HomeGarageWood car toys for your favorite Outlaw

Wood car toys for your favorite Outlaw


Does your Dad think he’s part of the outlaw car culture? If so, there’s a new line of wooden model cars he might like you to consider for his Father’s Day gift.

It’s The Outlaw cars from Candylab Toys.

“Some of America’s hardest times, most colorful historical figures, and iconic automotive designs came from the late 1920s and the 1930s,” Vlad Dragusin, founder of Candylab Toys, said in a news release. “The Outlaws toy line celebrates this tumultuous time in history and car culture.”

Dragusian is a native of Romania who immigrated to Chicago.  Unable to afford to buy a car, he took two ancient Volkswagen Beetles and turned them into a single running vehicle. Dragusin would become an architect in New York.

One night, Dragusin and his then-8-year-old daughter took a dinner delivery box and turned into a cardboard car that rolled on its cardboard wheels. From that start sprang Candylab Toys, which does artistic and colorful wooden toy vehicles that can be played with or displayed. For display purposes, Candylab also has produced some Route 66-style buildings to provide backdrops for the cars.

The company, based in Brooklyn, New York, produces what it calls “heirloom wood toys” and has rolled out five vehicles in its new The Outlaw lineup:

  • Bad Emergency: “Inspired by the iconic American truck—a newly mechanized workhorse from the late ’20s and ’30s, which powered America’s small businesses, construction and rebuilding projects, rum running, Dustbowl migrations and post-recession rebuild. The American truck is ingrained in the pioneering spirit and hardships of that era, deserves a place in pop culture. The toy has a yellow-and-black herringbone pattern on the front radiator, a long bed to haul other toys, and a magnet “hitch” so towed cars stay in place.” 
  • Harlequin: “Our slickest, lowest-riding racer. Stanced, bright blue, and decorated with a Carnival-inspired pattern, it flaunts a superstition-defying race No. 13. This is our flashiest car, with stories to tell.” 
  • Penicillin: “Inspired by the discovery of the antibiotic in 1928, our car features a yellow-and-red pill of a low-riding roadster, bearing the 250(mg) race number. Our first-ever open-top car, sure to stand out in a toy collection.”
  • Sheriff: “A black matte coat of paint, a single red-light arm placed sideways, scribbled precinct numbers on its roof, and tally marks on the side is Candylab’s take on the churning drama of bringing law and order to those hard years. The toy carries the visual cues of an adventurous, freewheeling era while standing for order, fierce car chases, and keeping the lid on the bad guys.”
  • Southern Belle: “Candylab’s homage to the fierce female race car drivers of the era. Maude Odell, Elinor Blevins, Kay Petre and many more.  Their racers were sturdy, lifted, with some off-road capability. Candylab’s take recreates and reimagines the look and stance of those early racers with this toy. It has a spare tire, a positive (inward) suspension camber and a giant race number on its radiator.”

For more information, visit the Candylab Toys website.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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