Scenic items and materials for use in model railway layouts, dioramas etc.
Tinplate vehicles and mechanical toys from various manufacturers.
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 Originally produced by Plimpton Engineering Ltd of Liverpool, Bayko was taken over by Meccano in 1960 and withdrawn from the market four years later, a victim of competition from more versatile toys such as Lego.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.
Cherilea was started after WWII by Wilfred Cherrington and James Leaver, formerly designers for John Hill & Co. Based In Burnley and Blackpool, UK, Cherilea was initially concerned with producing hollow-cast lead figures, with plastic introduced from 1955 and metal phased out by 1961. Both military and civilian subjects were featured in the range, extending into plastic military vehicles and with a strong market in the US as well as the UK.
John Hill & Co was started in 1898 by a former employee of W. Britain named Mr F. H Wood; the derivation of the company name seems to be a mystery. After the First World War their production of hollow-cast model figures increased dramatically, and by 1932 the company had over 400 staff. Johillco also manufactured Coronation and other souvenir items.
The firm's original factory was in Islington, North London, but the factory was bombed during World War II. In 1946 the company was taken over by Lancashire businessman Alec Standing and relocated to Burnley. Production restarted and the range expanded to include knights, spacemen and special sets for Macey's in New York.
Although in 1956 the company began making plastic figures in their existing moulds under the name of Hilco, it was too slow in making the transition to production in the new material and ceased trading in 1960.
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 toy soldiers, which were manufactured in plastic from 1954. Timpo ceased trading in 1978.
Tonka toys have been around since the late 1940s. Their toy trusck and other vehicles in various scales are made from pressed metal and plastic and are renowned for their durability; the name 'Tonka' derives from the Dakota Sioux word for 'great' or 'big'.
Based in the UK in Blandford, Dorset, Wend-Al was one of several manufacturers of toy figures that started up immediately after World War II, but differed in that its products were cast in aluminium instead of the more prevalent hollow-cast lead. Wend-Al's initial production was based by agreement on moulds from the French firm Quiralu, but it soon started producing models of its own which covered subjects including zoo, farrm and circus as well as a version of the popular early TV character Muffin the Mule. However, due to increasing competition from plastic models, Wend-Al ceased production in 1956.
Plastic vehicles and other toys from miscellaneous manufacturers.
Plastic figures from other or unidentified manufacturers.
Hollowcast lead and other metal figures from less well-known or unidentified manufacturers.