CAST-IRON HUBLEY TOYS In 1892, John Hubley founded the Hubley toy company in Lancaster, Penn. By 1940, the company was the world's largest manufacturer of cast iron toys. However, such toys became less profitable due to freight costs and foreign competition. Eventually many of the cast iron molds were sold. Chatelaine's Antiques Collectibles Appraisals

 

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CAST-IRON HUBLEY TOYS

 
 Hubley Toys

 In 1892, John Hubley founded the Hubley toy company in Lancaster, Penn. By 1940, the company was the world's largest manufacturer of cast iron toys. However, such toys became less profitable due to freight costs and foreign competition. Eventually many of the cast iron molds were sold.

 Hubley made all sorts of cast iron toys, including cars, trucks, banks, and even novelty items such as grasshopper toys. Some of these toys fetch significant amounts of money. For instance, a Hubley Packard from 1929 can be worth $35,000 and a large airplane might sell for $20,000.
 

 Caution: Some manufacturers are now making fakes that can fool even the seasoned collector. Duplicates from companies in China and Taiwan are significantly less valuable than original Hubleys.

Hint: The real one has white wheels.
Fakes are so deceptive,
they fool even the most trained eye.
Hint: The real one has white wheels.

 Here's how to avoid being fooled:

  • Take your time
    There are a lot of very good fakes. They're tricky, because they're the right weight and the castings are very smooth. The manufacturers also use a lead-based paint that to my knowledge isn't available in the United States. In many cases, they even mark the toys with the original Hubley model numbers. Then they treat the toys to make them appear 60-80 years old.

    This car (above) even fooled an avid collector. He bought it in a hurry, without examining it closely. If it was a good original, it would have a value of $2,500. This one's worth only $100.

  • Check the mold number
    Study good original examples. You have to handle the toys to get to know them. Most reproductions have nickel-plated disk wheels like the originals, but you should look for the mold number. Many fakes don't have the four-digit mold number on the inside. Of course it's possible that you may find an original toy with replacement wheels, but it's not very likely.

  • More paint = more value
    The strongest sellers are the large scarce items (10 inches or larger) with excellent original paint. A toy with 98 percent of the original paint that's in near mint condition might sell for $500. The same toy with only 50 percent of the paint, or a repainted example will go for only $100.

 


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