History of Making Toys and New Products!

Posted by Bill Walters on Nov 21st 2023

Greetings from Dyersville! 

I can’t believe it is already November. Where has the time gone? The National Farm Toy Show has just finished up and we have a few surprises for everyone! Hopefully many of you were be able to attend the show and see them for yourself.

This past October was special to me as I reached the 30th anniversary of working here at Ertl/TOMY. A lot has changed over these last 30 years, so I thought it might be interesting to take a walk down memory lane.

Making Toys Then vs. Now

Back in 1993 projects were done differently than what we do today, although some things still stay the same. When the decision was made to tool a new piece of equipment we immediately setup a photoshoot to take photos and measurements for reference. Then the engineers went to work on figuring out the best way to design and tool each individual part. From there they had to do the drawings needed by the tool shop to make each part. In 1993 we still had production in Dyersville, so many of the parts were still tooled locally. It’s interesting to look at some of these tooling plans and drawings for various parts. You can find some of these images in our ERTL Collector Club Facebook group!

Today we typically receive CAD data electronically from the manufacturers and are able to start of projects without having images or physically seeing a real tractor/implement. It’s definitely different than being able to look at a real machine. Having the CAD data also allows us to be more precise with the detail and see the differences between various configurations and options.

New Releases

New Holland

Switching over to new releases and product news, we are able to introduce our New Holland Farm Show unit. New Holland introduced updated CR combines this Fall. Our farm show unit is a 1:64 New Holland CR 9.90 SmartTrax Combine with new graphics (SKU: 13999OTP). This unit features both a corn head and draper head, and comes with gold metallic chase units randomly inserted into the production run. We are also introducing an updated 1:64 New Holland Harvesting Set (SKU: 13996) featuring a CR 8.90 combine, T8.410 Genesis tractor and grain cart. It is shipping now as well.


Case IH

For Case IH we have some great news to share! We will be introducing our first Precision Heritage model. We will be showcasing this new Precision at the National Show. It is a 1:16 IH 986 tractor with a 5-bottom 720 plow (SKU: 44309). The 986 replicates the early “86” series tractors with the white hood graphics and features single rear tires, front weights, and all the other detail you expect from our Precision models. This unit is expected to start shipping in March 2024. We also have another Precision surprise coming for you later in the year. Keep watching my blog for more info!

We also showcased the Toy Tractor Times 40th Anniversary 1:64 set at the show (SKU: 44388OTP). This set features some unique tractors, including a replica of the early IH 6788 2+2 tractor that features a white cab, Steiger Panther II in a “Bafus Blue” paint scheme, and a Case 4894 tractor with graphics that feature both the Case decals, but with the post-merger red paint scheme. This set will also include randomly inserted chase units that feature all three tractors in an “Industrial” yellow paint scheme. Toy Tractor Times was able to do research on all of these units and provide us with the correct information to get these produced. These units should be available this November at your local Case IH dealership or through Toy Tractor Times.

John Deere

We also have additional John Deere items coming out, including the 1:16 John Deere “70” Standard tractor (SKU: 45853OTP). This tractor celebrates the 70th anniversary of the real tractor being introduced in 1953.

We also have a 1:16 John Deere 1010 Crawler with front blade and rear ripper coming out (SKU: 45858). This unit features an industrial yellow paint scheme with diecast tracks and loads of detail. Expect this item to ship in November as well.

In addition, we have the 1:16 8R 340 (SKU: 45957) and 1:16 8RX 340 (SKU: 45958) coming in November. Both of these units also feature “dusty” chase units randomly inserted into the production run.


You also saw several new 1:64 models at the National Farm Toy Show, including the new 612R SP Sprayer (SKU: 45894) which will ship in November or December of 2023.

If you made it Dyersville you will have also saw updated models of the Prestige Select 1:16 John Deere 8850 tractor (SKU: 45855OTP) and 1:16 IH 1460 combine (SKU: 44291OTP).


We also be showcased our 1:350 U.S.S. Enterprise die cast replica. This is an item we did as a crowdfunded unit. These units have amazing lights and working features.

There will also be new puller tractors and some unique special items to see which will be available through the TOMY outlet store. Thank you to everyone who attended the show!

Keep checking Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok for additional information!

Until next time,