Tootsietoy’s diecast miniature toy version of the Renault tank first appeared in Tootsietoy’s 1931 catalog and was numbered #4647. It was described as being a: “Reproduction in miniature of the latest Caterpillar Tank from specifications furnished by the U.S.
Govt. War Dept.”
The Renault T-17 tank was developed during the later years of the first World War. It was the brainchild of French General Jean-Baptiste Estienne and weighed seven tons, traveled at 6 mph and carried a two-man crew. It was the first tank to be fitted with a revolving turret.
Tootsietoy’s miniature Renault tank is fairly accurate in detail and close to being 3/16″ scale. Tootsietoy produced it in a variety of finishes, including various camouflages.
So many were produced back in the 1930s & 1940s that they still turn up today at toy shows, flea-markets and, of course, eBay; however, their original rubber tracks (treads) are invariably, either missing, rock hard or have been replaced. Many of them have either been fully restored or repainted. Often they are overpriced, so “caveat emptor” is the name of the game.