Budgie Toys No.270
Issued 1962-66 Length 132mm OO/HO scale (1:76)
Based on a Leyland articulated vehicle, the Esso Tanker was a completely new casting of both cab and trailer, and interestingly Budgie never used the cab again unlike the older Seddon and International cabs which were used for several different models.
The Esso Tanker had a bright red cab and trailer but the cab base was black. There was usually silver trim on the grille, lights and occaisionally the bumper although the application of this was variable for some reason on this model, and examples with no silver grille but with silver headlights, bumper and 'logo' above the grille were produced. The fuel tank however was always just red.
The black cab base had two holes, one for the rivet to secure the base to the cab after the axles and wheels were inserted, the other for the coupling. The lettering on the base stated 'A Budgie Toy' and 'Made in England' but there was no number or other id.
There were two different coupling systems used on the Esso Tanker. The first method used a rivet fixed permanently through the trailer and cab bases which made a secure coupling but non-detachable.
The second coupling system involved a re-casting of the trailer base to insert a pole or rod which fitted down into the hole in the cab base which previously contained the rivet. This method meant that the cab and trailer became detachable. Adoption of this may indicate that Budgie thought of using the Leyland cab for other articulated models but none were ever made.
The Tanker carried just one decal, a large Esso symbol which was on the rear of the trailer. Along each side of the tank white paper labels were attached which carried the words 'Esso Petroleum Company Ltd.' The lettering of these was coloured either red or blue with the red version varying a little according to the printer. Of the two, the blue version seems to have been more commonly used on the later models.
Underneath the trailer Budgie added 'No.270' to the casting and also 'Esso Petrol Tanker' on a raised panel. The use of casting inserts usually indicated a change to the original lettering so maybe another name (or oil company?) was first planned for this model.
Wheels on the tanker to start with were silver plastic push-on type with treaded tyres but later, in harmony with several Budgie models, ridged silver plastic wheels with knobbly tyres were fitted.
The Esso Tanker was an all-new model and the box that it came in was similarly brand new. It was the first of the B Series boxes (B1) with the new-style side stripe and the phrase 'They Speak for Themselves' which appeared on all subsequent yellow boxes. The end flaps were also re-designed with the model number at the top and 'by Budgie' at the bottom.
This box was used for No.270 for most of its life but there were two versions of the picture on the box, one with red lettering on the side of the tanker, the other with black. The Esso Tanker also appeared briefly in blue & white open-sided window packs (C1) and these are quite rare.
Budgie No.270 is fairly easy to find but the paper labels are often missing or showing their age.
Budgie No.270 Esso Tanker
1) RED cab & trailer riveted coupling RED tanker labels spw (treaded tyres) B1 box
2) RED cab & trailer riveted coupling BLUE tanker labels spw (treaded tyres) B1 box or C1 pack
3) RED cab & trailer pole coupling BLUE tanker labels ridged spw (knobbly tyres) B1 box or C1 pack