Collecting Toy Reference Books

I love buying old toy reference books at the local used book store…I guess I have started a collection of toy reference books…help me! Yes I know there is the internet but guess what someone has to put it on the internet first and I find nothing beats flipping thru old books or price guides with pictures to get research done.

Today I picked up a book Jim Harmon’s Nostalgia Catalogue which was printed in 1973 so the “nostalgia” is a bit dated or is it? The toys listed are still old but depending on your age most would not even know the items listed.


Radio Premiums – Do we even have these now? Gifts you could mail away for based on radio soaps or talk shows. Tom Mix Radio Show seems to have been a favorite of this author and there was a lot of product produce for it … Straight Shooter gear from Tom Mix including telegraph signal set, six shooter and id bracelet, badges, whistles and decoders. The Lone Ranger had a chapter and this has now moved into several generations with TV and recently Johnny Depp did a movie that quickly moved from the theater to the stores…I did not see this so not sure if today’s kids are not into cowboys or it was the movie!?

Tom Mix Ad

Do you know what a GMan is? Art Of Toys has GMan rings!

Vintage Toy G Man Ring 1930's

Comics is a big section of Nostalgia Toys with this reference based on old school of Tom Mix (again), Superman, Dick Tracy and Flash Gordon. This section is more on the comic book than the toys that were developed based on the comics.

1939 Superman

The book runs out of steam and this point and just mentions a few early TV toys but my point is collecting references can be a great collection. At some point might have to scan some of the books onto the internet. How do you do your research? We would love to hear from you in the comments!