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Collecting Vintage Rubber Squeaky Toys

Collecting Vintage Rubber Squeaky Toys

Vintage squeaky toys are one of my kitschy little collections. They are scattered all over the house, but I am slowly adding photos of them to my Collectors Quest collection, so over time they will at least digitally appear together in one place.

I don’t have childhood memories of these things; no warm fuzzy moments when I spot them. I must confess, I got into collecting these little guys for really odd reasons.

One of the first big sales I made online was a vintage made in Taiwan cat squeaky toy. I paid 50 cents at a rummage sale for it, and when it sold for nearly $30, I began scouring rummage sales and thrift stores looking to make another score. Sometimes, even when they weren’t in good shape, I’d buy them — just to save them from the ladies who were going to buy them to give them to children or their dogs.

Such actions aren’t just good for the vintage toys either; I’m saving dogs and babies! For these old rubber toys are not a good idea to give to young children or pets. The rubber either has deteriorated or is in the process of deteriorating and as such tears easily, allowing bits of the old plastic to lodge in the throats and airways of those chewing on it. Often, the little screens or covers on the “breathing” holes which allow the toys to squeak are damaged or give way easily to a tooth too. Plus, these things are old and dirty and heavens knows where they’ve been! Boiling them to sanitize them isn’t a good idea either as this just further breaks down the elasticity of the old plastic, rubber, or vinyl.

Once I found myself with a number of these vintage kitschy rubber toys, able to squeak or not, I found myself falling in love with their cute and comical faces. A collection had amassed itself and I was unable to sell pieces of it anymore. Other than the usual practice of a collector, selling what I have doubles of, I now keep my little kitschy deers and other dears.

Most collectors only want those which still squeak, are void of teeth prints, and with the paint still intact. But if it’s cheap enough — and I don’t already have it (and sometimes if I do!), I will sneak an extra one onto a shelf somewhere. Hubby won’t ever notice. *wink*

2 Comments to “Collecting Vintage Rubber Squeaky Toys”

  1. Hi I noticed something the other day I have a squeak toy a bunny and i noticed he had a brown spot on him he didnt have it the other day and now it wont come off
    he is also softer than he had been.
    Do you know anything about how to protect squeakys
    does heat or cold hurt them?

    Thank you
    Vanessa

  2. Hi Vanessa,

    As noted, squeaky toys and other rubber and vinyl toys do deteriorate with age. Heat and cold — as well as big swings in hot and cold, as well as humidity and sunlight will cause problems for squeaky toys just as they do dolls and any other vintage pieces. Sometimes the toys soften, as yours has; other times, they become more brittle. It depends a lot on the type of materials used. Rubber and vinyl also react poorly to metal (most often noticed as the “green ear” problem with Barbie doll). And molds and fungus can also attack these pieces too.

    I’ve heard good things about Remove-Zit by Twin Pines of Maine; but I’ve never used it myself.

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