Reliable Toy Company was founded by brothers Alex and Solomon Frank Samuels in the early 1920s as the Canadian Statuary and Novelty Company. At the start, the company focused on the production of plush toys and small novelties.
Through acquisitions and growth, by the mid-1930s, the company was operating a large toy factory in Toronto, Canada, that allowed them to have a monopoly on the doll market in Canada. At its peak during the 1940s and 1950s, the 70,000+ square foot location at 260 Carlow Avenue included a doll clothing mill, a hairdressing department, and dedicated sections for producing other doll parts, including eyes, shoes, and voice boxes.
During World War II, the company pivoted its business to produce small plastic parts (bullet tips, bayonet covers, oil containers) for the Canadian military. This expertise with injection moulding allowed the company to become one of the first in Canada to produce and sell plastic toys.
By 1963, the company became one of the largest toy makers in Canada. Reliable Toy’s marketing at the time emphasized their Canadian heritage, with the company often including a large “Buy Canadian” stamp on their products.
In 1985, the company was acquired and merged with Viceroy Manufacturing Company, another Canadian toymaker.
Popular products from the company included the Carrie doll, Reely Ride-em Tractor, Canadian Mounted Police Figures, Easy-Lock Bricks, and multiple lines of plastic cars and trucks.
This Plastic, Polythene, and Vinyl catalog from 1958 illustrated the depth and breadth of Reliable Toy’s product offerings.