Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Minic - A British Toy Company

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

(A British Toy Company)

(Please click on the address to be redirected to the Lloyd Ralston Gallery)

     I don't write much about  non-American toy companies because it's hard to find them here on the North American marketplace. However, I did find the Lloyd Ralston Gallery which had a nice collection of Minic toys on Live Auctioneers.

   Minic was a toy company owned by the LinesBrothers. They started in 1850 and produced mostly wood toys and baby accessories. After WWI, several sons of Joseph LInes decided to build a factory to produce toys, and the company incorporated itself as Lines  Brothers Limited. The company flourished, and became much bigger, with a about 1000 employees. In 1924, the brothers registered the name Tri-ang, a symbolic log of 3 lines representing the 3 brothers. As I was researching the name Minic, I had come across the name Tri-ang several times, often written about together.

    Time passed,and several toy companies were purchased before WWII. With the start of WWII, Tri-ang had to retool for the war, as all companies around the world had to. The company expanded to 7000 employees, and made machine guns , magazines for the famous British fighters- the Spitfire and the Hurricane, and other war materials.

   After WWII, the company again went back to manufacturing toys, and the Minic line of toys was started up. What's interesting about these small toys is that they are mostly clockwork toys (wind-ups) with a key. They appear to be well-made, and last. One more thing that is interesting is that North American Auctions use the British titles and descriptions when listings British toys.  One example is that the British word lorry is kept when in North America, a lorry is in fact a truck! The British word petrol is correspondingly called gas or gasoline in North America.

   I've written most of the Minic and Tri-ang material from a very interesting site below. (credit)

(Please click on their address to be redirected to a very great and informative website on these toys)

     What I find interesting with the Minic "mini" toys (usually no larger than 5" in length or 128 mm is that the British Isles and the Commonwealth of countries still affiliated with Great Britain at the time, could sustain 3 companies of these small toys. The other 2 companies of course being, Dinky and Matchbox. Yet in the U.S.A. there really was only Tootsietoy, and that eventually closed down. 

     1 more interesting point to note is that many similar items such as trucks will have the same truck (Lorry) cab, but the body will be different.

Thanks for dropping by for a visit,
and have a great part of the day wherever you may be.


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