Vintage Toys of the 1920s and 1930s


Because of all the interest in vintage toys these days, we thought it would be fun to reminisce some more and take a look at the most popular toys from the 1920s and 1930s.The classic teddy bear by the Knickerbocker Toy Cmpany

The 1920s were a special time for toys mostly due to advancements in manufacturing as well as the popularity of the radio. Indeed, the radio made it possible from all over the world to “tune in” to the same voices, ideas, and fads. This is the beginning of “popular culture” as we know it today.

The impact of radio broadcasting on toys can’t be over-stated. Although hand-made toys remain popular through the 1920s and 1930s, this is really the beginning of the commercialization of toys.

Some top toys in the 1920s and 1930s

1939 Scarlett O\'Hara DollAnother big change was the kinds of materials used in making these toys. While many toys were still made from wood and metal, the invention of polystyrene in 1927 created a huge opportunity for toy makers to produce dolls, toy cars and model sets more cheaply.

And at the end of the 1930s, another radical change: the first movie celebrity doll was created. This honor goes to the Scarlett O’Hara doll, produced in 1939 by the Madame Alexander toy company, who by the way, had just begun to outsell Raggedy Ann Dolls a few years prior. Times were a-changin’!

If you like reading about classic toys, check out our post on toys of the 1950s.


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  1. You guys really have cool stuff and i am not kidding:) I’ve heard about those things but never seen an actual,real,possibly used item like this…sounds valuable;) I’ve never had anything like that before! Enjoy your artifacts!

  2. Patrice Barnes on

    I’m trying to help my parents downsize, and have found a game that comes in a beige envelope (still sealed) and on the front the title is: “Magic-Race, a new and exciting magic game” with all the thrills and hazards of an actual horse race. We think it was produced in the late 1920’s, early 30’s. Am wondering if you would know what this is and, if so, would it be of any value? Thank you.

  3. I have a vintage blue wagon with spoke wheels. It has original blue paint with decals of an airplane flying into clouds on the sides and the words “Blue Racer”. The wagon is in good conditon but is missing one hubcap. I would like to know something about the age of the wagon, manufacture and what the value would be. Thanks, Merle

  4. I have a Donald Duck Knickerbocker Toy with a fur Brown Cosack Hat. The head is movable, but the legs are fixed facing forward. It has a long bill and is the same color as the legs. Under the hat is his sailor hat. I can not find anything like it on the internet to see what it is worth. There is one similar but not the same on E-Bay but it is broken. Can you help me or tell me whom to contact? Thank you so much.

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