Sam's Snack Bar
Issued 1949-1951 Length 117mm
The model for Sam's Snack Bar represents a very basic vehicle, a horse-drawn shed on wheels! But it is noteworthy for several reasons because it was only the second model sold from the start under the 'Morestone Series' name (the first was the Clockwork Fire Engine). It was also manufactured by an 'outside' maker, not by Modern Products Ltd., at least not at first, and it was the first to receive multi-colour variations and combinations.
The main Snack Bar was cast in two halves with a separate roof section slotting into corner holes. There was not much detail apart from the side with the hatch which had 'Sam's' cast on it and simulated wood planking which extended onto the roof piece. The other three sides and the top of the roof were plain, and there was no identification on the model.
What it lacked in detail, Sam's Snack Bar made up for in colour! The first models were painted a dull green with a cream, tan or blue roof. Soon, however, red and blue versions appeared with cream, red or blue wheels and an additional roof colour of red. Because the roof was detachable, several combinations were possible.
The wheels were a bit more detailed than the cart being cast to look like wooden wheels and were attached by a clip-fit system to each corner of the cart. However, because the front wheels were not connected to the shafts there was no side movement for the horse.
There were twin shafts (of varied design) on the first version, both fixed directly to the Snack Bar cart with a twin-crimped pin, but they were not linked together and needed to be seperately slotted onto the sides of the horse. This made them awkward to play with so on later models the shafts were joined with an arched halter which sat over the horse's back.
Three versions of the horse were made, the first two having side lugs for the shafts. One had a rough or textured surface representing the horse's coat which was coloured dark-brown with white trim on the feet and mane. The other horse was smoother with a brown glossy finish, also with white feet and mane. The two versions seem to have been interchangeable but the textured one is more common.
The third horse was made when Benbros re-designed the shafts. The lugs were removed so that the halter fitted easily. These later horses were smooth coated but could be coloured dark- or mid-brown and most had white trim on mane and hooves.
The central figure of course was Sam himself who was always painted dark green with a white apron and face. Unusually, he did not have a stand which made it hard to make him stay upright. To serve tea, Sam had an unpainted metal tea-urn and a couple of cups or mugs.
Sam's Snack Bar was sold in its own end-flap card box with blue illustrated sides carrying two glowing pictures of Sam dispensing food to waiting customers on a chilly night. Both end-flaps had drawings showing a tea urn and cups next to the message 'All Accessories are Moveable'. Morestone must have printed a lot of these boxes because they occaisionally turn up inside out with another model's details printed on the reverse!
Finding good examples of Sam's Snack Bar is not easy and the cups and tea-urn are frequently missing. The boxes are becoming increasingly rare.
Morestone Sam's Snack Bar
All models inluded:
A figure of Sam in green with white apron
An unpainted metal tea-urn and two unpainted mugs
A dark-brown or mid-brown horse with textured or smooth coat
Boxes were end-flap 'Morestone' with blue illustrations and text
Variations of cart, painted metal wheels & shafts
1) DRAB GREEN cart GREEN wheels GREEN type 1 shafts
2) DRAB GREEN cart CREAM wheels GREEN type 1 shafts
3) RED cart RED wheels RED type 1 shafts
4) RED cart YELLOW wheels RED type 1 shafts
5) BLUE cart BLUE wheels BLUE type 1 shafts
6) BLUE cart CREAM wheels BLUE type 1 shafts
7) CREAM cart YELLOW wheels CREAM type 1 shafts
8) YELLOW cart YELLOW wheels YELLOW type 1 shafts
9) RED cart YELLOW wheels YELLOW type 2 shafts
10) BLUE cart YELLOW wheels YELLOW type 2 shafts
Detachable Roof colours
photo Lilliput World
Variation 4: RED cart/shafts, YELLOW wheels, BLUE roof, dark-brown textured horse