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    

1/16 Baird Custom Allis Chalmers 72 Farm Toy Tractor Pull Type CombineC 1900 Antique Folk Art Primitive Stagecoach Painted Mustard Pine Wood Toy YqzToy Story Toys: Jessie, Pull String Woody, Talking Buzz Lightyear, Porkchop Antique 1800's Wood Platform Pull Toy Horse , Primative.... Folk ArtBeautiful Early 1900s Antique Pull Toy Cow Hide Covered W/ SqueakerVintage Folk Art Country Antiqued Stuff Chicken Rooster Primitive Pull Toy YqzAntique Stuffed Toy Dog On Metal Wheels Glass Eyes - As IsAntique Pull Toy Standing Wooly Stuffed Lamb-sheep Iron Wheels Cute Must SeeStieff? Rare Large Antique Stuffed Bear Pull Toy Pull Cord Germany ? 1890's1960's Herman Munster Pull Toy Mattel Boys & Girls4 Antique Wood Spoke Wagon Wheels Goat Cart Buggy 12" Diameter Original Paint NrVintage John Deere Toy Pull Behind PlowEarly Painted Wooden Horse Pull Toy,great Old Wheels,early Paint,wonderful PieceAntique 1933 Radio Flyer Wagon Miniature Worlds Fair Chicago Toy Tin LithographDisney Pixar Toy Story Woody Replacement Hat For Interactive Pull String TalkingPrimitive Nwt, Bunny/hare,victorian,easter,rabbit,eggs,pull Toy Decor,country1950's-john Deere 12a Pull Combine Conveyer Ertl Eska-vtg Farm ToyLarge Vintage Antique 16" Pull Toy The Gong Bell Mfg Co. Wood Metal Boy On HorseNew Lot 6 Super Mario Bros 2" Kart Pull Back Car Figure Toy GiftsLot/4 David Frykman Folk Art Santa Christmas Figures Pull Toy Birdhouse Tree NrVintage Plastic Candy Container Pull Toy Horse Rolling Figural Easter ChristmasRare Fisher Price Donald Duck Pull Toy With Cart #500Used Fossil Limited Edition #'d/15000 Mickey Mouse Watch W/ Pull Wood ToyPlaygro Pull-rebound Bed&pram Hang Toy ,bell,beep Bell,velvet Cloth MouseAntique Louis Marx Tin Litho Musical Roller Chimes And Horses Pull Toy 1965 Fisher Price School Bus 192 With Little People And Original Box Pristine Disney Toy Story Jessie 14 Inch Pull String Doll Good Condition 100% Fast Shipp1987 Matchbox Toys Vintage Talking (but Broken) Pee Wee Herman Pull String DollCast Iron Vintage Zep Zeppelin Pull Toy Silver Star 4.75" Nice Air Ship Blimp2015- Sozzy Baby Soft Toy Crib Toy Animal Friends Pull Ring Bed Around Baby ToyHot Playgro Pull-rebound Bed&pram Hang Toy ,bell,beep Bell,velvet Cloth NeddyAntique Toy Cow Pull Toy Circa 1900Super Rare Antique Vintage Tv Flyer Wagon RadioVintage Steiff Circus Wagon Train Elephant Pull Toy Vintage Tru-scale Flare Red Wagon Original Paint 1960's Farm Toy Pull BehindVintage 1950s Solid Wood Build Mak A Boat Model Play Set Pull Toy Cappel DaytonVintage Noma Electric Corporation Walking Farm Horse 1940s3 Vintage Fisher Price Pull Toys Jingle Giraffe 472, Tip Toe Turtle 773 & JalopyVtg Wooden Dog Pull Toy By Brio Of Sweden Vintage Fisher Price #730 Sailor In Row Boat Wood Pull ToyVintage Pull Toy Elephant Monkey Wood Cardboard Circus?Rosbro Four Santa On Sled With Green Wheels Pull Toy - RareAntique Cast Iron Zeppelin Blimp Childs Pull Toy Blimp/aircraft Zep 6-1/8"8.5"inch Medium Diecast Yellow Classic School Bus Model Toy W/ Pull Back ActionHot-sozzy Soft Crib Toy Animal Friends Pull Ring Bed Around Baby Toy MonkeyHotyellow Carter’s Just One Year Baby Giraffe Musical Pull Plush Crib Toy LovelyPlaygro Pull-rebound Bed&pram Hang Toy ,bell,beep Bell,velvet Cloth NeddyHot Playgro Pull-rebound Bed&pram Hang Toy ,bell,beep Bell,velvet Cloth NeddyFisher Price Space Blazer Special Edition No.980750 Pull Toy! New In Box W/ Coa!Vintage Radio Flyer WagonBlack Kitty Cat With Mice Valentine Pull Toy Wood Ooak Prim Folkart Rare Vintage Halligan's Coffee Candies Wooden Bunny With WheelsKenner 1970 Ski Baller Rip Cord Vehicle, UsedDisney Pixar Thinkway Pull String 14" Plush Toy Story Talking Jessie Doll & HatToy Story Lot Of 3 Woody The Talking Cowboy 17" Misb And Slinky Dog Pull Toy Bt1996 Original Bop It Electronic Hasbro Game Pull Twist Toy Bop It Key Chain1993 Enesco Cherished Teddies Camel Pull Toy Nativity Figurine New In Box1953 Corvette Vintage Model Pull Back Car ToyVintage 1962 Mattel Talking Larry Lion Toy Yacker Pull String Plush Animal WorksVintage 1940's Disney Radio Steel Tiny Tot Red Wagon