Budgie Toys No.214
Budgie No.214 Salvage Crane
Issued 1959-63 Length 100mm
During the early 1950's Morris & Stone had not been afraid to develop quite complex toys such as the Morestone Series Car Transporter so it was not surprising that one of Budgie's early models was a Mobile Salvage Crane with Rising & Swinging Jib, to give it its full description as on the box. It was based on a mid-range Thornycroft lorry from the manufacturer of the famous Mighty Antar Tank Transporter and judging by its extended production life it was a popular toy.
Budgie gave the Salvage Crane a bright red cab and chassis, a blue crane on a swivel base and a yellow crane engine (which can be found fitted the right way round or back to front). Interestingly these are not the colours depicted in the illustration on the box but clearly Budgie wanted strong colours to enhance the play value of the model.
The red, yellow and blue colour of the Salvage Crane did not change in later versions but the working mechanism of the crane did. The first type had just one handle and string controlling the hook with the jib loose. It did rise and fall but was hard to work so the second version incorporated another handle and a ratchet on the underside so that the jib could be independantly operated.
The entire crane was supported on the chassis by just one spindle which fitted into a central hole between the two rear axles. This enabled the crane to swing completely round as described on the box but in practice the spindle was a tight fit and did not work without a lot of coaxing and some oil lubricant.
Beneath the cab was a separate base which included the housing for the front axle. On early models this base was plain without identification but later a revised base was used with 'No.214' cast at the front. Normally the base was painted red but a late run had black bases.
There were two types of painted metal wheels used on the Salvage Crane, the first were large with treaded tyres, the second smaller with thick knobbly tyres. These both had round-head and crimped axles which were painted with the wheels. Eventually Budgie switched to push-fit silver plastic wheels fitted with knobbly tyres.
As with all early models, the Salvage Crane was in an un-numbered box (A1) to start with but soon got a numbered one (A2). Later it was given one of the first boxes with end-flap numbers (A4). Finally, a box with the Guiterman name as manufacturer was used (A8). The Salvage Crane was also included in some of the Budgie Gift Sets.
Good examples of the Salvage Crane with two-handles turn up from time to time but the more fragile first version can be harder to find. Sadly, models of both versions are often found with the crane mounting spindle broken.
Budgie No.214 Salvage Crane
1) RED, YELLOW & BLUE ONE crane handle RED type 1 base large pmw ( treaded tyres) A1 or A2 box
2) RED, YELLOW & BLUE ONE crane handle RED type 1 base small pmw (knobbly tyres) A2 box
3) RED, YELLOW & BLUE TWO crane handles RED type 1 base small pmw (knobbly tyres) A2 box
4) RED, YELLOW & BLUE TWO crane handles RED type 2 base spw (knobbly tyres) A4 or A8 box
5) RED, YELLOW & BLUE TWO crane handles BLACK type 2 base spw (knobbly tyres) A8 box