The Arcade name associated with toys of today was originally known as the Novelty Iron Works. That company was founded circa 1868 in Freeport, Illinois. The name of Arcade by which todays toys are known wasn't introduced until circa 1884.
The first 'toys' manufactured under the new name were toy coffee grinders that were made from iron scraps. In 1921 Arcade manufactured its first cast iron car - a yellow cab. This first car was a hit and the company quickly became one of the foremost toy makers in the world.
After World War II, circa 1946, Arcade went out of business as the cost out to produce these cast iron toys weighted their demand. However, up until that time, Arcade toys were very popular. Their sizes ranged from around 4 inches up to 13 inches. Some were painted, some had metal or rubber wheels and others came with removeable figures and equipment. A desireable Arcade toy today, if in good shape and complete, can command prices in the thousands of dollars.
By David Moncrief
Need more information? Check out the Arcade toy price guides on Amazon