Q: Now that my children are grown I am trying to decide if I want to keep or sell this tricycle but in either case I am trying to research it. I would not try repainting it as I think it would devalue it. I have decided not to even clean it as I polished a couple of small spots on it and the polished rust spots do not look as good to me as if left alone. The petals on this trike are original egg shape like an airplane wing. The original grips that are in great condition have “Flex-grip” written on them. You have a couple of posts under HAPPY TIME but looking on my trike I think it is spelled HAPPI TIME and that in small print the sticker says: HAPPI TIME PLAY TOYS ARE SOLD BY SEARS ROEBUCK AND CO NY. I want to look thru old Sears Roebuck catalogues to date this trike. I was wondering if you could answer these question and if you could post them.
Any other comments would be appreciated.
A: OK, I’ll try to answer all of your questions, however, I’m not going to post your email address here (as requested), because you’ll just get lots of spam. Instead, I will post an update to our Facebook page
and then if someone would like to comment they may do so here on our blog or on our Facebook page.
I would say that you should not sell this tricycle. The price you are likely to get in this condition would only buy another nice new tricycle and this one is probably just fine to use. We get weekly or daily comments and questions from people who are looking for parts or whole tricycles to pass down to their kids and grandkids. Many of those writing to us are searching for a tricycle for their kids, like the one they had as a child…..that their parents threw away or sold. The price of a replacement tricycle when the time comes may not be enormous, but the time spent trying to find another 1950′s Happi Time made by Murray in blue could start adding up.
1. Is “HAPPI” TIME correct?
Yes, I believe Happi Time is correct. The previous posts were either typos or a result of spellcheck.
2. Approximately what year do you think it was made(this would help narrow my search in the Sears Catalogues):
If I had to guess one year for you to start looking, I would say…1950.
3. Would you consider this trike Streamed Modern? or maybe Machine Age?
I would not classify this tricycle as streamed modern, streamlined modern or machine age. It’s a tricycle with a fender. I’m guessing you are asking this question because you’ve been browsing eBay too much, where everyone thinks everything is “streamline modern,” “Machine Age,” “Eames era” etc. etc. etc.
This is one annoying aspect of eBay….please allow me to rant…. It probably all started about 10 years ago. Someone listed a three fendered 1937 tricycle, a Sky King or something similar, and correctly used the term “Streamline Modern” in the title. The next week, someone was searching the completed listings and saw that amazingly the Sky King brought $2000 and they used “Streamline Modern” in the title. So this person also put the term in their title, but they new it wasn’t a Sky King, so they put their tricycle’s model…. Now this just continues on indefinitely until the point we are at today when people are using it to describe funky 1970′s chopper tricycles.
The only thing remotely streamlined about this tricycle is the mini fender skirt and the pedals. If anything, this tricycle would be closer to Space Age, but still, the design elements have really nothing to do with Space Age design and it was produced before the Space Age thing took off.
4. The M on the front chrome & hub caps. Think The trike was made by Murry?
Yes, it was produced by Murray for Sears. To my knowledge Sears never produced any type of bicycle or tricycle on their own. They had a variety of different makers over the years, and this one was made by Murray.
5. Think the bell came with the trike or was a period add-on?
It’s hard to tell. Most tricycles did not come with bells. The photos don’t really reveal anything that would make me think that it was original or otherwise. If you happen to find a catalog, perhaps it will answer that question.