Benbros TV Series & Mighty Midgets
No.16a Express Locomotive
Benbros No.16a Express Lococmotive had the shortest run of all the TV Series models and was the only one not to be upgraded to the Mighty Midget range. As a result it was only sold in a TV Series box.
The Loco was a hollow one-piece casting based on the class of streamlined railway engines which included the record-breaking 'Mallard'. The wheels on each side were part of the casting so to make it run Benbros concealed four metal wheels inside on nail-head & crimped axles which were painted with the model.
One interesting feature of the Loco was the number '17' on each side of the engine cab indicating maybe that this was the number which Benbros had originally planned for it. Underneath, the usual 'Benbros' and 'Made in England' was cast. It was quite a long model at 61mm which made it too lengthy for a Mighty Midget box (56mm long) so this was perhaps part of the reason why it was never upgraded.
There were three colour choices with the first issue, either dark-green, red or blue and these were finished off with silver trim on the imitation wheels, nameplate, side logo and the arrow symbol on the tender. The TV box had a picture of a green locomotive with the number 16 and 'Express Loco' (TV3).
When Benbros transferred the TV Series to Mighty Midgets, many models received a paint upgrade with metallic finishes and although it did not get included in the new range, the Locomotive did get fresh colours of metallic gold-ish brown and metallic blue.
Although it was a neat little model, the Loco did not have great play value so when examples turn up at auction they are often boxed and in nice condition.
Benbros No.16a Express Locomotive
All versions had silver trim, internal painted metal wheels, and TV3 boxes
Estimated Price Guide
(MINT models in MINT boxes)
All variations £20-40
Underside view showing wheels and id.