German tin toys, plates and other products from about 1900 to 1920 or so were often marked Ges. Gesch. (gesetzlich geschützt) which meant “trademark registered” in German. Today in the U.S. especially, many people think this is a toy brand. While Gescha Toys is reported to have been established in 1923, and toys marked ‘Gescha’ – with the ‘a’ at the end – date from the mid-1930s (Force 1990, p. 89), it is uncertain whether its name grew out of the copyright abbreviation or not. If so, it was an ingenious idea.
So, tin toys (buses, cars, etc.) until the 1940s marked “Gesch” are often attributed to “Gescha” when they may not have been made by one company, but simply were toys marked “registered”. Also revealing is the fact that early toys (for example, the tractors) say “Gescha Patent” in English on the grilles, and on packaging written for foreign markets, which reinforces our theory.
With this in mind, it can carefully be said that Gescha had a long history of toy manufacturing similar in many ways to Schuco or Gama Toys. Most of its early products were tin wind-up toys that were creative and moved in a variety of ways.
One example was a wind-up bellhop that would push a large trunk along a flat surface. Another were tin butterflies, but then again, the reminder that these may simply have been from a variety of manufacturers marking “registered” on their toys. Thus the name Gescha seems somewhat of a mystery, and muddies the waters when ascertaining which toys were specifically from the toy company of that name.
Post World War II
As with most German industries, World War II seriously disrupted or halted business. In the late 1940s and early 1950s Gescha still made a wide variety of tin and stamped toys, but began to focus on vehicles.
Among these were a windup tractor and trailer, colorful 4″ buses, airplanes, tanks and whole variety of other vehicles, including cars. Among these was a Porsche speedster-like sports car, very much in the post-war tin Shuco or Gama tradition.