Ertl Die-Cast Toys

Ertl Die-Cast Toys

Synopsis of Toy

When toy collectors think “farm toys,” they think Ertl. Since the mid-1940’s, the Ertl Toy company has established itself as the finest farm-toy maker in the die-cast toy world, creating miniaturized vehicles that present a high level realistic detail at a small size. These toys became a great success and allowed Ertl to expand into merchandising several different vehicle-related toys that have become popular around the world.

The Ertl die-cast car legacy began in the Dubuque, Iowa basement of Fred J. Ertl, Sr. in 1945. A German immigant who had learned die-casting techniques in his homeland, Ertl decided to use these skills to create die-cast toys modeled after farm equipment for his children. When work became scarce, Ertl decided to turn his toymaking into a business. He obtained licenses from John Deere and International Harvester to make miniaturized versions of their farm equipment, using their original blueprints to capture all the real-life details of these trucks at a scale-model size.

The initial toys did well and led to Ertl's moving his business from the basement to a building on Dubuque’s west side. In 1959, Fred Ertl moved his fast-growing business to Dyersville, Iowa. The company has remained there ever since and has also added branches around the world in places like Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy and Hong Kong. Meanwhile, the Ertl toy line has expanded to include model kits and collector's vehicles.

Fifty years after the fact, Ertl Toys continues to be one of the Top-10 toy companies in the U.S. Their toys, past and present, are big favorites on the collector market. There are even collectors who specialize in specific lines of Ertl toys, and this has led to the formation of several Ertl collectors’ clubs all over the world. The continued success and popularity of these toys are proof positive that Ertl’s vehicles continue to be among the finest in the die-cast world.

Release History of Toy

1945 - Ertl

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