BY STEVE BUTLER
TOOTSIETOY’S #5220 Army Set appeared in their 1939, 1940 and 1941 factory catalogs. Production of the 20-piece set was discontinued thereafter, likely soon after the outset of World War II. The catalog pictures of the contents remained unchanged but not the actual contents. Tootsietoy had begun transitioning from white to black rubber tires, and some vehicles in latter examples of this set were so equipped. Another unpictured change in the late issues included the omission of guns on the armored car.
Despite the three-year production run, the #5220 Army Set is not at all common. When a mint/boxed turned up on the net, it seemed a must-buy. At that time there was no intention to part out the set to fill gaps in the Tootsietoy collection. However, the condition of the set upon arrival dictated that outcome. During transit five of the seven soldiers were broken, one toy was damaged and another incurred some unsightly paint chips.
Nevertheless, several of the camouflaged, die cast jewels prohibited the return of the set to the willing seller. Those jewels were as follows: