January 24, 2017

FARLEY'S FIGURE OF THE WEEK: #139 The Sheriff by Timpo

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This Swoppet cowboy comes to us from Timpo Toys of the UK. This is an example of the development of the technique of over moulding, developed in 1962 by Norman Tooth and providing a single-piece, multicolored product that eliminated the need of painting. By the time this 4th series cowboy was being made the moulding techniques had reached new heights...and this is one sterling example: the silver star, holster tie-down and of course the big, burly Mutton Chops all lend to make this one of the finest figures Timpo ever produced and a worthy selection as our latest FOTW!

Timpo Toys was an English toy company created in 1938 by Sally Gawrylovitz (born in Frankfurt 1907, died September 28, 2000), also known as Ally Gee. A Jewish refugee from Germany, he started as Toy Importers Company known as TIMPO ( T of toy and impo from Importers ) in 1938. The company manufactured various toys out of wood, bakelite and composition until the end of World War II. In the postwar years, cars, airplanes, animals, civilians, knights, cowboys, Indians and military figures such as GIs and British soldiers were produced in lead. The standard size was 54mm. In 1954 plastic figures were introduced and were originally cast in the molds for the lead soldiers. In 1958 Timpo started using injection molded machinery and a series of Knights, Romans, Vikings, Arabs and Foreign Legionnaires, Cossacks, Cowboys, Indians, US Civil War and military soldiers were made in plastic. Originally plastic figures were solid castings and hand painted at the factory. But 1962 Norman Tooth became technical director of the company and created a completely new production procedure called “over moulding”  a process where multicolor plastic is molded to the figure thus eliminating the need for the figures to be painted. In addition the figures were made in swappable parts where the heads, torsos and legs could be changed between figures. Separate weapons and accessories such as shields, scarfs, hats and helmets enhanced the figures even more.

At Timpos peek in the 70s there were more than 1000 employees and more than 300 home workers. 72 Large moulding machines and about 100 over-moulding machines operated 24 hours a day. In 1981 the company closed for good.

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