Early Morestone Toys
Diecast models attributed to Morestone

Scroll down for full list & links to models

Sam Morris began his wholesale toy business in 1946 in Stoke Newington, London, whilst nearby another small business was founded by Jim and Len Burkett making diecast toys under the name 'Modern Products'. Not surprisingly, the two soon began working together and the models they produced are well documented including the Racing Car from 1946 and the stage coach 'Ye Olde Coach & Four' a year later.

 

However, Sam Morris obtained toys for his wholesale business from a number of other toy makers. Some of these items were novelties like the 'Three Blind Mice' game, others musical like the Dulcimer, whilst others were more conventional but often fragile like the Boy on a Tricycle.

 

North of the City of London before World War 2 there were a number of diecast toymakers centred on the Finsbury Pavement 'Toy City' and in 1946 when metal restrictions were lifted these again began making toys, sometimes using pre-war dies, and Sam Morris saw the opportunities of distributing some of these.

 

In the early years toys were often sold unboxed but in about 1948 Sam Morris introduced the 'Morestone Series' name and began selling toys in individual boxes. 

 

It is not certain that all the early toys now listed as 'Morestone' were in fact marketed by Sam Morris but there is little doubt that he saw the sales potential of interesting toys made by small toy-makers and as a result many of these have survived.

 

Modern replicas of some of these early toys are now available and so collecting the original items, which are often hard to find, needs care.

Morestone Butcher's Delivery Boy
Morestone Penny Farthing
Morestone Ice Cream Vendor
Morestone Tandem Bicycle
Morestone Boy on Tricycle
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Butcher's Delivery Boy on Bicycle

Morestone Butcher's Delivery Boy on Bicycle
Morestone Butcher's Delivery Boy on Bicycle
Morestone Butcher's Delivery Boy on Bicycle
Morestone Butcher's Delivery Boy on Bicycle

All-metal model with detachable figure and front tray (missing on red model)

Blue or red bicycle, umw with unpainted stand for rear wheel (missing on red model)

White figure with black boots and striped apron, pink trim on face and hands

White or cream open tray which slotted over front wheel containing meat with red trim

 

Circus Clown on Penny Farthing

Morestone Circus Clown on Penny Farthing
Morestone Clown on Penny Farthing
Morestone Clown on Penny Farthing
Morestone Circus Clown on Penny Farthing
Morestone Clown on Penny Farthing
Morestone Clown on Penny Farthing

All-metal model with detachable clown and sometimes with dog

Red cycle with dark-grey unpainted wheels; cream clown holding two red balls; red hat & buttons with face trim

 Brown dog on rear platform (not included in box illustration)

End-flap box printed on one face and side only, no toymaker's name given

 

Ice Cream Vendor

Morestone Ice Cream Vendor
Morestone Ice Cream Vendor
Morestone Ice Cream Vendor
Morestone Ice Cream Vendor
Morestone Ice Cream Vendor
Morestone Ice Cream Vendor

All-metal model, bicycle and rider (one casting) centrally rivetted through ice cream box to separate lid

Bicycle always black, rider varied, usually with black trousers and white jacket, and trim on face & hands

Ice Cream box white, cream or pink, lid green or red, umw, crimped axles

 

Tandem Bicycle with Sidecar

Morestone Tandem Bicycle with Sidecar
Morestone Tandem Bicycle
Morestone Tandem Bicycle with Sidecar
Morestone Tandem Bicycle

All metal model, sidecar (including child) was a separate casting rivetted to cycle before painting

The riders were detachable but could be clipped in place

Red or blue cycle & sidecar, blue or red child with pink trim

Cream or brown riders with pink trim on faces, hands & legs, brown or black hair

umw with full-width rear axle (crimped)

 

Boy on Tricycle

Morestone Boy on Tricycle - green
Morestone Boy on Tricycle - yellow
Morestone Boy on Tricycle - green
Morestone Boy on Tricycle - yellow
Morestone Boy on Tricycle - red

All metal model with steering and detachable rider

Main body of tricycle, handlebars and front forks were three separate castings

Unpainted metal wheels on nailhead+crimped axle (front) and push-fit (rear)

Red, green or yellow tricycle with silver trim on handlebars & front lamp

Boy rider was always blue including cap, with pink trim on face, hands and knees

Morestone Boy on Tricycle - red
 

Motorcycle & Sidecar

Early 'Morestone' Motorcycle & Sidecar
Early 'Morestone' Motorcycle & Sidecar

photos Ian Scott

Early 'Morestone' Motorcycle & Sidecar

All metal model, fixed forks, cast-in passenger, separate motorcycle rider

Unpainted spoked metal wheels on nailhead & crimped axles

Red or blue motorcycle & sidecar

 Black or dark-brown painted passenger with pink face trim

Black or dark-brown rider with white gloves and pink face trim

 

'Three Blind Mice'

Morestone Series Three Blind Mice
Morestone Series Three Blind Mice

Novelty toy

Red metal base unit with illustrated card insert

Black lid with clear plastic top

Unpainted operating handle, inner mechanism & 'knife'

Separate unpainted metal 'stake'

'Morestone Series' illustrated box with instructions on end-flaps

 

Dulcimer

Morestone Series Dulcimer
Morestone Series Dulcimer
Morestone Series Dulcimer
Morestone Dulcimer box

Musical toy with marked keys in the scale of C

Painted metal keys on yellow metal frame

Red or Blue printed music sheet 'Nuts and May'

Two wooden hammers

Lidded card box with 'Morestone Series' illustrated label

Nicholas Martin Diecast

Morestone, Budgie, Benbros Vintage Toys

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