Budgie Toys No.222
Issued 1959-65 Length 155mm
Using the cab from No.202 Refrigeration Truck and developing a trailer which they would soon use on another model, the Articulated Tank Transporter with Loading Ramps and Tank, as described on the box, marks the start of Budgie's expansion into new models from existing castings. With good quality colour and finish and the addition of a newly cast model based on the Centurion Tank, the Transporter was a successful toy.
Both the cab and transporter trailer were painted all one colour including the metal wheels on early variations and the rear ramps. The tone of the colours varied over the life of the model, brown on early models, then a dark Army-Green, and finally rich dark brown but all parts - cab, trailer, ramps and tank - were always matching colours. US Army white star decals were added to the tank and to early issues of the cab.
Budgie used the first casting of the International cab with open front axle and rivetted base for most of the life of the Tank Transporter. Three types of wheels were used on this cab, painted metal wheels with treaded tyres, slightly smaller pmw with knobbly tyres, and then push-fit silver plastic wheels with treaded tyres. Similar matching wheels were fitted to the trailer.
The trailer was a new casting for No.222. It had a long load bed, four wheels and a spare tyre, and at the rear two ramps on a wire axle which enabled them to be raised and lowered. Underneath the words 'A Budgie Toy Transporter Made in England' were cast.
For the Tank a completely new model had to be created as Budgie did not have a miniature tank in the Esso Box series. The body and turret of the model had good detail accurate to the real vehicle but underneath instead of tracks it had four metal wheels. The turret swiveled and was fixed on with a central rivet.
The last issue of the Tank Transporter had a number of changes, in particular a re-cast cab with a closed front axle and without the need for a rivetted base. The trailer was also altered and now carried the words 'A Budgie Model' (instead of 'A Budgie Toy'). Finally, both cab and trailer were fitted with ridged silver plastic wheels and knobbly tyres.
Boxes for the Tank Transporter started with an un-numbered Morris & Stone box (A1) which seems to have continued in use for several years. Eventually when an upgrade was needed to reflect the new ownership of Budgie by Guiterman, model numbers in white were added to the end-flaps (A7).
The Tank Transporter is fairly easy to collect but the last issue with ridged silver plastic wheels is scarce. However, finding mint models may need patience as these were attractive toys with good play value so are frequently playworn.
Budgie No.222 Tank Transporter
1) BROWN cab (type 1)/trailer/tank STAR decals (cab/tank) pmw (treaded tyres) A1 box
2) ARMY-GREEN cab (type 1)/trailer/tank STAR decals (cab/tank) pmw (knobbly tyres) A1 box
3) DARK-BROWN cab (type 1)/trailer/tank STAR decal (tank only) spw (treaded tyres) A7 box
4) DARK-BROWN cab (type 2)/trailer/tank STAR decal (tank only) ridged spw (knobbly tyres) A7 box