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.
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
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
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
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
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
Motorcycle & Sidecar
photos Ian Scott
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'
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
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