This are very curious models. They're the only ones I own in this scale by Lone Star, and I found them in a thrift shop and a flea market respectively a few years ago. They are not that rare, but they are nice models in an unusual scale for this kind of toys.
Lone Star is the trademark used by the toy division of Die Cast Machine Tools (DCMT), a british company based in London.
This company was founded in 1939. Among their first products, there are many guns and rifles, which were very popular at the time because of the many films about Indians and Cowboys. It is said, that the name of the toys comes from these products. They also produced many hand-painted figures (early in metal, later in plastic), which I know thanks to smallscaleword.blogspot.com.
But their most successful products were vehicles, and there were vehicles in several scales made… starting with the classic 1/43 (similar to Corgi’s cars), 1/64 under the Impy series, and also in 1/85 with these Tuf Tots.
If you want to know more about the company, or other toy series, we advice you to visit http://www.lone-star-diecast-bk.com/ . In this entry we’ll just focus on the Tuf Tots.
As said above, this series was made in a smaller scale than the usual 1:64, and pretended to be an alternative to Matchbox models, as they were three times cheaper. The series comprised 11 cars in 1/85 scale and 16 trucks in 1/118 scale, which means that all toys were around 1,5 or 2 inches long.
Among the cars, there’ re a Citroën DS, Mercedes 280 SL, Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, a Dodge Dart, a Jeep, a caravan, even a trailer with a boat. The trucks are different and include tankers, delivery trucks, a London bus, Tow truck and some more. The Mercedes, Citroën, Corvette and Dodge were available in two different versions: cabrio and hard-top coupé, which were basically the same model, with or without the black plastic top.
All of them seem to have been launched in 1969, and despite its small price and small size, they’re made with great quality and are also very strong because of the zinc-alloy in which they’re made.
Three models were re-released by Lone Star as “Zippy Zoomes” (Mercedes, Corvette and Citroën) and available between 1983 and 1985. They came in a garage which could “shoot” the cars.
Later, the moulds were used by Microlink (a company from Wales) to release a series called “Mokes”. The main characteristics of these cars were their bright colours, like pink, orange, red, green, and they were packed with stickers to customize them.
610 Tipper Truck
611 Freight Truck
612 Apache Low Loader
613 Speedboat and trailer
614 Refuse Truck
615 Cement Mixer
616 Milk Delivery Truck
617 Horse Box
618 Waste Disposal Truck
619 Citroen Coupe
620 Stingray Coupe
621 Dodge Dart Coupe
622 Mercedes Coupe
623 London Bus
624 Fire Engine
626 Circus Truck
627 Earth Mover
581 Gift Set
583 Gift Set
??? Vauxhall Cresta Estate (Preproduction model, never released)
- Name: WASTE DISPOSAL TRUCK (Ref. 618) and EARTH MOVER (Ref. 627)
- Scale: 1:118
- Year: 1969
- Company: Lone Star (Great Britain)
- Size: approx. 4 cm