1937 Buffalo Toy & Tool Works, Scooter-Bike (Bathing Beauty) in Original Box

1937 Buffalo Toy & Tool Works, Scooter-Bike (Bathing Beauty) in Original Box

One of the most difficult to find of all early, U.S. manufactured, clockwork steel litho motorcycle toys is this Bathing Beauty "Scooter-Bike" manufactured by the Buffalo Toy & Tool Works. More commonly known as the "bathing beauty on trike toy" because the given name is virtually unknown. The correct name is only printed on the box which is practically never found. In fact this is the first complete toy and box combination I've seen and one of the highest grade examples I've come across.  

This very unusual and attractive steel toy features a women dressed in a 1930's period two-piece bathing suit and cap. The style was made popular by Jantzen# the world famous swimsuit manufacturer. She's seated on a triangular shaped scooter and "steers" using a double-bar. It's similar in design to some strolling vehicles which were used on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City.

The toy actually has four wooden wheels, however the single red one in front is a dummy. It doesn't make ground contact. The large wheel in back provides the power, while the small yellow wheel turns the scooter. It's actions are not random. Unlike many competitor's toys which rely on a freely spinning front wheel for direction, its front yellow wheel steers it in a perfect "figure-8" pattern. That's because in addition to the rear power wheel, the front yellow wheel is connected by a long internal axle to the rear clockwork motor. It also has an unusual wind-up requirement. To wind up the toy the key is turned in a counter-clockwise direction. Almost all mechanical toys are designed ergonomically to be wound clockwise. I don't know why the reverse was used.

The box is a simple text type which include simplified directions, patent info, etc. Also printed on both endflaps is the really neat Buffalo logo.  

Size: 6½" long and 4¾ tall. 

Sold: Mar. 2005

Price Sold: $ 401


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Subject: 1937 Buffalo Toy & Tool Works, Scooter-Bike (Bathing Beauty) in Original Box

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