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Thread: Home Foundry Toy Set

  1. #1
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    Home Foundry Toy Set

    Here is an article and picture from Modern Casting magazine

    MODERN CASTING / January 2010

    What’s Old Could Be New Again
    Alfred T. Spada, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

    With the holiday season finished, we can all look back with a smile at the sight of our loved ones ripping apart wrapping paper and singing choruses of “oohhhs” and “aaahhs” at the gifts they received. If you have kids, they may have received the latest Wii game or new clothes. A spouse or significant other may have received jewelry or perfume. Friends and coworkers may have been showered with gift cards, candy and gift baskets.

    My question is if anyone in your sphere of influence received the Home Foundry Quality Casting Set as a gift? You say you’ve never heard of it? Turn to our “Shakeout” on p. 56 and take a look.

    While it is more than likely no one you know received this toy set this year (unless they were antiquing on E-Bay), some of the elder statesman in our industry may have received one when they were kids 50-60 years ago. As best as I can deduce, this toy set was first sold in the 1930s. It was developed for kids and packaged like a board game with all the tools necessary to cast 2-in. toy soldiers (or, in other versions, Popeye and Flash Gordon figures).



    From a marketing standpoint, it appealed to kids’ intrinsic excitement to build or create things—the science of manufacturing. But, this toy set also took this appeal and promotional message to another level for potential buyers. Take a look at the close-up of the box cover from the Home Foundry:

    Son: “Look Dad, what I made, Gee! This is fun.”
    Father: “That’s great Son: You can sell them and get a real business training.”
    Mother: “And also earn your own spending money.”

    If you look past the suspect grammar of this message, you will see that the makers of the toy (Home Foundry Manufacturing Co., Chicago) sold it as a business venture for a budding entrepreneur. Like the lemonade stand on a hot summer day, the home metalcasting set would provide Junior a hobby and develop his sense of capitalism all at once. At a time when the U.S. was struggling to escape the Great Depression and manufacturing was gearing up for WWII, this promotional message was spot on for both parents and children.

    What a difference 70 years makes. Ignoring the fact that from a safety perspective, a toy like this probably could never be sold today, if it did reach the store shelves, would anyone buy it? Using the same promotional message as the original, no chance in the world. Society’s current view of manufacturing as a profession makes the same marketing appeal impossible.

    But, what if we reformulated it for today’s culture? What if we sold it as an Art Casting Set to Create Your Own Sculptures or a Modeling Kit to Build Your Own Diecast Cars. These niche hobbies could hold the same appeal as today’s home science kits for chemistry or electricity. While it would never outsell the latest versions of Madden Football or Webkinz, these toy sets might have their place in a world where people are remembering (at least in their personal life) the value of hands on activities and homemade fun.

    Everyone thought John Travolta was done after Saturday Night Fever. No one believed bell bottoms would be fashionable again. Maybe it’s time for home metalcasting to make a rebound.

  2. #2
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    You could also change the ethnicity and language and sell them in Asia or Africa :idea:
    Angus MacGyver a.k.a Clifford C. Claven, Jr.

  3. #3
    Moderator greencheapsk8's Avatar
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    Uber Cool!!
    I want one 8) :lol:
    .....And projects and ideas burst forth, obliviating anything else in their path.
    God did not design skulls with parting lines in mind.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by greencheapsk8
    Uber Cool!!
    I want one 8) :lol:


    Keep an eye out on eBay, they come up quite often!

  5. #5
    is that lead or aluminum that they are casting? Either way, there is no way this would be legal to sell today with all of the safety laws.

  6. #6
    Tin i would think. from the saying falling like Tin soldiers.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tin_soldiers
    "Real" tin soldiers, i.e. ones cast from an alloy of tin and lead, can also be home-made. Molds are available for sale in some hobby shops. Earlier, the molds were made of metal; nowadays they are often made of hard rubber which can stand the temperature of the molten metal, around 250 °C.

  7. #7
    I had a room mate that used to cast tabletop war game miniatures (warhammer or something like that) and he used some kind of hobby pewter. It was a white metal and it captured very fine detail.

    His molds were some kind of rubber or silicone and were quite stiff. Very neat....I never had the patience for the small intricate stuff like that.
    10 million unfinished projects strong.....and growing.

  8. #8
    Moderator greencheapsk8's Avatar
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    I had a few of those figures around, amasing detail 8)
    .....And projects and ideas burst forth, obliviating anything else in their path.
    God did not design skulls with parting lines in mind.

  9. #9
    That's a cool set! Amazing what people can think of.

    Were they selling extra ingots? :roll:
    _3D_
    I found that trying to find what I need and then make it work with what I have, is more trouble than designing what I want and doing it.
    me

    "Quick decisions are unsafe decisions."
    Sophocles

  10. #10
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    Ahh the good ol days.

    Now days a business can't even sell you a hot cup of coffee without having ten thousand warning signs and messages plastered all over the store and the cups, out of fear that someone will spill it on themselves and sue the crap out of the place that sold them the coffee.

    Thanks to our upside down and backwards judicial system coupled together with a society filled with greedy, money hungry scumbags and lawyers who are alowed to twist and turn anything they want in whatever direction posible to get their clients (as if thats why thier doing it) the "money they deserve" for the pain and suffering they endured due to their own stupidity and clumsiness.

    I'm done now.

    welder19

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