Morestone Covered Wagon
Variation 7 (Hawkeye)
Issued 1948-1961 Length 190mm
Reflecting the interest in television and films during the 1940's and 1950's about cowboys and the Wild West, Morestone issued a range of Covered Wagons. Several of these directly promoted TV characters like Davy Crockett and TV series such as 'Last of the Mohicans' with printed canopies and coloured boxes.
By comparison with later models, the first Covered Wagon which appeared in 1948 was plain and un-dramatic. But it had plenty of play value. Painted a bright green with yellow wheels, yellow shaft and a plain white canopy, the wagon had two white and two brown horses trimmed in black, a driver painted brown or black with a red jacket, and a long wire 'whip' to complete the authenticity. The front wheels were part of the shaft unit so turned from side to side with the horses, and the horses themselves were detachable and thus interchangeable.
The Covered Wagons were manufactured for Morestone by Modern Products. Several other toy companies made similar wagons but the Morestone models were distinctive in having an unpainted rear axle support rivetted onto the wagon. On the early green wagons, the underside was completely unpainted but later this was painted with the rest of the wagon although the rear axle support always remained unpainted. The casting included 'Made in England' across the underside. The cloth canopy was held in place by two unpainted hoops which fitted into corner slots.
Morestone used the same horses for the Covered Wagon as those on the 'Ye Olde Coach & Four' mail coach. They were coloured white, light-brown (or tan), mid-brown, dark brown, or black. Early white and light brown horses had black trim on the harness, eyes, mane and tail but this was later discontinued.
All the Covered Wagon models had a driver painted shades of dark-brown or black with pale-pink face trim and a coloured jacket which was either red or green. The red version was used with the early issues but the two colours seem to have later become intechangeable. Also included was a 'whip', although this was probably not supplied with models sold in the USA. The 'whip' was basically a long wire on an unpainted post and this fitted into a special hole near the driver's feet.
The first 1948 issue had no barrels and no castings on the sides to hold them, but when different colour combinations were introduced to the wagons, side nodules to hold barrels were included. However, they did not immediately appear and the early red & yellow wagons with plain canopies did not have them. In fact even later models did not reliably have them but the 'Davy Crockett' and 'Last of the Mohicans' versions always did. On these Four-Horse Covered Wagons the barrels were unpainted.
The first green & yellow Covered Wagon was packaged in a lidded card box with a green printed illustration on the lid and 'A Modern Product' on the ends with model details. A similar box with 'Midwest British Importers' printed on one side of the lid with the Big Ben clock-tower logo was used in the USA.
When Morestone introduced new colours for the Covered Wagons they switched to using end-flap boxes and these became very colourful for the film and TV related models, all of which are listed below with the dates when issued if known.
Examples of the Covered Wagon are not hard to find but some of the box variations can be scarce and the TV related boxes in good condition are rare.
Variation 1: green/yellow wagon, plain canopy, horses with trim, lidded box
Variation 2: green/yellow wagon, plain canopy, US 'Midwest British Importers' box
Morestone Covered Wagon
All models include brown or black painted driver with green or red jacket
1) PLAIN CANOPY - Green wagon, yellow wheels & shaft, 2 white/2 light brown horses with trim, plain canopy, no barrels, with wire whip, brown card box with green printed lid, 'A Modern Product' on ends, issued 1948 onwards
2) PLAIN CANOPY - US issue. Green wagon, yellow wheels & shaft, 2 white/2 brown horses with trim, no barrels, no whip, brown card box with green printed lid, 'A Modern Product' on ends, 'Midwest British Importers' with logo on one side
3) PLAIN CANOPY - Red wagon, yellow wheels & shafts, 2 white/2 brown horses with trim, plain canopy, no barrels, with wire whip, end-flap card box with red printing, 'A Modern Product' on end-flaps
4) THUNDERING HOOVES - Red wagon, yellow wheels & shafts, 2 white/2 brown horses with or without trim, 'Thundering Hooves & Blazing Saddles on the Western Trail' canopy, with or without barrels, with wire whip, end-flap card box with red printing, 'A Modern Product' on end-flaps
5) THUNDERING HOOVES - Orange wagon, dark green wheels & shaft, 2 each of brown, white or black horses without trim, 'Thundering Hooves & Blazing Saddles on the Western Trail' canopy, with or without barrels, with wire whip, end-flap card box with red printing, 'A Modern Product' on end-flaps
6) DAVY CROCKETT - Red wagon, yellow wheels & shaft, 2 white/2 brown horses without trim, 'Walt Disney's Davy Crockett Frontier Wagon' canopy, with barrels & wire whip, 'Walt Disney official Davy Crockett' coloured box, 'A Modern Morestone Series' on end-flaps, issued in 1956
7) LAST OF THE MOHICANS - Green wagon, orange-red wheels & shaft, 2 mid-brown/2 black horses without trim, 'Last of the Mohicans' canopy, with barrels & wire whip, 'Hawkeye' coloured box, 'A Modern Morestone Product' on end-flaps, issued in 1957
Variation 3: red/yellow wagon, plain canopy, horses with trim, end-flap printed box
Variation 4: red/yellow wagon, 'Thundering Hooves', horses without trim, with/wo barrels
Variation 5: orange/green wagon, 'Thundering Hooves' canopy, barrels
Variation 6: red/yellow wagon, 'Davy Crockett' canopy & picture box
Variation 7: green/orange wagon, 'Mohicans' canopy, black/brown horses, 'Hawkeye' box
Morestone Covered Wagon: unpainted & painted undersides (note unpainted axle holder)