About Me

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I’m a 56-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Tai Sang Toys - TS

Original name of Blue Box Holdings Ltd., (for initial 11-years) and parent company of early "Blue-Box" Brand;  see:'Blue Box'

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

UT Design

Until more information is forthcoming, assume subsidiary of, and see: 120 Mini

Friday, 26 February 2016

Monday, 22 February 2016

Van Brode / Van Brode Milling / Van Brode Industries, Inc. / Clinton Manufacturing / "Van Brodie"

- 56 Sterling Street, Lancaster Mills, Clinton, Worcester 027, Massachusetts, MA 01510, USA (main plant at Lancaster Mills)
- Boston, Massachusetts? (distribution/storage warehouse?)
- Macon, Georgia, GA31203, USA (DoD or sub-plant?)

Company No: 042720937
Business Type: Domestic Profit Corporation
Voluntary Dissolution: 02/13/1981? (purchase by Weetabix)
Jurisdiction: Domestic

Early era: David and 'Goldie' Brody - Owners
Late era: John M. Bailey - CEO, H. Mitchell Gould - CFO

1941 - David Brody acquires American Cereals and changes name to Van Brode Milling
1947 - Weetabix ends production agreement with Van Brode.
1955 - Dancing Dolls promoted in Luckies Puffed Wheat
1956 - Dancing Dolls promoted in Luckies Puffed Wheat
1970 - Register a design for a plastic 'Spork'
1981 - Weetabix acquires the Van Brode Milling Company

In 1941 the old firm of American cereals were sold to husband and wife team of David and 'Goldie' Brody who renamed the operation Van Brode, they moved into the old Bigelow subsidiary; Clinton Wire Cloth Company's premises, part of the Lancaster Mills complex (now a protected historical site) in Clinton, Massachusetts, and continued the business of milling cereals and making breakfast foods.

Various stories exist for the renaming - that he (Brody) was of Dutch extraction, that he felt people were more likely to but breakfast cereal from a company with a Dutch identity than a Jewish one (there's no evidence of Jewish involvement in either Biglow, American or Clinton Wire?), and so on…I take them with a pinch of salt!

The company should correctly be pronounced 'Van Bro'd' (rhymes with road), but apparently even the workers pronounced it 'Brodie' to rhyme with 'toady'.

The company remained a medium-sized player in the breakfast cereal market, both with its own products and as a contract manufacturer for other brands until 1981 when it was bought as a going concern by one of the past clients; Weetabix.

At some point in the early 1950's a subsidiary company was set-up 'Clinton Manufacturing' to produce - it seems - non-cereal goods as part of a US government contract for the supply of ration packs (C and K 'rats') for the forces fighting in Korea, these would have included a canning and packing sections, along with a plastics operation. There also seems to have been a chemicals/pharmaceutical division, but that may only have involved packaging of supplied products for the DoD.

The plastics included the spoons, 'sporks' bowls and spare lids the packs needed, along with vacuum-packing and cellophane wraps. Over time, while the cereal business held its own against the bigger branded rivals, it was the plastics division which took up more and more of the order-book's pages, making them a target for the Weetabix takeover, as the plastics - while being important to Van Brode - were a drop in the ocean of the plastics industry.

Best known to toy collectors for their male-female couples, 16 pairs were issued for a total of 32 different figures, being marked with the nationality on the front edge of the base, and a company moniker (either: 'Brode', 'Van Brode' or 'Van Brode Co. Inc.') on the back edge or underside. They are of poor style and cartoonish execution; I find several of them to be faintly ridiculous figures.

The figures were issued in Van Brode's Crisp Rice and probably other in-house/ private-label brands, such as Luckies Puffed Wheat in both 1955 and 1956, Fritos and TasteeFreeze. This last one may be where the unknown ice cream premiums sometimes ascribed to Commonwealth are actually residing?

Dancing Dolls (in-house cereal premiums; individually, by nation)
- Bali Female, Traditional Dancer
- Bali Male, Traditional Dancer
- Burma Female Kachin Dancer
- Burma Male Kachin Dancer
- China Female Hanfu Performer
- China Male Mandolin Player
- Cuba Female Rural Dancer
- Cuba Male Playing Maracas
- Egypt Female (ridiculous 'Laurel & Hardy' dance charicature)
- Egypt Male, (equally ridiculous Pharaoh type)
- England Female, Regency Flibbertigibbet
- England Male, Regency Fop
- Hawaii Female Hula Dancer (pose is reverse of Commonwealth sculpt)
- Hawaii Male Playing Tom-tom Drum
- Holland Female, 'Brode' Being Coy (as per some logos)
- Holland Male, 'Van' Tipping His Hat (as per some logos)
- Hungary Female, Traditional Dancer
- Hungary Male, Traditional Dancer
- Ireland Female Dancing a Jig
- Ireland Male Dancing a Jig
- Italy Female, Dancing
- Italy Male (elderly man with hand organ-grinder on stick-rest)
- Mexico Female, Traditional Dress
- Mexico Male Gaucho
- Scotland Female Sword Dancer (pose is reverse of Commonwealth sculpt)
- Scotland Male, Piper
- Spain Female Flamenco Dancer
- Spain Male Guitarist
- Turkey Female Belly-dancer
- Turkey Male, Ottoman Sword & Shield Dance Performer
- West Indies Female Carnival Performer (pose based on Commonwealth sculpts)
- West Indies Male Carnival Performer
Other Toys / Collectables
Busts (..."Made in W.Germany 'for' Van Brode")
- Brahms
- Chopin

Other Products

A139 - 'Waldorf' Soup Spoons (individually wrapped, x1000, boxed, DoD contract)
- Bowls - Picnic/Party Goods
- Bowls - Ice Cream (for TasteeFreeze?)
- Spork
- 8 Triple Strength Sanitary Tasteless Plastic Spoons (three colours)
- 2 Each Knife Fork and Spoon Triple Strength Unbreakable (three colours)
- Airflow Detector (auto-parts, set of two)
DoD Contracts

- Combat Ration, Individual - C
- Water Purification Tablets, Iodine, 8mg (100x50 tablets)
- Corn Flakes
- Wheat Flakes
- Crisp Rice (Dancing Dolls definitely included at one point)
- Puffed Wheat
- Luckies Puffed Wheat (Dancing Dolls included 1955/56)

What They Say
"Prize'N'Side": the motto on packaging with the figures in.

Justia Trademark Page
Lavasurfer Prize'n'Side
Photobucket Album
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