Below are three pics of some of my summer finds at rummage sales or antique stores. Although I’ve been a military miniature collector (and painter) for most of my life I never branched out into collectible war toys that were manufactured for most of the last century but are increasingly rare today.
The models below carry the brand name Midgetoys. I confess that growing up I never heard of Midgetoys but probably saw them in the various “dimestores” that were popular in the 1960s like Woolworths or Ben Franklin.
http://www.esnarf.com/MTstory.htm A little research turned up a link titled The Midgetoys Story.
Midgetoys were created by Al and Earl Herdklotz in 1948. The Herdklotz’s ran a machine shop and during WW2 and were involved in the war production industry like every other company in the US.
After the war the brothers got the idea of entering the die cast model field and came up with the idea of Midgetoys which obviously meant small scale (die cast models). Think of today’s Matchbox and Hot Wheels die cast models and you get the idea.
The brothers main competition back in 1948 was Tootsie Toy and to be competitive MidgeToys sacrificed interior detail in producing their models that spanned the range of cars, trucks, airplanes, trains and even early science fiction.
The brothers stopped production in 1968 making Midgetoys a collectible item for nostalgic toy collectors.
The two models below are from Midgetoys military line. The tank looks like the famous Sherman tank from WW2 and the Korean War while the artillery piece appears to be a 105mm howitzer.
According to the Midgetoys Story the brothers actually worked from blueprints supplied by the Defense Department to produce their models.
It appears that there were 12 models all together in the military line. I found mine in an out of the way antique store in Door County, WI and purchased both for around $10.00 not having the faintest idea if they were that. I did think it would be interesting to do a little detective work and find out something about Midgetoys.