There are really only a very few rare R&L toys. Or maybe these are not rare at all in some places. All I can say is that I have never seen one or any of these before. I'm pleased to have this picture to share with other R&L collectors.
Among the SUPER rare R&L items there is something that stands out even greater.
The picture above is a one of a kind hand crafted wooden figure of Turkey Tongs, the Tooly Bird.
This piece is more than just a piece of artwork and prized possession belonging to Brett Walters.
It is in fact the father to every single Turkey Tong plastic toy ever made by the R&L Company.
These wood models were made as mock-ups of the final product. Only one was made for each figure and they were usually destroyed in the process of creating the smaller molds. Because of this they are very very very rare. Brett got this one, and four others, from one of the R&L plant workers directly. Brett just recently spoke to his source and asked him how the model above was used to make the toys.
Here is how a plastic toy is made from a wooden figure: First a mould was made of the carving in a hard plaster. To get the carving out they had to insert screws into it and basically pull, this explains why most were destroyed, but it was
possible to do this in a way so the carving was kept in tact. Unfortunately this was only ever done if one was needed to show prospective buyers what the item looked like and even then the whole set was not needed. Anyway once the mould was made it was then cleaned and traced with a machine called a pantograph which was connected in some way to another machine, which cut smaller mould (1/4 of the wood carving...the size of the finished product) in some kind of metal. I guess it worked like a lathe? And there you have it. Apparently it was not ground braking technology for the times but was probably quite expensive.
A very unique and special item for an R&L collector. Priceless - thanks for sharing Brett.
Back to the rare items.