Number 9, Winter 2008
Bowles Full-Pack Front Loader

Dana Gregory built this incredible replica of a 70's Bowles full-pack on a Tonka chassis

(Click on Thumbnails for Larger Images)

And now check out this model of a Glover, Webb & Liversidge Musketeer screw loader:

(Click on Thumbnails for Larger Images)

These came late, just at press time, so I don't have much more info on them.
These pretty much speak for themselves, and I hope we see more from Dana in the future.

(Photos courtesy of Bill Tetreault)


Tonka front loader prices remained strong this fall, though not as high as they had been over the summer. This square-body version fetched $597.00 in December, an original, un-restored copy with two refuse containers. The listing informed us that the lift arms worked perfectly, rising slowly over over the cab. Those of us who owned hydraulic powered toys will recall that the cylinders would often work too rapidly, or not at all if the fluid leaked out. With the exception of the rear door on the truck body, this is a pretty close replica of a Bowles non-compaction loader of 1950's vintage. I have little doubt that it was inspired by the early California front loaders. They have also perfectly captured the Ford truck styling on 1958-59. Unfortunately, refuse truck enthusiasts must compete with Tonka and steel toy collectors, and the scarcity of these particular models insures continued high prices.

Another scarce collectors item is the super-rare Child Guidance #2500 Loadmaster sanitation truck. This battery operated truck is not only a perfect replica of a 20 yard LM-120, it features a working packer and ejector! No commercially available model has ever achieved this level of detail, before or after it's brief run in 1970. These were plastic, and subject to breakage even with moderate play wear, so it is not uncommon to see examples with the tailgate assembly separated or missing. The tin wheel drive transmission was also a weak point, frequently cutting through the rear axle in short order.

This example looked to be in good shape, except for corrosion in the battery box area (from being stored without removing the batteries). It came with one can, sans lid, and a damaged carton. It brought a hefty $625.00, which was actually a low price compared to recent results! Impressive as the looks, pictures simply do not do this model justice. I have posted several videos of this model in action, which can be viewed on by clicking here

The 1/75th scale Marx Lightrucks series dates to the late 1960's to early 1970's, and were comparable in size to Lesney-Matchbox and Hotwheels toys. The Sanitation truck, shown here is good replica of a GMC tiltcab truck of that era, which was frequently used in refuse hauling service. The packer on this toy seems to be loosely based on an early 1960's Gar Wood LP-625, except for the back of the tailgate which is embossed with bar doors.

Obviously, the working feature here is headlights, powered by a AA battery. These might have sold for $1.50 when new, but this boxed example fetched $104.00 in November. As with Tonka, collectors of Marx Toys, and the Lightrucks series in particular, will probably keep bidding competitive.

All Prices in U.S. Dollars (USD) Unless Otherwise Stated

This round-back version of the Tonka front loader sold in December for $326.00. This was used and un-restored but in good shape with one refuse bin

Another popular steel toy was the Structo bucket loader, which came in about a dozen variations during a run from the late 1950's through about 1970. One of the founders of Structo was a former Leach employee, so it's easy to see the influence of the old Refuse Getter on this toy

$102.00 was the winning bid in October

Here's an interesting toy that looks like a pretty close replica of a Haller screw-feed rear loader done up in plastic. I don't know much about this toy made in Germany by a company called Schildkrot. It's pretty basic, and probably meant for younger children, but still has a nice working binlift and tilting bed.

This seems like a bargain at EU13.00 (about $19.00 USD)

This plastic bucket loader was made in Canada by Reliable. The bucket and arms appear to be missing on this one, which still sold for $54.00 in December. Another variation of this has a red cab and white body

What a difference a door makes: this Banthrico Gar Wood Load-Packer (with the roof hatch that covers the ashtray intact) sold in November for a whopping $192.00

A similar item, with the hatch missing (as is often the case) sold for $19.00 a month later.

Click Here To Return To Collectors Corner Gallery

Click Here to Go to the CRT Home Page

© 2008 Eric Voytko
All rights reserved
Photos from factory brochures/advertisements except as noted
Logos shown are the trademarks of respective manufacturers