Monday 31 August 2020

Corgi Toys @ 60: Bluebird, Skips and Churns

153 Proteus Bluebird was issued in September 1960 and then re-issued in October 1961 as 153A.

Available always in blue, 153 has black plastic wheels. 153A has alloy wheels with rubber tyres.

Models have crossed flags at the front, initially two Union Flags but later a combination of British and USA flags and I have heard of both types of transfer on each of 153 and 153A. The British and US flag combination transfer also includes a blue bird. Whether a blue bird also gets added to any with the two Union flags I don't know but I am assuming not for now.

There has been considerable confusion, it seems, amongst those whom you might have thought would have known better as to which came first and, for a long time, I thought that my own Bluebird model I had had since new was the second edition with plastic wheels and I had convinced myself that it must have had 153A on the box. That would, however, have been the 153 I vaguely did remember.

The copy Corgi leaflet published around the time of issue is a wonderful piece of finally conclusive evidence discovered by my colleague and expert in many things diecast, Lee Harris.

So very soon after issue the car is wrecked in a speed trial. The subsequent Bluebird vehicle that did break the record in 1964 is similar to this model but has a large vertical fin at the rear.

The other item fresh on your local toy shop shelves was another in the Cargoes group, a red metal skip carrying three pleasantly detailed milk churns in Pack No. 1490.

The skip was designed to slot over the rear axle of the Massey Ferguson 65 tractor. The milk churns were way bigger than those in the July Cargoes issue.