Fun Ho! History

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Gravitational Diecast Toys

As opposed to Sand Casting, some Fun Ho! toys were manufactured by a system known as Gravity Diecasting. A set of two (or more) steel dies are mounted on opposing plates that can be hydraulically locked together. The uppermost part of the closed dies form a small funnel, into which molten metal may be poured, usually by a hand held ladle.

When the operator hydraulically opens the dies, ejector pins strip the casting or spray which may then easily be removed with a pair of pliers. The dies are then closed and the process repeated.

Articles made by this process can readily be distinguished from Sand Cast toys by observing the ejector pin marks which appear as small circles embedded in the casting at various strategic places.

After fettling, or separating the different components of the casting, these may then be rumbled to smooth the surfaces ready for painting. Rumbling metal parts is a technique used to smooth rough surfaces and sharp metal edges. A revolving drum is used to tumble the parts with stones and other small abrasives in water and detergent. A concrete mixer can quite satisfactorily be used as a rumbling machine.

In nature, stones or rocks on top of a mountain are broken off by weathering and are sharp and jagged. As they roll down the mountain, aided by the rain, these same stones are swept into streams and rivers, where continued abrasive action wears away prominent edges and corners.

Eventually stones are precipitated into the sea, where the rolling action of sea and surf finalises the smoothing and rounding process and the once jagged rough rocks become beach boulders and pebbles.

Gravity Diecast Fun Ho! toys, having been fettled and rumbled, were further processed, painted or powder coated, before being wheeled, finished and packed ready for dispatch to all parts of New Zealand.

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