Our latest catalog is now available! Ray Haradin Toys of Yesteryear is offering some of the finest toys ever produced, toys that were meant to stimulate our creative nature. Whether we were in trenches with our toy soldiers or on the open seas in our battleship, early toys evoked emotion. They represent a time when play was a luxury. They were created and produced with the best materials-- lead, iron and brass. Every aspect of their production was focused on making a quality toy, with which children could learn. Not a cheap toy that is quickly discarded as toys are made today.
The utmost care and precaution has been taken to ensure the accurate representation of all merchandise. Every item is guaranteed with a 30 day, no questions asked return policy. Simply return the item in the same condition for a complete refund.
My passion for early toys started when I was a kid. My earliest memory is playing with a William Tell bank in my Grandmother's house in 1970. I distinctly remember pressing William Tell's foot which caused his gun to shoot a coin and knock the apple off his son's head. With time my interests in antiques developed as I would accompany my father and mother to local flea markets and many early morning auctions in Western Pennsylvania and Ohio. I had a keen eye for banks, both mechanical and still, but my allowance dictated the pursuit of toy soldiers and coins. Dimestore figures, the miniature World War I figures sold in the Five and Dime Stores, formed my first collection. From there I branched out into Britains, American Tin, Clockwork Toys, Bell Toys and Horse Drawn Toys. After becoming comfortable with the early American Toys my pursuit turned overseas with particular interest in the early German manufacturers, especially Marklin and Heyde. I have also been known to handle Lehmann and Martin toys. I do have interests outside of the "Toy" world; the pursuit of original Tiffany lamps ranks high on my list along with the study of some local Pittsburgh artists who painted in the area at the beginning of the 20th century.
By the late 1970's I was an established dealer throughout the Greater Pittsburgh area displaying at local flea markets and small regional shows. On my 15th birthday in 1979, I exhibited at my first major show, The Allentown Toy Show and have been a perennial exhibitor at that venue ever since.
Antiques have always been my main pursuit. I had a brief diversion while I attended the University of Colorado, Boulder Campus where I earned a B.A. in Chemistry in 1986.
In 1982 I joined the Still Bank Collectors Club and then the Mechanical Bank Collectors of America in 1988. I served as the MBCA's President from 1995 through 1997 and have been their current Secretary since 1997. I have also been a certified member of the American Society of Appraisers as well as a member of the Antique Toy Collectors of America since 1990. It has been a pleasure to have participated at most major shows across the globe.
he objects I buy and sell are my core business; however, being active in the antique community brings me tremendous joy. In 2000 I was offered the trade journal Old Toy Soldier "The Journal for Collectors". The magazine had been in continuous publication since 1976. There were concerns in the soldier community that it would be bought by a foreign company and absorbed into their publications. Being a subscriber since its inception, I felt it was time to put the skills learned by producing and distributing my Toys of Yesteryear catalogs to further promote the hobby. I acquired Old Toy Soldier and recruited the renowned author and auction house expert Norman Joplin to be editor. Since then we have expanded coverage through well researched and written articles, moved to a color format and increased subscriptions. It has been a challenge that both Norman and I relish.
By 2005 I was up for another challenge and decided it was time to enter the auction world. Having been offered the McCumber collection of mechanical and still banks, I joined forces with Leon and Steven Weiss of Gemini Antiques. These long time friends and well known Madison Avenue dealers and I formed RSL Auctions which has hosted two sales a year. Millions of dollars worth of mechanical and still banks and fine early toys have been sold at our well attended auctions since then.
Based on the success of RSL Auctions, the fact that Christes auction house in New York and London announced they would no longer handle toy soldiers and the lack of an American auction house dedicated to the sale of toy figures, Norman Joplin and I decided to started Old Toy Soldier Auctions USA in 2008. In our first year we hosted two successful sales, selling over 1000 lots of toy soldiers.
What lies ahead is the force that drives me. Be assured that the basis of my business is the pursuit of great "stuff". Peruse my catalog. If there is something of interest or if you just want to talk toys please email me.