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Collecting Memories With Keystone Toys

From 1919 to 1960, the Keystone Manufacturing Company produced an assortment of pressed steel and wooden toy vehicles. During their run, the company concentrated on replicating commercial and military vehicles that provided durable playability coupled with unique features that included working hydraulics and pumps. Those looking to build onto their vintage toy stockpile can find a variety of Keystone vehicles in different conditions of collectability on eBay.

What kind of Keystone vehicles are available to collectors today?

A collector may be able to locate most of the toys the company produced through the years, limited only by the items offered by sellers at the time. The company concentrated mainly on commercial transportation but also produced a few vehicles with governmental themes. Toy categories are listed here:

  • Buses: Buses represented both municipal and coast-to-coast transportation.
  • Moving vans: These focused on Packard truck designs with other designs produced during Keystone's run.
  • Road rollers: The road rollers imitated engineering vehicles used in road construction.
  • Trucks: Trucks represented commercial trucks (bakery, dump, milk), military-themed trucks, and specialty trucks (circus, koaster).
  • Trains: Trains imitated coal cars, freight cars, locomotives, pullmans, and railroad wreckers.
What manufacturing materials were used for Keystone's toy lines?

Keystone used various materials for their metal toy lines which consisted mostly of pressed steel. Other materials used include cloth coverings and wooden flag poles. The circus truck included wooden animals. During the 1930s, Keystone Wood Toys concentrated on product lines that used hardwood designs. Decals and various paints were used to decorate the vehicles.

Did Keystone produce toy kits that children could assemble?

Yes, the Keystone Wood Toy branch created building and support pieces in wooden kits that required assembly. Each red box contained a single building or wheeled vehicle. Many of these products were designed in "O" scale as part of their trackless train toy lines, but some of their toys were also listed as "HO" scale.

Are there features that distinguish eras on Keystone toy products?

Toy vehicles produced between 1924 and 1937 used the Packard badge on the grill. Vehicles produced after this used a different cab and hood design. Keystone began the "Ride-Em" line of toys in 1932, featuring a handle that children could hold while they sat on the toy.

Content provided for informational purposes only. eBay is not affiliated with or endorsed by Keystone.