Lone Star, Tuf Tots

by Peter
Categories: Diecast models, Ford, Lone Star, Mokes, Trucks, Tuf Tots
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Comments: 5 Comments

Lone Star” was the Toy Division of Die Casting Machine Tools Ltd. of Palmers Green, London, N13, England, established in 1939.  They were among the world’s leading manufacturers of die cast metal model cap-firing guns, and model vehicles.  The range of Western-style pistols and rifles was first introduced in 1949.  In 1960, Lone Star Products Ltd. entered the die cast metal car market and, ten years later, their range comprised over 70 different models, the series of which were continually added to until 1988 when the company was sold.

The Tuf Tots were introduced in 1969 by Lone Star. The Tuf-Tots trucks were made in scale 118-1, 16 different models were made, including a bus, a fire truck, and an earth mover.

I have recently aquired a few of the trucks and thought I would share them here.

The first picture show number 601, Esso tanker, This model was most common in blue, but it was also made with a red cab. Later versions had Esso stamped so mine is a later issue, the second in this picture is number 610, construction truck, some earlier one’s had a sticker on the side of the tipper with a blank in the casting, this one shows the ribbing all the way up suggesting this is a later model and never had decals or stickers.

The next picture shows number 611, Freight truck, again this is the later model as the ribs on the sides go all the way up whereas early one’s had a blank in the casting and stickers or decals

As always I tend to reseach the source or the vehicle to the real trucks or cars and in this case my first thought were GMC, I actually believe this is cast using The Ford N-series as the inspiration, Tuf Tots had a far larger range of trucks than this I have made it my misson to track them all down for the website and my collection.

Updated 7/2/2013

Since this article was written I have acquired more of the trucks for the collection.

The first picture show the three above and are upgrades in better condition

Next, No607 dump truck and No618, waste disposal truck, better known these days as a skip truck in the UK.

The following picture shows No616, milk delivery truck, 615, cement mixer truck and No617 and according to the Lone*Star leaflet, this is a  horse box, although more likely a cattle truck.

A few variations

These two tow trucks No606 both have different coloured chassis, this seemed to be quite popular with this range making it harder to list all colour versions that were available.

Next is No609, the flat bed truck, this came with a set of petrol pumps on the back when new, again different coloured chassis and cab, I managed to get hold of the petrol pumps recently these truck are now as they should be.

tuftots18

And last is the Milk delivery truck No616 above but two versions with a different colour on the body, one white and one cream.

For more on Tuf  Tots, visit this dedicated website, Click Here

One I don’t have in the brochure is the 626 Circus Truck below, this would of had a white plastic lion with it from new, also 614 City Refuse truck is a hard one to find but have now added both to my ever growing collection of  Lone Star Tuf Tots.

tuftots21

Updated 21 December 2013

One that has eluded me for some time was the lowloader, mainly because I couldn’t find one, but now the missing piece of the Tuf Tots Ford truck collection is complete, this is Number 612.

tuftots 17

Tuf Tots also did a small range of cars some I have and will be posted elsewhere, they also did a jeep and trailer which can be seen in my Jeep article Here

Below are a few of the harder to find Tuf Tots including; number 613 speedboat and trailer, number 625 2 wheeled caravan trailer and the elusive 627 earth mover.

Lone Star Tuff Tots 21

Other Tuf Tots history

In the 1990′s, 18 of the Tuff Tots were re-released by Microlink Industries Ltd, Microlink used the old Lone Star Tuf-Tot dies to produce a range of 18 different vehicles marketed as “Mokes” “Part 5″. There were never any parts / ranges 1-4, presumably this was done just to give the impression that there might have been.  The dies were changed so the Lone Star Tuf-Tots name was replaced by the Mokes logo. The Mokes collection were still marked “Made in England” on the base plate despite the factory being in Wales.

They were diecast with plastic truck backs and were available in hundreds of colour combinations and coloured wheels, similar to the Matchbox range ‘My first matchbox’

I was lucky enough to acquire an original Lone Star Tuf Tots, brochure from the 1970′s and have scanned all the pages of the entire Tuf Tots range, these are available on this page at a later date.

The real trucks

The Ford N-series truck, like Tuf Tots seems to of been best part forgotten, I did an article before on the Ford N-Series including some stunning pictures of a fully restored Ford N-series, to see article Click Here

Picture and truck owned by Michelle Cole

There is a book on the Lone Star history available direct from the author, see link below.
The Bumper Book of ‘Lone Star’ Diecast Models and Toys 1948-88: Die-cast Products


5 Comments »

  1. Roger says:

    hello, when I was growing up back in the mid 60′s I had A pressed steel dump truck that was modeled after the N series ford truck. since you have been the only site I’ve ran across that knows about the N series I was wondering if you had ever ran across one of these. It was about 14″ long a blue green color and had hydro dump and tandem axles on the back I believe it was made by ertl toys possibly. I would be interested in buying one.

    • Peter says:

      Hi Roger, Your are right, it would of been Ertl, in fact the hydro dump and tandem axle was a common feature on nearly every truck they did right up to the later 80′s, not sure about the Ford N series version but they did make a GMC version which does look similar and now classed as very rare, your best bet is checking places like Ebay.com as I did a quick search under ‘Ertl dump truck’ and a lot came up, they are not so common in the UK if at all, I have found only one picture of the GMC version and will post the link here below once I have uploaded it

  2. Michael says:

    Hello, I’ve recently come across 2 Tuf Tots. Not knowing the make before I searched and found yours and another site showing the different models and a few of the variations. However, my variations are not listed.

    The first is the 614 Refuse Truck. The thing that confuses me on this one is every pic I find has a sticker but mine doesn’t. However as you’ll see in the pic, Refuse Truck is embossed on the side. Is this normal underneath the sticker?
    http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y234/flashfodder/WP_20140724_007_zps537fc2e4.jpg

    The second is the 616 Milk Delivery Truck. I think this is probably normal but again, I haven’t seen any pics of an orange/white variation.
    http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y234/flashfodder/WP_20140724_008_zps2da549bb.jpg

    Any help on these is appreciated.

    Regards,
    Michael.

    • Peter says:

      Micheal, from what I understand the embossed casting are the early versions, Lone star later changed the casting to a flat panel and used stickers, a third variation is no cast panel at all on some bodies, the chassis and body came in a range of different colours and may of been paired up on your milk truck as a way of using up a few hundred or maybe a few dozen chassis, it’s hard to know for sure.

      Peter

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