16 December 2011
A new book on Spot-On models is currently been prepared and the authors need your help. ...
Producing a new book about Spot-On models has been talked about for years, almost every year since Graham Thompson’s book was published in 1983. Quite a few are known to have tried, one quite seriously around the turn of the century, and a major magazine series did do the honours, plus we have seen various price guide listings too.
At the time, Spot-On did have a problem – the model vehicle part of Spot-On Ltd’s production was meant to give Tri-ang a major share of the market in competition with Dinky, Corgi and Matchbox. It didn’t, however good the product.
From being the most ignored brand, in literary terms at least, it is soon to be among the best, and not just the vehicles. We are talking about Spot-On Ltd. Not just the Spot-On brand, but the whole Spot-On saga. The aim is to be ‘the ultimate book on Spot-On by Tri-ang’.
The name first saw the light of day in 1959 with the Vehicles and Roadway System, with everything to a constant scale. Not just all vehicles, unique in itself, but roadways, buildings and accessories. These were followed in 1960 with a whole range of dolls’ house furniture, Dollies Home. An ultra-modern building construction system, Arkitex, was the third major product.
After a few years it was decided to use the Spot-On brand name only for the vehicles. Dollies Home was relaunched as Jenny’s Home – just the small print gave the information ‘manufactured by Spot-On Ltd’.
The artwork for an all-new product line was altered at the last minute to remove the Spot-On brand from the title. However, if the Spot-On name is in there somewhere, it will get its full share of attention.
Unfortunately, all was not well in the miniature world – the first full dolls’ furniture catalogue promised the means of keeping warm, but the ‘Janitor Boiler’ was never produced, or was it?
All ranges seem to have phantom items, and Spot-On is no exception. How about the Terrapin Building Set? It’s in the catalogues, in trade price lists, in collectors’ guides with a value... could somebody please produce some actual proof it was made?
Similarly, some of the very largest later presentation sets have so far eluded the net, although their manufacture is not necessarily in so much doubt.
So the authors of this new book are asking for your help... if you can add to the story, the team would be pleased to hear from you before its too late. Call Brian for a chat on 01342 410502 or write to Living History Publications, PO Box 130, RH19 3FS. Nigel is at the receiving end of emails at [email protected] and all correspondence will be gratefully received.