Budgie Toys No.208
Personnel & Equipment Carrier (RAF)
Issued 1959-61 Length 104mm
Budgie produced three versions of the Personnel & Equipment Carrier, each one in a different livery. They were given the numbers 208 (RAF), 210 (US Army) and 212 (British Army). They were originally intended to be part of the Morestone range and carried 'A Morestone Product' on the base but were never issued in that series.
The RAF (Royal Air Force) version came in dark Air Force blue and was painted the same colour all over including the base and painted metal wheels. It had knobbly tyres and on each door RAF insignia decals were attached. The canopy at the rear was made of moulded thick white plastic with chunky lugs at each corner to fit inside the load area. Budgie did not use plastic much at this time and so this was an interesting development. Back in 1953 Morestone produced a Prime Mover which had an all-plastic trailer but as few of these have survived it was probably not a success. The canopies made for the Personnel Carriers were of much more robust material and have lasted well.
There were few variations during the fairly short production run. The main change was to the base casting. The first issue models carried 'Personnel & Equipment Carrier Made in England A Morestone Product' on the base, but later the words 'A Budgie Toy' were added (type 2 base).
Along with other early Budgie toys, the Personnel Carriers were issued in un-numbered boxes (A1) but unlike others they did not get upgraded. The boxes had two different versions of the Carriers pictured on each side but the same pictures were used for all three Personnel Carriers. The only identification on the boxes to show which model was inside was a small description on each end-flap. No.208 was marked '(R.A.F.)'.
The RAF Personnel Carrier is not uncommon but mint models (with the correct white canopy) are harder to find.
Budgie No.208 Personnel Carrier (RAF)
1) RAF BLUE, WHITE canopy, type 1 base ('Morestone'), A1 box
2) RAF BLUE, WHITE canopy, type 2 base ('A Budgie Toy'), A1 box