Benbros TV Series & Mighty Midgets
No.4 Stage Coach
No.4 Stage Coach in the Benbros TV Series continued the horse-drawn theme of earlier models. This one was on quite a small scale with the four horses forming one unit and the whole model being about 95mm long when assembled. Also included was the smallest figure in the TV range, a separate, tiny coach-driver.
There was not a lot of play value in the model of the Stage Coach so Benbros produced it in several different colours. The first issues were either orange, green or yellow with black wheels, chocolate-brown horses and the little brown driver.
The coach was cast in two halves with roof-bars on the top and 'Kansas Stage' cast on each side door. Two sizes of wheel were used with larger ones at the rear on a conventional round-head and crimped axle. On the front, the axle held not only the wheels but the unpainted coupling incorporating a hook and a balancing peg which held the hook facing forward. The shape of the hook was interesting, being three sides of a square with a top horizontal bar to hold the shaft in place securely.
Four identical horses in an energetic galloping position were permanently fixed to the shaft. There was no identification at all on the Stage Coach at first but later 'Benbros Made in England' was cast on the shaft between the horses, usually underneath but examples can be found with it on the upper side as a result of the horses being assembled 'up-side down'.
On the roof of the coach at the front there was a small hole into which the little figure of the driver fitted.
After a while, a red coach was added to the colour range and this was the first one to have horses with id. which were also icluded in subsequent yellow and green coaches. The brown colour of the horses also changed at this time from chocolate-brown to mid-brown or chestnut.
When Benbros switched from TV boxes to Mighty Midgets, the figure of the driver was dropped and the model had an upgrade to the coupling hook and a complete colour change: the coach was painted metallic green or metallic blue, the wheels were coloured red, and the horses became metallic brown, metallic gold, pale grey or a very dark-brown (which was almost black). The coupling hook became a conventional 'L-shape'.
All three TV Series boxes were used for the Stage Coach as well as the Mighty Midget one and it must have been a popular toy as it is not hard to find. The early issue green model is perhaps the most scarce but the later metallic green coach is also difficult, as are the pale grey and dark-brown horses. However, easily the hardest item to get is the tiny driver figure which can so easily be lost.
(front & rear views)
Benbros No.4 Stage Coach
(1) ORANGE BLACK pmw BROWN horses & shaft (no id.) BROWN driver TV1 box
(2) YELLOW BLACK pmw BROWN horses & shaft (no.id.) BROWN driver TV1 box
(3) GREEN BLACK pmw BROWN horses & shaft (no.id.) BROWN driver TV1 box
(4) YELLOW BLACK pmw BROWN horses & shaft (with id.) BROWN driver TV2 box
(5) GREEN BLACK pmw BROWN horses & shaft (with id.) BROWN driver TV2 box
(6) RED BLACK pmw BROWN horses & shaft (with id.) BROWN driver TV2/TV3 box
(7) MET. BLUE RED pmw MET. BROWN horses (with id.) NO driver MM box
(8) MET.BLUE RED pmw DARK-BROWN horses (with id.) NO driver MM box
(9) MET.BLUE RED pmw GREY horses (with id.) NO driver MM box
(10) MET. GREEN RED pmw MET. GOLD horses (with id.) NO driver MM box
Estimated Price Guide
(MINT models in MINT boxes)
All variations £20-40
Variation 7 : Metallic blue with metallic brown horses
Variation 8 : Metallic blue with dark-brown horses
Variation 10 : metallic green coach, metallic gold horses
Colour variations (from top)
Orange with chocolate brown horses
Yellow with mid-brown horses
Green with chestnut-brown horses
Red with chestnut-brown horses & top id.
Metallic blue with metallic brown horses
First & last versions
Comparison of types of hook
Brown horses & shafts - colour and id. variations
Chocolate-brown without id. (top)
Mid-brown & chestnut-brown with id. beneath shaft (centre)
Chestnut-brown with id. on top of shaft (bottom)