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cast iron or aluminum ???? have you googled what it says on the bottom??
Cast iron banks are always difficult. They were heavily reproduced in the 1960's thorough the 1990's (and later) in Asian countries, and sold very cheaply. They have little value other than decorative. One notable exception is The Book of Knowledge reproductions done in the 1940's and 50's. These banks were made from the original old molds and hand painted by artists. Even though they are "reproductions" they have value to collectors.BUT, they have been reproduced! The reproductions have been reproduced. If you see and hold a real old original bank or an original Book of knowledge bank, you will always be able to tell the original from the reproduction.
Almost every old bank is cataloged and can be found on the internet. Just looking through eBay you can find almost every bank and cast iron toy made, and compare the photos to sites that catalog the originals. Pretty soon you will become a bank expert.
I found two banks exactly like yours, one on "GoAntiques.com" for $65, and one on Amazon. There are always 3 or 4 listed on ebay for about $60-70 The newer bank which is like the one you have is stamped "C Hawthorne Direct LLC" on the bottom.
With any cast iron piece, the smoothness of the casting is a great clue. New cast iron toys are molded from an old bank, in course sand, and feels rough. Old cast is glass like and smooth. Original cast parts fit closely. The Phillips head screw holding the two halves of any piece was always a sign of a reproduction. Reproduction manufactures now use slotted screws to throw you off! Paint should be worn and not burnt or rusted. Old cast iron is harder to rust than new ( Think old skillet vs new). I remember a dealer who would buy reproduction banks from an Asian supplier. He would then roast the banks above a smokey fire and then bury the banks in the yard to age them.
It is suggested that an original one would date from the 1940's, but I can't find any information on a hot dog bank from the 1940's
Even though it seems yours is a newer reproduction, you should enjoy it for it's design and whimsy.- I like the detail, and the expressions on the characters faces.