When you look around the Internet for Vintage Western Toys that you owned as a child, that will take you back to yesteryear like the Lone Ranger intro, you have to be careful. There are people out there who misuse the vintage or antique label and sell reproductions as originals. Others mix old and new and try to foist them on the uninitiated as vintage. Let's take a look at what you should look out for.
First of all, what does it mean if a toy is a Vintage Toy? In general terms a vintage item on eBay or elsewhere should be at least 20 years old. However, for our category of Vintage Western Toys, we really need to go back a little further than 1988! What we're looking for in vintage is at least 30 years old. In fact, most of these toys should be from the 1950's through 1960's.
Not everyone who mislabels a toy as vintage is trying to rip you off. Sometimes they bought a reproduction set at a garage sale or storage garage auction that looked old and they, due to lack of knowledge, thought it was an original. Classic toy companies like Marx, Stuart, Lido and MPC sold their old molds and equipment to companies in other countries. Often the reproductions look almost as good as the real thing but sometimes there are tell-tale signs that it is a reproduction.
Sometimes you can find deals in buying large lots that someone appears to be simply getting rid of. However, this is a common tactic by some dealers to dump their unwanted and unsalable goods on the market. Often they'll even use a separate eBay ID for this activity so use a lot of caution when clear pictures aren't available in the listing. If you aren't sure contact the seller and ask for better pictures. Some, the honest ones, will be happy to provide you with additional photos to help you make your decision. A reliable seller will always answer your questions about any products they're selling.
Be careful not to get caught up in a bidding war. Do your research on the Vintage Western Toy you're wanting to buy, make your maximum bid, once, and live with the results. You'll be happier and your bank account will be happier even if you don't win every auction for Vintage Western Toys.