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Just bought some interesting figures.

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I've just bought on Ebay (only paid for them a few minutes ago, so certianly not arrived yet) a bunch of plastic farm figures circa 1958-60. They included a black & a white britains 'plastic from lead mould' lamb (already had them, but they were going cheap), a light buff/tan (i.e. not pink) early Herald piglet, the 'head up' one, I already have some of the 'head down' one, and some other stuff, but most interesting (to me at least) were two items I never knew existed:

1) A sitting calf (plastic from lead mould) made of WHITE plastic, but sprayed (looks like original Britains style spraying in the photo) as a JERSEY! This item was moulded in white plastic and painted with black (Friesian) or brown (Ayrshire) spots for one year only, 1958, then this moulding was used as a Jersey calf, with the Herald sitting calf (probably designed by Kay Fido) then used for the Friesians/Ayrshires. The early (1959 on) Jersey calves were moulded in cream/sandy-yellow plastic, with orangy-chestnut paint sprayed over (as this one is sprayed). I think (hope!) this one is from a very short period, say Dec 1958/Jan 1959, when surplus white plastic calves were used up by Britains to sell them off.

2) A plastic version of the previous lead Britains 'Exmoor Ram in full fleece', cat #597. The Ebay description says it has 'England' moulded underneath, so I won't know until I get it, if it is in a typeface used by Britains on their other plastic from lead mould farm animals (especially the other sheep & pigs), which would suggest I've hit the jackpot - finding a previously unknown Britains figure, or if in a different typeface, it might point me in the right direction to discover who did make it. As we know, everyone copied everyone else back then, and there are several 'likely suspects' of companies of that period who might have made plastic copies of old Britains lead figures.

I would, of course, be very interested to hear from anyone here who has seen these animals before, or who has some definite info about them.     

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The early plastic figures from Britains were moulded from blue polyurathene plastic and then over painted with the detail, later ones were made from white PVC plastic and overpainted and the even later ones from a buff/pale brown plastic, the more modern 80's and 90's figures were and still are I think moulded in a dark brown plastic. The Britains 'Herald' figures show the logo of a figure blowing a horn moulded under the base. The Britains Herald and plastic figures from 1955 to 1969 book is really worth having for identification purposes.

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I have all three of Barney's books, the farm, zoo and garden ones, and yes, they are very useful. I understand there are plans for him  to get together with some of the guys from 'Plastic Warrior' to produce a similar book on Britains/Herald 'odds 'n' sods', such as the dancers, polar explorers, Robin Hood, Trojans, racing cyclists, etc.

Then there were the very early composition figures (most often seen in the walking pilot), but as they seem to have been a joint effort between Myer Zang and Ally Gee, I'm never quite sure whether we should regard them as part of Britains or Timpo history, or perhaps both?

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  • 5 months later...

Pictures please David. I bought a white plastic Ram that looks similar to the Britains lead Exmoor. The plastic is slightly translucent, and is also marked England on its belly. Someone did tell me it was some other make, but memory does not serve me well as to which make :-[ , most likely as mentioned by TBF

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