News from the Continent June 2019 – M4 Group

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All text by, and copyright of the Author. All photographs provided by the Manufacturer.

M4 Modelcars have three brands: Art Models, Best Models, and Rio. The models shown were scheduled for release in April and May and should available. All models shown are designed and diecast or made in resin in Italy to 1:43 scale.

April Releases

ART Models

ART207/2 Ferrari Dino S Coupe

Le Mans 24h 1966 – Salmon/Hobbs


ART403 Ferrari Dino 206 S

6th in Grand Prix of Brands Hatch 1966, 1st in class; Mike Parkes


ART404 Ferrari 166 Touring Barchetta

Winner of Palm Springs 1951 M.Lewis


BEST Models

BEST9743 Lancia Fulvia F&M Special HF

Targa Florio 1969; drivers Maglioli/Pinto


BEST9744 Ferrari 308 GTS Quattrovalvole 1982

In classic red.


RIO

RIO4596/P Alfa Romeo P3

Winner of Coppa Ciano 1932 – Tazio Nuvolari


RIO4597 Mercedes-Benz SSK

Mille Miglia 1932 – Broschek/Sebastian


RIO4598 Mercedes-Benz SSK

1st Grand Prix of Monaco 14.April 1929; Rudolf Caracciola 3rd.


RIO4599 Isotta Fraschini 8A Torpedo 1925

Blue with White bonnet accent


Releases May 2019

ART Models

Photograph supplied by M4 Modelcars to show car that the model is to be based on.
ART405 Ferrari 375 Plus

Winner of Carrera Panamericana 1954 – U.Maglioli . NB this model will be cast in resin.

BEST Models

Photograph supplied by M4 Modelcars to show car that the model is to be based on.
BEST9745 Ferrari 512 BB – Le Mans Classic 2010

Driven by Paul Knapfield


Photograph of car that the model will be based on
BEST9746 Ferrari 308 GTB Group 4

Winner of CI Vallelunga 1978 – Carlo Facetti


Photograph of car the model is to be based on supplied by M4 Modelcars
BEST9032/2 Porsche 908/03

Winner of 1000 km of Nurburgring 1970. Elford/Ahrens Jr.

Photograph of car the model is to be based on supplied by M4 Modelcars
BEST9132/2 Alfa Romeo TZ1

13th in Le Mans 194 – 1st in GT 1.6 Litre class – Businello/Deserti


RIO

RIO4600 Alfa Romeo P3 Tipo B

Ruote gemellate 1935


RIO4601 Alfa Romeo P3 Tipo B

Winner of Grand Prix of Montreux (CH) 1934. Carlo Felice Trossi (The racing debut of Alfa Romeo)


RIO4252/2 Alfa Romeo 1750 Berlina

Scuderia Ferrari 1932 – Chinese Red


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More on Merit 1:24 Scale Kits

By Jerry J. Broz

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

Merit 1:24 Scale Model Car Superkits, Plastic Model
Car book, and Merit printed-on wheels spoke replacement.

In MAR article “Merit 1:24 scale model car kits“, re-printed from Veloce Today on-line magazine, Aldo Zana writes about a British company which, in 1957 under the trading name Merit, produced precise 1:24 scale models of fourteen Formula One racing cars spanning the years from 1948 to 1956. The article also shows the colourful Merit box-lid which was the same for the featured Formula One model cars.

The next two cars were marketed individually, in separate boxes (shown below), as “Merit Lago-Talbot Superkit” (1949 Talbot-Lago T-26) and as “Merit Alfa-Romeo Superkit” (1950 Alfa-Romeo 158).

Both kits were marketed as “Superkits” and include the engine as well as a removable engine bay cover. Only one car (Lago-Talbot) is shown in Aldo Zana’s article.

The “Plastic Model Cars” book, written by model car collector Cecil Gibson, who authored numerous books on model cars, was published in 1962 and is a good companion to the Merit model car kits. Even though the book thoroughly and completely describes how to detail the Merit model car kits, it is not considered an official publication of Merit models.

The book includes well-written chapters covering Modelling, General Modelling Techniques, Choosing the Model, Painting, Storage & Display, Detail Work, and more. Although the book is long out of print it is still available from time to time on eBay and other
Internet websites. The Plastic Model Cars book should be a part of any Merit Model Car collector’s Collection.

All of the Merit 1:24 scale model car kits were injection moulded in one colour (bodies, tires, wheels and all other parts), and  in the colour of manufacturer or race team. (Pictured below, is the Simca-Gordini that was moulded in French blue).

The quality of the moulding and the fit of all parts is impressive considering these kits were made in the 1950s and 1960s. The Merit 1:24 scale model car kits are excellent models, and incredibly accurate representation of the actual cars. The only parts which have visibly aged are the decals and the glue capsule that was included with each kit.

Due to their age, the water slide decals are likely brittle and not usable; however, some of them can be salvaged. The Micro Scale product “Decal Film” can be used to recover the era type racing numbers, emblems, and dashboard gauge decals. Brush the film two or three times across the decals, let the coat dry, cut out the desired image and then it can be applied like a new decal. The years old glue, however, cannot be used and should be discarded.

The Merit model car kits, accurately reproduced with shiny moulded-in finish, are excellent base kits for detailing. With after-market products, photo-etched parts, and model kit manufacturers’ add-on parts, you can create a model car masterpiece.

One of the kits’ original parts, the transparent celluloid disk with printed-on wheel spokes, must be replaced with a moulded plastic spoke wheels. These are shown in the above picture of the Simca-Gordini.  The moulded wheels which fit the Merit 1:24 scale model cars are produced by Fujimi as Wire Mesh Silver Narrow
17 inch wheels
.


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1950’s America in Photos

By Mike DeTorrice

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

Click on photos to enlarge.

When I was just a tot, several Plasticville buildings from Bachmann populated my American Flyer train set. This is one of the O Gauge houses behind the Yat Ming ’48 Ford F-1 pickup truck. Photoshop fun and games were also added for the images.

The next house and vehicles in Plasticville, USA, is a two-story house form the 0 Gauge collection, intended for model railroad layouts like the house above. Mine dates from the mid-1950’s, but they still make this style nowadays, too.

This family’s home is a step-up from the single-story bungalow from above, and these people also own a nice (Yat Ming) 1950 Studebaker Champion and a (Vitesse) 1947 Chrysler Windsor sedan.


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Matrix New for June 2019

By Maz Woolley

All text by, and copyright of the Author. All photographs provided by the Manufacturer.

Here we have the latest announcements by Matrix. These are all resin cast in China for the Netherlands to 1:43 scale and as usual they largely focused on classic cars from coachbuilders.

The first two models are new versions of previous moulds.

MX40803-022 Horch 853 Voll & Ruhrbeck Roadster black 1938
MX41302-082 Mercedes-Benz G4 Geländewagen black 1939

The remaining models are new mouldings. NB not all versions have been shown by Matrix yet.

MX41302-161 Mercedes-Benz 540K Spezialroadster Sindelfingen #421987 dark green 1939
MX 41302-162 Mercedes Benz 540K Spezialroadster Sindelfingen black 1939

MX50201-081 Bentley 8 Litre Dottridge Brothers Tourer #YX5125 black 1932
MX50201-082 Bentley 8 Litre Dottridge Brothers Tourer #YX5125 black closed 1932

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Dinky Toys in 2006

By Karl Schnelle

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

Yes, there were Dinkys in 2006!

Mattel had owned the trademark and issued some as the Dinky Collection and then as Matchbox Collectibles up until 2000. Of course, these were not the traditional Dinky Toys but just renamed 1:43 Matchbox! A few years later, I assume Mattel was looking to keep the Dinky brand alive and issued four Dinky Toys in 2006. These were in clear display cases with a classic-style Dinky box under each model. Only these four were issued. A few years later in approx. 2008, Mattel decided to have their retro series of original style Dinkys reproduced by Atlas Editions.

All four of these 2006 Dinkys were originally in the Matchbox Collectibles range; they received similar numbers but different color schemes and packaging. The first one was the silver 1962 Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing in June and numbered DY033/b. The black Dinky Collection a few years earlier was DY033/A. (Release dates were reported by moyshop.de.)

In July 2006, the blue 1960 Jaguar XK 150 was issued and was numbered DY036/b. In examining all this packaging, it seems you would have to destroy the thin interior plastic to extract the model.

All four models were packed identically, as seen in the third one issued the next month: the red DY25/b 1958 Porsche 356A!

The final model was the Citroen 2 CV, planned for October, 2006, and numbered DY32/b. All the boxed are copywritten 2006, so I assume this is when they were released.

Also, a grey-green recolor of the Gullwing has been seen online for the Modell Hobby Spiel 2006. If you know of other “interim” Mattel Dinky Toys, please let us know!

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News from the Continent June 2019 – Norev

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All text by, and copyright of the Author. All photographs provided by the Manufacturer.

This article looks at models released in April and May 2019. Norev models are diecast in China for France in various scales.

April Releases

1:18 Scale

182771 Ford Sierra RS Cosworth 1986 – white

187436 Porsche 935

24h France 1979 – Newman/Barbour/Stommelen


1:43 Scale

151509 Citroen Type A 1919 – red

153172 Citroen B2 Caddy 1923 – maroon

153029 Citroen Traction /7C Faux-cabriolet 1937 – dark blue

200000 Delamare Deboutteville & Malandin 1884

This is a model of the first french petrol powered vehicle.


1:87 Scale

159925 Citroen U23 Autocar 1947 – yellow and grey

1:64 Scale Minijet series

310910 Citroen CX saloon 1974 – sand beige metallic

May Releases

1:18 Scale

183489 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class 2018 – silver

183488 Mercedes-Benz V-Class 2018 – grey metallic

185182 Renault Floride 1959 – Bahama yellow metallic

185152 Renault 5 1972 – red

1:43 Scale

070014 Austin Healey 3000 Mk 3 1964 – black with red sides

1:43 Scale – Norev Classics Series

CL6921 Berliet Stradair Tipper -orange and blue

1:18 Scale Maxi Jet Series

182065 Solex 1966 – black

1:64 Scale Minijet Series

310506 Citroen 2CV Charleston 1982 – yellow and black

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A 30 Year Old Matchbox Town Set Finally Found!

By Marcel Bakker

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

I now have this Matchbox Toys LL-102 Town play-set in hand. There were three My First Playtrack play-sets introduced in 1989 to appeal to younger children. I have had the other two for a while. The seller (from the south of The Netherlands) bought this not long ago as ex-shop stock from a closed shop in Belgium.

As you can see, the cover of the box shows some preproduction models. The other 2 sets are shown below.

I wrote about these sets for 1989 as well as all the other colorful Matchboxes in a PDF posted to the web a while ago. Now all three are in my collection!

I will keep this set shrink-wrapped, but here are some contents from a similar set – it seems that regular Matchbox were used in these first sets!

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Old BP Toys from Denmark – Part II

By Karl Schnelle

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

As we learned in Part I, a collector in Denmark tracked down one of three Brdr. Petersen and interviewed him in the 1980s. Then, a local reporter heard about this and published an article about the brothers and their company. Another Danish collector saw this newspaper article and created a website about these toys! The website was deleted after the owner, Lars Nørholm, sadly passed away in 2002. However, I saw the website around 2000 and translated it to English (with help from Google translate).

Here is that translation with photos copyright from BP collectors from Denmark and USA: Viktor Kristoffer Lyby Tolsgaard, Thorben Hjortlund, and the author.


Brdr. Petersen – B. P. Legetøj (B. P. Toys)

By Lars Nørholm

History

In 1945 B.P. Toys started production of metal toys in Fredericia, Denmark. The company was started by three brothers: Svend Åge, Thorkild, and Christian Petersen. Svend Åge had always worked with metal and had worked as a metal worker for Voss. He experimented with making various kinds of toys. Almost for fun he made a relatively primitive car model, a DKW passenger car. He sold the car to a Mrs. Holm at the local toy store called 1000 Tings, on Gothersgade, in Fredericia, where it was sold for DKK 2 (Danish Kroner). The car was a huge success, and thus the foundation was laid for starting his own production.

By the end of the 1950s, toy production was over, and after only 13 years the company changed to producing gas tanks for mopeds and oil-burning heaters. At that time, there was no longer big money in toy cars, and competition was very tough from Tekno, Vilmer, and the like! “All children loved Tekno and Vilmer cars”. The company did not have the large amounts of capital that were required to buy new castings machines and make molds for new models.

Therefore, B. P. sold their molds and casting machines to a workshop in Odense, Denmark, which planned to continue production. But the project never succeeded and so everything was lost.

Interview with Svend Åge Hanghøj Petersen

NOTE: The following excerpt is from a newspaper article written by Poul Bech, Fredericia Dagblad, many years ago.

Two of my brothers who worked in Copenhagen, Thorkild and Christian, moved back to Fredericia. We owned two motorcycles and a motor boat, and it all was sold to provide the necessary start-up capital, says Svend Åge. In the autumn of 1946 we moved to other premises at Kirkestræde 16, and the production of an improved DKW car was started up on an assembly line. I think about 70,000 cars were sent to market of this type!

We later purchased three injection molding machines and tools and a new model was launched, while the DKW was dropped. The new model was a Ford V8. It became an even bigger success, so we now only produced the Ford V8 the next year, only this model! The money came in quickly and the Ford V8 became B. P.’s most popular model. In the first year, we made 3000 Fords a week and the total production probably approached 400,000. The car was sold across most of Denmark for 3.75 DKK.

Ford V8. Photo credit: private US collection.

The Ford V8 was manufactured in many colors, with red being the most common. In the company we had an efficient way to find the most popular color! The neighborhood children were invited to the factory at certain times. They were offered ice cream and were then allowed to take the car they liked best home with them. As a rule, it was the red colors that were preferred, so the factory ramped up the red models.

Three red BP on the left. Another Danish manufacturer on the right. Photo Credit: private Danish collection.

Collecting B. P. Toys

We all learned a lot and improved, and new models were sent to the market every six months. It took us a long time to develop a new model. First, a basic wooden prototype was designed and then one in clay. After the prototype model had achieved its final design, tools and molds had to be ordered. It could easily go six to seven months before we were ready for new production.

Today, there is no overall list of everything that BP has made, but the number is approx. 12-15. However, each model was produced in large numbers with relatively many variations. The finish was top-notch, and the models could almost match the quality of Tekno and Vilmer’s early production, although BP did not take the aspect ratio so seriously. The individual models did not have a consistent scale, fluctuating between 1:50 and 1:30.

The toys were sold in colorful boxes produced by a local Fredericia company called ALPAP. The name Brdr. Petersen, or BP, soon became known to the oil company of the same name, and they began a collaboration with the company. Soon one could find in the toy shops nationwide cars bearing the oil company’s brand, BP Benzin: a tank truck, gas pumps, a petrol station and a truck that transported 10 gas cylinders made of wood. [Ed: The BP symbol and color are different on the toys, so please see Part I for more details.]

Ford V8 BP tanker and gas pumps. Photo credit: private US collection.

Shell also quickly became interested and a similar agreement was reached. Brdr. Petersen never received money to advertise but instead got paid with the transfers / decals that were used on the toys.

Ford V8 articulated Shell tanker. Photo credit: private US collection.

Alongside this production, Brdr. Petersen produced the much sought-after moped and motorcycles. The range includes an NSU Quickly moped, as well as the motorcycles Nimbus and Ariel as a solo bike or with either a side-car or a small flatbed!

Nimbus with sidecar. Photo credit: private Danish collection.
Nimbus solo – click on the photo to see BP cast into the rear down tube. Photo credit: private US collection.

Brdr. Petersen is also remembered for their agricultural toys: a Massey Harris tractor with a number of implements that could be connected to the tractor. Among these tools are a two-wheeled trailer, fertilizer spreader, plow, harrow, seed drill and reaper!

Massey Harris 20 Tractor. Photo credit: private US collection.
Tractor and harvester. Photo credit: private US collection.

Alongside the car, truck, and tractor models, there was also time for other things. Thus, an unknown number of airplanes were produced to order. It was a fantasy design inspired by the comic book Jens Lyn (Ed: Danish translation of Flash Gordon!) that was popular with Danish boys at the time! Brdr. Petersen also received orders for 10,000 metal doll heads in two sizes for Algrema in North Jutland, but it is not known how many had actually been produced.

Helicopter. Photo credit: private US collection.

Also, the company tried to launch a puzzle game, but it failed. At the end of the 1950s, the production of toys ended after a total production of about 700,000 toys sold and delivered to the Danish market! Brdr. Petersen then changed production to subsequently concentrate on other, more profitable tasks!

Additional Production After Toys

The company then moved to new premises in Dahl Rasmussen’s Breeding Farm at 6 Julivej 5 in Fredericia, where they produced gas tanks as a subcontractor for Diesella, a moped manufacturer in Kolding, DK. Initially, the flat tanks were mounted to the luggage carrier, but in later production, a more modern oval tank was used on the moped. Brdr. Petersen was given an order for 10,000 tanks at 25 DKK each. The result of the work was so good that they subsequently became Diesella’s main supplier of gas tanks.

Brdr. Petersen expanded the workforce to 10-12 employees, welded tanks from morning to evening, and at some point also made tanks for S.C.O. and other Danish moped factories until the end of the 1960s, when the moped era was running out. The company was no longer able to find new markets.

Christian and Svend Åge stopped working at the company around 1965, when they both got jobs at the Carl M. Cohr Sølvvarefabrik (silverware factory). All the production equipment was sold to the Poul Christensen metal foundry, who for some years continued production in West Funen (the Danish island east of Fredericia).

Complete List of BP Products
• DKW
• Ford V8 Passenger car
• Truck, semi-trailer, and semi-trailer with wooden gas bottles
• Tank truck and semi-trailer, both with Shell or BP logo
• Petrol stations
Jens Lyn airplane
• Helicopter
• Metal figures: Freedom fighter, Montgomery, and King Chr. X
• Race car (open-wheel)
• Toy iron
• Doll heads
• Nimbus motorcycle, solo, with sidecar, or with flat sidecar
• Ariel motorcycle, solo, with sidecar, or with flat sidecar
• NSU Quickly moped
• Massey Harris tractor
• Tractor accessories: Reaper-Binder, Disc harrow, Wagon, Plow, Seed drill, Fertilizer Spreader
• Wooden gas station

Seed drill. Photo credit: private US collection.
Disc harrow. Photo credit: private US collection.

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Oxford Diecast Preview Part Two

By Maz Woolley

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

This is part two of our coverage of the Oxford Diecast Preview Day that I attended at John Ayrey‘s warehouse at Wimbourne. These days are intended to allow Oxford Diecast to preview samples to retail buyers and I was lucky enough to be allowed to attend as “press”.

A previous article covered the samples shown in 1:43, 1:72, and 1:148 scales. This article centres on the 1:76 scale models which form the core of Oxford Diecast‘s business. The samples shown are mostly due in Q3 2019, although one or two like the Jamie Oliver Citroen H Food van will be available shortly. Sadly no samples of the forthcoming Bentley models, which include Her Majesty’s State Limousine, were shown or the Austin Sprite or the Riley Elf.

Cars and SUVs

BMW Isetta Pink
Austin Maxi Damask Red

Austin A40 Mk II Maroon and Snowberry

Austin Atlantic A90 Ensign Red

Austin Seven Yellow/Black

Ford Capri III Peppermint Sea Green

Ford Escort XR3i Prairie Yellow

Jaguar F Pace Italian Racing Red

Jaguar F Type Project 7 Ultra Blue

Jaguar XF

F Pace Police

Triumph Mayflower Jade Green

Nissan Qashqai

Range Rover Series One Fire Control

Land Rover Defender 90 Station Wagon HK plates

Range Rover 3rd Generation Bonati Grey

Range Rover Velar Firenze Red

Riley Kestrel

Rover SD1 3500 Vitesse

Vans and Light Commercials and Utilities

Volkswagen T5 Transporter Coca-Cola

Land Rover Defender Post Office Recovery

Land Rover AA Service

Ford Transit Mark 5 Parcel Force

Ford Transit Mark 5 Post Office

Citroen H Catering Van Jamie Oliver Gatwick

Citroen H Catering Van Coca Cola

Leyland Sherpa Minibus

Military

Bedford MWD Captured Luftwaffe

Bedford QX Queen Mary Trailer RAF Blue

Churchill Tank 51st RTR UK 1942

Buses and Coaches

Leyland PD1
Plaxton Panorama NBC Ribble

Steam Haulage

Fowler B6 Road Loco Titan Spur Inman and Co Wakefield

Heavy Commercials

Scania Houghton Parkhouse Professional Livestock Transporter George

Although this is quite a long article there is a lot of Q3 releases which are not shown despite this being a relatively small release to allow the factory to catch up.

I was particularly impressed by some of the JLR vehicles, especially the Range Rover and Velar models which look really good when viewed at a normal distance. The re-coloured SD1 Rover is excellent too.

My thanks to Lyndon and Eloise as well as all at John Ayrey for hosting the preview sessions.


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Old BP Toys from Denmark – Part I

By Karl Schnelle

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

Few collectors have heard of these toys because they are from a small company started by the three Petersen brothers (Brdr. Petersen in Danish), hence BP Toys (BP Legetøj)! Only later, as we will learn, was there a connection to the BP oil and gas company. An educated guess on when they operated was from 1945/6 to 1958 or 65.

The rest of these MAR Online articles are comprised of two articles written in Danish many years ago. They are kept separate even though they contain a lot of similar information because they both refer to one of the brother’s direct comments. As a piece of Danish toy history, these two articles are published here separately so no details are lost.

In the 1980s, our first author called one of the brothers on the telephone. The brother graciously decided to talk to him so the author went to his retirement home. This is the story he wrote down after their conversation.


By J-R. M. Bjerg

The following text and photos are copyright J-R. M. Bjerg.

Many Danish children have played with toys from BP in the past. Behind this name are hidden three brothers’ names: Svend Åge, Thorkild, and Christian Hanghøj Petersen, who together formed Brdr. Petersen or BP. [Ed.: Brdr. is short for Brødre, or Brothers in Danish.]

I have been in contact with Svend Åge and have heard a little about the background of BP. Shortly after the war, around 1946, the brothers began producing toys in Fredericia, DK. They started with one of the top sellers of the time; a Ford V8 coupe. This model was distributed in the beginning by a local toy wholesaler, Mrs. Holm. Later, the negotiations were taken over by seven larger toy wholesalers. since the model was well received by both shops and children. Thus, the basis for increased production was set.

Ford V8 articulated Shell tanker, short tanker, and dropside truck. BP gas pumps in the back.

The factory then moved to new and larger premises behind the property at Kirkestraede 16, Fredericia. Here the factory installed three casting machines that were purchased in Svendborg. These could each produce 150-200 castings per hour. The machines were used extensively up to 16 hours a day. BP used the well-known zamak 410 (a zinc alloy called mazak in Great Britain). At 425-450 gr. per casting, this zamak alloy was the most suitable material, since model body castings would appear solid without seeming heavy or clumsy.

One little story worth noting is that BP tried to make a new model of a tractor, a Ferguson; however, it had already been launched by another company [Ed: Tekno made a small metal Ferguson; the less-known Molberg (Lion) made a small Massey Ferguson in metal as well; and Lego made a large, plastic Ferguson starting in 1951]. BP abandoned this model to make a Massey Harris instead. Here one has to say that the BP tractor had an advantage. BP produced several implements; in addition to a plow and cart, a disc harrow, harvester, seed planter and manure spreader were also made.

Helicopter, harvester, tiller, and tractor

In line with the demands of the time, a Ford V8 truck was also produced. Here BP worked with only one type of cab and undercarriage, after which they had a free hand to concentrate on what type of cargo bed could be mounted on the carriage frame. Several different ones were made:
• small tanker truck, Shell or BP
• small dropside trucks
• semi with tanker, Shell or BP
• semi with dropside
• semi with dropside, Shell or BP

The latter semi held gas cylinders made from wood, with Shell or BP markings. These came in big sacks from a wood factory in Aarup.

Race car, two King Christian X’s, and Montgomery

From BP, some great models of motorcycles also appeared. In April 1949 came a Nimbus with sidecar, a small flatbed or single. In 1955 came an Ariel with sidecar, flatbed, or single. [Ed: The flatbed in place of a sidecar were a common way to transport small items or boxes at that time in Denmark.] The well-known Quickly moped was also made but with extra finesse: a kickstand was added!

Toy iron , Quickly moped, and two Montgomery’s

Another interesting little story is that BP invited the neighborhood children for an ice cream at the factory and then gave them plenty of time to choose one toy in the color they preferred. It usually was the red color that won victory. Thus, most of the BP toys were painted red! In the post-war period, it was also difficult to obtain good colors, so some of the cars were painted in nail polish, which Svend Åge purchased in milk jugs, weighing approx. 40 kg each. With this, the models were painted.

The name BP soon became known to the oil company of the same name, and so they initiated a collaboration with the brothers. Therefore, Svend Åge went to Kobenhavn and made an agreement with BP, for the company to subsidize advertising on their packaging. The idea was so good that Svend contacted Shell and made an agreement with them also. The deal was that Shell paid for the transfers on the tanker trucks, gas pumps, and gas bottles.

Ford V8 coupe, dolls’s head, and farm tractor implements

At an exhibition in Kobenhavn, Svend met Egon Siegemfeldt and was invited to see the Tekno factory, but his visit was cancelled for lack of time.

Alongside BP’s own production, there was also time for other things. They produced an unknown number of airplanes by special order, so these did not come with the name BP on the bottom. The planes were a kind of fantasy machine inspired by the comic book Jens Lyn (Ed: Flash Gordon in Danish!). Also, an unknown number of doll heads the size of an adult’s fist were also made; again the name BP was not used.

Jens Lyn airplane and Shell articulated trailer

Shortly thereafter, BP sold their tools, molds and one casting machine to another workshop that wanted to continue toy production, but it turned out that it never really got started, unfortunately due to unknown reasons.

BP, no longer produced toys, switched over to making gas tanks for Danish mopeds such as Disella and others. In addition, the factory also produced gas-fired burners or stoves. The factory was finally sold in the 1960s and another chapter in Denmark toy history was over.

With thanks to Svend Åge Hanghøj Petersen, without whose help I would have never been able to write these words. If the reader has any further information, I would very much like to hear from you.


1955 press release:

BP Legetøj from Brdr. Hanghøj Petersen, Fredricia. Increasingly, their execution is top notch, which they deserve. especially the beautiful shiny lacquer, the extraordinarily careful scale modeling, and the detail work.

Right now, for the Season the factory has announced appealing new items: Ariel Motorcycle solo, with flatbed, or with sidecar, on sale respectively for Kr. 4.25 4.85 or 4.85 excl. tax. In addition, a tiny little Quickly Moped with kick stand, which the boys certainly wanted to see in our previous mopeds. The sale price here is Kr. 2.50 excluding tax. All BP goods are available through leading wholesalers.


The second article was written after this one and will be published as Part II.

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