This sweet but not tiny set was placed under the Christmas tree this year for our youngest. It's the Dump Truckers #979 made between 1965-1970. This oldie but goodie was the first Fisher Price set made with a masonite base. Toys before the Dump Truckers were baseless or pull toys. After the Dump Truckers came many familiar and popular sets like the Play Family Farm, Play Family House and the Play Family School to name a few.
But first came the Dump Truckers #979. This 10 piece set came with the base, three dump trucks, three little wooden people and 3 balls. The base is made of masonite and plastic and has a variety of lithographs on each side.
The little little people were made of wood and came in two color options; light blue as shown or dark blue. Each set came with one frowning boy and two happy boys. They were shorter than the classic little people (which came later) and had straight sides. The smiling boy with hair on his head was also found in the #719 Choo Choo, #932 Amusement Park and the #969 Ferris Wheel. The other two boys were exclusives to this set.
The set came with three black balls. Initially they were made of solid wood and later hollow plastic. When I purchased my set it only had two balls and within a couple weeks of play my daughter had lost one of those too. So we're down to one original ball and two other creative balls that my daughter found to use as seen in the front above. I am hopeful that we'll find the lost ball and I'm on the lookout for more to purchase!
The brightly colored dump trucks are in three shapes; yellow squared, red rounded and blue trianglular. The trucks only fit into their respective loading docks, a little fun learning opportunity for kids. There were many variations to the trucks/bays, they came in all possible combinations but there were never two of the same color in one set.
The trucks also fit underneath the garage when they need a little servicing.
Now for a closer look at the lithographs. Please note that two of them are reproductions as noted, but more on that in a bit.
Inside the lower garage there are quite vivid and detailed pictures including a sleeping dog, workbench with tools, hose, oil can and other odds and ends. If you look on the right there is a toy that looks quite a bit like the Creative Coaster #979 which was also made in the 1960's.
The other side of the garage has a door, clock and a little person looking out the window.
On the other side of the wall you can see the same cute little person looking out the window. Oh how I love the consistency and attention to detail. You can also see the gas pump with a hose that fits into each of the trucks.
Going up the ramp there is a lithograph that points the way and includes the Fisher Price logo of the time. This particular lithograph is often torn or missing on this set after many years of play. This was the case with my set and I ordered a replacement lithograph online to spiffy up the set before giving it to my daughter.
The dump station numbers on top of the set are also replacements. That particular sticker is also often missing or damaged as years of children driving cars over the lithograph is naturally quite destructive.
Using replacement lithographs is a bit controversial amongst the Fisher Price collector crowd. Many collectors have concerns that these incomplete/inauthentic toys will lower the values and dillute the collector market. Other collectors/toy lovers like myself prefer to have the toys improved so that they can be used and played with.
I personally have not yet sold any toys with replacement lithographs and if/when I do I would make it clear which parts were inauthentic. However, other sellers may not be as honest so it is definitely a buyer-beware out there. You can tell if you look closely enough that they are not the same as the originals. The colors are a bit duller, the stickers thicker and if you look closely you can see where I cut them out.
Now back to the Dump Truckers set. The other side of the base has another window with little faces looking out of it, but this time they are only pictured on one side. But look how bright and vivid even after 50+ years of play!
I wasn't sure if my youngest (4.5 year old) would be too advanced/old for this toy but I needn't worry, she loves it! She's a fan and so am I.
I have a couple Dump Truckers Trucks in my Etsy shop right now if you have an incomplete set. Go here for more info.