Monthly Archives: January 2013

Scalex Cars by Minimodels – MG TC

Minimodels of Havant were forerunners in the idea and manufacturer of tinplate racing cars, launching a small range of metal bodied clockwork racing cars in 1952 under the SCALEX name, for play use on bare uncarpeted floors. During this time the leading toy company Tri-ang were seeing diminishing demand for their tinplate Minic range of 1950s styled cars & commercials so developed a range of lighter and cheaper plastic friction models named the Push N Go series and so looked upon Minimodels idea as rather dated. In 1956 Minimodels introduced a tin racing car version to run on a track and which contained an electric motor. Adding TRIC at the end of SCALEX (shortened from electric) they registered the SCALEXTRIC trade mark. This new toy invention quickly caught the eye of Tri-ang, who saw the potential of much lighter moulded plastic bodied cars which could offer higher speed and more versatility around track corners so subsequently purchased the Minimodels and the Scalextric brand in 1958.

The picture shows an early MG TC model by Minimodels of Havant (c.1954)

More information can be found in our Tri-ang Toys Price Guide

A Brief History of FROG kits

FROG, which stands for Flies Right Off the Ground, can be traced back to 1932 when the company & trademark were first registered by two brothers John and Charles Wilmot and their friend Joe Mansour. The trio set about developing a small range of ‘Ready to Fly’ 1:32 scale planes with duralin fuselages, paper wings and a propeller driven by an elastic wound mechanism housed within the end of each box. The first FROG was a pre-built model of the Interceptor Mk IV in a RAF configuration (later Belgian, Italian, Dutch, American versions were introduced, together with a model with skis). A marketing & distribution alliance with Lines Brothers (Tri-ang Ltd.) through their International Model Aircraft Company enabled them to bring the model to market and ultimately resulted in FROG becoming part of the toy giant.

 

However FROG’s ‘eureka’ moment occurred in 1935 when the trio experimented with a new material, cellulose acetate, which was in the advanced stage of testing by SKYBIRDS. This lightweight and much stronger material opened up a whole lot of new opportunities to the company and in 1937 FROG launched their now highly sought after range of factory built and model kit form PENGUIN series models, becoming the very first plastic kits to be made.

The picture shows an early Frog Interceptor Mk IV complete with winder mechanism

More information can be found in our Tri-ang Toys Price Guide

Corgi and Dinky Code 1 Code 2 and Code 3 definitions

We have been asked on numerous occasions to explain the difference between Code 1, 2 & 3 models. Here is the recognised explanation:

Code 1 – Standard catalogue and/or promotional models that are factory produced and have any advertising/promotional decals applied in the factory.

Code 2 – Models that are used for promotional purposes but advertising/promotional decals are applied outside the factory by a 3rd party.

Code 3 – Models that are adapted from an original factory made model (i.e. colour change) by a 3rd party and have advertising/promotional decals applied by said 3rd party.

The picture shows Code 1 example of a rare Dinky 410 Bedford Van for John Gay

The picture shows Code 1 example of a rare Dinky 410 Bedford Van for John Gay