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Important Collection of Schuco Toys

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Schuco ToysA unique and historically important collection with archive material, prototypes and previously undocumented pieces. This collection represents the vast range of toys produced by the German company and will provide collectors with an opportunity to obtain rare and important items including an original book of working drawings.

Toy collector Trevor Wenham who travelled all over the UK, Europe and America to build the collection amassed them.

Over 2,000 toys are on offer from small plush covered mechanical figures and animals, which the company started to sell in the 1920’s to superb tinplate toys from the 1930’s, to the 1960’s.

The history of German toy maker Schuco can be traced back to 1912. The company began by making small felt and plush covered mechanical figures and animals. One of Schuco’s very first toys was the pick-pick bird and between the 1920’s and the 1960’s some 20 million were made.

In the 1930’s the company introduced its Shuco-patent-motorcar, which led to an incredible range of tinplate vehicles.

The 1940’s and 1950’s were golden years for the company but by the mid 1960’s the demise of the tin toy was on the horizon. The company did turn to diecast toys and then plastic items but went out of business in the early 1970’s.

Toys from the company can now change hands from a few pounds to well over a £1,000 each.

Vectis tinplate toy expert Peter Rumsey confirms: ” This is the most comprehensive collection of German Schuco toys ever to come onto the marketplace and we have already received interest from collectors all over the world.”

He adds: ” One of the most important items in the sale is Heinrich Muller’s original design book, c1913, which includes ingenious pencil working drawings of toys some which never made it to market. We expect this unique book to fetch several thousand pounds.

Some of the tinplate toys are fantastic they range from Cars with clockwork action and that play music – Lorries with battery operated steering, complete Road Layouts with clockwork cars and remote controlled steering – Aeroplanes with battery propulsion and painted in various airlines liveries – Boats, Speedboats and Amphibious Cars – Diecast Racing Cars – tinplate Motorcycles and many others. All manufactured and painted to a superb standard.

Schuco MonkeyBut it wasn’t just tinplate toys the company made a variety of teddy bears and novelty animal such as Felix the cat, monkeys, cats and dogs, ducks and even tortoises, items which appeared as both mechanical, soft toys and even as scent bottles and ladies compacts.

A patented Schuco ‘Yes/no’ bear made its debut at a spring toy fair in Leipzig, Germany in 1921. This toy probably gave Schuco the most recognition. Each had a mechanism allowing a tail-operated lever to move the bear’s head in a ‘yes/no’ fashion. These are often referred to as the Patented ‘Yes/no’ bear. After World War Two, around 1950, the Tricky yes/no bear was introduced. They have distinctive down-turned paws and were produced in a variety of sizes and colours – some were even dressed, and yes /no bears feature in the sale.

Miniature ‘Piccolo’ & ‘Mascots’

In 1924 Schuco commenced production of miniature bears, for which it is famous worldwide. Ranging in size from 9-15cm they were known as ‘Piccolo’. They came in a rainbow of mohair colours: red, mauve, pink, blue and green as well as the normal teddy bear brown, white and blonde. These tiny bears have metal-based bodies and black bead eyes with a fully jointed body. Pre-1930s examples had tiny felt hands and feet. Initially they were a publicity item and sales bonus give-away.

They immediately became so popular that that full production followed. They were often given as gifts to bridesmaids! Another favourite with collectors is the ” Janus” bear- with a revolving head: one face ugly with red tongue sticking out the other smiling (named after the Roman city god Janus). Monkeys were also popular. The collection includes trade boxes of both!

Dual Purpose Miniatures

There are many unusual compacts within the collection, containing mirror, compact, lipstick, powder puff or manicure set or perfume bottle in the form of cats, spaniel dogs, tortoises etc. In the 1920s when ladies used to carry extraordinary pressed powder compacts in their handbags, these were often presented as gifts from lovers, husbands or suitors. They became a fashion accessory as well as an art form.

Sand Toys

If you thought the Beanie craze was a new phenomenon- Schuco developed ‘Sandy Toys’ in 1932. These were supplied with no filling and the child could fill with sand via a tin sieve and funnel. They definitely were the precursor to the modern-day beanie.

Kathy Taylor the Vectis teddy bear and doll expert confirms: ” This is an amazing collection which includes bears of
every description. Of particular interest are the Yes/No bears and the miniature versions both as ordinary teddy bears and as scent bottles. It is so comprehensive that there is something for just about everybody.

For more details visit the Vectis web site.

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