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    

Toy Story Figures Woody & Jessie Pull String Talking Dolls - Vgc - Disney PixarEarly1900s Dent Arcade Hubley Kenton Cast Iron Toy Battleship On Wheels Pull ToyLate 1800's Childs Pull Toy Horse Original Iron Wheels Primitive Find AafaVintage Fisher Price Wood Pull Toy #788 Rock-a-bye BunnyVintage Fisher Price Wood Pull Toy #540 Granny Duck Circa 1939Vintage 40's Wyandotte "flash Gordon Strat-o-wagon" Tin Metal Pull Toy No/reservGerman Pull Toy Wooly Putz Sheep - Mom & Baby Rare Antique Vintage CollectableVintage Nice Rare 40's The Gong Bell Mfg. Cattle Truck Wooden/tin Pull Toy N/r Vintage 1950s Tru Scale Pull Type Combine Pressed Steel Farm Toy Large Antique 19thc, Leather & Wood, Riding Hobby Horse Pull Toy ... NrVintage Peter Mar Wood Tractor Quality Toys From The 1940s Muscatine,iowaRare Vintage Fisher Price Wood Pull Toy #476 Mickey Mouse DrummerLtd Toy Stamp & Early 1900's Pull Lamb And Horse Good Condition1930's Nice Rare 20's Loros Bros England Jockey/horse Wooden/metal Pull Toy N/rJessie From Toy Story Doll Pull String Toy Talking DollVintage Christmas Santa On Wheels -50's Rosbro, Pull Toy, Hard PlasticHerbie The Love Bug Pull Back Car Planet Toys-white Vw Vintage Fisher Price Wood Pull Toy #477 Dr DoodlePrimitive Antique Wood Rabbit Bunny Pull Toy Carved Wood Folk Art Schoenhut Vintage 1976 Fisher-price Riding Horse, With Sound, Push/pull ** In Original Box2015 Riverside 24rpm Toy Hauler Pull Behind Towable Rv Coach Vintage Fisher Price Toys Wooden Bunny Pull Toy #472Rare! 1940 Gong Bell Mfg Co Tug Boat Pete # 4021955 Fisher Price Bucky Burro Vintage Pull Toy-no 166- All OrgVintage Fisher Price Wood Pull Toy #798 Mickey Mouse Zilo Super RareVtg. Christmas 50's 60's Plastic Pull Toy Candy Container Santa Rosbro? WheelsFire Chief Tin Pull Toy W/box By T.cohn Usa VintageVintage Radio Flyer Radio Special Wagon W Radio Line Hubs, Air King Tires 1940sVintage Christmas Santa On Wheels, 50's Rosbro , Pull Toy, Ornaments With BoxNew Sozzy Soft Crib Toy Animal Friends Pull Ring Bed Baby Musical Activity ToyVtg Toy Motor Boat With Electric Outboard Fishing Pond Old Antique Wooden Hull.oVtg Lot 3 Briere Folk Art Pull Toy 1990 Santa Claus Vintage Mrs Claus ChristmasEarly Primitive Antique Wood Platform Pull Toy Mohair HorseVintage '63 Fisher Price Circus Pull-toy Wagon, Removeable Top, Performers, Etc.Five Antique Tin Litho Toys: 3 Working Windup Toys, A Pull Toy & Toy TypewriterVtg Real Fur Toy Dog Figure Pull-string Squeak Squeaky Glass Eyes Germany? 1950sVintage Fisher Price Wood Elephant Musical Pull Toy #1451948 Fisher Price No 737 Galloping Horse And Wagon-vintage Pull ToyVery Rare Vintage Kouvalias Rotating Wooden Clown Trolly Greek Toy Greece Vintage Fisher Price Wood Pull Toy #473 Merry MuttDisney Toy Story Pull String Talking Woody Doll 16" Thinkway Toys No Hat Euc!!Disney Pixar Toy Story 16" Pull String Talking Cowboy Woody & HatGeorge Jetson Pull ToyVintage Radio Flyer Wagon Model 90, Nice!Ltd Toy Stamp & Early 1900s Antique Unusual Clown On Horse Pull ToyPlaygro Puppy Pull Earthquake Shaking Lathe Lanyard Rings Paper Baby ToysVintage Pull Toy Ducks In A Row (fisher Price 1956)Fisher Price "barky" #462 Pull Toy / Antique Wood Toy Dog / Boston TerrierAntique Toy Kraft Wooden Duck Family Pull ToyToy Story Woody Doll 16" Talking Pull String Disney Pixar Thinkway Toy Wood Pull Toy - Little Hand Painted Horse On Wheels - Miniature Vintage Pressed Steel 8" Long Comet Toy Wagon & Wheel Barrow-vgcNew Sozzy Baby Soft Toy Crib Toy Animal Friends Pull Ring Bed Around Baby ToyVintage 1950's Fisher Price Donald Duck Cart #500 Wooden Pull Toy Nice!Antique 1920's Hustler Toy Corp Sterling Ill Dog & Doghouse Wood & Tin Pull ToyVintage Radio Tot Wagon Radio Flyer Antique Small Childs Wagon Rare Size1962,fisher Price Circus,wagon,ladders,animals,clowns,center Ring,rare,must SeeAntique Victorian Child's Toy Wagon "express" Metal & Wood * Horse PulledAntique Teddybear Pull ToyVintage 40's The Gong Bell Mfg. Wooden Tractor #240 Pull Toy 9 3/4" No Reserve