Toy Factory

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1969-70)

- Bill -- bass 

- Billy -- guitar 

- Joey La Casto -- drums, percussion 

- Sal -- keyboards

- Greg Weiss -- vocals 


- Andromeda (Greg Weiss)




Gene: pop

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  Toy Factory

Company: AVCO Embassy

Catalog: AVE 33013

Year: 1970

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Country/State: Long Island, New York

Comments: --

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD

Price: $25.00 SOLD


Though I haven't been able to track down much bibliographical information on this late-1960s bi-racial outfit, I think they were from Long Island, New York.  From the liner notes on their LP I can also tell you George Weiss was the lead singer and was responsible for writing roughly half the material.  The rest of the line up consisted of  bassist Bill, guitarist Billy, drummer Joey La Casto and keyboard player Sal (great detail there).  The band were one of the first acts signed to AVCO Embassy as it expanded its interest in the entertainment industry to music.  Produced by Bernie Lawrence, the majority of 1970's "Toy Factory" found the band trying to fight their way through rather faceless MOR pop.  Greg Weiss was credited as lead singer and certainly had a decent voice, but he apparently didn't sing on most of the album - French guitarist Billy handling much of the material.  Regardless of who was handling the vocals, tracks like 'What Is Youth', 'To Live or Die' and 'Honey, Forever' employed an irritating faux-English accent that recalled The Monkees' Davy Jones at his most saccharine.  Many of the tunes also had an irritating habit of throwing mock sobs and groans into the mix ('When I'm with You' and 'Honey Forever').  Strike three came in the form of occasional French lyrics  tossed into the mix ('To Live or Die' and 'Honey Forever').  Curiously, the band were at their best when they cut loose staking out a harder rock sound.  In this case, 'No Rhyme To Orange' (sporting a nice fuzz guitar solo) found the band turning in a credible piece of pseudo-psych, while 'Things' offered up a nifty slice of blue-eyed soul.  'Summertime' also found the band turning in one of the weirdest George Gershwin covers I've ever heard.  This one certainly won't change your life, but it's one of those period failures that's worth checking out.


"Toy Factory" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) What Is Youth   (Rota - Walter) - 2:58

2.) To Live or Die   (Baslie Vlastos) - 2:19

3.) Dear Girl   (Franklin Osborne) - 3:44

4.) Yesterday's Love   (Greg Weiss - Carroll) - 3:00

5.) No Rhyme To Orange   (Greg Weiss - Carroll) - 2:33


(side 2)

1.) Summertime   (George Gershwin) - 4:19

2.) When I'm with You   (Greg Weiss) - 4:26

3.) Things   (Greg Weiss - Carroll) - 3:01

4.) Honey Forever   (Baslie Vlastos) - 3:24

5.) Little Girl   (Greg Weiss) - 3:04


AVCO Embassy pulled 'What Is Youth' b/w 'Honey, Forever' (AVCO Embassy catalog number AVE-4533) as a single.  Like the parent LP, it vanished without a trace.


Weiss reappeared as a member of the New York-based Andromeda.  


By the way, though credited to The Toy Factory, the 1967 single Sunny Sunny Feeling'' b/w 'What's That Melody?' (AVCO catalog number #5668) was actually a different group - the Wisconsin-based Eric Olson and The Next Five.



Drummer Joe La Casto actually stumbled across my website and was kind enough to contact me and provide me a little information on the band.  They were actually from New Jersey.  They were one of the first group's signed to AVCO Embassy and actually toured quite a bit.  La Casto is living near Nashville and is still involved in music, though he's told me that his interests are now more jazz oriented.  In fact he bought a copy of the album from me.


Got an interesting email fro Gregg Weiss:


I think I found you!!  I was the lead singer of Toy Factory and I've read some awful reviews. First of all there was some songs on the LP that was by a French singer guitar player Billy who sang those {songs] not me !!!  And my producer told me to cry and try to sing with a English sound on my voice so I did. I was a Professional Actor and did Oliver on Broadway and many other shows started at the age of 7. I've been in the Music Biz for a lot of years and I was and even liked by many. I'm in a Christian Rock Band that is Great -Miracle Make playing keyboards. I think my ex-drummer Joe gave you a LP?  Is this true?  What did he say ?   I also was the lead singer in this great progressive rock band in the 70's Andromeda.  I was so pissid at what people say about me and they don't know me that gets me so mad.   I didn't sing [most of those tunes]   I think I handled two songs at most . The guitar player with his French accent sang them.  My producer didn't know anything about a pop or rock LP. I do wish I can do vFcals on a lot of those songs.   I do have a good voice.  Just wanted to tell you some things.

Thanks, God Bless

Gregg Weiss


For anyone interested, Gregg has a small website at: