Budgie Models No.705
Routemaster Bus '25 Faithful Years'
It is sometimes asked what Silver Anniversary in 1984 was being celebrated by Budgie when they issued No.705 '25 Faithful Years' Routemaster Bus but the answer is simply that Budgie was commemorating itself. That year marked a quarter of a century since Budgie Toys had been launched by Sam Morris from the previous Morestone Series toys.
Budgie also celebrated another Anniversary in 1985 when their model of the Routemaster Bus achieved 25 years of production.(The real vehicle on which it was based had already achieved 25 years in 1981).
No.705 Routemaster was an unchanged casting of No.236 painted silver all over including the base but not the metal wheels. As usual windows were fitted and it had black treaded tyres.
Instead of the 'London Transport' decals below the side windows, No.705 had 'Budgie Transport' labels and in the advert panel a label saying '25 Faithful Years'. The destination labels were also unique to this model reading '25 Ilford Victoria'. These were on the front, the back and the side above the passenger access platform.
The original production of No.705 was stated as 10,000 in a Limited Edition but unlike earlier Limited Issues there was no numbering label system used for this model. It is not known if the full 10,000 models were actually made and issued.
The box for No.705 was a standard yellow Budgie window box like those used for other Routemaster models but on the back there was a descriptive printed strip which included the model number of 705. Inside there was a blue packing piece on which the model stood.
On the outside of the box the maker was listed as 'Made in London by Budgie Models' with the phone number '01-800-1185'. There was no mention of Starcourt Ltd.
The silver '25 Faithful Years' Routemaster is an easy one to collect including the special box.
Budgie No.705 Routemaster Bus '25 Faithful Years'
'Budgie Transport' & '25 Faithful Years' labels
Budgie window box with rear descriptive strip