This author attended 10 consecutive Kentucky Derby races in Louisville, KY. Great memories!
Ever Seen a Schuco Clown Toy?
Clown toys made in Germany by Schuco are very rare.
Unless you are a collector, it is not likely that you have seen a Schuco clown toy. The history of Schuco toys can be traced back to 1912 in Germany.
The company began making small felt and plush covered mechanical figures and animals over a century ago. Schuco still manufactures toy cars, but these mechanical clowns have not been made since the 1950s.
POLL: Heard of Schuco?
Schuco Clown Toys are Rare Vintage Collectibles
Schuco toys were very well-made and included a wide variety of styles and structures over the years.
The most common Schuco toy category found today are the Schuco cars and other vehicles. Many of these models can be found in stores and on Amazon.
The clown toys featured here are quite rare and no longer sold retail. Schuco clown toys have NOT been manufactured for decades. That makes them highly collectible and sought after by vintage toy collectors.
Origin of the Schuco Toy Company
Early 20th Century in Germany
Schreyer and Co set new trends from the beginning with mechanical tin toys. The most popular toy of the time (20 million sold) was the "Pick Pick Bird" seen in the image above right.
It was actually a 17-year old named Heinrich Mueller who originally developed ideas for these Schuco toys. He registered many patents and the name SCHUCO was given to the toy company which had been founded in 1921 by Heinrich Schreyer.
The Schuco Toy Company Grows
Worldwide Recognition for Schuco Toys
During the 1930s the company introduced a Shuco-patent-motorcar, which led to an incredibly large and popular range of tinplate vehicles. The 1940s and 1950s were the golden years for the company.
The mid-30's saw toy cars which are still well-known today such as the radio, commando and tumble car which does not fall off the table, and the legendary Silver Arrow. All become best sellers.
Schuca toys were relaunched after WWII. At first these toys were produced solely for the American market.
Schuco rebuilt their German toy factory in 1952 and became the largest toy factory in Nuremberg with 800 employees. The worldwide distribution of Schuco toys became impressive with sales of over 100 million.
Modern VS Vintage Schuco Toys
Schuco brand toys were revived from tin toys to plastic versions, and Schuco clowns gave way to Schuco cars.
In the 60's and 70's, the popularity of die-cast metal and plastic forced the demise of Schuco tin toys. However the Schuco name was acquired by a former competitor (GAMA) in 1980.
Later GAMA merged with TRIX, and with its own management structure, the Schuco brand was revived. After a few more mergers over the years, Schuco now operates within the Simba Dickie Group, which is now one of the largest in the industry.
In recent years new standards have been set for Schuco in terms of detail and quality, thanks to innovative and creative product policies. As a result the Schuco position in the collectors' market has expanded as well.
Vintage Schuco Clown Toy Drummers
Schuco Clown Toys playing the drums are a favorite among collectors
This Schuco clown plays the drum when wound up. He's not as rare and hard to find as some of the other Schuco clown models, yet still a popular and valuable toy.
Collectors will be particularly interested in models like this one which is in good condition, works well AND includes the original box.
These wind-up toy clowns are old and very unique, a rare find for toy collectors.
See Some Schuco Clowns in Action - Watch these Vintage Schuco Clown Toys move and groove.
Many of the Schuco clown models were made to play musical instruments like the drum, violin or guitar. Another very popular model is the juggling clown. Click the videos below to see these wind-up toy clowns in action.
Happy the Guitarist
Vintage wind-up Schuco clown toy.
See Happy the Schuco Clown Toy in action playing guitar.
Another vintage Schuco clown wind-up toy, likely manufactured in the early 1900s in Germany and now a sought after collector's item.
Find Schuco Toys on Amazon
While many of the Schuco cars can be found at amazon.com, it is not likely to find a Schuco clown there. That's because they are much more rare and the Schuco clown toys have not been manufactured for many decades.
Rare collectibles such as a vintage Schuco clown toy are much more likely to be found on auction sites like eBay.
Even the Schuco cars will sell for high prices. They are a very different category from the common matchbox cars.
Schuco Clown Toys on eBay - The original Schuco clown vintage toys are HOT listings on eBay!
When a Schuco clown is listed for sale on eBay, most likely it will get many many bids. These Schuco clown toys are often a fun auction to watch and even bid on if you have interest.
Schuco clowns are a rare and often obscure toy that collectors watch very carefully. This vintage and rare toy tends to sell for more than you might expect, regardless of the economy.
Auctions for Schuco clown toys always get many bids and do sell for high prices. Schuco clown toys are valuable collectibles in any condition, but if you happen to find one in good condition and even with the original box? Now that's a quite valuable treasure.
How I Discovered Schuco Clown Toys
Sorting through junk from my parents' old home, I came across this busted clown toy and almost pitched it. Then I spotted the "Schuco' mark on the bottom and set it aside to research.
Glad I saved that Schuco clown toy because he later sold for a high price on eBay, even though it was busted! My Schuco clown was on roller skates and had apparently taken a bad fall because his head was bashed in. All damage was disclosed with several images, and STILL the collectors fought over my rare busted clown with a bashed in head, which sold for around $400.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2011 Carolan Ross
Guestbook: This Clown LOVES Toys! YOU? Join the discussion about Schuco clown toys below.
Blackspaniel1 on January 29, 2012:
clouda9 lm on March 06, 2011:
I'll have to admit clowns kinda freak me out...might be a repressed memory from a visit to the circus..ha! Interesting read about the Schuco line of clown toys though.
GiftsBonanza on March 05, 2011:
Really interesting lens - not seen these before
LissaKlar LM on February 26, 2011:
I love collecting. I've collected Garfields, precious moments dolls, harry potter to name a few. What a cool product for you to encounter. Sounds profitable also.
hayleylou lm on February 23, 2011:
Never heard of these but I love clowns so these would be great to collect
capriliz lm on February 23, 2011:
I can see why collectors would love this line.
Vikk Simmons from Houston on February 23, 2011:
Interesting. They look familiar, too. I lived in Germany when I was a kid in the 50s. Pretty sure we don't have any around, though. Good info.