Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Unsolicited recommendations received via the Internet

From Harry Bishop,

"Geoffrey, firstly, I am so pleased with your book. It is an essential tool for all Lone Star Collectors and I gain in knowledge from every page. I have quite a collection of mint boxed items and 100's of restored items which, owing to space, I have to thin down and list on e-bay. I have been restoring for many years, Dinky, Corgi, Spot On and Lone Star. I do not like to display well-worn models and gain great pleasure in recreating the 'as new' look. Your newsletter is greatly appreciated."
Kind regards, Harry Bishop

From Chris Smith,

"Geoffrey. My copy of your book received 3/9/02. Very impressed by it already, I'm sure it will become a valuable source of information in my hobby of collecting old plastic soldiers. Thanks for the prompt delivery" Chris.

From Terry Nile (aka Samer):

"I am fascinated that other people are as crazy as I am to enjoy the Lone Star Toys!! I live in the USA and am truly impressed by the site. Very easy to navigate, informative, and I will drop in here time to time for news. Thanks, Terry."

From Roger Bailey,

"Bumper Book of 'Lone Star' Models and Toys" ".....I am associated with Diecast Collector [magazine] and once wrote an article on [Lone Star] "Tuf-Tots"as you probably remember. A good book which clearly took a lot of your time and was probably a labour of love. Kind Regards, Roger Bailey".

From Bruce (no surname given),

"Excellent. The technical knowledge provided by your site has substantially enhanced my ability to effectively collect Lone Star items. Bruce."

From Peter Dale,

"Bumper Book of Lone Star" "Really interesting reading especially the comments by staff. I collect toy soldiers and military vehicles and found the information very useful. Very pleased with the prompt delivery (by return). Peter."

From "Impyflyer" (probably Barry Thompson),

"Great book. If there is an update hope it will go into colour variations on the Impy's."

From Keith Dunkey,

"Very interesting book containing some good historical information and also good photos. Arrived very promptly."

From Lee Turner,

"A really informative book. I especially enjoyed reading about "Steve Larrabee". The shows must have been absolutely magical for the children who attended, if only I was 25 years older! As a plastic figure collector, the chapter on the 'Harvey' series has proved useful. All of the pictures are excellent, if only they had been in colour! Prompt delivery and worth every penny. Best wishes, Lee."

From Randy R. Polaczek (aka 'RetroRandy')

"Greetings Lone Starites! I was wondering if anyone has a detailed list of Roadmaster - Impy vehicles from the 1970s? I truly enjoyed these detailed European models but, unfortunately, they are scarce in the mid-west states (of America). I only have a dozen or so models, but I'm looking to obtain more. I would really appreciate any leads or info pertaining to this matter. Thanks for your time! "RetroRandy" Polaczek."
LATER his further message was received:
"Thanks Geoff, I will indeed purchase the book through Amazon. I'm impressed with the knowledge of your network and pleased with the "family atmosphere" of this great institution. I've enjoyed reading the historical aspects of Lone Star and look forward to sharing it with friends and collectors in the U.S. I plan on returning to London next year for a holiday with my wife, perhaps I'll stumble across some "Flyers" and bring them back with me. I'll continue to check this site periodically for upcoming events and "Flyers" for sale. Best wishes to all and a prosperous 2004. Randy R. Polaczek."

From Doug Gosha,

"Geoff's Bumper Book. "This book is, to me, a door into which I was finally able to enter to discover what the Lone Star Company was all about after many, many years wondering. From the time I was ten years old and received my first "Treble-O-Lectric" trains, I wanted to know who the people were that were involved in the conception, design, and production of these wonderful models. I remember that I used to look at the "152 Green Lanes, London N.13" address on the Treble-O-Lectric instruction manual and wonder about the actual manufacture of the trains, so far away (I live in Minnesota, U.S.A.) . Of course, at the time, I had no idea that the company produced such a wide array of other wonderful toys. Particularly fascinating are the accounts of Geoff, with his insights being the son of one of the founders, the other former employees, with their memories of what it was like to work at D.C.M.T. , and the in-depth reporting of Roy "Steve Larrabee" Green reminiscing his years of portraying the Lone Star Cowboy. The extensive documentation of the different ranges is wonderful and reveals what was released and when.

This book is a "must have" for anyone wanting to either know the history of the company or collecting the products it made and I'm grateful to Mr. Ambridge for researching and producing it. Doug."

From Mark Rich, Toy Cars & Models magazine (Krause Publications, U.S.A.)

"Lone Star" "Do I ever have any questions myself? Constantly....and sometimes answers come out of the blue. For instance, an e-mail arrived a few months ago that I immediately misplaced and just came across again. It led me to: www.lone-star-diecast-bk.com

To me, the story of Die Casting Machine Tools (DCMT) Ltd., has long seemed to be at the center of a confusing tangled knot of toy history. Geoffrey Ambridge of Polegate, England, has tackled some of this knot, writing a book about Lone Star toys called: "The Bumper Book of 'Lone Star' Diecast Models and Toys 1948-88" (For ordering information, visit the website listed above). One question I had was rather simple - how in the world did a British company arrive at "Lone Star" as a name for its toys?

It seems that with the arrival of the "Wild West" fad in England in 1949, sparked in part by the hit film "Shane", DCMT thought a line of die-cast cap pistols and rifles, marketed under a name that would evoke the American Cowboy milieu, would be just the thing for British kids. So the company ditched its previous name for its toys, Slikka Playthings, and adopted the new name of "Lone Star". So, when the toy cars came onto the scene, they were naturally Lone Star toys, too, even though they had nothing of the American West about them. I had some inkling that the toy Western guns were the reason for the name....now, I'm glad to have definitive confirmation." Mark Rich.


Model Collector magazine, wrote:- "Lone Star seems an ever more popular subject. Geoffrey S. Ambridge's fascinating book fills a big gap in the market."

"Back in 1999, Geoffrey Ambridge wrote an engrossing article for Model Collector on the ever-interesting subject of Lone Star-D.C.M.T. and his own brief career there. It sparked off a huge interest, and, recently (in 2002) Geoffrey has released a whole book on the rivetting story of Lone Star. It's very much a book for aficionados of the company, with lots of reminiscences from former workers, including 'Steve Larrabee' , the famous Lone Star cowboy!

Lone Star were famous for their toy guns, of course, and their memorable 'Treble-0-Lectric' range of N gauge die-cast trains. But it is for the delightful model car ranges that most readers of Model Collector will be interested in the book. Geoffrey has done model car fans proud. There's a huge amount of old literature, such as catalogues and adverts, reproduced relating to different ranges in the book, and some intriguing snippets of information.

Picking your way through the history of Roadmasters, Impys, Flyers, Tuf-Tots, etc., is not easy, but Geoffrey gives a comprehensive list of models in all the different ranges, together with production dates. Like the Lone Star company, the book is a little unusual in the way it works, rather quirky some might say; but, by the end of it, you feel you have been thoroughly involved with the company, their products, and the amazing characters that made it all happen. Enjoy!"


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