Midgetoy Ford Tanker
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Tootsie Toy, Midgetoy, Hubley, Barclay or Orphans, here's where to chat about slush cast!
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TOPIC: Midgetoy Ford Tanker

Re: Midgetoy Ford Tanker 6 years, 8 months ago #16

Indeed a great and wonderful story. Two true pioneers and very nice entrepeneurs.

Re: Midgetoy Ford Tanker 6 years, 7 months ago #17

Platinum Boarder
I really did enjoy that article. By the date of it I assumed the old stock would be long gone. I explored the link to the website of the company that bought up all the old stock. It seems so archaic I just assumed the website is no longer maintained.

I tried sending an email to them to ask about their website but there was no answer. I tried one more time, and surprise! A gentleman by the name of Ed indicated the website is always up to date and Midgetoy overstock is still available in their original packages. The company specializes in vintage old store stock of sooooo many interesting items. Their website is not archaic, just made to be simple like the good old days.

Here is the link to their website if you want to browse their product.


The Herdkllotz brothers did transfer all remaining overstock to this company after they were done selling off what they could. On their website enter Midgetoy in the search field and you can view what they have (trucks, cars, spaceships, planes, shop displays, etc)

I splurged for the tanker (Enco edition) and the car carrier. Ed told me they had a few carriers with a rare red cab and orange trailer that looked really sharp but not shown on the website. I took his choice and ordered it unseen. Hopefully he has the same taste as I.

Re: Midgetoy Ford Tanker 6 years, 7 months ago #18

Platinum Boarder
Nice to see someone else spending money  

I found these 3 "Space Cars" on ebay at a good price so if 1 is good 3 must be better

The following user(s) said Thank You: karls

Re: Midgetoy Ford Tanker 6 years, 7 months ago #19

Platinum Boarder
According to the brothers, the space age car was the only one they designed themselves.  All the othes are based on factory drawings or real cars.

Re: Midgetoy Ford Tanker 6 years, 7 months ago #20

Platinum Boarder
I apologize to Dinkydi for stealing this post. I realize there is another post on this forum on Tootsie and Midgetoy but we have already got into a decent discussion here, so I am going to continue.

My order came in from the antique dealer who acquired all Midgetoy old stock. The Ford Tanker (was originally released with or without  Enco labeling) and the Car Carrier. "Ed" threw in the open trailer and camper that connect to the cars that came with the Carrier. 

And yes....I did open the packages, which I put back together very carefully. One thing about my collection that others may not appreciate, is that the few mint in package that I own are HANDLED. How can you enjoy these toys without playing ?!?!?!?!?!?!

(There are various different Midgetoy overstock items still available and still in their packaging for those interested)

Last Edit: 6 years, 7 months ago by Tick.
The following user(s) said Thank You: karls, Dinkydi

Re: Midgetoy Ford Tanker 6 years, 7 months ago #21

I really like these, I think they are great
Last Edit: 6 years, 7 months ago by RoutemasterNL.

Re: Midgetoy Ford Tanker 6 years, 7 months ago #22

Platinum Boarder
No apology necessary

I like that car carrier, it will be on my wish list.

Re: Midgetoy Ford Tanker 6 years, 7 months ago #23

Platinum Boarder
I asked Ed the dealer if he may know the production years of the trucks. As per another forum, a member thinks the mustangs that came with the carrier are early 70's and therefore the truck could not be older than that. The answer I got from Ed was long winded but he obviously seems to really to know the brother's story. I thought I would share his email as it adds to the interesting story.

Hi Ed, any idea when the trucks may have been made?

No, but we can figure it out. You had to know Earl & Al Herdklotz’s personalities to put it all in perspective. Al was the visionary, toolmaker and idea man. Earl kept track of things, numbers, etc. Earl was tight !  Al wanted to make things a little higher quality, Earl didn’t want to pay the 2¢ more per toy to do it. They were both marketers, But Earl was continuously keeping the Purse strings closed. They were equal partners. (See the article in the April, 1997 issue of “Collecting Toys”, It’s on the Internet here ~ http://www.esnarf.com/MTstory.htm).

Al always covered for things they could have done better (the painting and packaging, especially), when selling to large clients by saying “We make Toys for the Boys on the Other Side of the Tracks, They are more affordable than Matchbox”. You’ll notice on about ¾ of their toys, a little splash of paint is on the wheels. Earl didn’t want to pay for the Fixture / Nest, to mask the wheels when spray painting. Al said it would have been a simple plate with slots cut for the wheels to sit down in. Al knew they could sell more toys if they made slight quality improvements, and better packaging. Earl said the paint would rub off the wheels after the kid played with it for a few days.

They would make several “Quality Step Ups”, of the same toy for different customers. For instance, “The Bonneville Salt Flats Racer Car” (See it at http://www.esnarf.com/fastcars.htm.) They made the plain version in several colors with a mask to paint the exhaust and hood silver) in a cellophane bag with a top tag. They sold that to the smaller retailers, independents, etc. Kresge’s  wanted something a little better, in the same car, and was willing to pay more, and buy a large quantity, so Midgetoy had old fashioned, waterslide decals made. It makes the same car look really nice! (By the way, I have several shoe boxes of bundles of most of the waterslide decals they had made, if you need any for restorations, or whatever).

Anyhow, “Mays” stores wanted the same Bonneville Racer slightly better than what Kresge was selling in their dime stores. Mays was willing to pay even more! So Al & Earl came up with special card / boxes that displayed the car outside the box, held in place with a “common”, egg shaped, clear plastic blister stapled on the top. You will see several of those card / boxes on several of the Midgetoys we sell (None with blisters unfortunately). Anyhow, Earl had Al design the Card Box, and Clear Blister so that they could use the same exact packaging on several other of their toy cars when they finished the “Mays” run. Then they could have the printer make 500,000 of the card boxes and bought 500,000 of the blisters from a packaging company.

Then Earl could justify buying a vacuum blister making machine that Al could make different patterns for numerous different blisters for other product lines after the Bonneville Salt Flats Racer production run was completed for “Mays”. They would make 500,000 of the clear, Egg shaped blisters that went with the Card / box, and several dozens of their cars would fit the same package so they would get a better “piece” price or cost. Earl was clever at doing things like that to save money. Al knew the cars would display better and sell better if they had their own custom blister, But Earl didn’t want to pay for the time to make all the different tooling, so they used the same “Egg” blister for several toy cars they made. They had been buying blisters for a few years, the “Mays” tooling belonged to them, so they could start the machine running right away for several other of their products.

Now you know the historical perspective, Getting back to dating the “Cab & Trailer” series they made. They designed several “Cards”, and used only 1 blister for all 4 different trucks that used the Cab & Trailer. They made a Fire Truck, An Oil Truck, a Car Hauler, and a Moving Van. The Cab, by the way, is the same cab that Lionel contracted with them for 50,000 units, for their train car that had the “Container / Trailers” train car. Lionel made their own container / Trailers, but bought the cabs from Midgetoy. In Blue and Red. The only difference was the paint was all one color, and it didn’t have the “Band” highlighted between the cab and the hitch painted silver. Lionel collectors buy the sets from me and paint the cabs all one color, the same red or blue that Midgetoy used, and don’t use the trailers. So, one way to date the cab is to find out when Lionel came out with that train car.

Earl kept all the tooling, molds, etc. for the cab, instead of giving it to Lionel. So after their contract with Lionel was through they started making their own trailers. Al came up with a Fire Truck, an Oil Delivery Truck, The Car Hauler, and a Moving Van. Earl’s cheapness in Packaging the new product line pissed off Al. They almost split up over it. Earl wanted one blister to hold any of the 4 trucks, like they did with the Card / box from the Bonneville Racer. Al eventually made 3 other blisters near the last run of the 2 piece truck line. So you will notice the top, front of the blister has a different shape for the front car. I have several dozens of the car that fits there, it was the MG, Triumph convertible. (See it at http://www.esnarf.com/3159ak.htm ). I have a few of the Car Hauler sets with the Mg in front and the Mustang in back. So the year before Ford made the Mustang was when they started selling the Car Hauler. They had a deal with the auto companies, and would get all the prints, dimensions, photos, etc. of next years cars, a year before they came out, so Midgetoy would have their toy on the market a few months before you could buy the real car! It worked out well for both The Auto Companies and Midgetoy.

So, with all that info you can see where it fit, chronologically, in their product lines, Combined with when the Mustang was introduced, (The  Mustang's first appearance on a race track was as an exhibition car at the 1962 U.S. Grand Prix Formula One race) The first Showroom ones were sold in 1964. So I would guess that Midgetoy sold their first car hauler in 1960 or 1961. I have the small oval decals that say “Ford” that goes on the front of the Lionel cab above the grill, and on many other of their “Quality Step-up” versions of the 2 piece trucks. They did a lot with waterslide decals to dress up their toys.

I hope that answers your question. Maybe it just confused you. But when you know the historical perspective for the reasons behind some of the things they did, and the attitudes the Herdklotz brothers had, it makes more sense.

Best Regards, Ed Smith

I  noticed the over spray Ed mentioned as well as the simple use of slide decals on the two trucks I bought. Either he has elaborately made up a story to hide the fact that the models I bought were repaint (which I was concerned about when I noticed the paint but before I saw his email) or he really knows his Midgetoy stuff, right down to the over spray that was apparently typical of Midgetoy

Here are some pictures

Last Edit: 6 years, 7 months ago by Tick.

Re: Midgetoy Ford Tanker 6 years, 7 months ago #24

very very interesting story. thanks for sharing.
I like the Enco decal, reminds me of......
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