Scenic items and materials for use in model railway layouts, dioramas etc.
Tinplate vehicles and mechanical toys from various manufacturers.
Founded in 1939 and synonymous with plastic model kits since the early 1950s, Airfix also produced other toys such as Betta Bilda, a Lego-like construction system. Now part of Hornby.
Bayko was a constructional toy made in the UK between 1934 and 1964, designed for making model houses and other buildings. Vertical metal rods were positioned on a perforated base to make a framework, then units such as walls, doors and windows were slotted between them. Originally produced by Plimpton Engineering Ltd of Liverpool, Bayko was taken over by Meccano in 1960 and withdrawn from the market four years later, a victim of competition from more versatile toys such as Lego. The metal rod construction would also have posed safety fears in the modern marketplace.
Bayko still has a following today amongst enthusiasts, with some parts being available as reproductions. Bayko has a particular "period" charm, its components lending themselves naturally to the construction of those bay-windowed detached and semi-detached houses which so characterised suburban Britain in the first half of the 20th century.
A British toy company with a long history, Chad Valley first started producing teddy bears before the first world war. Tinplate toys were introduced in 1945, and the company went on to develop a large and diverse range which placed them as one of the country's leading toy makers until a decline in the 1970s when it was taken over by Palitoy. In 1978 the brand was acquired by Woolworths and later by Argos, now owned by Sainsburys.
Crescent Toys was a UK toy manufacturer active between 1922 and 1980. Originating in a small workshop in de Beauvoir Crescent, London N1, the company relocated 3 times before the Second World War as the demand for its hollow-cast lead figures grew, ending up in Tottenham N15. Following the war the company turned its attention to diecast toys (see Other Diecast section), the diecasting work being undertaken by nearby firm DCMT (Die Casting Machine Tools). In 1949, taking advantage of development grants, Crescent opened a new factory in Cwmcarn, Wales, and within 2 years all production had transferred there. At around the same time, DCMT split away from Crescent to manufacture and market toys in their own right under the Lone Star brand. As well as diecast vehicles, Crescent's post-war production included toy guns and plastic figures, as well as a version of the TV favourite Muffin The Mule.
Founded in 1983 and based in North Wales, Dapol is primarily known for OO and N gauge railway models. Between 1988 and 2001 Dapol also produced a range of character models from the BBC TV series Doctor Who.
Keil Kraft kits were originally produced by E. Keil & Co. Ltd, starting in the late 1940s. During the 1950s the brand became synonymous with balsa wood boat and aeroplane kits in the UK, and production continued into the early 1980s when the company ceased trading. However, the brand has since been revived and a limited range of 'vintage' kits are available again, albeit made in China.
Kenner was a U.S. toy company, founded in 1946. It was acquired by General Mills in 1967, by Tonka in 1987, and was finally absorbed into Hasbro in 2000. Kenner was probably best known for its character merchandise, including Star Wars and Ghostbusters figures, although many will remember its earlier products such as the Spirograph drawing toy.
The Lone Star brand was launched in 1951 by Diecast Machine Tools (DCMT), who had until 1949 been manufacturing on behalf of Crescent Toys. DCMT/Lone Star became well-known for its toy guns, but also produced hollow-cast lead and, later, plastic figures. The company joined the diecast vehicle bandwagon in 1956 with its Roadmaster series, with the Roadmaster Impy range following in 1966. Other ranges included OOO scale push-along and electric trains, which effectively pioneered today's N gauge model railways. DCMT went into receivership in 1983 and the Lone Star brand was acquired by a German company, production moving to Hong Kong in 1988. Nowadays the Lone Star name is owned by the Heinrich Bauer Group, a producer of toy guns.
Mamod is a British company specialising live steam models, founded in 1937 by Geoffrey Malins. The early products were stationary engines, which could drive various miniature tools via a lineshaft. A steam roller was introduced in 1961, followed by a traction engine and other mobile models. Between 1965 and 1976 Mamod also produced a stationary engine for Meccano. In 1979 Mamod launched its first model railway, and the company still operates today, albeit under different ownership.
Louis Marx and Company was founded in New York City in 1919 by Louis and his brother David. They produced a large, diverse and hugely successful range of toys in tinplate and later in pressed steel and plastic, ranging from yo-yos to dolls' houses and including mechanical and constructional toys. By the 1950s Marx had three manufacturing plants in the USA and several in other countries including Japan and a UK plant in Swansea, Wales. Eventually, Marx was hit by competition from lower cost Asian toys, and in 1972 Louis sold the company to Quaker Oats who also owned Fisher-Price. Subsequently in 1976 the Marx division was sold off to Dunbee-Combex-Marx, already owners of the UK Marx subsidiary. They went into liquidation in 1980, bringing the Marx company story to an end, although the Marx name lives on as a brand used by indirectly related companies.
Merit was a brand of J & L Randall Ltd, a British toy manufacturer. As well as scientific/educational toys and board games, Merit became known during the 1960s for its range of 00/HO figures and scenic accessories for model railways. Much of the range is still in production, as after the demise of J & L Randall the Merit range was acquired by Modelscene which is now a subsidiary of PECO.
Taylor & Barrett was formed by Fred Taylor and Alfred Barrett in London in 1920. They initially produced lead figures, especially soldiers and farm and zoo animals, and later diverisfied into horse-drawn and motor vehicles. With the second world war and the bombing of their factory, toy production ceased, the surviving moulds were divided between Taylor and Barrett for safe keeping, and the company turned its manufacturing activity to supporting the war effort. When peace returned in 1945, the two founders decided to form separate companies so F.G. Taylor & Sons and A. Barrett & Sons were born. Each started making toys again, both under their own brands and on behalf of other companies. During the 1960s much of the production changed to plastic, and the companies continued to trade until 1980 and 1983 respectively. Nowadays Taylor and Barrett models are popular with collectors, although often mistaken for Britains products.
Founded in 1938, Timpo is an abbreviation of 'Toy Importers Ltd', and as the name suggests, the company was initially concerned with importing toys. Timpo turned its attention to manufacturing at the outbreak of war in 1939 when importing was no longer possible. The first hollow-cast lead items began to appear during the war years, but it was not until 1946 that the main Timpo range was established, using moulds purchased from other companies. From 1950 Timpo began producing its own range of figures, notably soldiers and wild west, which were manufactured in plastic from 1954. Timpo ceased trading in 1978.
Plastic vehicles and other toys from miscellaneous manufacturers.
Plastic figures from other or unidentified manufacturers.
Items that don't fit into any other category!