Friday, January 18, 2013

Toy Crane From Forever Ago

 $200 on Ebay, a toy crane JUST LIKE the one I desperately wanted for Christmas 1965, '66, '67, '68...
If you weren't into trains or cowboys, you likely were into construction toys like Meccano, and stamped-metal was the coolest material. Kinda like Carbon fiber is today. Poor Kids had breaky cheap plastic stuff (60's plastics were HORRIBLE).
So it's nice to see a minimum of the stuff on this example, but what's here was intelligently selected. Bright primary colors in the (likely lead-bearing) vibrant paint on the non-metal parts make them look like plastic rather than the other way round.
 Funky cool, and incomplete, it would still be fun to have this toy today. The stamped-metal, hiding-razor-blades construction  would have any present parent thinking twice, however. And the purposeful-looking teeth on the load bucket halves would NEVER pass CPSC guidlines!
 Sadly, that load bucket droops, maw agape, because there's a critical part missing. There should be a second cable/rope to the bucket, it ties to that crossbar inside the bucket halves. Lifting from this point causes the bucket to close before lifting. By varying the tension on the two cables, the bucket can be opened and closed by the Crane Operator.
 It's unusual to see one of these in fair condition ,and fairly complete. Due to the nature of little boys, many were taken apart and modified, and even repainted. This example is a survivor, worth at least the asking start bid.
 The second bucket cable cannot be installed, because there's a roller missing here, under the neck of the boom. You can see the empty mounts. even back in the day, many of these had been replaced with a wooden dowel, because the load on the roller would back the screws out of the lousy-plastic roller itself, rendering it garbage in the process. The holes would be too big to hold the screws, and the plastic would split when a larger one was tried. 60's plastic just didn't have the ductility that today's has.
 The bucket looks nearly un-used. This part was MANGLED on both examples (I nearly stole from lucky owners) I got to play with, way back when.
 The rotation gear knob is white plastic, and amazingly well-preserved.
I'm planning to study these pics, and make myself a modern recreation in 6mm thick ABS, scaled up.
Executive Desk Crane!

Monday, January 14, 2013