Watch Battered & Bruised Vintage Toys Get Mesmerizingly Restored to Near Mint Condition

They say that toys were once built to last. But though met­al and wood did­n’t break quite so eas­i­ly in the hands of chil­dren in the ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry as plas­tic does in the hands of their great- or great-great-grand­chil­dren today, time still has­n’t been espe­cial­ly kind to the play­things of yes­ter­year. Enter the toy restor­er, who can return even the most fad­ed, rust­ed, beat­en-up spec­i­mens to a bur­nished, gleam­ing con­di­tion that would turn the head of even the most smart­phone-addled young­ster. At least the toy restor­er behind the Youtube chan­nel Res­cue & Restore seems to pos­sess skills of this kind, and in its chan­nel’s videos you can see them put to use.

Over the past two months, Res­cue & Restore has tak­en on such projects as a 1960s Ton­ka Jeep, a 1930s Wyan­dotte air­plane, a 1920s Day­ton train, and oth­er such minia­tures as a piano, a cash reg­is­ter, and even a func­tion­al oven. Most of them start out look­ing like lost caus­es, and some bare­ly resem­ble toys at all.

For­tu­nate­ly, Res­cue & Restore pos­sess­es all the spe­cial­ized tools need­ed to not just dis­as­sem­ble and (to the amaze­ment of many a com­menter) reassem­ble every­thing, but to clean, resur­face, and repaint each and every part, and in some cas­es fab­ri­cate new ones from scratch. Apart from the occa­sion­al explana­to­ry sub­ti­tle, the “host” does all this work with­out a word.

Despite their sim­plic­i­ty, the videos of Res­cue & Restore have drawn mil­lions upon mil­lions of views in a rel­a­tive­ly short time. This sug­gests that the num­ber of peo­ple dream­ing of a bet­ter future for their clos­ets full of long-dis­used toys might be large indeed, though we should nev­er under­es­ti­mate the appeal of see­ing the old made new again — an expe­ri­ence whose audio­vi­su­al sat­is­fac­tion seems to be height­ened by high-res­o­lu­tion shots and clear­ly cap­tured sounds of all the dremel­ing, sand­blast­ing, and buff­ing involved.

Toys orig­i­nal­ly opened six­ty, sev­en­ty, eighty Christ­mases ago have gone through a lot in their long lives, but after Res­cue & Restore gets done with them, they could well find their way under the tree again this year.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Watch an Art Con­ser­va­tor Bring Clas­sic Paint­ings Back to Life in Intrigu­ing­ly Nar­rat­ed Videos

How an Art Con­ser­va­tor Com­plete­ly Restores a Dam­aged Paint­ing: A Short, Med­i­ta­tive Doc­u­men­tary

Watch a 17th-Cen­tu­ry Por­trait Mag­i­cal­ly Get Restored to Its Bril­liant Orig­i­nal Col­ors

The Art of Restor­ing a 400-Year-Old Paint­ing: A Five-Minute Primer

Watch a Japan­ese Crafts­man Lov­ing­ly Bring a Tat­tered Old Book Back to Near Mint Con­di­tion

The Art of Restor­ing Clas­sic Films: Cri­te­ri­on Shows You How It Refreshed Two Hitch­cock Movies

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall, on Face­book, or on Insta­gram.

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  • Thomas Pettiford says:

    I have an old ton­ka that I would love to restore. I found my old toy rab­bit hunt­ing 3 weeks ago. Its prob­a­bly been in the ground 45 years. Real­ly pulled it out the ground in one whole piece. How can get in con­tact with res­cue and restore

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