Budgie Toys No.290
Tonibell Ice Cream Van
Issued 1963-64 Length 103mm
Loosely based on a Bedford van, the Tonibell Ice Cream Van was a departure from the OO/HO scale of other 1963 Budgie models, being scaled quite a bit bigger.
It was a comparatively simple design, the body being one casting fitted with blue-tinted windows. There was a dab of silver trim on the headlights for decoration but the most striking feature was the pink calf on the roof. It was made of plastic and fitted into a hole by its feet. On each side of the roof various 'Tonibell' decals were placed and these were also on the sides below the windows.
Both the cab doors of the Tonibell Ice Cream Van had single 'calf' decals. With so many stickers, occaisionally additional 'calf' decals were put on and one Ice Cream Van is known to have these at the rear of each side making it a 'three-calf' model. This however was almost certainly a factory error (or joke!).
The base of the Tonibell Ice Cream Van was quite bland and unusually for Budgie at this time carried no identification. In the centre a rectangular area extended up into the body to represent the ice cream store or freezer. The axles were housed in closed channels and the wheels were silver plastic with knobbly tyres.
Only one box was used for the Tonibell Van with a descriptive panel on the rear face (B2).
Finding a model with the roof calf intact is uncommon as this little figure came off easily. Modern replacements are now made but the Tonibell Ice Cream van is still scarce and in mint & boxed condition a rarity.
Budgie No.290 Tonibell Ice Cream Van
BLUE with dark-blue windows
Side & roof decals
PINK roof 'calf'
SILVER pw (knobbly tyres)