Pop quiz: are TootsieToys related at Tootsie Rolls? Nope, but they ARE related to Cracker Jack! They are, however, both named after little girls called “Tootsie” by their grandpa. Lets have a look at what “TootsieToys” are and why collectors love ‘em!
The Dowst Brothers Start Making Toys
The TootsiteToy story starts in the 1890s, when the Dowst Brothers founded their diecasting business. Their original line was making buttons and cuff links, but by 1910 they had begun expanding into toys. Two of their earliest offerings were cars: a limousine model in 1911 and the Ford Model-T in 1915. They officially became TootsieToy in 1924, though they’d been marketing toys under the name for a few years by then.
Their big break came from partnering with Cracker Jack in the 1920s. The beloved baseball snack had started including a prize in every package in 1912 and it quickly became their signature. TootsieToy was retained to provide some of these prizes, creating a wide array of diecast toys and charms over the decades. They would go on to partner with Parker Brothers to provide the iconic Monopoly game pieces in 1935.
Those two partnerships alone would ensure Tootsie Toys ubiquity in mid-20th century childhoods but that’s not all they did. They kept producing diecast toys, mostly vehicles, as standalone items. All of these toys have become highly popular collector’s items over the years.
Why People Collect TootsieToy Cars
People love cars, especially classic cars. While we all dream of a football sized garage filled with pristine classics, that might not be a route for all of us to take. But we can content ourselves collecting scale model toy cars. Tootsie Toys are among the oldest toy cars around, meaning they adapted pre-World War II models then those cars were new! After a wartime pause, they continued adapting the latest and greatest models of car in toy form into the 21st century. On that front, you can build quite the collection of Tootsie Toy cars spanning most of automotive history. Hard to beat that.
Additionally, TootsieToys were famous for their simple construction. They generally were constructed from a total of seven pieces: four wheels, two axles, and then the body in one solid piece. This has allowed them to stand up to the ravages of time exceedingly well. There just aren’t many places for the typical Tootsie Toy to break! Later models utilized more plastic interiors, but they still hold very well.
A collection of TootsieToy diecast vehicles (plus Dinky Toys, Matchbox, Corgi, and more) comes to auction on February 17! Check it out and add some top notch specimens to your diecast car collection. And when the time comes to sell that collection, why not let Back to the Past do the heavy lifting? We’ll pick it up, catalog it, and bring it to auction for you – all you need to worry about is getting paid!
Did you have TootsieToys growing up? Let us know in the comments or hit us up on social media @b2pcollect!