Budgie Toys No.298
Alvis Salamander Fire Crash Tender
Issued 1963-66 Length 92mm
Fire Engines and Emergency Vehicles always made attractive toys and when Budgie devised the Alvis Salamander they gave it several accessories.
The body was painted a bright red with clear cab windows and 'Fire Service' decals on each side. The red colour is sometimes a bit mottley on these models, similar to the finish on the Esso Refueller Tanker (256). At the rear a yellow engine box was added underneath which was a decal stating 'Centre Drive No Hand Signals'. It must have been difficult in the factory to attach this decal because they are often found with letters missing or poorly aligned.
The Alvis Salamander carried a ladder and a bell on the roof, a rotating water cannon above the cab, and at the back an extendable hose which could be pulled out of the body. These were all made of grey plastic.
The model had a large black base which housed the three axles and six black plastic wheels. At the front and back the base sloped up into the body reflecting the all terrain nature of the vehicle. Lettering on the base read 'No.298 A Budgie Model' and had 'Alvis Fire Crash Tender' on a panel with 'Made in England' at the rear.
Just one version of the yellow Budgie box was used for the Alvis Salamander. It had the usual descriptive panel on the reverse (B3). There was also a final run of models issued in blue & white open-sided window packs (C1).
The Alvis Salamander is not easy to find. It is often seen with metal fatigue to both body and base and so mint models are rare. In addition, it had good play value so even those models which have survived are playworn. As a result, it carries a premium value. The yellow boxes are hard to find in good condition, and the open-sided packs are very rare.
Budgie No.298 Alvis Salamander Fire Crash Tender
GREY plastic accessories
Decals (sides & rear)
YELLOW rear engine
glossy BLACK base
Black plastic wheels
B3 box or C1 pack
Budgie No.298 in original sealed C1 window pack