|Auburn Rubber Co. Toys (This new page is under construction.)||M60 Home Toy Gallery|
Auburn Rubber Corporation, Auburn, Indiana: Auburn produced more rubber toys than any of its competitors with a line including cars, trucks, tractors, motorcycles, airplanes, and ships, as well as soldiers and complete teams of baseball and football figures.
Rubber toys were affordable during the Depression years but were not cheap toys. Quality was excellent as was attention to detail across the entire Auburn line. Adults also appreciated that rubber toys didn't mark up floors and walls as metal cars and trucks did. For kids, a trip to, say, Woolworth's was a trip to pure excitement viewing the gleaming displays of Auburn toys.
The toys were mostly either red, green or blue. Ambulances and milk trucks were white, military items were brown or dark khaki. A few vehicles were offered in bright orange for a short time, and I particularly like these as they really stand out in a display. Silver was used for some cars, trucks and airplanes, but the silver paint doesn't hold up well. Near-mint to mint examples are uncommon. Two tone combinations added variety, so cars and trucks in combinations of the standard colors are frequently found. The airplanes were sold in wonderful color combinations. Colors were added by dipping, spraying, and hand-painting, and the finishes were very durable.
One distinct difference between the Auburn and Sun rubber toys is the styling. Auburn focused on making their toys realistic miniatures of the automobiles and trucks of the day, while Sun took a long-term view designing its toys. Whichever you prefer, the toys are distinctly different and, in my opinion, every collection should include both makes.
The tractors were accurate representations of the full-size tractors children were likely to see working the fields. There were two sizes, one roughly six to seven inches long and the other about four inches long. Detail in both was excellent, with the drivers receiving hand-painted attention to faces and clothing. Tires, too, were made to look like the real thing. Most tractors were red, with green a close second. Yellow tractors are the least frequently found but are well worth the effort and cost. A farmer, farmer's wife, and very well done animals also are available.
The motorcycles also received a lot of hand painting for both the civilian and military versions. Like the tractors, some of the motorcycles came in large and small sizes, though otherwise identical, and are all heavy, high-quality toys. The civilian versions were red, the military versions brown.
Lastly, a very fine line of soldiers and military vehicles and equipment was available. The soldiers were of two types, WW1 figures, and more detailed WWII figures. Again, hand painting was used to enhance all the soldiers, especially the WWI doughboys. All are easily found, usually in good condition, though a flag signalman who has not had at least one flag shot away is proving quite elusive for me. The tanks are WWI equipment and though quite detailed and well painted are a much smaller scale than the soldiers. Ditto for the very well done howitzers. The motorcycle with side car is a delight, and the scout cyclist is simply a fantastic mounted soldier.
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