Benbros Zebra Toys
In the Qualitoys range Benbros made several changes to the Field Gun (see Qualitoys Field Gun) but for the Zebra Toys version they re-issued an early carriage-type model. It was a working toy and the box included instructions on how to fire 'shells' or matchsticks using a spring-loaded mechanism which also could be used to spark caps. Benbros included a sprue with four grey plastic 'shells' with the later Qualitoys models but it is not known for certain if the Zebra Toys issue had any.
The casting of the Field Gun was skillfully designed. There were three parts: the main frame, the shield, and the gun barrel into which the mechanism was fitted. The frame and shield were rivetted together and where they overlapped holes were provided to support lugs on each side of the barrel enabling movement of the barrel up and down. The carriage wheels were fitted directly onto the frame.
For Zebra Toys, Benbros painted the Field Gun a bright green colour, and possibly a matt army green on a later variation. On the inside of the shield the name 'Benbros' was cast twice, one on each side, with 'Made in England' added at the top. The large carriage wheels were always painted gloss black.
There was no number assigned to the Field Gun either on the model or the box so the orange end-flaps of the box just said 'Field Gun'. Three sides of the box carried action pictures and the fourth side the instruction panel.
The Field Gun was a popular toy and is easy to find although the little sprue of 'shells' (if included) is very rare. The Zebra Toys box is scarce.
Benbros Zebra Toys Field Gun
1) Gloss GREEN gun, Firing mechanism, BLACK carriage wheels, 'Benbros' id.
2) Matt ARMY-GREEN, Firing mechanism, BLACK carriage wheels, 'Benbros' id.