Ives Manufacturing Company Toys
Ives Manufacturing Company Toys are model and toy trains produced by the Connecticut-base Ives Manufacturing Company.
Brief history and description
Ives Manufacturing Company was a manufacturer of toy trains founded in Plymouth, Conneticut by Edward Ives. They began to produce electric trains in 1910, having previously mastered clockwork and wind-up trains; Ives chose to continue producing clockwork trains until long after many of their competitors had switched to electric, due to many American homes continuing to lack electricity.
It was after their own switch to electric that they expanded to become the enormous company that they eventually evolved into. They diversified briefly into producing toy boats, intended to sustain the company through their summer sales drought, but few of these models exist today and enduringly Ives are a company remembered for their toy trains and related accessories, which have proven to have a lasting appeal.
The company grew to become the largest manufacturer of its kind in the United States, and the company continued steady growth for over sixty years from its inception in 1868 until the company’s demise during the first half of the 20th century, finally ceasing production in 1932.
Guide for collectors
Ives Manufacturing Company’s toy trains have become much sought after collectable items, which, when bought individually, often sell for $100-$200 or sometimes much higher if purchased as part of a larger lot or as a more extensive set.
The trains are regarded as being highly detailed and within a generally affordable price range, as well as being commended on their enduring functionality. In addition to the conventional auction houses, Ives toy trains are often listed on auction sites such as eBay.
Notable auction sales
The most expensive Ives Manufacturing Company item to sell at auction was a lot comprising ten large scale train cars, which sold from Phillip Weiss Auctions on 15th December 2007 for $2,300.
Ann & Co sold a pack of eight Ives tin trains for $1,100 on 21st July 2007, far exceeding the auction estimate of $100-160.
Miscellaneous train bundles sold at auctioneers, including Ives pieces, have also sold for $1000s, such as the box of misc. trains which auctioned from Philip Weiss Auctions on 5th April 2008 for $1,850.
In the middling price range, an Ives train lot sold from the same auction house for $725 on 15th December 2007, and Ken Frecker Auctioneers, Inc. sold an Ives Train Set for $425 on 13th November 2003.
Meanwhile a complete cast iron Ives train sold for $325 from Kimball M. Sterling Inc. on 13th December 2008, and similarly Saco River Auction sold a collection of Ives trains for $275 on 9th July 2011.
At the lower end of the price scale, two red transitional Ives cabooses were auctioned at NETTE Auctions on 3rd April 2010 for $110, a full Ives train set sold for $225 from Randy Inman Auctions Inc. on 31st March 2007, and at their auction held on 15th December 2007, Phillip Weiss Auctions sold two Ives train lots, one selling for $120 and the other for $130.
Additionally, Ives train stations often sell for less as accessories to the trains themselves; Duouchelles sold one for $90 on 15th May 2009.