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Q: I hope you can tell me something about this windup toy. The clown walks on his hands when he is wound up. It has a shield-shaped mark that says "J. Chein & Co." How old is it? Is it worth anything?

A: Julius Chein emigrated from Russia in 1893 and started his toy company in New York City in 1903. The company made small toys that were sold at dime stores and small toy prizes for Cracker Jack boxes. During World War II, Chein stopped making toys and began manufacturing bomb parts. The company moved to Burlington, N.J., in 1949. Toy production ended in the late 1970s, when the company switched to manufacturing housewares. Chein was sold to Atlantic Products in 1987 and became Atlantic Cheinco. It filed for bankruptcy in 1992. Chein used a variety of marks, but not all toys were marked and more than one mark was used at various times. The shield mark was introduced in 1933. The top or bottom of the shield was shaded until the 1950s. An unshaded shield was used from the early 1950s through 1965. Your toy is from that later period. Value: $50.

chein clown windup toy























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