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Fun Ho!

New Zealand

Reference : Fun Ho!

Interesting notes from a collector in New Zealand, posted to the Yahoo! Group toy_car_collectors, March 2010.

For those of you interested in a quick precis of the Fun Ho! (always with the exclamation mark) miniatures' history - they were originally produced from Australian dies, previously used by the Streamlux company, brought over to New Zealand (during the time we had very severe import restrictions). The company produced the miniatures initially as plated items in chrome (known locally as "chromies") and also as plated with a chrome and copperish finish. They then turned to painted models and so the "chromies" command a premium among collectors.

What is not well known is that there are at least three releases of Fun Ho! Miniatures - the original series issued from the Inglewood factory by Underwood Engineering (the parent company for Fun Ho! toys), a second more limited series of 7 models issued in 1996 by Message Books and Models of Australia (these are easily identified as they have dark blue plastic windows and come in a specially printed box) and various other miniatures issued between 1991 and now by Barry Young (the original owner of the Fun Ho! Museum) and later issues released by the current owners of the Museum (I classify these at present as the same group of models as they have all been issued under the auspices of the Museum).

I have some of all of the issues but unfortunately not quite ready to hand for photographing - I'll try to look some out and get them up on the web for viewing later.

It should be appreciated that Fun Ho! toys were available in at least two sizes, the Midget range being approximately Matchbox sized, and those illustrated below, being closer to Dinky size, i.e. roughly 1/43 scale. Thanks to an eBayer in New Zealand for the images of what look to be delightful models.


Fun Ho! 402 Ferguson Tractor, length 4.3 inches

Fun Ho! 402 Ferguson Tractor, length 4.3 inches with 507 Two Furrow Plough, length 5.9 inches

Fun Ho! 508 Disc Harrow, length 3.5 inches

Fun Ho! 303 Truck, length 5.5 inches

Fun Ho! Motorcyclist with Pillion Passenger, length 3.9 inches

The delightful floor train set illustrated below is 16.5 inches in length, and clearly shows the Fun Ho! trademark on the loco cab roof and NZR on the tender. The set comprises loco, tender, baggage car and passenger coach. Thanks to a New Zealand friend for the photos and information.


Fun Ho! Train Set, overall length 16.5 inches or 420mm

Fun Ho! Train Set, overall length 16.5 inches or 420mm

Fun Ho! Train Set, overall length 16.5 inches or 420mm

Fun Ho! Train Set, overall length 16.5 inches or 420mm

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