Ever since they issued the early Morestone Motocycle Patrol models in 1953, Morris & Stone seem to have found it difficult finalising the models and boxes for both the AA and RAC versions. When included in the Budgie range and given numbers, there was only mild improvement. Both AA (Automobile Association) and RAC (Royal Automobile Club) boxes carried numbers 452 and 454 seemingly at random but it seems likely that the intention was for AA Patrol models to be 452 and the RAC ones 454.
Budgie produced two AA Patrol Motorcycle models, identified as 'Series 1' and 'Series 2'. Series 1 appeared to be a continuation of the Morestone model but in fact involved completely new tooling. It was devised in 1958, a year before the launch of Budgie Toys and continued to use a metal rider for the early models.
Painted glossy black with unpainted spoked wheels and black tyres, the motorcycle had steering through the front forks and was finished with silver trim on the number-plates, front headlight and fuel tank. 'Made in England' was cast on the left side (on the original Morestone bikes this was on the right side).
The Series 1 sidecar was connected directly to the bike by the rear axle and a forward pin. The rail-bars on the opening lid were integral, not separate, and the 'AA' insignia was cast at the front. An aerial was provided which fitted into a hole in the sidecar lid. On the front headlight of the motorcycle, a metal 'screen', which was detachable, was fitted which had the 'AA' logo on it picked out in black trim.
The Morestone metal rider with round helmet was used at first but this was soon replaced by a tan or light brown plastic rider with black helmet, gloves and boots. Both types of rider seem to have been issued in the revised Morestone boxes before the yellow Budgie ones appeared.
Morestone boxes were used for the early models and these were identical to the originals except for the addition of '452' printed in small type on the end flaps. When the yellow Budgie boxes (B1) with the correct model pictures appeared, they were printed with the number '454', seemingly in error. Some were corrected with '452' labels until the correctly numbered boxes were available.
The Series 1 AA Motorcycles are not hard to find but are often in playworn condition with parts missing. The box variations are more scarce. Mint models in boxes can fetch a premium price.
Budgie No.452 AA Motorcycle Patrol
BLACK bike with steering, 'Made in England' on left side
YELLOW metal screen, integral sidecar rails, metal aerial
OLIVE-GREEN metal or MID-BROWN plastic rider
Budgie (B1) '454' (many with '452' labels)
Budgie (B1) '452'
Budgie No.452 (Series 1): Ist issue with metal rider in Morestone No.452 box