Sunday, January 20, 2019

[YouTube] Tootsietoy's Sportsmen Sets

According to Tootsietoy's defunct 2006 website it was the oldest American toy company having been founded in the late 1800s in Chicago by the Dowst brothers. However, the Tootsietoy name, which was named after Ted Dowst's daughter's Tootsie, wasn't trademarked until 1924. Charles Dowst is responsible for creating the first die-cast toys in 1910 with the first die-cast car being released in 1911. In the '60s Tootsietoy acquired the slot car maker Strombeck-Becker (later called Strombecker) and although the toys I own do say Tootsietoy on the front of the boxes, the back of the boxes say Strombecker. It would seem that Tootsietoy ceased being the corporate name shortly after that acquisition, instead being a toy brand for Strombecker Corp. In 2005 Strombecker liquidated its assets and sold Tootsietoy to J. Lloyd International, Inc.

On the way-out-of-date website the Tootsietoy name is used on a variety of toys, including die-cast cars, tea sets, cap guns, bubbles, jump ropes, wood blocks, and magnetic numbers and letters. It's possible I have some of the older die-cast vehicles but for this post I'm focusing on two sets from 1981/82. Both are part of a toy line called Sportsmen; one is the Sportworld pack and the other is called Sport Time. Sportsworld features a raft, kayak, two paddles, boat, submarine, jeep, motorbike (with attached character), shark, and three male action figures. In the Sport Time pack is a jeep, trailer, two horses, powerboat, picnic table, grill, two male action figures, and one female action figure. Both boxes had a stack of price tags on them as they were marked down a number of times. It looks like they originally cost $16 a piece at Kmart but were purchased for $8 each.

I find the combination in the sets a bit odd as it would have made more sense to swap the powerboat in the Sportsworld pack with the motorbike to the Sport Time set, and remove the jeep from Sportsworld. That would have made the Sportsworld ocean and river focused, and Sport Time more of a southwestern/desert themed pack. The items in both sets were also sold in smaller collections in carded packaging. Unfortunately, as you can see in the video and photos, my boxes are beat up and recently received water damage from a basement flood. Also, the male cowboy is broken and the submarine handle broke off, though I was able to glue the handle back on. The cowboy actually broke when I was trying to position him for blog photos; I rotated his left leg to pose him which caused his lower half to crack.


Sport Time

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