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Lone Star is voortgekomen uit een fabriek die gietmallen maakte voor speelgoedfabrikanten. In 1940 besloot men zelf speelgoed te produceren. Eerst onder de naam Slika, later, toen cow boy speelgoed populair was, werd de naam Lone Star gekozen. Lees verder
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The Locos models featured die-cast zinc alloy bodies, frames, roofs, bogies and wheels. Individual pieces were assembled after the painting process was complete. Assembly was done by fitting either a chassis or a pair of bogies over posts which are integral to the body. These posts have cupped ends which are peened over the This company known Lone Star Products is the name of a toy division of Die Casting Machine Tools Ltd in London England as D.C.M.T. was founded in 1940 by Robert Mills. He started manufacturing die-casting machines, among others for toy producers, in a factory situated at 152 Green Lanes, Palmers Green in London. His business partner was Sidney James Ambridge.
Long before D.C.M.T. sold their Lone Star trains, they manufactured already moulds for toy trains. In 1949 D.C.M.T. decided to make their own toys, but first through cooperation with another toy manufacturer by the name of Crescent *). Between 1949 and 1950 Crescent sold diecast toys with its own name and D.C.M.T cast into the underside. Thereafter Crescent sold the same toys without D.C.M.T. markings.
In 1950 D.C.M.T. was ready to start their own business. They produced a wide variety of toys from dolls and games to television characters and tool sets. Famous were their cap-firing pistols and toy guns, initially called Slikka Toys. Soon this name was changed to Lone Star which was more appropriate for this range of toys. Business steadily grew and the company moved to a purpose built factory at Birchwood Industrial Estate, 168 Great North Road in Hatfield Hertfordshire. Lone Star opened also a showroom in London on the 4th floor of 11/12 Finsbury Square to display their full range of toys.
In 1957 D.C.M.T. introduced the Lone Star ‘000’ scale miniature trains and accessories with a track width of 8 mm. This scale indication was not Lone Star’s idea. It appeared already in an article in the Model Railroader of November 1939. It stood for a scale of 5/64 inch to the foot (1:154), but D.C.M.T adopted half 00 scale which is 1: 152.
Perhaps the idea of making small diecast trains was triggered by a request from Trix in Germany to make some diecast samples of static train models which Trix produced themselves from 1957 onwards as Minitrix models. Anyway in 1957 Lone Star offered a complete system with rolling stock and track, introduced at the Brighton Toy fair. When looking closely at the picture in the Railway Modeller, models and track are still in a pre-production stage. Models actually produced are slightly different.
The Locos models featured die-cast zinc alloy bodies, frames, roofs, bogies and wheels. Individual pieces were assembled after the painting process was complete. Assembly was done by fitting either a chassis or a pair of bogies over posts which are integral to the body. These posts have cupped ends which are peened over the chassis or bogies creating a permanent assembly. Wheel sets are held in place on the chassis or bogies by crimped lugs. In this way exchange of parts is nearly impossible. Chassis, bogies and wheels are generally unpainted. Production started with seven models numbered 1 to 7.
When the first range of Lone Star Locos appeared, the similarity with Tri-ang and Hornby-Dublo models was striking. It is obvious that manufacturers model proto-types fancied by model railway enthusiasts in a specific period. Doubles are usual, even today. However, The Midland Railway Society confirmed the non-existence of Locos’ Midland coach in reality, so this is a fantasy model. Because Tri-ang offered this model, D.C.M.T. must have copied it from Tri-ang. It proves that D.C.M.T. copied models from other manufacturers. In this respect it is hypocritical that D.C.M.T. accused Randall & Wood who produced the Linda plastic series, to copy their models having done the same themselves by copying Tri-ang and Hornby-Dublo models.
Locos models were packed in cardboard boxes depicting a 4-6-2 steam locomotive. Hereafter Lone Star experimented with stapled blister packs to display their models to the collectors. The stapled blister packs carry the catalogue numbers 1-28. They are relatively rare. Apparently this kind of stapled blister pack was too expensive so they returned to packaging in boxes, now depicting a 2-6-2 steam locomotive. Models were first wrapped in soft paper. Items and catalogue numbers 1-39 were stamped or printed on the head of the box, but boxes without numbers are common. The box also contained a leaflet with the current available models. As the program expanded new leaflets were enclosed. Three different types are known.
In 1962 Lone Star completely revised the packaging of the Lone Star Locos series to consist of 34 items all retailing at the same price. To achieve this a piece of track or other rolling stock has been added to the cheaper items. Although the models are the same as those in the first series numbered 1-39, the new sealed blister packs were numbered 50-84. They represent a range of special interest to collectors by bringing a premium to the prices shown for individual items when offered in unopened sealed blister packs. The end of the production of the Locos series could not be determined exactly but in 1965 the series appeared for the last time in Lone Star’s trade catalogue. Hereafter the stock was sold out.
During production time many varieties in details and colours occurred. Whether a model belongs to the first 1-39 series or the later 50-84 series can only be checked on sealed blister packs, but most varieties can be found in the blister pack series itself.
When in 1960 Treble-0-Lectric was introduced both series were sold side by side, but Locos models with 8 mm track width could not be used as stationary models on 9 mm track of Treble-0-Lectric: they just fell between the rails. So it is logical Lone Star sought a way to overcome this and introduced wheels with wider rims. These wheels had to be made of plastic to avoid an electrical short on the Treble-0-Lectric track. Locos’ models with these wheels run both on 8 and 9 mm track. Introduction of these wheels must have happened near the end of Locos production because models with these wheels are found in the 50-84 blister pack series and are very rare.
It is interesting to know that diecast track was also produced in Australia by METAL PRODUCTS PTY. LIMITED in Brisbane under licence of D.C.M.T. Only straight and curved track sections have been found with the embossed marking “Made in Australia”. On the boxes this is printed too.
Lone Star trains were not only sold in Australia, but also in the United States where D.C.M.T had offices in New York, the D.C.M.T. SALES CORPORATION at 164 Duane Street and in Los Angeles by means of the AMBRIT INDUSTRIES CORPORATION. A well known retailer in those days was J.J. Newberry Co., a five –and –dime store chain. Lone Star was also sold in Japan by ATC, Nigeria, South Africa, Canada and for a short period in France and Germany. Lone Star even issued a bilingual flyer in English and German.