Before battery operated toys were invented, children’s toys were spring powered. To activate these toys, a key is provided to wind-up the spring within the toy. The toy will work when the key is released.
Vintage wind-up toys were usually made of tin. The later versions that appeared from the 70s onwards were mostly made of plastic and were much smaller in size. Although vintage-looking tin wind-up toys are still being produced and sold today, they are mostly collected by adults as nostalgic keepsakes.