Fun Ho! History

Hercules Steel Products (NZ) Limited (1945-c.1960s)

Operating from premises in Kiawarra Street, Hutt Road, Wellington, this firm had an associated company in Port Kembla, New South Wales, Australia, of the same name.

Their range of tinplate toys was quite extensive and variable, although they were not above using blanks of a special shape for more than one product; witness the standard cab tops and the gun turret of the tank, the ends of the telephone, and the wheels!

Pressed tinplate wheels were standard, and helped no doubt to keep a more or less standard scale throughout the range. Apart from Lincoln Industries and Lines Bros (NZ) Ltd. in Auckland, there seems to have been little or no opposition to this firm, and we are unable to be sure of its demise.

It is clear there was a connection of some sort with Jomax during the 1960s, as Jomax toys appears to have a very complimentary range of trucks. Many of these were clearly produced with the same tools used by Hercules as a comparison of the pictures reveals, especially the articulated car carrier.

Time frames are hard to ascertain. While Jones and Max started around 1953 in Queen Street, Auckland, we are not sure if they were in the business of tinplate toys at that early stage. They changed their name in 1966 to Jomax Industries, and this may or may not have been connected with the finishing up of Hercules in New Zealand and the start of their tinplate operation.

It is hoped that through the medium of this New Zealand toy website, some person 'out there' will come up with some bits of information that will enable us to update and correct this article. Can you?

- Barry Young, 2002

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