About a year ago my wife and I were travelling through Taranaki and called in to see the Fun Ho! national Toy Museum in Inglewood on our travels. Little did I know that this visit would inspire me to begin my own collection of Fun Ho! Midgets which I remember so well as a boy growing up in New Zealand in the 60's and 70's. So far I am proud to say that I have now a modest but growing collection of these wonderful little miniatures.
Since the visit to the museum I have done some research into the Fun Ho! story ( I know I have only scratched the surface so far!) in my quest to gain more knowledge especially on the Fun Ho! Midget series.
It did not take me long to discover just how much work you have put in to preserving the Fun Ho! story. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your achievements. Taranaki and indeed New Zealand should be very proud of your efforts. I believe that New Zealanders tend to not realise that our history is worthy of protection and preservation until it is much too late. Thank goodness for far sighted people like yourself.
What I was wishing to ask you is :- from what I can gather the midgets were initially sold in little red and white Mobil cardboard boxes until about 1968-69. Is this correct?
Then they were replaced by little red and yellow Fun Ho! boxes of the same dimensions as previously. About how long were these sold for before being replaced by the visi-type boxes?
I have both the Collector's guide book by Mr D. Daw and the blue Collector's guide but can find no reference to these details.
Also do you know up to what number midget was packaged into both the red and white Mobil box ( no.46??) and also the red and yellow Fun Ho! box ( no. 57??).
One last question to tap your knowledge - were the chrome/ copper type midgets sold in boxes?
I have heard conflicting stories on this. If you can help me with any of the above information it would be very much appreciated Once again thank you Kind Regards. [Glen Nov. 2002]
Response from Barry Young
Midget Summary A.R.R. E.& O.E. Copyright Barry Young
1965-1968 Mobil red/white ctns. 60mm long
Numbers 1-32 inclusive, (except where they are over 60mm long).
1965-1971-3 Fun Ho! red/yellow 60mm long
Numbers 1-32, (as above) +34, 35, 36, some 42?, 43, 47.
1965-1971 Fun Ho! red /yellow 96mm long
Nos.22, 23, 24, 27, 29, 33, 37, 40, 41, 42, 44, 46, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52.
1971-1975 Fun Ho! Visi. pack 96mm long
Nos 22, 23, 24, 27, 29, 33, 37, 40, 41, 42, 44, 46, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 61.
1973-1982 Fun Ho! Visi pack 145mm long
for K1, & later K2, K3, & K4.(not used for any others)
One Farm , one Road construction, one Army, one yellow Target (Aust) each with five or six different shaped stiff acetate blisters, used on most models , even a few K1s, (2 blisters /card).
1975-1980 Blister pack on cards
1977-1982+ Army range, special Army card, blisters to suit
Numbers 59, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72.
1980-1982+ Yellow Plinth pack, raised
Used for all current models except Army Range, and K trucks.
Both 60mm cartons were only suitable for Numbers 1-32, except Nos.22, 23, 24, 27, 29, Models produced from 1967, even if under 60mm long, were rarely, if ever sold in Mobil red/white boxes.
Chromies were only numbers 1-32 , (apart from about 30 No.36 specials), and would have been packed in Mobil boxes if under 60mm in length.
Longer models would have been in Red/yellow boxes , 96mm long. There was of course quite a bit of 'overlapping'...some models stayed on the shelf longer, and maybe the faster sellers got to the new packaging first !!
Bearing that in mind, the dates given can't be rigid and there will always be 'odd ball 'examples cropping up :-)
Trust you can follow all above , you really need to use your blue Fun Ho! Collector's Reference, and some pages from 'Fun Ho! Midgets Leaflet No. 14.'
Good collecting and Fun ho! .... Barry, November 2002