About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Monday, October 17, 2011

M is for Mini-trucks, Part 1 - Cab designs and overview

This set of 7 posts (following) was born out of the catalogue page the the boys over at Moonbase let me use the other week (month?!), and the fact that some time ago (over a year and a half) I said I'd do a thing on the mini-trucks from Hong Kong that were born out of the Kleeware trucks that were themselves apparently copies of the Dinky original of the post-war Humber.

Along the way it ties up a couple of other loose-ends...

Bottom right shows the two larger scale Banner trucks, I've looked at before, they were also produced in the UK by Kleeware (from borrowed moulds), next to them is the small scale Pyro/Kleeware lorry.

At the top are a Pyro cab unit (or 'Semi', or...see 'comments' the other day!!) in army green next to a Wannatoys red one.

Sandwiched between them all are a Cheerio pick-up truck apparently from the UK and the Wannatoys cab again to compare.

These mostly generic 1950's Lorry Cab Designs all have some features in common, such as the divider down the bonnet (hood) or the cab-roof lights, or the military 6x6 truck type wheel-arch headlights.

Alongside them ran metal vehicles of similar design and these are all from a Mettoy Playcraft (later; Corgi) catalogue of unknown age. The lower engines look very 'Denis' in execution, my local Lorry builder, they used to test-drive the chassis round Fleet when we were kids.

One of the loose ends; the upper shot shows the Triang Mettoy Breakdown Lorry, it is as you can tell the same vehicle as the two military ones in the original Littlewoods ad. Below it is the Lone*Star Cab Design.

The Matchbox take on the Humber lacked the sentry-holes and detail of the Dinky version and was not a copy, while the Dinky Lorry begot all the others!! I think?

The Humber was the Post-war (WWII) replacement for the plethora of 15cwt (UK) and 3/4-ton (US) trucks in service by the end of it. It would also provide the chassis for the wheeled APC immortalised in Northern Ireland as the PIG.

Kleeware (top left) to modern Christmas cracker toy (bottom right), these are the little beasts we look at in the 6 posts below this one.


Junkyard Tom said...

Hi there Maverick - congratulations on a great site! I was reading your well-researched posts on the Humber 1-ton truck toys from 2011. I have had a couple of these trucks (life-size) as well as having found the tiny Xmas cracker toy. I thought you may find it interesting to know that, as far as I can tell, the Dinky toy (and hence most of the others)is actually based on the second or third pre-production prototype vehicle (reg. no. KYW 98 or LYN 69)- These two vehicles had one-piece hatches as appear on the toy - whereas the actual production vehicle has 2-piece hatches split in the centre. You will find pictures of what I mean on the web - there are good pictures of the prototypes on Jochern Vollert's book "The Humber 1600 Series" (ISBN 3-9805216-3-X)I find this interesting as it means all these toys are not just models of a generic vehicle type but are replicas of an actual truck (or one of two). It is also interesting to think that the Dinky toy was commissioned when the prototype was made and became part of the successful Dinky Army range of vehicles but the real truck was actually axed by the Government pretty early on in 1952 (along with the whole "CT" range of military vehicles)due to excessive costs (it was a high-spec truck - fully waterproofed Rolls Royce engine, independent suspension etc. - completely military - like a British version of a Humvee) - only 3,700 were made in total and the later Humber Pig (FV1609 -FV1620) were all made from this original production run by cutting off the truck body and making an armoured hull - over 2,000 Pigs were made so that left just around 1,500 Humber trucks were left - some cannibalised as spares to keep Pigs running in Northern Ireland - the rest sold off as breakdown trucks which eventually rusted away behind garages. So the Toy was much more common than the real thing - unlike the rest of the Dinky range which are models of vehicles which exist in reasonable numbers in the real-world. I dug up my first Humber truck in the back garden with my dad about 1975 and still have it - my obsession with the real thing came from the fact that while all the other Dinky toys existed for real, the Humber just did not seem to exist at all. So this rarity meant I just had to track one down. there are probably no more than 50 in UK and a similar number in Australia. So you can imagine my surprise when I pulled a cracker at my mother-in-law's house and a blue-and-orange Humber fell out...

Great website. Thank you.
Junkyard Tom
(see my youtube channel TomsJunkyard - no spaces, capital T&J)

Maverick Collecting said...

Thank you for that Tom, sorry I missed the comment at the time.

Re. Dinky...the staff car was also a weird vehicle, as I think it's based on a Dutch or Swedish vehicle, not a British or 'Empire' service vehicle.

The Humbers must have had the same engine as the Austin Champ? My mother was in the F.A.N.Y. (hence the very rare para wings I posted somewhere on the blog) and she said the champ was a pig to work on as the engine was "a Rolls Royce sealed-unit"?