Friday, April 5, 2013

British Toys Out of the Kitchen Plastic

Plastics Out of the Kitchen and Into the Hands of Babes

Although America's melmac dinnerware and kitchen craze was mid forties through the late fifties, and we were making plastic everything, England and Australia were too!

Rare Melamine Puzzle Toy from UK
Gorgeous London mottled plastic toy survived all these years, available at Etsy
You can read my previous article about Bessemer Plastics and how Australia was making great kitchen designs. What about England? When one thinks of England we think of china and ceramic tea sets, but what about plastic?
llandr etsy shop vintage united kingdom plastic puzzle
Courtesy of llandr on Etsy

British Cyanamid was indeed using plastics for household wares to toys to picnic ware sets. If you were out at a picnic in your pretty woven basket of goodies, you may find their version of beetleware (named Beatl brand plastic dinnerware) to eat off of. Lovely egg cups and luxury kitchen items all made of high quality melmac, melamine, bakelite, and plastic. Radios, modern designed lamps, and boutique items. It is true in the UK, plastics were everywhere you looked.

frenchvintagedream united kingtom plastic bus toy
This lovely double decker bus was made in England and is available at frenchvintagedream on Etsy

Plastic Toys for Girls and Boys: What Were THEY Playing With?

When you think of your childhood and what you played with, it often brings a smile to your face. Showcased here are some English toys so you can see just what toys were produced in England.

As for the USA, if you ask your dad or grandfather, and they lived in the United States,  most likely during the 30's to the 50's they had toys that were also made in the States. That was the time of Industrial USA.  You would be shocked at the tin toys , cars, trucks, and sand pails with chipping paint they were allowed to play with back then.  Or the electric irons and ovens which really plugged considered a fire hazard that children used to play with. Oh yes, things were much different then.
Plastic toys from England in Southern Bella Vintage on Etsy
SouthernBellaVintage on Etsy shows this English toy Abacus by Invicta, made in 1970 only $6.99

Industrialism Vanishes in the USA

My how the times have changed. Enter the 60's and 70's and all the cheap Japanese, Taiwan, or Hong Kong imports. This was the start of a new era, where the US could obtain cheaper toys by not making them ourselves, and our government felt good about that since it helped these other countries by stoking their economies. Not to mention, these items could be purchased for less and sold for more. Unfortunately this idea backfired as  the cost of doing business in the US would soar and our country would go from powerful to poverty.  By the 80's and 90's not much was produced here anymore. Once America had so many doll companies it never had to import a plastic children's doll, but today, flip it over and see if it's not made in China.

plastic toy england frenchvintagedream on etsy
Find this vintage plastic baby doll at the shop FrenchVintageDream on Etsy


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