Great Book for Schuco Toy Collectors

By Bill Siuru
   I can spend hours in toy stores in Germany. They are always filled with toys that are meant to last a lifetime, not the TV-hyped toys found in Toy’s R Us that are often broken and discarded after a few hours of play. Pick up a highly crafted car, truck, construction equipment or aircraft and you are likely to see the name Schuco inscribed underneath. Schuco toys are highly collectible, indeed many are investment quality. Just, type in “Schuco” on Ebay and you will see nine or ten pages of items up on auction for serious money. “Schuco Classic Tin Toys: The Collector’s Guide” (ISBN 0-87349-545-4) by Chris Knox is a must for any Schuco collector, or just anyone who likes high-quality toys.
   The hardbound book starts with a brief history of Schuco, which dates back to before World War I. One of its first products was the Pick-Pick Bird with over 20 million sold worldwide. In the mid-1930s it brought out its clockwork-powered Schuco Patent Motor Car. While production ceased during World War II, it was back in business by 1946 and its best years occurred in the late 1940s and 1950s. Unfortunately, Schuco was slow to transition from tin toys to plastic ones and thus the original Schuco was out of business by 1976. Today, the Schuco brand is offered by Dickie-Schuco GmbH & Co.
   Most of the 128-page book covers Schuco’s cars and motorcycles. These include the early tin ones as well as later die-cast and plastic models. Incidentally, Schuco’s penchant for perfection was carried over to its plastic toys, perhaps even more so. Many pages are devoted to Schuco’s Varianto models, the company’s unique answer to slot cars. Each description includes information on technical features, dimensions, colors available, rarity and current price.
   While the book is mainly devoted to Schuco’s transportation toys – cars, trucks and motorcycles – several pages covers its other toys. These include boats, submarines, airplanes, its impressive Disneyland Monorail, figures and animals, and of course its the Pick-Pick Bird.
   The book is lavishly illustrated with several hundred large, color photos of the toys. Besides being a life-long collector of Schuco toys, Knox is a talented advertising and editorial photographer. His photos alone are worth the price of the book. The book includes an index, suggested further reading and “links” to Web sites. It is available from Krause Publications, Book Department PR03, P.O. Box 5009, Iola, WI 54945-5009. For more information, visit

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