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  • Heather Davis

Vintage Diecast Toys: Nostalgic, Comforting Reminders of a Simpler Time

Updated: Mar 6


Some of the best nostalgia comes in the form of a vintage car or truck.

Hands down.

A beautiful reminder of simpler days.

When you can make it an early diecast reproduction, a fraction of the size and enjoyed by kids for over 100 years – you’ve got something that has captured hearts from young to old.

The first diecast toys were produced over a century ago in the U.K., France and the U.S.

Chicago-based, Dowst Brothers Company and its later-named toy brand, TootsieToy, was founded in 1890. Twenty years later in 1910, the company produced the first diecast toys – long before Lesney gave the world ‘matchbox’ cars in 1953.

TootsieToy and owner, Dowst Co. were the makers of the toys at the bottom of Cracker Jack boxes and went on to create the familiar iron, thimble and other classic cast playing pieces for Monopoly. They made an assortment of metal baubles including dollhouse furniture and charms for bracelets.

Like many American companies at the time, Dowst/TootsieToy turned their attention during WWII from manufacturing toys to instead, grenade and mine detonators and parachute buckles among others items to support the war effort.

After the war, TootsieToy got back to the serious business of toys. One of those vintage diecasts is celebrated in Old Truck.

Produced from 1949 through 1960, this vintage TootsieToy appreciates the well-loved 1949 Ford F1 pickup.

Today the TootsieToy brand is still based in the Windy City, just with a new owner: Strombecker Corp. They continue to turn out about 40 million diecast cars and trucks each year.

Future nostalgia for someone currently on the smallish side, no doubt.



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