendly Ghost Doll 1961 OldAntique Nos Fisher Price Milk Wagon # 131 From 1965 In Perfect Shape. 2 Friskies Purina Pull N Play Cat Treats Toy Play Pack Brand NewDisney Classic Winnie The Pooh Cute 12" Wood Wooden Pull Toy Vintage