Today we are going for something completely different: I often enjoy writing about other toys than figures and cars, but I never wrote about anything like this before. It is a battery-operated toy sewing machine, made by Joal.
I already published some articles dealing with this Spanish brand of toys, but until now, I just showed scale vehicles. Joal is of course best-known for their die-cast miniatures as well as other die-cast toys (mostly toy guns), but they also made some die-cast sewing machines in the 60s and 70s. In the catalogue sheet here, can be seen an older model, as well as an iron model.
Traditionally (and until not so long ago), toys for girls were dolls, small kitchens and some other toys with which they could learn how to do the housework: ironing, sewing, knitting, washing and so on. Nowadays, this toys are rarely manufactured because they’re considered politically incorrect, but during the 60s, and the 70s this was still the trend.
Joal produced many of these toys, some of which really worked. For example, early sewing machines could be operated manually, but this later model was already battery operated. The case of the iron was even more curious, because Joal manufactured a 220V-operating iron (voltage used in Spain and most European countries), that could be plugged at home, just like a “real” one. I guess most of these toys wouldn’t get the safety certification today.
The sewing machine has the reference 77 and was produced around 1975. The commercial name “Coqueta” actually means “Vain”, and other toys for girls had similar names, for example “Capricho”.
The box depicts a young girl, maybe 7 years old playing with it. The toy is not recommended for children under 3 years. “Battery Operated Sewing Machine” is written in four different languages, so this item was also intended for export. The line “it sews just like mummys” is also in four languages on the flap of the box.
The machine itself is an amazing toy, it does not only work, can be manually operated as well, and it does even have a light! With three R14 batteries (1,5 V each) placed on the base, the machine could be switched on and off with one button.
The body of the sewing machine is decorated with different stickers. One of them simulates a kind of control board were you can select four different types of sewing. I think this is only a decoration, I don’t think this toy can make all that sewing.
Originally, the box included one piece of cloth to manufacture a doll. That cloth is also depicted in my pictures, see below. Since I do not have the instructions anymore, I am not sure of this, but missing are a plastic thimble and a needle threader.
This toy was re-released in pink a few years later under the “Miss Joal” line for girls. This re-release was sold in a much modern cardboard box with window.
FACTS and FIGURES:
- Name: COQUETA MÁQUINA DE COSER A PILAS (Ref. 77)
- Alternate name(s): MACHINE À COUDRE À PILES (Fra), BATTERY OPERATED SEWING MACHINE (Eng), MIT BATTERIE ANTRIEB NÄHMASCHINE (Ger)
- Year: Around 1975
- Company: Joal (Spain)
- Size: Around 30 cm long.