by Alan Bussie
Every article starts with inspiration. In this case, I wish to thank Dusty Rhodes. He located critical information, the wonderful advertisement/article in Boy’s Life that is reproduced here and valued insight as well.
Almost every die-hard kit collector has heard of the ITC Thor Missile Base and Halibut Submarine models. The Thor is among (or is) the most valuable of all collectable models and the Halibut and other ITC Cam-A-Matic action kits are close behind. Both kits have fantastic action features. The Thor is automatically removed from the shelter, taken over the launcher, raised into position then fired! The Halibut dives, surfaces then removes a Regulus II missile from the hanger and fires it! They were (and still are) the most complicated operating plastic model kits ever created. But how did Ideal Toy Company come into being, and what was Cam-A-Matic action?
(Thor restored box art courtesy of www.Boxartden.com)
Penny Candy and Teddy Bears
Ideal Toy Company was founded by Morris and Rose Michtom. Both were Jewish-Russian immigrants. Morris came to New York in the 1897/99 time period and Rose came over in 1899. He was penniless and soon married Rose. They were a hard-working and very enterprising couple; soon had a store at 404 Tompkins Avenue in Brooklyn, NY that sold candy, notions and other penny items. Rose was also a seamstress, and to help make ends meet, she sewed plush toys that were also sold in the store. They both became American citizens in 1902.