Tucher & Walther Steam Powered Tin Toys
By James Grahame
German toymaker Tucher + Walther was founded in 1977 by Elisabeth Walther and Bernhard Tucher in Nurnberg. The city has a long history of manufacturing tin toys, and the company got its start by supplying an assortment of vintage toys to collectors.
However, the old toys often required painstaking repair and eventually Tucher + Walther started creating their own limited edition designs. To attract attention at their first toy fair, they created a whimsical Zeppelin demonstration model that generated far more interest than the toys they initially sought to sell. In honor of their early roots, they still sell clockwork Zeppelins today.
The company dreams up as many as ten fanciful clockwork and steam powered toys each year. Each starts life as a sheet of tin plate, which is carefully cut and machined before being hand soldered and painted. These fanciful designs are definitely not intended for kids and carry price tags of up to $1,495 for an exotic Steam Dragon.
Voyage To The Moon [right] is an outrageously complicated $649.95 steam-powered rocket ship awaiting its first interstellar trip. It incorporates a Wilesco stationary steam engine that drives an assortment of flywheel-driven spinners.