c.1928 Distler (?) Funny Face Harold Lloyd Mechanical Walker

c.1928 Distler (?) Funny Face Harold Lloyd Mechanical Walker

At first glance this toy appears to be the Funny Face Harold Lloyd mechanical walker. That toy is 11" tall. Advanced collectors may be aware of a rare Japanese version produced during the late 1920's which is 7¼" tall. That toy is considerably difficult to find. However, here's a third version of the toy measuring only 6¾" tall which, until recently, I never knew existed. It was produced in Germany!

Similar to the original Marx toy it's a lithographed tinplate wind-up mechanical walker representing silent film star Harold Lloyd. The Marx toy has loosely swinging arms, while the arms on this toy are integrated into the body. And unlike the American version it rarely tips over while working. 

It's actions are identical to both the U.S. and Japanese toys; wind it up and the body vibrates quickly left and right at the base. Simultaneously, a loosely held facial plate lithoed with different eyes, nose, and upper mouth moves up and down. The end result; as it jitters from side to side it's facial expression appears to change. It's a very clever effect and works great!

The toy has all of its original parts including the loosely swinging metal cane. It's marked "Made In Germany" at the rear of the base just above the shoes. There is no manufacturers mark and I couldn't find it in any German reference. However, the design, construction and actions closely resemble toys produced by Distler which is my best guess.

Although I found two references to the Japanese made toy (including the Greenberg guide) I could find no reference to a German produced version. That is, except for an example recently sold by Morphy Auctions. It's not that toy and, in fact, this example grades higher. Prior to that I've never seen one before. 

Size: 6¾". 

Sold: Jan. 2013

Price Sold: $ 333


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Subject: c.1928 Distler (?) Funny Face Harold Lloyd Mechanical Walker

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