Chein Roller Coaster Toy
Q: From E.J. (edited): You wrote in the Sept. 2017 Buyers Price Guide: Toy, Disneyland Roller Coaster….Chein, 1929… It could be a Chein roller coaster, but Disneyland did not exist until 1955. I ordinarily love your newsletter, but a glitch this large I could not pass on.
A: You are right! It was an error. We accepted the description of the toy from the seller and didn’t do the usual fact-checking. Here’s some research that might help date the versions of the toy.
In the 1997 book J. Chein & Co., A Collector’s Guide to an American Toymaker by Alan Jaffe (Schiffer Publishing) there are several versions of the Chein roller coaster. It was designed by Eugene Bosch, who started working for Chein in 1931. The 18-inch-long tin toy roller coaster was made in 1946. It was one of several amusement park toys. An altered version with a new painted scene was made as a Ski Ride in the early 1950s. A plain roller coaster with a side show entrance but no Disney emblem was made from 1949 until 1952 and, perhaps, longer. Another version with a hotdog stand in the picture was made in 1964. The Disney roller coaster used Mickey’s face, so it had to have been licensed by Disney, probably at the time of the opening of Disneyland in 1955. J. Chein & Co. went out of the toy business, was eventually bought, and then went bankrupt and closed in 1992.