Monday, February 3, 2014

Built-Rite Scenic Backdrops

Another paper blast from the past today on Toys and Stuff, Built-Rite's Scenic Backdrops from 1941. Other than the year these were made (1941) I have no other information on them such as item number. The Warren Paper Products Company (the company who made Built-Rite products) did market to major toy train companies and so it's likely these were included in some sets. I haven't seen them in any of the Sears or Montgomery Wards catalogs but did spot Built-Rite buildings with Marx trains in a couple of Spiegel catalogs. 

The edge of the bottom flap shows the year and patent numbers of the panels.

Here's a page from the 1955 Spiegel Christmas catalog clearly showing a full range of Built-Rite products. Notice the backdrop is mentioned as the main selling point of the set. It's difficult to tell from this page whether the backdrops are the same as those featured today on the blog but I believe they are.

The set consists of three backdrops: one city scene, one mountain scene, and the same mountain scene with a tunnel cut-out on one side. Each panel has a flap at the bottom with tabs which fit into slots on flaps at either side. This allows the panels to stand upright on their own. They also have tabs on the edges which fit into slots in the adjoining panels allowing the three to be inter-connected.

The city scene panel measures  22 3/8" (56.8cm) wide w/flaps extended but is missing the bottom flap. It also appears when looking at the panel that the top potion of the tallest building in the back has been broken off. The picture itself is 20" (50.8cm) long and 9" (22.9cm) high.

Here, I've cropped the flaps out

The back is the same on all panels, solid black with no lettering.

The mountain scene with all flaps intact. This is a tad bit shorter at 22 1/4" (56.5cm) long x 12" (30.5cm) high with flaps extended. The scene alone is 19 3/4" (50.2cm) long x 10 3/8" (26.4cm) high.

This shot shows the back of the panel with the flaps connected to each other.

Below is the panel sitting upright on its own.

The tunnel panel has the same graphics as the mountain panel but with a tunnel cut-out. The measurements are the same.

The Spiegel catalog above mentions that there is 5' of backdrop and these three panels together would end up being nearly 60" or 5' (152.4cm) long

Enjoy From The Berg's :)  


  1. Like it allot Beautiful Von Deiner Gattin :) (y)

    1. Danke Schoen Schatz - yes, they are very nice! Dein Gatte! :)

  2. They came in a colorful box numbered #202.

  3. Since I posted this I got a boxed set but mine is missing the tunnel section. Right now I don't know what the box number was cuz it's buried in The Cave :-)