In the search for clever toys with good play value, the Douglas Prospector Duomatic Tipper Truck must have been an attractive choice. Not only did it tip the load backwards, it also tipped to the side. It was based on a Commer vehicle and Budgie crafted the model skillfully.
The cab and chassis were a straightforward casting. It was fitted with windows, had silver trim on the headlights and 'Victoria Ballast Co.' decals on each cab door. Underneath was a wide, flat base marked 'No 324 Douglas Prospector Duotipper Made in England'. This base was either painted grey (probably on early models) or more usually metallic silver. The wheels were ridged silver plastic with knobbly tyres.
The grey painted tipper was quite shallow but clevely hinged. It sat on a frame fixed to the chassis at the rear and was operated by a handle (painted either black or silver). Interestingly, these handles were fittted either left-handed (silver) or right handed (black or silver) with black being the most common. The frame and body were designed to rise together with the top-hinged tailgate opening automatically. There was also a notch on the frame which enabled the handle to hold the tipper up.
The side tipping mechanism of the Duomatic Tipper worked from the frame rather than the chassis and was operated by a second handle (coloured silver) which tipped the body sideways. The drop-hinged side could be lowered to release the load.
The Duomatic Tipper was sold in the familiar yellow Budgie box (B4) and in the blue & white open-sided C-type window packs (C2).
Not a common toy, the Douglas Prospector does turn up at auctions occasionally but is rare in mint condition. Boxed models are very rare.
Budgie No.324 Duomatic Tipper Truck
1) BLUE cab GREY base GREY body silver frame, silver &/or black handles B4 box or C2 pack
2) BLUE cab SILVER base GREY body silver frame, silver &/or black handles B4 box or C2 pack