Antique toy cars include cast iron miniatures of actual car designs such as the Model T and Yellow Cab. Vintage tin toy designs are available in modern stores from companies such as Schylling, and include airplanes, trains, robots, and even a rolling family of ducks. Many are wind-up motors while others work from friction or batteries.
Wooden Toy Vehicles
Wooden toy vehicles are great for small children since many are simply one large piece of wood with wheels. There are very detailed varieties available including some toy emergency vehicles such as fire trucks complete with ladders, hose, firefighters, and a Dalmation.
Plastic & Diecast Toy vehicles
Diecast toy vehicles include Hot Wheels, Matchbox and many other brand names. Farm vehicles are a popular item in this group as well as toy military vehicles including aircraft designs. Diecast construction toys, such as Tonka, are sure to withstand all the terrors of youth and are often modeled after popular brands such as Caterpillar or John Deere.
Plastic construction truck toys are also available from Tonka and many other brands with or without licensed names. Many of the vehicles available today are plastic because of the ease of manufacturing and it’s lightweight final product. Toy army vehicles, toy cars and toy planes are available in a variety of sizes and styles because of the versatility of plastic.
Toy car models are most commonly made from plastic pieces that can be glued or snap together although die-cast models are the classic material for model building. Once complete the toy models are able to be customized with paints and stickers to create a one-of-a-kind toy.
Electric toy vehicles range from remote control to self propelled. The larger battery-powered toy vehicles such as Power Wheels will hold at least one child and have the power to carry them all over the yard. The smaller electric toys offer indoor or outdoor play depending on the ruggedness of the design. Some electric vehicles are track-based racers including slot cars with a hand held trigger control.
Other race track vehicles include Darda with it’s windup motors and speeds of 30 mph. These cars can drive on many surfaces but are designed for their tracks which can be modified to test the speed of the cars in single track or double track versions. The cars are similar in size to matchbox and hot wheels and the motors can be replaced when they show signs of wear Licensed copies of the Darda cars include Nascar, Speed Racer and KITT from Knight Rider.
Star Wars Toy Vehicles
Star Wars toy vehicles are also popular with collectors, although they are not antiques, yet. Some of the toys are based on the classic movies while others are newer designs. Many of these encompass the groups already discussed including plastics, die-cast vehicles, models and build-it kits.
When deciding what toy vehicle to get it is important to consider factors such as age and specific use. If the child is under 8 years most model kits will probably be too difficult and not sturdy enough to stand up to the play of a younger child.
Be sure to avoid small parts and read warning labels concerning children under 3 so that choking is not a hazard with the vehicle chosen. Remember that the battery-operated models should be charged and all parts disposed of according to manufacturer recommendations.