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Battery Operated Mechanical Banks
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - November, 1978

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In the modern category of the mechanical banks, 1935 to date, there is no doubt as to the battery operated type being outstanding both in action and desirability. They really qualify as a new type toy savings device. That is to say, it is not necessary to wind them for action, set them for action, or anything else. Batteries in place, they are always ready to perform, and some of the animation is rather spectacular.

Up to now we have gone into detail on four of the top five most important battery mechanicals. These are Globe Explorer (Hobbies, May 1977), the Witch Fortune Teller (Hobbies, November 1977), Santa Phone Bank (Hobbies, May 1978), and the Fishing Bears (Hobbies, November 1978). To wrap the mechanical battery banks up for a while, we are picturing seven of the particularly desirable ones, and none of these seven are easy to come by even though they have been made since 1948.

Figure 1 shows the hard to find Coca Cola Bank on the left, and the Clown Candy Vending Bank on the right. The Coca Cola Bank dispenses a small glass of coke for a penny and it is a bright red in color with white lettering. The Clown, for a penny, turns the crank and allows a measured amount of candy to slide down a chute into the operator’s hand. Sufficient to say, it is a brightly multi-colored bank and most attractive with good action and eye appeal. When in operation the inside lights up, a nice touch.

Figure 2 shows the Organ Grinder And Monkey and Santa On The Roof. When a coin is inserted in the Organ Grinder Bank, the organ grinder turns the crank, music plays, and the monkey dances around. Another bright multi-colored bank with timed action. As to Santa, when a coin is inserted in the chimney, he moves his right hand up and down ringing the bell — he moves the toys in his left hand up and down, his eyes light up and his head goes from side to side. He is brightly clothed in red as Santa should be and the house is nicely lithographed.

Figure 3 shows, from left to right, the Taxi Cab Bank, Boy On Pony, and Uncle Sam Hat. The yellow cab runs around for a timed period when a coin is inserted in the slot. When a coin is placed in the front slot of the Boy On Pony, he rides the pony back and forth in a rocking motion for a timed period. His hat also moves back and forth on his head. This bank is also a brightly multi-colored toy and most attractive. The Uncle Sam Hat Bank is last, but not least. It, like the other banks described here, is not easy to come by. A coin is placed in the front provided slot — the hat starts to shake and a hand comes out of the top of the hat (the top rises), grabs the coin, and disappears inside the hat with the coin. Uncle Sam gets the money!

Well that’s it for now about battery operated mechanicals. All those shown here are metal with the exception of the Uncle Sam Hat Bank and, of course, the clothes on Santa and the Organ Grinder.


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