The Nylint Corporation and Thomas
Nylint Corporation was an American toy maker for 25 years. Their realistic toys modeled after real trucks featured actual company logos.
Their front-end loader wind-up, designed to resemble a forklift, and street sweeper that was inspired by an Elgin machine were testaments to this approach – two successes.
Early Life and Education
Nylint produced high quality construction toys during the early 1950s that were both realistic and of high quality. At this time they also took advantage of Cold War military fanaticism to produce numerous sophisticated missile-launching guns with various operating features that had many attractive selling points for consumers.
Nylint also produced some motorcycle wind-up toys, a front-end loader resembling a forklift and street sweepers reminiscent of Elgin machines, and even one designed after popular TV character Howdy Doody himself!
Emmy Klint, granddaughter of the original founder, revived Nylint in 2020 with the goal of providing high quality pressed steel trucks so children could once more appreciate them.
Nylint wasn’t solely known for making pressed steel toys; they also provided custom tooling services for refrigerator door handles and cast aluminum parts, until moving production of these items to their larger factory on 16th Avenue in 1940.
After World War II, the company shifted their production toward toy production. They created popular wind-up machines reminiscent of forklifts and street sweepers using Elgin machines as models; both proved highly beneficial to the business.
Later, the company expanded into producing private label collectibles for various companies, which resembled real trucks while bearing company logos. Eventually this period came to an end in the 1960s as they moved away from producing strictly realistic toys and instead introduced modern and futuristic styled trucks into production.
Achievement and Honors
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Nylint set its postwar course with toy production in 1946. Their modern metal stamping facilities made this decision seem sensible; Carl Swenson created an iconic wind-up toy car modeled on Chrysler Airflow design that proved immensely popular at New York City Toy Fairs.
Nylint made waves during the 90s with its modestly successful Thomas the Tank Engine toy series, featuring models based off real world equipment that featured credits to original manufacturers – an instantaneous hit among baby boomers!
Nylint continued their tradition of creating toys modeled on real world equipment well into the late 50s when other toy companies were moving toward more generic playthings, yet they maintained strict requirements that their construction toys be as realistic as possible – their truck replicas bore names of the actual manufacturers, while Ford dealerships would use these trucks as marketing ploys.
By the end of World War II, demand for pressed steel trucks had skyrocketed; thus prompting expansion of the company and hiring of additional workers.
Nylint operated out of Rockford’s Sixteenth Street for more than five decades before Funrise Toy Corporation of California purchased and relocated the brand. Production eventually stopped for their pressed steel trucks.
Nylint Corporation released several moderately successful Thomas toys in 1990, starting with plastic Thomas complete with coaches Annie and Clarabel as well as Troublesome Truck and required one AA battery to operate.
Before the war began, Nylint focused its production efforts on kitchen utensils patented by them as well as providing custom tooling services for other companies. But with military production rising to new heights during World War I and II, their focus shifted and they focused solely on military-related products.
After WWII, Nylint decided to venture into toy production, capitalizing on their modern metal stamping facilities and hiring Carl Swenson as an industrial designer to design a wind-up car based on Chrysler Airflow design – debuting this at the 1946 New York Toy Fair where it proved immensely successful.