Q: I would like information on a metal toy rollercoaster what was given to my son in the early 1970s. It was made by J. Chein & Co. of Burlington, N.J. It’s about 20 inches long and has two cars propelled by an elastic band wound by a key. A ticket booth, hotdog stand, cotton candy stand and children are pictured around the sides. Is it valuable or collectible?
A: Julius Chein emigrated from Russia in 1893 and opened his toy company in New York City in 1903. The company moved to Burlington in 1949. The roller coaster was one of several amusement park toys made by Chein. It was designed by model-maker Eugene Bosch in 1949 and was made until the late 1960s. The lithographed pictures around the base were changed several times, and different colors were used. A 1950s version pictures a sideshow. Chein stopped making toys in the 1970s. The company was sold in 1987, became Atlantic Cheinco and filed for bankruptcy in 1992. The sideshow version from the 1950s sells for $150 to $400. Your version with a hot dog stand is under $100.