For sale is a rare 1920s era SANDY ANDY FULL BACK TOY made by the Wolverine Toy Company, Pittsburgh, PA. This iconic working tin lithograph toy features a leather helmet era football player drop kicking a football. The football full back has a spring loaded leg to boot the balanced football on front stand. The football styled tin egg sold with this toy is not the original to the Sandy Andy toy. However, the football is roughly the right size and style of the ball to accent the toy. The base includes a 1919 patent date. This toy measures about 8 inches tall. The tin base measures 6 1/4 inches by 4 inches. A top notch highly sought after collectible toy.
The Sandy Andy Fullback is one of the rarest of all Wolverine toys ever produced. The toy features a classic early 20th century football player in full uniform. The 6½” tall player stands with knees bent forward in a kick-off position. Left leg is stationary. Right leg is raised 1″ above the green (grass) surface. An internal spring hidden inside the torso stretches from the back of the neck to the right hip. An axle running through the hip allows the right leg to raise and lower. The football player stands on a tin platform that resembles a grained wood. In front and in back of the player are two crimson red tin litho fixtures. The front is called the trap. The rear is the trigger. Both are connected by a lever which runs the entire length of the toy. Pushing back on the trigger while raising the trap locks the lever underneath the base into position. After this, pulling back the right legs locks the right shoe sole onto a lip on the trigger thereby cocking the mechanism. The ball is placed sideways between the hands. Moving the arms, or just placing the ball into position allows it to drop through the hands, striking the trap, springing the trigger, and releasing the leg to kick the ball!
The toy was conceived as a game. One player becomes the kicker. The other players are receivers. The idea was to have it kicked in different directions randomly. Whoever caught the most balls within an allotted time was the winner. Great idea, but the delicate mechanism, forceful kicking potential and fragile celluloid football probably accounts for the scarcity of the toy.
The Wolverine Supply and Manufacturing Company, later known as the Wolverine Toy Company, produced children’s toys for nearly seven decades from its factory on the North Side of Pittsburgh. In 1903, Benjamin Franklin Bain, who studied mechanics and engineering at the Michigan Agricultural College (which later became Michigan State University), founded the company. In 1909, the Wolverine Supply and Manufacturing Company obtained the Sand Toy Company and its signature line, “Sandy Andy” tin toys, as the result of a bankruptcy settlement. Over the next several decades, Wolverine evolved into an exclusive manufacturer of toys, expanding the “Sandy Andy” toy line.