Circa 1892 Hubley was started by John Hubley in Lancaster, Pennsylvania producing only cast iron toys. In the early days, the first toys manufactured were coal ranges, mechanical banks and circus wagons. Originals of these are highly collectible today, however, when collecting you should be cautious of replicas.
By the 1940's these toys were experiencing cost increases and due to other issues like increased shipping as well as interest in other types of toys hitting the market from foreign competition, i.e., Made in Japan, the toys produced by Hubley were becoming less demanded.
It should be noted that during this time they not only were the largest producers of cap pistols but also switched from manufacturing cast iron toys to manufacturing die cast toys in a zinc-alloy.
In spite of the fact that Hubley produced more toys and cap pistols after World War II than before (over 20 million), their available product line of toys was 80% smaller than the available line of toys offered circa 1930.
Since their were fewer older toys and 10 times more newer toys, today there is a much higher demand for the older (pre-WWII) toys.
Hubley was acquired by Gabriel Industries in 1965. Gabriel Industries continues to produce holster sets, cap guns, hobby kits and other toys today.
By David Moncrief
Looking for more information? Check out the Hubley Toy Guides on Amazon.