Thursday, November 21, 2013

#350 PLAYTOY – OLD CARS (Ref. 501) (Around 1977)

Playtoy S.A. is another toymaker no one seems to have heard about. A quick search on the internet gives away only a few toys for sale made by this company, but nothing more.

Nevertheless, I have found a document that tells us a couple of things about the company. First is that the company had its headquarters in Valencia. More exactly in Pasage Dr. Bartual Moret, Nr.7. This is quite a central location in the city, so they probably manufactured somewhere else, or another company manufactured for them.

They registered some patents between the end of 1976 and the first months of 1977, most of them small plastic toys that simulated some sport, like basketball, volleyball, or baseball. Some of them were very simple, for example, the football game was actually a small pitch with a marble, and on each side (pinball) flippers to try to score in the opposite goal. It was played with a marble. This kind of toys was a precursor of the pocket sport games released a few years later by Obertoys. The patents are signed by Bernardo Ungría Goiburu, a famous patent attorney from Madrid, who also worked for Guisval and many other toy companies, both Spanish and foreign.

Since most patents date from those two years, I would date my toy also around 1977, although it might be newer than that, and was probably sold during many consecutive years.

Another toy types included animals with some kind of mechanism (friction, magnets), and this cars with a wind-up motor. At the time Wind-up toys with removable keys were extremely rare, probably one of the last toys with this mechanism ever sold in Spain.

The Old Car toys were a series of 6 models, from which I own one of them. They have references 501 to 506, mine is reference 501. Front wheels are practicable, and can be oriented in either left or right direction. The base is made of tin, but the main parts of the body are made of plastic, including a chromed front grill.

A nice piece from a curious and rare manufacturer. The box is a small piece of art with the car and the orange cloud behind, a bit in the style of the 60s.

  • Name: OLD CAR (REF. 501)
  • Year: Around 1977
  • Company: Playtoy S.A. (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 9 cm

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