BY WILLIAM BERKE, MD
TED RICHARDS WAS a founding member of the Antique Toy Collectors of America, a member of the Mechanical Bank Collectors of America, and more importantly a toy maker. His company Utexiqual Products, a division of Executive Designs, Inc., was located at 34 Charles Street in Littlestown, Pennsylvania, approximately eight miles from Gettysburg.
According to Ted, whom I had the pleasure of meeting at an ATCA convention in Connecticut, their first toy was a Hook and Ladder Truck, which retailed for $29.95 in 1964. They went on to produce a handful of other toys in the 1960s, including the Pumper (1965), Hose Cart (1966), Chief’s Buggy (1967), Chief’s Patrol and Fire Patrol Wagon (1967).
The next decade brought the introduction of what was to become four new mechanical banks with the Birdie Putt (1970), Cat Boat (1972), The Bowler (1976) and The Fisherman (1976). However, the 1970s also brought the introduction of cheap knock-offs.