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Ugly Toys Competition!

by LaToya

I don't normally blog about stuff I've set up elsewhere on the site, but just this once I'm going to break my own rule because I'm so pleased with the idea for this new competition! I've just launched a new competition over in the Competitions Section - this one's for ugly toys!

The idea came from the Maidenhead Static Model Club and is very simple - he or she who has the toy deemed ugliest wins! It's an ongoing contest, open to any type of toy, as long as it's scarily hideous! For example,  here are my vintage clockwork chattering teeth...


I just wanted to let everyone know what a big success our test forum diecast auction was yesterday and to thank everyone who bid on anything, spread the word or came and browsed the listings. You can see the results here

International Toyfair 2009 in NurembergIt's always an amazing spectacle!  Here are some facts on the International Nuremberg Toyfair on its 60th anniversary:

  • It's the world's number 1 toyfair!
  • 79,800 trade visitors from 120 nations visited the International Toy Fair in 2008
  • 2,689 exhibitors from 60 countries are participating in 2009
  • More than a million products, including around 70,000 new products are presented
  • There's 160,000 m² of display area

The bad news is that it is only for trade visitors!  However, just in case any of you can manage to find a way to get in, I've added the dates for 2010 and 2011 in the Events Section.

Surrender Xena...


My sixth sense detected a little cussing in my archive room. I pulled out my sword and confronted the intruder.‚   I instantly recognised the intruder and held my sword defiantly out toward her.


Lone Star's Top 10 Diecast Guns

by LoneStar

LONE STAR PRODUCTS LTD manufactured diecast toy pistols and rifles, among other things, over a period from 1949 to October 1983 at which time the company sadly sent into Receivership. Fortunately a buyer for the company, Wicke GmbH & Co. of Wuppertal, Germany, took it over as a going concern. The significance of this was that Wicke (pronounced Vicker) had, for many years, been suppliers to Lone Star and so it made perfect sense that a manufacturer of explosive caps should purchase a company that mass produced cap firing guns. During Wicke's brief stewardship, while it clung to its last remaining foothold at Hatfield, Hertfordshire, the company was renamed Lone Star Toys plc until its eventual closure in June 1988.

'At our peak we employed roughly 360 people at Hatfield, 200 at Welham Green [near Hatfield] and 150 people at Palmers Green [north London]. Of course, guns were our business and these along with their ancillary items were responsible for 75% of our turnover,' said Mr A (Stanley) Perrin, former MD. 'Whereas we had limited overseas markets for our model trains and cars, we had 'the world' for guns, even Hong Kong was a reasonable market! We never lost sight of this and whilst we were always prepared to invest and develop new items, we never neglected guns.' It should be emphasised that Lone Star's zinc-alloy metal and plastic guns, which totalled 239 different types and styles over the years, were intended as children's playthings bearing only a reasonable representation of pistols and rifles. They were not replica copies of the real thing nor, due to their construction and nature of the material used, could they be converted to fire live ammunition. In deciding the 'Top 10 Guns' produced by Lone Star, we need to consider the overall duration of availability which gives a fairly reliable indication of the popularity of an item, so here we go!

No. 10 - at 18 years, we have the Frontier Scout Rifle, described as a 100-shot cap repeating rifle with break-open action. The metal firing action and its casing had a Buffalo's head engraving on it, is finished in 'gleam' silver. It is fitted with a metal barrel and black plastic simulated wood grain, butt and stock grip. Overall length 76cm, the model rifle was obtainable between 1963 and 1981.

Want to be on TV?

by LaToya

Attention, ToyCollectors!

If you're in the UK and would like to be on TV, Twofour Broadcast are looking for collectors to participate in an upcoming factual TV series.

They're looking for people whose passion for collecting... anything has taken over their home / life to the point where it's driving them and their family to distraction. If that's you, and you think it might be time to take stock of your hoard and rationalise your collection, then their new show would love to help! Give them a call on 0870 062 5090 or email [email protected] for further information.