Other American 1930's toys


Barclay "five-cent" toy cars


Cute slush and die-cast lead toys by Barclay, featuring a sedan, tow truck, bus and station wagon, all somewhat copying  the Tootsietoys' 1933 patents regarding the mode of assembly.

Barclay invested in pressure casting molds for the first time, in an attempt to reduce production costs. It was not a successful attempt as production costs were actually higher than those of standard slush-cast toys. What is left are a few very nice 3" little cars, for collectors enjoyment today. The mint examples below surfaced recently from the collection of two brothers, who had purchased them in 1937. They obviously took very good care of them!



  Left: The "Coast to Coast Coach" is based on a General Motors design. It is finely pressure-cast, one of the very few prewar Barclay toys produced in such a manner.

Near: the Hupmobile sedan was a Raymond Loewy design. Note the rather rare wooden wheels with rubber tires, a feature rarely seen on such small toys.



Left: a Vauxhall "woody", an odd choice for an American toy company.

Near picture shows a Packard wrecker, they certainly had a sense of humor at Barclay!





The die-cast chassis are designed to cleverly get around the Tootsietoy patents, using an assembly rivet to affix the common chassis to the multiple bodies. Costs must have been too high as only a few different models were produced, and there was no profit in selling these toys for the same 5 Cents as a standard slush-cast miniature automobile.


Barclay true "slush-cast" streamlined coupe and limousine with the scarce wooden wheels and white tires. The picture at right shows the casting process of pouring hot metal in a 2-piece mold, waiting a few seconds for the surface to cool against the mold, then turning it over the pot and shaking the liquid metal, the toy retaining a "skin" that is very rough on the inside. Millions of such toys were produced in the 1930s by many small companies, but Barclay was the absolute king of that market.



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