Well, we finally have an all original Ideal Bulldozer to post but after looking at it, and looking at the other two in the collection posted the past couple of days, and looking at my toy guides I'm left scratching my head a little and trying to solve a riddle. If you've seen this week's posts you'll notice the bulldozer has been referenced as the Ideal No I-4902 and that is based on Bill Hanlon's excellent book PLASTIC TOYS Dimestore Dreams of the '40s & '50s. This is an excellent reference by a hobby insider, Mr Hanlon having been a toy designer, collector, and producer of toys. His work is more complete than the O'Brien series of guides in that nearly everything listed in the book has an accompanying photo - O'Brien's has perhaps only a 30% photo coverage of the toys listed in their books. The bottom line is he knows what he's talking about, BUT all that being said I have questions about this one particular toy.
The book references this toy as quoted on page 216:
"Military Engineers Bull Dozer, 6-1/2" x 3-3/4" x 2-1/2", with driver, plough moves up and down, olive drab with decal, concealed plastic wheels, Ideal Toy Corporation, USA (No. 4903), 1951-52, in "Silvertone" (No. 4902), 1951-1953. Suggested Retail $0.50."
There are two photos of the toy. One photo shows a decal on the top edge of the plough (or blade) "CORPS. OF ENG.". The other photo shows a slightly different decal situated in the middle of the plough blade "U.S. ARMY CORPS. OF ENG."
Here's my questions.
1. His photos only show the olive drab version. What does the "Silvertone" version look like? I'm gonna take a wild stab and say that it looks 'silver' hahahaha. It would be cool to see an example of this.
2. He lists the Dozer as No. 4902. YET clearly it is marked I-1973 on the toy itself. Ideal was pretty decent about displaying their name and item numbers directly on the toy and I can't think of an Ideal toy in my collection which isn't marked. Was there a change in numbering systems by the company? Was the product number as listed in factory records different than that which appeared on the toy? Was it simply a clerical error which crept into the book? For me personally, I'm inclined to go with the number appearing on the toy itself vs. what is listed in a book regardless of author - unless there's a valid, verifiable explanation for the difference.
Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina
The Ideal logo and item number are molded into the left, rear drive wheel
Here's what it looks like with the repo of the original driver. Kind of unexciting.
Here's the dozer with a repo military driver - Sweet! :-)
The plough does not 'lay' straight on any of the versions I have
We posted this customized version of the Dozer three days ago which I assumed to have been an original. Notice the Ideal logo is missing from the left rear drive wheel HOWEVER on the toy I noticed what appeared to be a small gouge on the wheel. After having seen some of the other work done by the gentleman who reworked this toy it is possible he carefully took out the molded-in logo.
Re-issue (L), Original (M), Suspect - Maybe Original (R)