The Gong Bell Manufacturing Company was established as a partnership in 1866 by H. H. Abbe, E. C. Barton, E. G. Cone and A. H. Conklin to produce bells and toys. Gong Bell antique toys are more limited than some brands as the company was not in existence past the 1960s.
The company was incorporated under the laws of the state of Connecticut in April 1899. In 1872, Barton patented a toy called “Revolving Chimes” described as “a pair of cast brass gongs, mounted between two malleable iron wheels.” This was the beginning of Gong Bell’s toy making history. The company also manufactured the first foot bell ever used on automobiles.
After re-organization in 1921, Gong Bell introduces one of the most successful toys invented at the time. It was a toy telephone with a bell and movable receiver hook. This was also the time Gong Bell started concentrating on its wooden toy future. During World War II, the Gong Bell Mfg. Co. also took on military contracts to make hardware for parachutes.
It is believed that with the introduction of plastics in toy making, the Gong Bell Mfg. Co. could not complete since their toys were made mostly of wood and metal, thus closing the company in the 60’s.
There are few collectors of Gong Bell made toysGong Bell antique toys. Most collectors who have Gong Bell antique toys in their collection have them because they fit into their category of interest.
The wood puzzles that Gong Bell made in the 1950's are very common. They have a limited value as the puzzles are easily available on eBay. Most puzzles have a value of under $10 with playwear. The puzzles which have a Disney character will have a value up to $20.
The riding toys made by Gong Bell in the 1940's - 1960's are common. The most common riding toys are pony riders. The pony riders are bulky and hard to display in quantity. They have a value to doll collectors to display their dolls. The values for the pony riders range from $25 - $40; mint in box up to $120. The value for the other riding toys is higher. Again, condition is a factor. The values for a jet riding toy or a police riding toy can be $60 - $80; in great shape up to $150.
The stick toys and pony stick toys made by Gong Bell in the 1930's to 1950's are also common. These stick toys are hard to display and are easily available on eBay. Most stick toys have a value of $10 - $15. Most pony stick toys have a value of $15 - $25. Many people who collect these toys use them as decorative items to display dolls or bears.
Play telephones made by Gong Bell are again common. These toys are hard to break. Finding a vintage toy telephone in near perfect shape is hard to do, but there are a limited number of toy telephone collectors and there is a large supply of available toy telephones on the market. Most telephones made in the 1920's to 1940's have a value of $20 - $35. Mint in box, the value can go up to $150 for most examples. Toy telephones that show Mickey Mouse have a much higher value. The values will often double with Mickey Mouse featured.