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Popular Vintage Toys from the Thirties

Following on from the twenties, because of the great depression you would expect the thirties toy choices to decrease. Surprisingly, they did not and new manufacturing methods combined with the growth of radio and the movie theaters, making house hold names of radio and movie stars, increased the range of toys kids wanted. It is also interesting seeing kids pedal cars reflect the streamlining of automobiles. As I researched the decade a few things stood out including the growth of Home Movie Projectors and the sale of Mickey Mouse films and how by the mid thirties many of the prices had dropped partly through cheaper manufacturing methods and partly because of the great depression.

Amos and Andy Taxi
Price: 95 cents
Description The Amos and Andy Taxi was popular because of the radio comedy series "Amos 'n' Andy" which ran nightly through the 30's, I included this first because it reflects how popular media began to influence what children played with from the early 30's right through to today.

Amos and Andy Taxi From The 30's Radio Show

Balsa Wood Kits
Price: From 83 cents
Description These were ideal during the depression years as they provided a cheap fun idea to keep kids amused while allowing them to build something, the kits were fairly easy to assemble and anything to do with planes and flying was new and exiting to children.

1930s Balsa Wood Plane Kits

Vintage Steel Truck, Plane and Airship
Price: From $1.98
Description Another example of value for money these were pretty large steel models over 2 ft long and look fairly well made, The Steel Truck, Plane and Airship all allowed children to use their imagination during play.

Thirties Vintage Steel Cars

Vintage Cadalac Coupe
Price: 25 cents
Description Cadalac Coupe, what I found strange with this was the way it was spelt unsure if spelling mistake on purpose or by accident.

Cadalac Coupe from the Thirties

Flossy Flirt Doll
Price: From $1.95
Description Choose from a range of 4 sizes from 12 inches high to 22 inches high.

1930's Flossy Flirt Doll

Lionel Electric Train Set
Price: $11.98
Description Lionel Electric Train Set measures 36 inches long with 8 1/2 inch reversing locomotive with working headlights and three pullman cars. Track forms oval of 50 inches by 30 inches and runs on 10 colt battery of AC/DC Transformer. Lionel train sets were the most popular and well known and are quite collectable today, especially those from the 20s and 30s.

1930s Lionel Electric Train Set

Marx Flying Plane
Price: 59 cents
Description Lightweight, wind up, Marx Crash Proof Plane, takes off from the ground after a short run.

 Marx Plane

Marx Climbing Tractor
Price: 59 cents
Description Wind Up Marx Climbing Tractor will climb steep slopes and move over rocky ground just like a real tractor.

30s Marx Tractor

Rocking Horse
Price: $3.19
Description Every little girl's dream present, a rocking horse 23 inches high and 37 inches long.

30s Vintage Rocking Horse

Studebaker Farm Wagon
Price: $12.95
Description Studebaker Farm Wagon, more than 3 ft long and 18 inches wide. Studebaker originally built wagons and carriages but began making automobiles in the the late 1800's. During the 30's they made carriages and autos and only later changed over to auto manufacture only. Studebaker carriages were some of the most expensive on the market and they were known for attention to detail and Studebaker sold carriages and harnesses for the White House.

Depression Years Studebaker Farm Wagon

Teddy Bears
Price: 98 cents
Description Teddy Bears were popular in the 30s and sold in the millions, this is just an example.

Vintage Teddy Bears from The early Thirties

Velocipede or 3 Wheel Bike
Price: $9.39
Description Velocipedes or 3 wheel bicycles were popular not just for children but adults in the 1930s. They ranged in size from small all the way up to 24 inch wheels and this example includes all the latest modern features with ball bearing wheels, motorcycle saddle, horn, mud guards and the latest molded auto tread rubber tires.

Thirties Vintage Velocipede

Wind Up Train Set
Price: $2.89
Description Wind Up Train Set includes 50 ft of track, 3 carriages and a caboose.

30s Wind Up Train Set

Basic Design Rocking Horse
Price: 77 cents
Description Basic Design Rocking Horse

Thirties Little Girls rocking horse

Fire Trucks
Price: From 59 cents
Description Fire truck with extendable ladder and siren.

Fire Trucks

Price: 98 cents
Description Hundreds of thousands of stereoscopes were sold and they are quite easy to find for sale, many in pretty good condition.

Stereoscope From The 1930s

Stick Horse
Price: 39 cents
Description No decade would be complete without including a Stick Horse, here is an example from the 30s.

Stick Horse

25 cents Toys Range From 1934
Price: 25 cents
Description Included for 25 cents were wind up cars, trucks and tractor, a wind up Popeye, wood blocks, holster and cap pistols, dial phone, gyroscope top and more.

25 cents Toys Range From 1934

Bagatelle Game
Price: 79 cents
Description Bagatelle Game with glass top to stop the balls coming out.

Bagatelle Game

King BB Rifle
Price: 59 cents
Description King BB Rifle, whenever I see a BB gun I think of the movie "A Christmas Story (1983)" where Ralphie wants only one thing for Christmas: a Red Ryder BB Gun which was made by Daisy Outdoor Products and introduced in 1938.

1930's BB Rifle

1937 Streamlined 3 Wheel Bike
Price: $5.98
Description As cars became more streamlined in the late 30's, children's play things including this example of a 3 wheel bike, known as streamliner, became popular. What is also interesting is the price, a similar bike with the more basic design cost less than half price.

Streamlined late 30s 3 wheel bike

Childrens Dial Typewriter
Price: $1.98
Description Childrens Dial Typewriter allows a child to type a letter all uppercase and takes 9 inch wide paper and includes a space bar.

Childrens Dial Typewriter

Price: From $1.39
Description Dolls with real human hair that cry and sleep.

Dolls using real human hair

Dolls House With All Furniture
Price: $1.77
Description Complete Dolls House and Furniture for 7 rooms. Has more than 40 pieces of furniture for kitchen, living room, master bedroom, guest bedroom and bathroom.

Thirties Dolls House

Lincoln Logs
Price: 89 cents
Description Build your very own log cabin with Lincoln Logs, 53 logs are included in this set.

Lincoln Logs construction set from the 30s

Home Movie Projector
Price: $4.69
Description Home Movie Projector improved design to stop film burning. Home movies available include Mickey and Minnie, Tom Mix, Buster Keaton, Buck Rogers, Charlie Chaplin and many more for just 27 cents each.

1930s Home Movie Projector

Pedal Cars
Price: From $3.89
Description Choice of 3 sturdy Pedal Cars starting at the basic sturdy red racer for $3.89 up to the super modern 46 inch car which includes electric lights, padded seat, horn, ball bearing steering gear for $13.95.

Pedal Cars

Flying Balsa Wood Plane
Price: 59 cents
Description Flying Balsa Wood Plane, strong elastic band to wind up and makes it fly, when it crashes it falls to pieces but you can just put it back together and do it again.

Flying Balsa Wood Plane from during the great depression

Popeye Express
Price: 59 cents
Description Another example where a character is made popular by the media. In this case, the popular Popeye Cartoons in newspapers and kids toys are made to meet the need with this wind up Popeye Express Popeye and his wheelbarrow.

 Popeye Express

Price: 79 cents
Description This is one of the things I have never seen when wandering around antique stores and shows, it was a combination of a roll playing device similar to early phonographs and a harmonica, you turned the handle to play the roll and blew in to it like a harmonica to make the sound, I will definitely be keeping my eye open but I suspect they might be quite rare.


40 inch Wooden Snow Sled
Price: $1.25
Description 40 inch Winter King Wooden Snow Sled built super strong and designed for strength and speed.

Wooden Snow Sled

Teddy Bears
Price: From 53 cents
Description Range of differing sizes of Teddy Bears starting at 53 cents for a 13 inch Teddy Bear to 98 cents for a 20 inch teddy bear.

30s Teddy Bears

10 Cent Toy Selection From the Mid 30's
Price: 10 cents
Description 10 Cent Selection From the Mid 30's including metal cars, planes and trucks, also cap pistols, tools, xylophone, dolls, harmonica, paints and crayons.

10 Cent Selection From the Mid 30's

Tinker Toy Construction Set
Price: From 46 cents to $3.98
Description Tinker Toy Construction Set now offering a 110 Volt Motor to make your models including windmills run.

Tinker Toy Construction Set

Wind up Trains
Price: From 98 cents
Description Wind up Passenger and Freight Trains including copy of the Union Pacific World's Fair Train including 11 ft track for $1.79

Wind up Trains from the Thirties

Texas Ranger Cowboy Suit
Price: $4.49
Description This late 30s Texas Ranger Cowboy Suit included everything for cowboy dressing up including headband, shirt, bandana, lasso, leather belt, holster, pistol, and real suede chaps.

Texas Ranger Cowboy Suit including real suede Chaps,

Donald Duck Rolling Chimes
Price: 29 cents
Description Disney characters were gaining in popularity each year and this is a great example of Donald Duck Rolling Chimes.

Donald Duck Rolling Chimes

Erector Construction Set
Price: $8.79
Description Great example where electricity was finding its way into well known children's play, this set included a 110 volt motor to use when building model trains, cars, planes or a crane. Set included gears, wheels, girders and so much more.

Erector Construction Set

Service Station with electric lighting
Price: $1.00
Description Service Station with electric lighting on gas pumps and electric lighting under service platform.

Service Station with electric lighting

Chrysler Pedal Car
Price: $10.69
Description 1937 Chrysler Pedal Car includes Goggles and Helmet. If you have checked our 20's toy section where we included pedal cars from the 1920's the change in streamlining from the 20's to 30's reflects the change of auto design in just 10 years.

1937 Chrysler Pedal Car

Shirley Temple Doll
Price: $1.98
Description This Shirley Temple doll came with rolling eyes and curlers, Shirley Temple was every little girl's heroine and the cost included Shirley Temple book, movie badge and an autographed photo free with each doll.

30s Shirley Temple Doll

Weeden Steam Engine
Price: From $3.98
Description These Steam Engines from the 20s and 30s were extremely popular, this is a great example from late in the thirties that offered it in alcohol burning or electric version. The alcohol burning steam engines had been around for quite some time and were $3.98 but the electric version was quite new and cost much more at $6.98. This Weeden Steam Engine was a reversible horizontal type engine with a whistle and throttle.

Thirties Weeden Steam Engine reversible horizontal type with electric or alcohol burning versions,