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    

1920's~gong Bell Mfg. Co.~antique Pull Toy W/two Cast Iron Horses & Steel Chime~ Vintage Oliver Grain Master Pull Type Combine 1950's Slik Toys 1:16 Antique Toy1946-1949 Steiff Jocko Monkey, Pull Toy Style1960's E.rosen/rosbro Yellow Cat Plastic Candy Container On Wheels - Pull Toy1940s Wood Fisher Price Mechanical Elephant #360 Wind Up Wooden Pull ToyC 1899 Large Antique Victorian Era German Real Fur Horse W Platform Pull Toy Yqz1940s Wood Donald Duck & Ducklings Wooden Pull Toy N.h. Hill Disney Fisher PriceBaby Girl Soft Crib Toy Hanging Animal Pull Ring Bed Pink Musical Newshower GiftBaby Girl Soft Crib Toy Hanging Animal Pull Ring Bed Pink Musical Newshower GiftA Rare ,childs Horse Pull Toy , Made In Germany ,gorgeous And Untouched 1940s Wood Stock Car Robbie Wooden Pull Toy N.h. Hill Gong Bell Fisher PricePinocchio Express Fisher Price No 720 Wood Pull Toy Rare VintageFisher- Price 1976 HorseDisney Toy Story Woody Pull String Doll 15 Inch 100% Fast Shipping!Antique Toy ~ Easter ~the Dolly Toy Co.~usa~easter Bunny & Egg Cart~vintageCast Iron Replica Of A 1928 Harley-davidson Motorcycle Pull-toyHenn Noah's Ark 10 Piece Collection Pull ToysVintage Circus Tin Pull Toy, Clown, Camel And LionDisney Toy Story Woody Jessie Pull String Dolls,rex,buzz Lightyear Talking DollsVintage Old Plastic Halloween Candy Container Pull Toy Horse On WheelsVintage 1959 Fisher Price Little People Fire Fd Truck Engine Wooden # 630 UsaFull Size Toy Story Slinky Dog Pull Toy - Poof-slinky/disney-pixarDisney Pixar Toy Story 16" Woody Talking Pull String Doll W/ Hat ThinkwayThinkway Disney Pixar Toy Story 14" Pull String Talking Cowboy Jessie Doll & Hat***vintage Fisher Price Galloping Horse And Wagon Pull Toy***Henn Workshops T. C. Barnyard Cat (1993)Fisher Price Gold Star StagecoachVintage 1940s? Playskool Take-apart Dump Truck--one Of Their First?--complete!Fisher Price Original Price Lists 1959, 60, 61, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67,68,69 - Look!Rare 1979 Superman Energized Figure Remco Pull-string Toy With BackVintage 1980 Fisher Price Pull Along Aeroplane Little People Baby Children's ToyVintage Nancy Thomas 1982 Primitive Folk Art Sheep Pull Toy, Signed RetiredVintage Fisher Price #444 Queen Buzzy Bee Wooden Pull ToyBaby Soft Toy Crib Toy Cute Hanging Animal Friends Pull Ring Bed Around PinkCollectible Vintage Toy - Fisher Price Wooden Pull Parrot - 1963Radio Flyer All-terrain Cargo Wagon Pull Red Kids Toy Outdoor Fun Play WoodOiginal Vintage Wooden Pull Toy Happy Ham Farm Products Brandon VtTeddy Tooter No 150 Fisher Price Vintage Wood Pull ToyCity Bus Model 1:24 Two Carriages Available Open Door Pull Back Racer Kids ToyHenn Workshops Earl E. Rooster (1995)1940s Wood Gong Bell Bear Band Leader Wooden Pull Toy With Action1940s Wood Fisher Price #15 Rabbit W/ Egg Cart W/ Box Wooden Pull ToyFisher Price Pull Toy Big Bill Pelican Original Box 19651940s Wood Goose Chasing Boy Wooden Pull Toy N.h. Hill Gong Bell Fisher PriceFisher Price Original 1958 Catalog 8 1/2" X 11" Awesome!Ltd Toy Stamp & 1950's Gong Bell Mfg Duck Pull ToyVintage Fisher Price 'quacky Duck & Family' Wooden Pull Toy!Vintage Collectible Ussr Soviet Old Plastic Race Car Pull Toy Retro DecorativeVintage Lot Fisher Price Bus, Gabby Goofies, Cookie Pig, Playland Express TrainCow Parade Pull Toy 1930New Sozzy Baby Soft Toy Crib Toy Animal Friends Pull Ring Bed Around Baby Toy2015 Hot Sozzy Soft Crib Toy Animal Friends Pull Ring Bed Around Baby Toy MonkeyVintage 1961 Fisher Price Wood Golden Gulch Express # 191 Locomotive Train UsaRare Early 1900s B & R Kid Special Tin Litho String Pull Wind Up Trike ToyVintage John Deere Pull Behind Sickle/scythe Ertl Vintage Farm Toy Vintage 1961 Fisher Price Snoopy Dog Pull ToyVintage Wooden Tin Pull Toy - Boy & Girl Hula Skirt And Drums Dog 1950's Vintage Fisher Price Pulltoy Winky Blinky 200 Fire TruckVtg 1971 Mattel ~talk Ups~ Pull String Talking Toy Doll W Outfit *funny Silly*Vintage Fisher-price "kriss Kricket" Child's Pull Toy,fisher-price Pull Toy,vgc