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Schuco Charlie Chaplin tinplate clockwork figure information and price guide

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The Schuco Charlie Chaplin wind-up toy is a nostalgic relic hailing from the golden age of cinema and tin-plate toy production. This captivating toy stands at about 16cm high, an intricate representation of the beloved icon Charlie Chaplin in his timeless tramp persona. We take a look at the wonderful Schuco Charlie Chaplin, along with some prices in a small price guide.

Schuco Charlie Chaplin tinplate clockwork figure with box
Schuco Charlie Chaplin tinplate clockwork figure with box. This lovely version with a tin face sold for 1,700 Euros at Auktionshaus Lankes, November 2022.

Constructed with an artistic touch of realism, this wind-up figure features a flock-covered head with delicately painted features. The physical details of the figure are uncanny, a tribute to Schuco’s meticulous craftsmanship. Dressed in his recognizable attire of a felt black jacket, grey trousers, and red tie, complete with a bowler hat and cane in the right hand, this toy beautifully recreates the essence of Chaplin’s iconic character.

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There are two distinct versions of this mechanical masterpiece. The more common variant showcases a flock-covered face, while the rare edition displays a tin face, which has only added to its value and allure among collectors.

SCHUCO a tinplate clockwork figure of Charlie Chaplin with box with felt clothes
SCHUCO a tinplate clockwork figure of Charlie Chaplin with box with felt clothes. Sold for £520 at Adam Partridge Auctioneers & Valuers, November 2022.

When the toy is wound up, it springs to life, displaying the trademark Chaplin shuffles. The magic unfolds as the figure waddles around and the cane in its right hand starts spinning. This delightful sequence perfectly captures Chaplin’s playful screen persona, offering a tangible piece of vintage entertainment.

Charlie Chaplin Schuco Litho Tin Face Variation
Charlie Chaplin Schuco Litho Tin Face Variation. Sold for $795 on ebay, May 2023.

This toy was Made in Germany and produced in the 1920s and 1930s, and today, it serves as a unique connection to that era.

Interestingly, it comes with a set of instructions, written in German, that translates to English as:

“Instructions for the use of Charlie: the figure is wound up with the enclosed clockwork key until resistance occurs. Placed on a horizontal surface, he then performs the typical Charlie walking movements while swinging his stick at the same time.”

Instructions for Schuco Charlie Chaplin
Instructions for Schuco Charlie Chaplin

The Schuco Charlie Chaplin wind-up toy, with its exquisite attention to detail, embodies an era where simplicity met sophistication. As a result, it continues to fascinate toy enthusiasts, film historians, and collectors alike, making it a prized possession in the realm of vintage memorabilia.

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