Georg KELLERMANN founded his own Company in 1910 in Nürnberg, Germany. He learned the trade at the Company of Karl Bub and later at DISTLER. In the early years he focused on penny toys: cars, small train sets, fire cars and figurines. Only in 1920, the brand name and trade mark CKO was established. Up until the war, KELLERMANN exported a large part of his production to the USA and England, especially the more elaborate toys. The penny toys were sold in Germany through wholesalers and large department stores, like Hertie or Karstadt. Starting from 1935, most toys were military toys, like tanks, soldiers on motor bikes, planes and war ships, etc. During WWII, many toy Companies were closed by the regime or were expropriated or were forced the produce for warfare. KELLERMANN was forced to produce for warfare starting as of 1942. In 1946, the Company had to be rebuilt, because it was destroyed and plundered. Many dies were stolen. Some molds/dies still existed, which allowed KELERMANN to produce some war time era toys until the mid-1950’s. This happened with the KdF Wagen as well! KELLERMANN did not change into producing plastic toys and as a consequence, the sales went down and the competition against plastic made the Company lose revenue. Staring from the 1970’s the competion from Japan and Asia became really big and in 1978 the Company closed down.
Three-piece lithographed tinplate body with solid windows that very nicely depicts the KdF Wagen of the time. Usually found with slightly different shades of the KdF blue/grey color. A lever under the base plate rotates the top to transfer the Sedan model into an open Cabriolet with lithographed tinplate seats, dashboard, steering wheel and separate driver (white or brown). With or without the VW emblem on the front hood. Tin plate chassis with metal wheels, steering and clockwork motor with keyhole at rear. Tinplate bumpers stamped Germany on front bumper face bar. License plate registration number IA 359 on rear license plate. Chassis stamped D.R.G.M. D.R.P. U.S.A. Pat. Engl. Pat. Some also have stamped Made in Germany.
A collector was able to obtain in an auction the original wooden template used by CKO to make the metal dies for production.
During this same time period, CKO used the same tooling and produced another car with a different lithograph design that represents the German ADLER Car. This design was a red or green color, large front hood grille, split windshield and a rear trunk with trim.
This German ADLER CKO K-358 is often called and sold as a Split Window Volkswagen, which it is not.
The CKO IA 359 KdF Wagen has driver and passenger images in the windshield and door windows. Children in the back windows are waving and have red hats.
The CKO IA 389 is identical to the CKO IA 359 KdF Wagen except it has an oval rear window, VW hood emblem and a driver lithographed in the drivers’ door window and windshield. Furthermore, the IA 359 KdF Wagen style original box is marked 389 and Made In US Zone Germany. This IA 389 is a very unusual CKO, possibly made in the early 1950s and appears to be one of a kind as well.
The CKO IA 352 is identical to the CKO IA 359 KdF Wagen except it is lithographed a red color and appears to be one of a kind as well.
The CKO IA 353 is similar to the CKO IA 359 KdF Wagen except it is lithographed a red color, has a split rear window, driver figure in the door windows and windshield. It appears to be one of a kind as well.
The CKO IA 359 VW is identical to the CKO IA 359 KdF Wagen except it is lithographed a red color and appears to be one of a kind as well.
The CKO IA 364 is similar to the CKO IA 359 KdF Wagen except it is lithographed a red color, has an oval rear window and appears to be one of a kind as well.