Auburn Rubber

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Auburn Rubber Company was an American maker that started as an automobile tire company in 1910 and transitioned into other products over the next 25 years. In 1935 they began making toy soldiers as well as vehicles and other toys. Farm animals were in production from the beginning, being made out of the same rubber as tires then coated with a lacquer layer. They were then painted and packaged for sale to retailers. This material is known to collectors as "hard rubber". The first animals were designed by Edward McCandlish, an artist who created most of Auburn's early figures. Earlier figures may have either ARCOR or Aub Rub'r on them as identifiers, but these were not universal or in continuous use. Production came to a stop during World War II, about 1942. During the war years a series of animals that seem to use the same Auburn animal molds were produced of colored composition. It doesn't seem to be certain if they were produced by Auburn or some other company. Hard rubber production resumed again around 1950 for two more years before the company transitioned to plastic injection molding of vinyl. It seems that there were some new molds made after the war for the hard rubber as there were some significant changes in some of the animal shapes.

Another new set of molds were created for the transition to rubbery vinyl figures, smaller than the previous hard rubber. Farm animals again were the only animals made at the beginning of vinyl production. Around the mid 1950s additional lines began to appear. Western figures including a forest animal series, and wild animals for a Noah's Ark set. At some point there was another redesign of the farm animals as well, clearly by the same artists designing the wild animal series. In 1960 the toy division was sold to the city of Deming, New Mexico. Production moved there and vinyl figures continued. During the later 1960s another change in materials occurred and figures appeared in a somewhat transparent light soft plastic. The company went out of business in 1969.

Hard Rubber

These figures are made of a rubber similar to that of auto tires. It has usually gotten very hard over the years and sometimes warps during the hardening process if not stored carefully. Produced from 1935 to 1942, and 1950 to 1953 except for those in series 2.

Farm Animals


Series One


Series Two

Produced from 1950-1953 or so

Circus Animals

Made for only two years 1935/6-1937/8



Made during World War II, these figures clearly use the Auburn molds or are copies of them. There is no known paperwork to support them being either original Auburn Rubber Company production or copies so they are placed here.


Rubbery Vinyl

Produced from around 1953 to 1969. Many of these animals also appeared in soft plastic in the last years of production.

Farm Animals


Series 3


Series 4


Series 5

Western Series


Forest Animals


Wild Animals


Also included in Noah's Ark sets were the billy and nanny goat, rabbits, and walking bear

Soft Plastic

In the last years of the company they switched to a soft plastic, somewhat translucent or transparent. The last series of farm animals as well as the forest and wild animals all show up in the soft plastic.

In addition they created an odd line of animals with heads that could be removed and switched around. The following have been seen in red and green combinations, with the head in one color and the body in the other.

Head Swap Series


These are listed above, but are gathered here for horse collector's reference


Wikipedia Article