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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.

Friday, September 7, 2018

F is for Follow-up - Magic Roundabout

Although a follow-up, it's a little longer than most, as it pulls everything together in one place with some archive stuff. As we saw last time (no point in a back-link as we're going to look at it all again) there were three sets of Magic Roundabout premiums, getting at least four issues between them.

16 Bonecos Diferentes; 1968; Barrel Organ; Brain the Snail; Carrocel Mágico Olá; Dougal Dog; Dylan the Rabbit; Ermintrude; Florence; Gelados Olá; Grátis Carrocel Mágico Olá; Kellogg's Premiums; Kellogg's Ricicles; Magic Roundabout Biscuits; Motor Trike; Motor-tricycle; Mr MacHenry; Mr Rusty; Nabisco Foods; Nabisco Premiums; Olá Ice Cream; Ola Premiums; Paul; Penelope; Peter; Ricicles Premiums; Rosalie; Serge Danot; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Tatra Plastics; The Magic Roundabout; Tito Premiums; Tweet and Tweet-tweet; Zebedee;
We are actually starting with the second, as it was the first to hit the UK and I've already re-numbered all the images once, so I'm not going to do it again!

Kellogg's brought these out in 1969, almost certainly manufactured for them by Crescent who had a contract with them for such things, while the plastic colours/bases match the Sooty, Noddy, Spacemen and Thunderbirds figures of the same era.

  • Dougal Dog
  • Zeberdee
  • Brian the Snail
  • Dylan the Rabbit
  • Mr MacHenry
  • Florence

16 Bonecos Diferentes; 1968; Barrel Organ; Brain the Snail; Carrocel Mágico Olá; Dougal Dog; Dylan the Rabbit; Ermintrude; Florence; Gelados Olá; Grátis Carrocel Mágico Olá; Kellogg's Premiums; Kellogg's Ricicles; Magic Roundabout Biscuits; Motor Trike; Motor-tricycle; Mr MacHenry; Mr Rusty; Nabisco Foods; Nabisco Premiums; Olá Ice Cream; Ola Premiums; Paul; Penelope; Peter; Ricicles Premiums; Rosalie; Serge Danot; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Tatra Plastics; The Magic Roundabout; Tito Premiums; Tweet and Tweet-tweet; Zebedee;
From Cluck I comes this poor scan (copy of a copy of a copy . . . ) of an advert from TV Comic for the set in 'Twicicles as Nicicles' Ricicles! Dated to the 5th of April 1969 it lists the six to collect. These are the 2nd largest of the three sets and would be the equivalent of 50mm-odd; were we not talking about fictional anthropomorphs!

16 Bonecos Diferentes; 1968; Barrel Organ; Brain the Snail; Carrocel Mágico Olá; Dougal Dog; Dylan the Rabbit; Ermintrude; Florence; Gelados Olá; Grátis Carrocel Mágico Olá; Kellogg's Premiums; Kellogg's Ricicles; Magic Roundabout Biscuits; Motor Trike; Motor-tricycle; Mr MacHenry; Mr Rusty; Nabisco Foods; Nabisco Premiums; Olá Ice Cream; Ola Premiums; Paul; Penelope; Peter; Ricicles Premiums; Rosalie; Serge Danot; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Tatra Plastics; The Magic Roundabout; Tito Premiums; Tweet and Tweet-tweet; Zebedee;
Base marking refers to the French licensor; © SERGE DANOT 1968 rather than Kellogg's or the BBC who were carrying the series over here.

Funny story I happen to have in my head about The Magic Roundabout;

The BBC Children's TV department ('Watch with Mother' in those days) bought the footage from the French either without sound, or without translations (or both?), so had to make-up the narrated storyline from what was happening on the screen, as a result some of them are completely different 'mini-adventures' to their French originals, and even when it was pretty obvious (the sugar-cube trail/hunt) they are still far removed as far as dialogue and unfolding action sequence is concerned from their Gallic counterparts!

And - if it's not true - it's a nice story!

16 Bonecos Diferentes; 1968; Barrel Organ; Brain the Snail; Carrocel Mágico Olá; Dougal Dog; Dylan the Rabbit; Ermintrude; Florence; Gelados Olá; Grátis Carrocel Mágico Olá; Kellogg's Premiums; Kellogg's Ricicles; Magic Roundabout Biscuits; Motor Trike; Motor-tricycle; Mr MacHenry; Mr Rusty; Nabisco Foods; Nabisco Premiums; Olá Ice Cream; Ola Premiums; Paul; Penelope; Peter; Ricicles Premiums; Rosalie; Serge Danot; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Tatra Plastics; The Magic Roundabout; Tito Premiums; Tweet and Tweet-tweet; Zebedee;
The rival food combine and breakfast cereal producer Nabisco issued these in the autumn of 1970, I have a note somewhere that they were in their cereal Shreddies, but both Cluck and Brian Berke's contribution (below) say Magic Roundabout Biscuits, so the Shreddies link will have been an earlier assumption on the part of collectors in the late 1980's-1990's I guess?

16 items to collect gave 15 'assemblies' as one of the items was Mr. McHenry's tricycle. I have to confess, despite being a fan of the Magic Roundabout at the time (I was six, alright!) I don't remember the birds, either separately or on the barrel-organ? I do vaguely remember Penelope the spider in a few episodes though.

  • Dougal Dog
  • Zeberdee
  • Brian the Snail
  • Dylan the Rabbit
  • Ermintrude
  • Penelope (spider knitting)
  • Mr MacHenry (long beard) and his 'Motor Trike' (tricycle bike)
  • Mr Rusty (long toothbrush-moustache) and his Barrel Organ
  • Tweet (bird looking one way!) and Tweet-tweet (bird looking the other way!)
  • Florence (ribbon on her head)
  • Peter (boy pointing)*
  • Rosalie (girl with pony-tails)*
  • Paul (smaller boy)*

* As far as I can remember, these characters were mostly seen in the comics and annuals which accompanied the success of the TV series.

16 Bonecos Diferentes; 1968; Barrel Organ; Brain the Snail; Carrocel Mágico Olá; Dougal Dog; Dylan the Rabbit; Ermintrude; Florence; Gelados Olá; Grátis Carrocel Mágico Olá; Kellogg's Premiums; Kellogg's Ricicles; Magic Roundabout Biscuits; Motor Trike; Motor-tricycle; Mr MacHenry; Mr Rusty; Nabisco Foods; Nabisco Premiums; Olá Ice Cream; Ola Premiums; Paul; Penelope; Peter; Ricicles Premiums; Rosalie; Serge Danot; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Tatra Plastics; The Magic Roundabout; Tito Premiums; Tweet and Tweet-tweet; Zebedee;
These had actually already been issued in Portugal back in 1968 by Gelados Olá ("Hello" Ice Cream); believed to be a Wall's subsidiary or partner brand. I think they were also issued as bubble-gum premiums at the time through various brands.

Cluck I reports that the figures were made by Airfix, I don't know where that comes from, the plastic colours would suggest someone like Crescent or Hillco (who had turned down the Kellogg's gig?) and while any one of a number of plastic fabricators could have run them, I believe the moulds were continental (as evidenced by their earlier-use over there), while others mention R&L in Australia.

16 Bonecos Diferentes; 1968; Barrel Organ; Brain the Snail; Carrocel Mágico Olá; Dougal Dog; Dylan the Rabbit; Ermintrude; Florence; Gelados Olá; Grátis Carrocel Mágico Olá; Kellogg's Premiums; Kellogg's Ricicles; Magic Roundabout Biscuits; Motor Trike; Motor-tricycle; Mr MacHenry; Mr Rusty; Nabisco Foods; Nabisco Premiums; Olá Ice Cream; Ola Premiums; Paul; Penelope; Peter; Ricicles Premiums; Rosalie; Serge Danot; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Tatra Plastics; The Magic Roundabout; Tito Premiums; Tweet and Tweet-tweet; Zebedee;
Brian Berke kept his packet tops! 48 biscuits AND a toy! There are 8 of the commoner characters illustrated on the box and no clue as to how many you need to collect.

16 Bonecos Diferentes; 1968; Barrel Organ; Brain the Snail; Carrocel Mágico Olá; Dougal Dog; Dylan the Rabbit; Ermintrude; Florence; Gelados Olá; Grátis Carrocel Mágico Olá; Kellogg's Premiums; Kellogg's Ricicles; Magic Roundabout Biscuits; Motor Trike; Motor-tricycle; Mr MacHenry; Mr Rusty; Nabisco Foods; Nabisco Premiums; Olá Ice Cream; Ola Premiums; Paul; Penelope; Peter; Ricicles Premiums; Rosalie; Serge Danot; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Tatra Plastics; The Magic Roundabout; Tito Premiums; Tweet and Tweet-tweet; Zebedee;
The Olá/bubble-gum issues came in a myriad of plastic colours while the UK got the four colours in the 'one-of-each' shot (three images above) only . . . and ours were a shinier plastic against the continentals more understated, chalky - or at least matt - finish.

16 Bonecos Diferentes; 1968; Barrel Organ; Brain the Snail; Carrocel Mágico Olá; Dougal Dog; Dylan the Rabbit; Ermintrude; Florence; Gelados Olá; Grátis Carrocel Mágico Olá; Kellogg's Premiums; Kellogg's Ricicles; Magic Roundabout Biscuits; Motor Trike; Motor-tricycle; Mr MacHenry; Mr Rusty; Nabisco Foods; Nabisco Premiums; Olá Ice Cream; Ola Premiums; Paul; Penelope; Peter; Ricicles Premiums; Rosalie; Serge Danot; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Tatra Plastics; The Magic Roundabout; Tito Premiums; Tweet and Tweet-tweet; Zebedee;
Piracies exist of them, similar to the Tito-marked, Comansi-carried, Lucky Luke bubble-gum premiums we've seen here before. I guess they must have been gum-ball capsule things from Hong Kong, or possibly Christmas cracker prizes over here?

And like those Lucky Luke figures the originals have the distinctive holes (usually assumed to be mould release-pin marks, but a little too deep and deliberate, in my mind) in their feet, also shared with the two series of Asterix premiums of similar size and issued by the same ice cream and bubble-gum sources, along with wild animals and Disney, ergo, Tito are more likely to be the parent; not Airfix?

However, trying too-hard to work it all out leads you up a garden path littered with Americana, Malabar, Mundi, Tylers et al! There's a very good bubble-gum wrapper site somewhere which shows how incredibly convoluted the market was and still is with people like Bazooka, Topps, Wriggly's and ABC issuing licenses all over the world and sometimes to multiple factors in the same country.

So, it will never be worked out where they all came from, certainly not 'first'; another name in the frame (after Tito) is Heimo, who produced other sizes of the Disney even as Comansi were carrying rubber versions of the Tito's?

16 Bonecos Diferentes; 1968; Barrel Organ; Brain the Snail; Carrocel Mágico Olá; Dougal Dog; Dylan the Rabbit; Ermintrude; Florence; Gelados Olá; Grátis Carrocel Mágico Olá; Kellogg's Premiums; Kellogg's Ricicles; Magic Roundabout Biscuits; Motor Trike; Motor-tricycle; Mr MacHenry; Mr Rusty; Nabisco Foods; Nabisco Premiums; Olá Ice Cream; Ola Premiums; Paul; Penelope; Peter; Ricicles Premiums; Rosalie; Serge Danot; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Tatra Plastics; The Magic Roundabout; Tito Premiums; Tweet and Tweet-tweet; Zebedee;
Two Mr MacHenry's meet! He has a larger hole in his feet which locates with the stud on the tricycle, firmly holding them both together as one. The set would be the equivalent of 35/40mm in a weird, but otherwise 'real' universe!

16 Bonecos Diferentes; 1968; Barrel Organ; Brain the Snail; Carrocel Mágico Olá; Dougal Dog; Dylan the Rabbit; Ermintrude; Florence; Gelados Olá; Grátis Carrocel Mágico Olá; Kellogg's Premiums; Kellogg's Ricicles; Magic Roundabout Biscuits; Motor Trike; Motor-tricycle; Mr MacHenry; Mr Rusty; Nabisco Foods; Nabisco Premiums; Olá Ice Cream; Ola Premiums; Paul; Penelope; Peter; Ricicles Premiums; Rosalie; Serge Danot; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Tatra Plastics; The Magic Roundabout; Tito Premiums; Tweet and Tweet-tweet; Zebedee;
Ricicles had another stab (deliberately against the Nabisco issue?) in 1970, but instead of re-issuing their previous set (as they had done with Sooty and Noddy) they turned to Tatra for a new set of sculpts carrying eight characters instead of six, these were overall slightly larger at an equivalence of around 54mm.

  • Dougal Dog
  • Zeberdee
  • Brian the Snail
  • Dylan the Rabbit
  • Ermintrude
  • Mr MacHenry (long beard)
  • Mr Rusty (bushy moustache)
  • Florence

16 Bonecos Diferentes; 1968; Barrel Organ; Brain the Snail; Carrocel Mágico Olá; Dougal Dog; Dylan the Rabbit; Ermintrude; Florence; Gelados Olá; Grátis Carrocel Mágico Olá; Kellogg's Premiums; Kellogg's Ricicles; Magic Roundabout Biscuits; Motor Trike; Motor-tricycle; Mr MacHenry; Mr Rusty; Nabisco Foods; Nabisco Premiums; Olá Ice Cream; Ola Premiums; Paul; Penelope; Peter; Ricicles Premiums; Rosalie; Serge Danot; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Tatra Plastics; The Magic Roundabout; Tito Premiums; Tweet and Tweet-tweet; Zebedee;
Tatra's own image which they kindly let me have before being swallowed by a competitor, ironic really; as they had swallowed a couple of dozen firms themselves over the decades, but there's always a bigger fish in the pond!

16 Bonecos Diferentes; 1968; Barrel Organ; Brain the Snail; Carrocel Mágico Olá; Dougal Dog; Dylan the Rabbit; Ermintrude; Florence; Gelados Olá; Grátis Carrocel Mágico Olá; Kellogg's Premiums; Kellogg's Ricicles; Magic Roundabout Biscuits; Motor Trike; Motor-tricycle; Mr MacHenry; Mr Rusty; Nabisco Foods; Nabisco Premiums; Olá Ice Cream; Ola Premiums; Paul; Penelope; Peter; Ricicles Premiums; Rosalie; Serge Danot; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Tatra Plastics; The Magic Roundabout; Tito Premiums; Tweet and Tweet-tweet; Zebedee;
Above; a scale comparison between the three sets.

Below; We gott'a Rock Band with Spidey on the sticks! She (along with the barrel-organ) is harder to find undamaged.

So, that's them, there were other Magic Roundabout toys, the much sought-after Corgi sets, larger flocked-toys imported by HCF, wet-on temporary tattoos, rub-down transfers, key rings and such like, and you could send away with packet-tops from the Nabisco set for trees or a little train (also available commercially) which now goes for a mint on feebleBay occasionally.

From Cluck;

"Send-away 2/9d (14p) and 3 packet tops for a complete set of 16 Magic Roundabout toy figures. Also send-away 9/2d (49½p) and 3 Magic Roundabout biscuit packet tops for Mr Rusty‘s Magic Train - a toy steam engine with cattle-cart, passenger carriage and cart, also 4 Magic Roundabout Garden trees."

The difference between the Nabisco mail-away trees and the Corgi play-set ones is in the bases; Nabisco's were round, Corgi's diamond-shaped.

While the Nabisco/Olá organ and Penelope commonly suffer damage, both Dylan and Brian also can lose ears/antenna respectively, something the first set gets around in Brian's case by not modelling them, the tricycle sometime loses its headlight-lantern.

The TV series was remade a few years ago for a newer audience, and some new episodes were added, which to be fair - as someone who hates re-hashes and the changes to resurrected franchises - I didn't realise I was watching until I saw a computer in it and thought "Hold on! They hadn't invented PC's in the 1960's", I then realised the narrator/voices weren't quite the same; it was an all-new episode!

Links
Gum Companies (now only on the WayBackMachine - takes a while to load)

I think the metal set in that third link will be from Goodsoldiers, I did email the webmaster a while back but I think he's no longer active on the site?

Thanks to Brian Berke for the Nabisco pack-tops and The Philosophical Toad for the Cluck I

2 comments:

Terranova47 said...

The 'Magic' part of the show in the UK was the hypnotic voice of Eric Thompson telling the story.

Hugh Walter said...

Yes Terra' - and in the matter-of-fact way it's the most natural thing in the world to find a trial of sugar-lumps in a field, or me told to go to bed by a half-French-waiter-half-bed-spring!

H