To get this man to perform, you need to hold him as you would a pair of scissors and move the legs in and out. As you do this, the man repeatedly raises his hat and smiles broadly. There is a sample label attached to the figure with the number 133/2. The style of this suggests that the item was made in Germany, a country well known for its tin toys.

This is a very cleverly designed tinplate figure. You need to hold the figure as you would a pair of scissors and move the legs in and out. As you do this the figure first picks up an egg from the basket and then lifts its arm up to its mouth. The egg is placed in the figure’s mouth as it opens its eyes. As the figure drops its now empty arm, the egg vanishes from its mouth as its eyes close again. The movements then repeat. The illustrations include one of the back of the figure, revealing that the mechanism is both clever and simple.

Frighten your friends by putting this thumb over one of your own and then showing it to your friends. The Davenports advertisement shows an alarmed mother.

As soon as the spoon is picked up, the bowl bends down. The Davenport advertisement shows how much fun it can cause. Item N1312 in the collection is a different example of this joke.

As it says in the Davenports advertisement: ‘You offer your friend a cigar from a nice looking cigar case. Just as he goes to take one they suddenly disappear!!!’. Made in Germany and marked D.R.G.M. R No. 5569/03.

When you give the box to a friend, ask them to open the lid of the box labelled ‘The smallest donkey in the world’. They will find a small model of a donkey. When they turn the box over and open the lid labelled ‘The biggest donkey in the world’ they see their own reflection in the small mirror.

When you give the box to a friend, ask them to open the lid of the box labelled ‘The smallest monkey in the world’. They will find a small model of a monkey. When they turn the box over and open the lid labelled ‘The largest monkey in the world’ they see their own reflection in the small mirror. This joke was made in Germany.

This well produced book contains a peep show of Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation as well as an interesting and detailed account of what happens during the ceremony. Published by the Hulton Press, London in 1953. This recent addition to the collection was a generous gift from Peter Lane.

This is an excellent optical illusion. Hold the wire loosely between your thumb and first fingers, as illustrated. When you move your hands apart, allow the wire to slide through your fingers. The impression that the wire is growing longer and longer is very strong.