Benbros Zebra Toys
100 (16) Ready-Mixed Concrete Lorry
The first model in the new Zebra Toys range by Benbros was a neat little Concrete Lorry closer in scale to OO/HO than the earlier Qualitoys models. It was based on a Foden truck and although a simple design, was well made with appealing play value.
The cab and chassis were one casting without a base. The chassis had a central opening and side lugs for the frame which supported the barrel. Underneath 'Zebra Toys Made in England' and 'Cement Mixer Truck' were included in the casting with the number '100' at the front. On the right side of the chassis there was a short pole for the spare wheel.
To hold the barrel, Benbros designed a frame which fitted onto the chassis and had a side handle so that it could be tipped back. It was a simple but effective design.
What colours Benbros planned for the Concrete Lorry are uncertain. A rare variation exists painted beige with an orange-red barrel and unpainted metal wheels but this is almost certainly a pre-production model.
For the production version, Benbros painted the Concrete Lorry red with silver trim on the Foden grille and the front bumper. As with all the Zebra Toys, the headlights were jewelled. On each side door a yellow decal was added saying 'Cement Mixing Co.'. Orange-yellow was chosen for the barrel and glossy black for the supporting frame with an unpainted handle. The wheels, which were always plastic, were a pale yellow with black treaded tyres.
Numbering of the Zebra Toys was apparently haphazard. The Model had the number '100' on it but the black & white striped box carried the number '16' on the orange end-flaps. Both faces had the new logo of a running Zebra.
All the Zebra Toys are scarce but the Cement Truck is easier to find than some in the range. The spare wheel is usually missing but models come up quite often at auction.
Zebra Toys Ready-Mixed Concrete Lorry
1) BEIGE cab/chassis ORANGE-RED drum BLACK frame um handle umw No.16 box
2) RED cab/chassis ORANGE-YELLOW drum BLACK frame um handle YELLOW pw No.16 box
Variation 1: Beige with orange-red drum & unpainted metal wheels