Budgie Toys No.230
Issued 1959-66 Length 178mm
Vehicles which transported logs must have appealed to toy designers in the 1950's because there were several made.
Budgie No.230 Articulated Heavy Duty Timber Transporter with Adjustable Wheel Base, to give it its full title, made use of the Seddon cab unit which they had previously used for the AA Mobile Control Traffic Unit (No.218). This time it was painted orange with a black base which had 'Seddon Diesel' cast on it. Decals representing the logo of British Road Services (BRS) were added to the side doors with another on the back of the cab saying 'Caution! Air Brakes'. The wheels (on round-head and crimped axles) were large diameter painted metal, black on the cab and yellow on the trailer, and fitted with treaded tyres.
The Trailer was a new item constructed in two halves, a front section and a rear section which slid together into each other through a joining unit at the centre. This enabled the length of the trailer to be adjusted although it resulted in a slightly fragile toy. It was coloured yellow all over (except for the joining unit) and above the coupling there was a mounting for a spare tyre. The load comprised five lengths of wooden dowel.
The Timber Transporter saw a number of variations during its six year life. The first was to the wheels which were changed to a small diameter size to accomodate the chunky knobbly tyres. At about the same time, the BRS decals were replaced by blue and white Shield insignia.
The next change was the appearance of pushfit silver plastic wheels with knobbly tyres on both cab and trailer when many other Budgie models were also being similarly improved. The Shield and 'Caution! Air Brakes' decals remained on the cabs which kept their orange colour although there were variations to the colour tones with some issues being orange-red.
The last run of orange cabs were issued without any decals in anticipation of the final major change to the cab which was a switch to the colour green. Interestingly, the illustration on the boxes showed a green cab from the start so it took Budgie several years to get the model to match.
The green cabs had another innovation for Budgie, they were fitted with windows which at that time were being fitted to Seddon cabs on other models. There were two types of wheels on the green cab Timber Transporters, first silver plastic wheels as used on the versions with orange cabs, and finally the new ridged silver plastic wheels, both types of wheels being fitted with knobbly tyres.
The first boxes for No.230 were without numbers (A1) but these were soon upgraded with little numbers on the picture faces in the bottom right corner (A2). Under the Guiterman ownership, the manufacturer's name was changed and numbers added to the end-flaps but on the first run the little number was missing on one face (A7). This was soon corrected with small numbers appearing on both faces (A8). The final upgrade was a completely new style of packaging, a blue and white open sided window pack sealed in shrink wrap (C2).
With all the variations, the Timber Transporter has plenty of interest for collectors. Apart from being sold in its own boxes, it was also a standard part of Budgie's No.5 Gift Sets so It is not too hard to come across. Finding mint models, however, especially of the trailer, is less easy.
Budgie No.230 Timber Transporter
1) ORANGE cab 'BRS' decals YELLOW trailer large pmw (treaded tyres) A1 or A2 box
2) ORANGE cab Shield decals YELLOW trailer small pmw (knobbly tyres) A2 box
3) ORANGE cab Shield decals YELLOW trailer spw (knobbly tyres) A2 or A7 box
4) ORANGE cab No decals YELLOW trailer spw (knobbly tryes) A7 or A8 box
5) GREEN cab windows No decals YELLOW trailer spw (knobbly tyres) A8 box or C2 pack
6) GREEN cab windows No decals YELLOW trailer ridged spw (knobbly tyres) C2 pack