Sandbox Jeeps of the 1950s

by Keith Buckley

The aluminum Al-Toy Jeep (left) featured the Willys name cast into the center of the grille, and JEEP on the windshield. Al-Toy, or Toledo Brass, made many of the early toys given away or sold at dealerships. The tires were molded with the Al-Toy name.

Although originally produced only as a Christmas gift for executives to give their children, they rapidly became so popular that they were offered to dealers, and eventually to the general public. Small changes were made with each production run to make them more durable (bumpers tended to break off, and axles came off). The later models are less desirable.

I have heard unconfirmed reports that the molds were sold to a Canadian firm that mass produced the CJ series well into the 60's.

There were a CJ-2A, Jeepster, CJ-2A Firetruck, Utility Wagon and Pickup, and later a Commando, and M715. Although good samples of the more commom models still show up from time to time at under $50.00, I am only aware of 3 full sets in existence. To my knowledge one sold for around $7500.00.
This Oglesby Jeep (right) is very similar to the Al-Toy Jeep but was manufactured later by Oglesby in Peru, Indiana. It is dated 1956, and features smooth tires and wheels that have the word Willys cast into the center. This Jeep features a cast engine, and the headlights raise with the hood. It was also available with the invasion star and circle cast into the hood.

See also more Al-Toy and Oglesby Jeeps on CJ3B.info.
While one of the more common toys of the sixties, this Tonka (left) is the most expensive one in my collection. It cost a man his soul. Bill Harry of Houston used this Jeep when he was a boy, and passed it on to his son. He took it out of his son's toybox while he was sleeping, and donated it to this collection!

See also more Tonka Jeeps on CJ3B.info.
There were many versions of this Marx Jeep (right) available from the late forties to the early sixties. The early Marx Jeeps have steel wheels, the later ones have rubber tires and plastic wheels. They were available with a Howitzer that fired wooden bullets, a searchlight and generator, or a plow. The early ones had button headlights, and the later ones had open headlights with batteries and bulbs under the hood. Some were manufactured with a square box on the steering column -- when you pushed on the wheel, it made the sound of a horn honking. A canvas roof was also available on this model.

Bart McNeil adds this information: "The green one is called (if I recall) a 'Fix-it Jeep'. Various parts come off: the wheels, the hood, and probably a few other parts. It is supplied with a wrench to remove and re-attach the parts. Its steering wheel suggests a later production date. Its headlight bezel shape indicates it could have had electric headlights. I am a little confused by the wheels (tires) but they aren't steel and are not the hard rubber of the Lumar Jeeps as I know them. I think they may have been used only on the Fix-it Marx Jeep. The 'rims' probably are removable with the wheels."

See also Early Marx Jeeps on CJ3B.info.

Thanks to Keith Buckley for the photos and info. -- Derek Redmond

See Keith's Early Jeep Toys and Memorabilia.

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Last updated 25 October 2000 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
All content not credited and previously copyright, is copyright Derek Redmond