Under the current lockdown I’m not going to town and the charity shops will be shut as “inessential” anyway, so here is my last lucky find from late February / early March 2020.
Inside were two usable 30mm to 32mm (Pound Store figure scale) larger vehicles that I recognised from childhood. I had these same cars. Hmm. Thinks: Were they a little too familiar from childhood? When I got home I went and checked the toy cupboard. My childhood ones were still there. Nobody in the family had had a secret clearout.
These larger vehicles work well enough with the small Pound Store figures or any other 30mm-ish figures you might game with.
The Corgi Toys Land Rover 109″ W.B. is one I still have, it has always lived in the farm and zoo animals box. I always thought it used to be part of a Safari set.
This new charity shop one is already camouflaged and has good patina.
The old vintage car is the 1909 Thomas Flyabout from Matchbox Lesney Models of Yesteryear No. Y-12, “by courtesy of the Harrah Collection Reno USA” no less. This still exists as the National Automobile Museum http://www.automuseum.org and a Thomas Flyer can still be seen there http://www.automuseum.org/?exhibition=thomas-flyer
This charity shop one is minus its windscreen, back seat and plastic canopy. This would still work well as a staff car or a light lorry with a khaki or field grey paint scheme. It could be box backed to make a lorry, take a machine gun or anti aircraft gun or even make the chassis of an armoured car. I should be able to convert a Pound Store figure to drive, etc.
The other two fillers are bashed Matchbox Lesney type trucks that I also remember from childhood. The Lesney Matchbox Foden Concrete Truck No. 21 has clever gear wheels underneath to make the concrete mixer go round as you push it along. Simple but fun.
I have placed a small Airfix 60s vintage figure alongside for scale. These may end up painted khaki or field grey as part of a logistics convoy, but they are almost too nicely bashed for this.
Toy cars played a big role in my primary school break times as you could fit them easily into your pocket or school bag. We were lucky enough in my primary playground to have solid metal drain covers, tree roots, Tarmac, slopes and a low brick wall at perfect height backed by a grassy slope that were all great for marble games, toy cars and dirty knees.
Most of my 1970s toy cars have now been passed on to younger generations of the family where they still get played with on an old road map carpet playmat. The best ones had figures inside driving, openable doors and, like the gritter truck, space to put cargoes.
The design of the gritter truck No. 70 is clever, having a tiny chute out of the back so as you drive it along it spreads true ‘grit’. I remember this as being very good for sand play and sand pits. Real gritty “play value”, this one!
£3 well donated to charity.
Looking forward to more charity shop finds when the town, the high street and pound stores are open again for those cheerful ‘inessential’ journeys.
Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 2nd April 2020.