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The 1941 catalog, two years before the demise of the company, offered the No. 2737X tractor as "A cast iron miniature of a popular tractor," another generic tractor, which indicates the company perhaps could no longer afford to purchase rights to produce brand-name tractors. These generic tractors came in red, jade green, and marine blue.
1943 was the final year for Arcade toys and Arcade advertising, Aune – author of Arcade Toys – says. Ads said "We can't win this war with toys alone," and "When it is over, over there" they would make more toys.
But it was not to be; in 1943 Rockwell-Standard Co. bought The Arcade Co., and began making pistons for aircraft engines.
Arcade, and its fun and colorful toy catalogs, never returned.
Arcade Makes Adults Into Kids
The Arcade toys still elicit a lot of fun today. Bob Beall of Twelve Point, Ind., has a few Arcade toys, including a dump rake, mower, corn planter, "and an Arcade International tractor that we hook up to an Arcade threshing machine, to make a nice-looking set."
Don Lux of Janesville, Wis., says "Every person is a kid at heart sometimes, and somehow, I'm a kid at heart when I see an odd toy, like these Arcades. Otherwise, why would I have three or four hundred toys around here if I wasn't?" he laughs.
Plus, as Ray Lacktorin adds, the Arcade toys remind him of times past.
"Every time I get another one of them, I look at it and wonder, 'What kid really played with this?' He must have been thrilled to get this, through the mail, or under the Christmas tree. It had to be the greatest thrill in the world, because at the time these toys were made, money wasn't that easy to come by. Dad was getting maybe a dollar a day, and to pay a dollar for a toy like these must have been a great sacrifice."
How could parents not sacrifice to get hold of a wonderful Arcade toy for their children? They Looked Real, after all, and played real, too. FC
Bill Vossler is a regular contributor to Farm Collector.
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