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PROCESSED PLASTIC (TIM-MEE TOYS)
Lets put our hands together for the iron man of American plastic toy figure production, Processed Plastic. After World War II ended a whole new prosperity descended upon the United States. In the 1930s everybody was looking for work and in the 1940s we were fighting for our way of life. As the 1950s dawned, everybody had work, the economy was booming and after years of scrimping by people had money and they wanted to spend it. The advent of PLASTICS spawned many industries including that of making inexpensive toys. For years only wealthy children could have the luxury of having a chest full of toys to play with, but now inexpensive plastic toys could be made for the masses. In 1948 in Aurora, Illinois two men shared in this vision of the future. Ross Bergman and partners started Proccessed Plastics and began making plastic toy cars, while nearby John Baumgartner's Anchor Brush Company started Tim-mee Toys making plastic toy figures. C. Raymond Pierson convinced Mr. Baumgartner to start making toy plastic toy figures to keep the Anchor Brush machinery in operation during down times. Although Tim-Mee Toys was located in the Anchor Brush building it was run as a separate entity. One of the first group of figures made was given to the nephew of Anchor Brush empolyee Cora Kaiser a boy named Timmy. He was so enthusiastic that they decided to name the toy line, Tim-Mee Toys after him. At the same time Processed Plastics made their first toy the #100 Dump Truck. Like most toy cars of the time period it was made of polystyrene a hard stiff plastic. Ross Bergman felt that the introduction of inexpensive toys could propel a toy line year round instead of just the tradtional rush to buy toys from Christmas to Easter. This proved to be a sucessful concept for both companies but they still needed to add temporay emplyees to handle the extra demand at the holidays. Processed Plastic quickly made a number of other vehicles as can be seen from this 1952 trade ad.
Of note to military collectors this ad lists; #120 Army Dump Truck and #310 Army Tow Truck.
One of their other early products was a four wheel army scout car or "tank". In Robert R. Morris's fine book THE HISTORY OF PROCESSED PLASTIC 1948-1998 he mentions that early on to keep the factory busy they would take on the manufacture of items for other companies. We can assume that as both Processed Plastic and Tim-Mee were located in Aurora they were aquainted with each other. A sign of at least some joint involement is the fact that Tim-mee also sold the Processed Plastic "tank" both individually and with Tim-Mee GIs in a header card bagged set.
The "tank" as sold by Processed Plastic was made of polystyrene hard plastic and included a bow machinegun that needed to be glued onto the front of the piece. The one found in the Tim-mee sets no longer had the Processed Plastic imprint underneath the body, and was made of polyethylene soft plastic which in turn made the machinegun impossible to include as there was no glue in the 1950s that worked well with polyethylene products. Based upon a 1954 Processed Plastic trade ad see below) that touts the use of the new unbreakable polyethylene plastic we can assume the Tim-Mee version did not appear until 1954 or later.
Both companies were able to move with the times and change products quickly when sales beckoned.
The Tim-Mee frontiersmen (seen above) are a good example of how both companies would quickly react to the market. They were originaly designed in 1964 to be a "Daniel Boone" set (set #158 .98 cent bag) but when the Davy Crockett craze hit in 1955 Tim-Mee quickly repackaged these figures as "Davy Crockett" figures (set #159 .98 cent size). As the Crockett mania died down they reverted to being generic "frontiersman" (set #158 again). In 1965 after Processed Plastic had bought Tim-Mee, the popular Daniel Boone television show allowed the set to go full circle and become packaged with the Daniel Boone name again. Of course noted actor Fess Parker portrayed both Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone which confused us kids.
Both companies continued to prosper and by 1958 Tim-Mee had expanded its line to include the folowing sets.
The above ad came from a 1958 trade catalog that lists the following 98 cent bagged sets (.29 & .49 cent sets were undoubtedly also available) as being available;
140 Farm Set.
156 Cowboy and Indian Set.
158 Frontiersman Set.
161 Army Ambulance Corps.
162 U.S Soldiers.
163 Soldiers with Tank.
165 Calvary and Apache.
166 Western Set.
168 U.S. Air Force.
169 Soldiers with Jeep and Gun.
187 Navy Men.
192 Robin Hood Set.
In 1957 Tim-Mee also started a factory in Germany. Known as "Tim-Mee-Plast Fritz Baumgartner" (pehaps a relative of John Baumgartner). This German company displayed at the big Nuremberg wholesale toy show from 1957 to 1970. Thanks to noted european plastic collector Andreas Dittman and Bernrd Becker who's grandfather leased the building where the German operation took place we can can sort out the figures made in Germany. In talks with former employees, Mr. Becker believes the toy figures were mainly produced from 1958 through 1960. Like American made Tim-Mee figures some have a logo under the base while others do not.
The company made mostly the same poses as made in the USA; armymen (every pose except flag bearer), cowboys (5 foot 3 mounted), Indians ( 5 foot 3 mounted), pioneers ( 6 foot 2 mounted), pirates (10 poses) , knights ( 6 foot and 4 mounted), and farm items ( a dizzying array). Knight figures have always been popular in Europe and the German factory made the knights in not only the standard 3 inch size but in 30mm and 45mm sizes as well including some that were dactory painted.
As seen earlier in Playset Magazine. One US pirate was not made in Germany and in his place the German factory modified a Navy pose into a pirate with ships wheel (Rusty insert photo). The biggest surprise was to find that the German factory made four new armymen poses and one european farmer pose for their sets.
Like the US market the German sets were sold in header card bags but Andreas Dittman remebers they would sell the farm set in a unique cardboard barn package. The armymen were made in both a green color similar to those made in the USA and a butterscotch color presumably as enemy figures. The mounted pioneer with powder horn and rifle was not made in Germany nor were the mounted knights with sword and with club. None of the German made figures are easy to find and I can distinctly remeber the surprise of finding my firat figure marked "MADE IN GERMANY".
Tim-Mee sold the occasional boxed set and also sold mounted figures with horses and foot figures individually. However their primary sales package was the bagged set. Header card bagged sets were made in three different sizes, .98, .49,.& .29 cent size to fit any childs budget. The .98 cent size bags would typically contain about 15 figures and a special item, such as a; canoe, cannon or AA gun, that could only be purchased in these largest bags. The .49 cent bags would only the 15 figures and the .29 cents bags 6 to 9 figures. Grab bags without header cards were also made in the .49 and .29 cent sizes. As costs went up the number of figures went down over the years. Processed Plastic on the other hand perfected the use of the "platform display" mounting the toy on a decorated cardboard platform. (INSERT PHOTO)
Although Tim-mee dealt with wholesale concerns Processed Plastic decided to bypass the middleman and sold direct to the big stores of their day such as Woolworths and Kresgies. This allowed them to better control costs and price. This also gave them a tremedous advantage over their competitors who used middlemen to get their products to the market. In 1956 Ross Bergman bought out the other partners and became sole owner of Processed Plastic. The existing facility in Aurora was deemed to be too small and a new factory location (a popcorn farm) in nearby Montgomery was purchased in 1961. Other property was also bought and by the mid 1960s all of Processed Plastic manufacturing had moved to Montgomery. Due to Mr. Bergmans sharp business insights sales continued to soar and the factory had to be continuously expanded. Processed Plastic was by now a family operation as Ross's sons Robert and David joined the company. In 1961 Bergman Manufacturing Company was organized as the manufacturer of all Processed Plastic products with Robert as president. Then in 1962 the Moldrite Plastic and Engineering Company was organized to produce all of the plastic molded parts needed for Proceed Plastic with David as president. As Processed Plastic prospered Tim-Mee was going through operational difficulties. Sometime in 1960/61 Mr. C. Raymond Pierson who had done such a good job running the day to day operations left the company. Former secretary (and Timmy's aunt) Cora Kaiser stepped in and did a good job taking his place. In the 1959-1963 period the American Civil War figures and Circus animal acts that mixed with the clowns became the Big Top Circus set were made. However When Mrs Kaiser's health deteriated, John Baumgartner the president of the Anchor Brush Company realized that it was time to make a big change and he offered to sell the Tim-mee Toys line to Ross Bergman in early 1964. It is possible that Mr. Baumgartner and Mr Bergman had been casually speaking about this possibility since Mr. Pierson left Tim-Mee. Seeing a perfect complimentary product line of toy figures to go with their established line of toy vehicles the Bergman Manufacturing Company agreed to buy out Tim-Mee toys in 1964 and it was made legally official on January 1, 1965.
While the change in ownership was taking place other figure lines were in the Tim-Mee pipeline and were introduced in 1964 when the takeover was in process and in 1965 after it was official. These sets included; The scare Snow White set appeared in the 1964 catalog as a .69cent blister card. The Russian soldiers made the line up in 1965. They were offered in .29, .49 and .98 cent bags and were advertised as part of Tim-Mees "Figures from other times and places" line. The .98 cent bagged set was listed as a "32 piece set containing foreign infnatrymen in bright, attention getting colors. Complete with Flag and flagbearer". As "colors" was mentioned we think that both the olive green and red figures were made here in the US. Other colors were produced in Mexico after this mold was shipped there.
(PICTURE) Minitaure dinosaur and wild animal sets were alos made. These were used as Cracker Jack prizes and the animals were also included in the BIg Top bagged sets. In 1965 as part of their "B-LINE" Processed plastic put them on blister cards.
In the past slow selling sets would be given several years to gain a share in the marketplace, but as Tim-Mee became part of Bergman Manufacturing/ Processed Plastic a consolidation of the product lines was needed to keep costs managable. Products that did not sell well were pulled from the line up and their molds were leased to partners in Mexico and other Central and South American countries. It was common practice for toy companies to send a mold to a Mexican or South American partner. These countries could not afford the tooling costs to make the molds, but by selling to a new audience an existing mold could get an extended life and the prospect of making a bit more money. So due to their poor introductory sales both the Snow White, Russian Infantry, and miniature animal molds headed south.
Other molds that we believe were made in the 1963/64 transisition period included the "2nd Series Korean War GIs" (including GI on motorcyle and prone with separate bipod MG) and the covered wagon set. The new GIs may have been made as combatants for the Russians and the covered wagon was almost cetainly made with the help of Processed Plastic who were experts in making wheeled vehicles.
As Bergman manufacturing/Processed Plastic assimilated the Tim-Mee line up they found that many of the original molds which were made of copper were wearing out. They realized that they needed to make new molds to keep the figure line going. This included the remaking of at least one of the 3 inch WWII Armymen molds that resulted in the figures kneeling with radio and shooting scoped rifle now having bases. These revised figures only had about a three or four year life as teh54mm Vietnam GIs were made in 1968 and replaced the 3 inch figures in 1969.
As the assimilation process continued hard decisions had to be made and only good selling items would be retained. The following is a list of when original Tim-Mee sets were last seen in the catalogs;
1964; Robin Hood, Pirates, Big Top Circus (although all three were sold as special order items in 1965)
1965; Mounted Cavalry, Russians, miniature dinosaurs and wild animals.
1969; Pioneers of the Sante Fe Trail (covered wagon)
1973; Navy, American Civil War
Other sets stayed in production bu the early Tim-Mee figures were phased out in favor of new Proccesed Plastic figures as follows; 1968/69 3 Inch Armymewn replaced by the new 54mm Vietnam GIs
1970 3 Inch Cowboys and Indians replaced with new 3 inch cowboys and Indians.
1971 Farm figures and animals replaced with new ones.
1975-78 3 inch Air Force figures replaced by 54mm Vietnam GIs in blue.
1976 Smaller 54/60mm cowboy and Indian riders and horses replaced with a new set of 54/60mm figures.
As mentioned Bergman Manufacturing Company also owned Processed Plastic. When Bergman Manufacturing bought Tim-Mee the Tim-Mee brand name was considered to be so strong that they decided to keep it and set up separate operations for both companies. Sometimes company literature would list Tim-mee Toys as a division of Bergman Manufacturing and sometimes as a division of Processed Plastic. Tim-mee figures were also sold under the B-LINE TOYS banner. We assume the B stood for Bergman. Processed Plastic continued to add new items to the line up including many pieces that we always called Tim-Mee. This has lead to no end of confusdion as nearly identical sets can be found marked; Made by Tim-Mee, Made by Processed Plastoc and under the old PPCO B-LINE logo.
As you can see the header card says made by Processed Plasric of Aurora Il., and Tim-mee is not mentioned.
Perhaps the biggest discovery made while doing research at the Bergman Manufacturing/ Processed Plastic plant in Montgomery Illinois was the fact that military vehicles we have always called "Tim-Mee" were in fact made by "Processed Plastic". In the 1964 Processed plastic knowing Tim-Mee was coming on board made and released three well known army vehicles;
729 Patton tank
739 Military Jeep
749 2 1/2 ton Cargo truck
(INSERT PHOTO OF 3 HEADERS)
As Processed Plastic did not go through distributors they were able to offer large amounts of figures for less money than their partner Tim-Mee. In 1965 PPCO offed large count sets of western and military figures including the odd "AIR, SEA, & LAND" set which had GIs in green, Navy in blue and as Marines the AirForce figures in tan. (INSERT PHOTO) They also put the smaller farm animals, dogs and miniature animals and dinosauers on blister cards in 1965. (INSERT PHOTO).
As all of the other major American plastic figure makers such as MArx, MPC and Ideal fell one by one, Processed Plastic stayed in the toy selling arena and still sells toy figures today. Considering the ups and downs of the toy industry this is an amazing feat.
THE EARLY YEARS
The original Tim-mee figures were mainly sold in bagged sets and contained a wide range of subject matter. They were most often sold in grocery, drug and 5 & 10 stores. Counter packs were used to sell figures individually while groups of figures could be purchsed in 29, 49, and 98 cent bags priced to appeal to any child's budget. These bags usually had header cards with a title and product number, but the 29 and 49 cent sizes were also sold as a grab bags.
The 98 cent bags often contained a special item such as a cannon, canoe or vehicle that was not available in the smaller bags.
The 29 cent bags we have seen contain 8 or 9 figures which is very generous as the 98 cent bags may only have about 15 figures. The 29 cent grab bags may have been introduced to cut costs as the greatest number of pieces we have seen in one is six.
The above six piece grab bag contains five assorted cowboys + the elusive short hair dog.
Both Tim-mee and Processed Plastic sold direct to the retailer. Considerable time was spent in marketing the sets to retailers. Below are some of the trade ads used to woo these stores into carrying the Tim-mee line. Most individual 98 cent bagged sets had a one page black and whiote sell sheet that showed the approximate contents.
(ADD PROCESSED PLASTIC 1952 AD PICTURE)
Packages marked B-LINE TOYS are not common and perhaps retailors were confused and asked for the Tim-mee name to be returned to the product line. O r more likely the markings were streamlined to save on manufacturing costs.
At the same time it is often hard to tell what was going on because Tim-mee like other toy manufacturers would sell their product through second parties without any Tim-mee markings. This continued after Processed Plastic took over. (ADD PICTURE). In addition Tim-mee licensed their figure line to a conern in Germany who made molds and produced figures in the 1950s and 60s. (ADD MORE DETAIL AND PICTURE OF GERMAN LOGO)
With the Bergman family in control the Tim-mee line became more organized and slowrr selling items were deleted from the line up. Full color wholesale catlogswere produced to help entice retailers ot buy more product. The oldest catalog (and perhaps the first) were have been able to find was sent out to customers in 1967. The same catlog was used in 1968 with a one sheet black and white page showing new additions to the line. The 1969 catalog touting new stonger bags also is a watermark for collectors as it shows the new header cards with the factory's location as having moved from Aurora to nearby Montgomery Illinois. So any bag marked Aurora Ill was made in the 1948-1968 time period. A bag dating guide (ADD PICTURE)
1958-1969 Header Card marked Aurora Ill.
1970-1979 Header card marked Montgomery Ill no BAR code.
1980- Present Header card has BAR code
Any product with an address including a zip code dates after July 1, 1963.
A the old Tim-mmee mold continued to show wear they were either warehoused or sent to the partner in Mexico where many rremain today. In 1969 Processed Plastic founder Ross Bergman retired and his two sons took over the business. Changing perceptions in the public about war toys, cheap Chinese knockoffs and the rising price of oil required a number of changes for the company to remain profitable. The older larger 70mm figures were replaced by smaller 54mm figures primarily due to the steep rise in cost of the raw material used in production. By 1978 most if not all of the early Tim-mee molds had been retired. As all of the other major toy manufacturers started to go under Processed Plastic was able to diversify their liones and keep going. They made a wildly popular line of Barbie toys for girls. They also introduced the green army men in a bucket that just about every kid in the 1980s owned. The armymen bucket was so popular that the movie TOY STORY included it. Processed Plastic continued to market their toy figures in any way possible including; bags, buckets and playsets. To this day they continue to sell a modest line of toy soldiers.
OUT IN THE WEST ON HORSEBACK
"70mm" Mounted Figures
Most of the Timmee "60mm" mounted figures are actually closer in size to 65-70mm.
The mounted cavalry figures were sold in header card bags titled "US Cavalry Apache Indian Set". The bags also had standard first pose foot Indians and Pioneers. The mounted pioneers may be found in these sets or in the Daniel Boone/Frontiersmen sets. Like other Timmee bagged sets there were at least two different size bags available for sale. On one catalog advertisement the Cavalry set was said to include "the famous cavalry dog". This was an obvious reference to Rin Tin Tin. We had this dog as a child in tan from this set, but it was run in other colors such as green for the WWII sets and other colors for the farm sets.
Cavalry with flag a pistol.
Cavalry with bugle.
Cavalry with sword and binoculars. (2)
Cavalry shooting rifle downward.(2)
Pioneer holding rifle and powderhorn.
Pioneer holding pistol and knife.
Pioneer shooting rifle.
Indian Chief with tomahawk and shield.
Indian w/ tomahawk and lance.
Indian w/ knife and rifle.
Indian shooting bow.
Cowboy shooting rifle.
Cowboy w/ lasso.
Cowboy mounted with pistol.
Cowboy mounted waving hat.
The Indian mounted shooting rifle is perhaps the most difficult Tim-mee western figure to find.
54mm MOUNTED FIGURES
In the early to mid 1950s Timmee produced eight 54mm mounted western figures and at least two different horses. These figures could be purchased by themselves in set #166 and they were also inserted and mixed with the bigger 60-75mm figures in the Rodeo and Cowboy/Indian sets. After the Proccessed Plastic takeover in 1964 the original mold was retired and a new group of eight figures and four new horses were designed and produced. This second set of figures lasted into the 1990s.
Looking at old catalog advertisements it appears that the 54mm mounted figured were made in the 1955-57 time frame.
Chief w/ bow, drawing arrow.
Indian shooting bow.
Indian with tomahawk and rifle.
Pioneer shooting pistol.
Cowboy with lasso.
Cowboy shooting rifle downward.
Cowboy with two pistols.
Cowboy with pistol and rope.
Also made post 1964.
Chief w/ bow, drawing arrow.
Chief w/ tomahawk & shield.
Indian shooting bow.
Indian w/ tomahawk and rifle.
Cowboy w/ lasso.
Cowboy w/ rifle x waist.
Cowboy shooting rifle.
Cowboy Shooting pistol.
These are among the nicest plastic horses made, and are quite popular with collectors. There are five poses; running front leg straight, running front leg bent, stopping, front legs together and bucking.
The second version saddle has a high pommel and the attachment has been reversed. We have seen the second version in both rubber and soft plastic. At one point a clever employee decided to staple saddles to the horses which would make filling the bags easier and more error free.
These horses came with the 60mm plains cavalry figures and also need a separate saddle. They may have come with other figures as well. There are three poses in this group; walking, stopping, and both front legs forward.
Third Version 60mm Horses With Molded on Saddles
Timmee also made versions of the their first series 60mm horses with molded on saddles. The big plus was no longer having to deal with the separate saddles. These horses were only made a short time and are sonewhat difficult to find. The early stagecoach as seen above makes use of a pair of these horses.
These horses went with the first version mounted 54mm figures, and were made from about 1955-64. Saddles have ornate star and circle decorations of which we have seen at least four variations per pose ( 3rd Version 60mm saddle horses and 60mm separate saddles also have these decorations). The 54mm figures were phased in to both make it easier to operate the injection molding equipmant and to save money on materials.
Star and Circle decorations
1.00 EACH second version 54mm Horses
Made in about 1964 the later 54mm horses come in tan/butterscotch, black , redbrown and cream/white. If you have a color preference please list it with order and we will do our best to try and supply it.
TM234 Bucking. (44)
TM235 Stopping. (31)
TM236 Walking. (38)
TM237 Running. (15)
Seen in the top row of the picture are the six standard foot 70mm frontiersmen. First made about 1954 they could be found in Frontiersman "Daniel Boone" sets as well as in the Cavalry/Apache set. Once the Davy Crockett craze hit, Tim-mee quickly put the six foot figures into 29 Cent "Davy Cockett" grab bags. We found nine of these bags and each had all six poses which is unusual for a Tim-mee bagged set. One example of Set #258 (29 cent bag) we found had eight frontiersmen but only four of the six poses were present. Set #158 (98 cent bag) would contain a mix of 70mm pioneers and Indians plus mounted 54mm figures and horses. The yellow pioneers seen in the bottom row are much harder to find. They were sold with the western covered wagon and perhaps the fistst version stagecoach. Technically since one woman is holding a baby you could say there were eight poses on seven bases (of course only one figure has a base). In order to make the mold operate smoothy we think the campfire cavity was inserted to make the mold symetrical. These figures are usuallly found in a deep yellow, but some wagon sets had half the pieces in yellow and half in redbrown.
FIRST SERIES TIMMEE 70mm FOOT WESTERN POSES
The Cowboys were first made in nice earth tone colors; redbrown, tan, gray and black, but by the mid 1950s yellow, green and red had become the standard colors. A few were also made in white and blue, perhaps due to plastic that was still in the machinery from making Navy figures. As black was not used for the Indians we think the first series cowboy and Indian molds were separate. Early on copies were made of the cowboys in silver and blue. The copy bases were rectangular. We think these were sold with rubber dart gun sets from a company called Rayline.
FIRST VERSION FOOT COWBOY POSES
Standing shooting rifle
Kneeling shooting pistol.
Advancing with rifle.
Sheriff with 2 pistols.
The five first version Indian poses were first made in redbrown, but like the cowboys by the mid 1950s the standard colors became; red, green and yellow. Bow splits are very common.
FIRST VERSION FOOT INDIAN POSES
Kneeling shooting bow
Standing shooting bow.,P> Crawling with rifle
Crawling with tomahawk
Scouting, holding rifle.
ADD ON FIGURES AND ACCESSORIES
We have broken these add on figures into two arbitrary groups.
Group A Poses
First version "tippy" canoe.
First version Paddler feathers apart.
Indian girl sitting.
All five of the group A pieces are pictured in an early ad for set 156 Cowboys and Indians. The Canoe and paddler was probably only available in the 98 cent bag. The campfire and dog were inserted into both the cowboy and Indian molds and we have found the dog in a 29 cent Cowboy grab bag. We think that these figures date as early as the first version foot poses.
Group B poses
Indian with knife x chest.
Indian Chief club and knife.
Indian with with spear.
Cowboy about to draw.
Cowboy turned to the right shooting pistol.
The group B figures are kind of a puzzle. The Indians at least may have been made very early as a few have surface in early redbrown colors. Each of the Indians also has the Tim-mee logo located under the base. While the group A add on items seem to have been phased out over time the group B figures can be found in both early and later (most common) color shades but not the last really bright shades. The Indian chief with the lance seems to be the most diffucult to find, but none are common. They are found most often in sets with the first poses cowboys and Indians. Although it is possible that left over stock was put in with the last version foot figures. The two cowboys do not have the Tim-mee logo under their bases and may date to after the processed plastic takeover. We have only seen them in the later vibrant red and yellow colors.
SECOND SERIES 70mm WESTERN "RODEO" FIGURES
Timmee also had a very nice set of Cowgirls and cowboys that were sold in header card bags marked "Rodeo Set". The eight figures seen below were included as well as either 54 or 60mm mounted cowboys the camp dog, fence pieces and a few farm animals.
This set did not sell well. Most likely the usual buyers (boys) did not care to add cowgirls to their ranks of figures. Based upon availability it seems that the cowgirl with gun and rope was later inserted into the cowboy mold as there are as many of this one pose avaialble as the other three cowgirl poses put together. The cowgirl with the harness, along with the mounted Indian shooting a rifle, seems to be among the most difficult T-m-mee western figures to locate. We have heard of example with alot of flashing around the harness and perhaps this figure was removed from the mold at some point. We have only seen the rodeo figures in shades of red, yellow and green. Like most other bagged sets the Rodeo set was filled by piece count and all eight Rodeo figures were probably never found in one bag. The trade ad for this set shows that it should contain ten figures in a mix of 70mm mounted cowboys, 54mm mounted cowboys, the rodeo figures + two 70mm horses with separate saddles, two 54mm horses, fence pieces and a few animals. A bagged set came up on ebay and the winner sent us this nice picture of the contents displayed.
As you can see there are ten figures but only 7 poses and only four of the eight rodeo poses made it into this bag. Especially frustrating to kids is the fact that this set has six mounted figures but only four horses. Only one little pig made up the animal contingent.
THE PROCESSED PLASTIC TAKEOVER
In 1964 the Bergman Family bought Timmee and made it a part of Processed Plastics (moving everthing from Aurora to nearby Montgomery IL). The first thing they did was get rid of the first version "Tippy" canoe and replace it with a much superior flat bottom stable version. The second version canoe is marked under the bottom with one of their corporate names as follows.
Note the later version canoe is lower and more stable than the first version. Second version paddler has feathers together.
Later ad on figures
Second version Bergman canoe.
Second version Padder feathers together.
This canoe and paddler can be found in bags with first version foot cowboys and Indians as well as bags with last version figures.
THE FINAL SERIES OF 70mm FOOT WESTERN FIGURES
The last series consisted of 12 distinct poses. We believe they were made in after 1964 when Processed Plastic took over Timmee. The above header card is marked Timmee but the address now reads Montgomery, IL where Processed Plastic moved the Timmee molds after the take over. These figures can be found in both header card bags or small plastic buckets. The Cowboy with two pistols and the Indian kneeling shooting bow are almost always found with damage (short tips, split strings), and may have been pulled from the mold eventually. We acquired two open bagged sets which helped us to figure out this series.
Cowboy with two pistols will have damge.
Cowboy shooting rifle.
Cowboy about to draw pistols.
Cowboy shot dropping pistol.
Cowboy with rifle across waist.
Cowboy shooting pistol.
Indian kneeling shooting bow.
Indian throwing spear.
Indian Chief with tomahawk and knife.
Indian crawling with rifle, no feather.
Indian standing shooting bow.
Indian Chief crawling with tomahawk.
LARGE ABOUT 5-6 INCH FIGURES
BASES MARKED TIMMEE TOYS DIVISION OF PROCESSED PLASTIC
Using the same masters for the new "60mm" cowboys and Indians a series of 6inch figures was also produced.
6.00 Cowboy about to draw pistols, yellow.
6.00 Indian Chief with tomahawk and knife, red.
The Tim-mee fence sections found their way into a varity of western and farm themed sets.
About 1998 the original Timmee western figures were phased out of the small buckets they were sold in and replaced by copies of Airfix cowboys and Indians that are made in China. Like many other US companies toy production has moved at least partially to China to help maintain the business. Still it was sad to see the old Timmee figures go.
RIDING IN ON WHEELS
THE WAGON SETS
The original bagged set (titled Pioneer Figures and Connestoga Wagon) seen above (still bagged) contains the wagon + 8 figures in all 7 poses + the campfire. We have also heard of one set purchased in 1966 with only three figures but with some farm animals. This could be an attempt to use up was was available before the set was discontinued. The original wagon mold and figuremolds were sold to a company in Mexico. They made reissue sets so the collector should be cautious. The wagon rein on the reissue wagons are made of soft plastic unlike the rubber of the origianls. the figures were made in a very light waxy yellow much different than the originals.
After the Processed plastic takeover a new wagon was made about 1970-75. Marked Processed Plastic it had one improvement in that they did away with the pesky reins piece that were/are always breaking. The driver plugged into the seat ( missing from the above picture) . The same figure was used for the Processed Plastic stagecoach as seen below.
Tim-mee also at least briefly made a red stagecoach. Interesting that they used the later style 70mm horses with the molded on saddle for this piece. We have only found a loose one and it came with the same yellow wagon driver as found with the covered wagons. So perhaps the entire "wagon pioneer" set of figures was sold with this stagecoach.
Processed Plastic (post 1964)
At some point after the Processed Plastic takeover of Timmee the above stagecoach was made. Early versions had a yellow and brown body and came in a small op