Vintage Wooden Toys

We are always interested in vintage wooden toys. There is something about an old wooden item that is fun and yet soothing at the same time. Apparently research has been done that confirms that the touching of a wooden toy can be soothing to a child (in the neurological sense). For us we just love them. Our interest started with a fascination with vintage wooden pull toys, and now encompases retro wooden toys and models. WIth parents being more environmentally aware than previously, wood is now good again!

Types of antiquarian wooden toys
Types of antiquarian wooden toys

Q: What is a pull toy? 

Pull toys (for example, a vintage wooden toy car) are one of the oldest forms of children’s playthings. Other popular pull examples include a figure (dog, elephant, horse) mounted and given wheels. A string is attached and the child can play by pulling the toy around with them as their friend. They range from quite crudely carved and unpainted items to highly stylized more modern versions in attractive colours.

Q: What is a folk art toy?

In terms of old-fashioned wooden toys, folk art has a special place. Generally, folk art was created by soldiers, or prisoners of war to send home, or to sell for pennies to fund extras in jail. The beauty of folk art is that it is built from any scraps of wood available, and made with love. Folk art toys are relatively unsophisticated to look at but have particular beauty.

Q: What kinds of wood are old toys made out of? 

The older the item, the more likely it is to have been made from hardwood, which has become more expensive to source as its availability declines. Hardwood is far more durable than softwood. The best hardwoods for toys are:

  • Poplar

  • Beech

  • Birch

  • Maple

  • Oak.

Softwood is easier to work with and less expensive than hardwood. It is however more prone to be dented in the manufacturing process. Generally, softwood is a more sustainable product than hardwood. The most used softwoods are:

  • Pine

  • Redwood

  • Cedar

  • Spruce

  • Fir

We try to avoid toys made from MDF and composites than contain binding chemicals.

We have good condition vintage Wooden toys for sale as part of our store collection of retro toys and games - come and have a look around this section of our online shop.