Steve Butler — October 1, 2013 at 10:29 am

Good to the First Drop

1013-butlerBY STEVE BUTLER

IN THE LATE 1940’s plastic became an especially viable and profitable alternative material for toy production, especially toy vehicles. Once a realm dominated by metals including die cast white metal, tin and steel, plastic offered several benefits.

Detailed features could be incorporated with less effort. Painting with its related costs and problems could be eliminated by molded-in colors with plastic. Weight reductions reduced shipping costs. …and more.

Plastic offered one other, although short term, benefit to toy makers. It broke rather easily because early plastic toys were quite brittle. This factor engendered increased return business. By comparison, if you drop a metal toy most times you’d just pick it up. Drop a plastic toy and you’d more frequently be sweeping it up.

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