As happens from time to time, I am making a short diversion away from the ‘bookish’ posts you will usually find here, to share one of my other pastimes with you.
Yes! I am a not so secret dissectologist – or someone who enjoys jigsaw puzzle assembly.
Clicking on this Amazon link will allow you to magnify individual items, for a closer look at all those 1960s toys, which I for one, remember so well!
This puzzle is part of a collection, which follows the ‘toy box’ trends and traditions over the decades, one representative jigsaw for each decade.
I have so far worked the puzzles for the 1940s and 1960s and I am sure that I have acquired more from the collection, I just need to sort through my TBD pile to find them!
1960s TOY BOX MEMORIES – (Memories Of The 1960s)
By the 1960s, spin-offs from television programmes were an established part of the toy trade, and children expected to find their favourite characters in the local toyshop. For Dr Who and the Daleks there was an appropriate range of creation to exterminate unwanted adults. Foremost amongst TV adventures were the puppets of Gerry Anderson, from Supercar and Stingray to Thunderbirds (with Lady Penelope), Captain Scarlet and boy wonder Joe 90.
It was the improvement of plastic that transformed many parts of the toy business. Stronger rigid plastic enabled the success of Lego bricks, while malleable plastic helped the phenomenon of Barbie dolls (accompanied by an entourage of outfits), soon to be followed by Sindy and, for boys, Action Man. During the sixties, there was plenty of heart-throb action from the likes of Dr Kildare or Illya Kuryakin in The Man from UNCLE.
With the popularity of James Bond films, interest in fast cars increased – at least an Aston Martin or E Type Jaguar was more affordable as a miniature model. This was the era also for the twist dance craze and Twister, the “game that ties you up in knots”.
Remember running down to the local Toyshop with a handful of money – the anticipation and excitement.
Such fond memories will be revived with this series of toy box jigsaws. Those treasured ‘friends’ and memory moments will be found in each decade, where we all had our own personal world of make believe.
The items that make up these jigsaws come from the Robert Opie Collection, which is housed at the Museum of Brands in London’s Notting Hill and the Museum of Memories in Weston-Super-Mare. Having saved the packaging and promotional materials around him since he was at school, Robert Opie gathered together the earlier story of mass manufacture from many sources.
In 1975 he held an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and then in 1984 founded Britain’s first museum devoted to the story of our consumer society.
The displays give a sense of the evolving culture and lifestyle since Victorian times, represented through the everyday items that we all take for granted – from motor cars, telephones, holidays and entertainment, to all manner of branded groceries, sweets and household goods.
The collection traces the changes in social taste and tempo, the whims of style and fashion, the advent of aviation, the jazz age and the gradual emancipation of women. It’s through the fabric of daily living – the song sheets, toys, souvenirs, postcards, magazines and posters – that the rich tapestry of the British way of life is woven together.
In 1903, Harry Gibson managed to obtain an unsecured loan of £500 from the Royal Bank of Scotland in Bishopsgate, London. This generous sum enabled him to start a business, which at that time was called The International Card Co. Trading from offices in Aldersgate Street, he supplied retailers with a range of products including card games and postcards; an unlikely combination these days, but back then, most towns would have a number of stationers in the High Street and they became Harry Percy’s first customers.
The International Card business was sold to the De La Rue Company and H. P. Gibson & Sons Limited was formed in 1919. The International Series brand continued to be used on some products right up to the early 1980s, but H P Gibson & Sons Ltd made its name with the ‘HPG’ brand of indoor games, with old favourites such as L’Attaque and Dover Patrol; huge sellers before and after the Second World War. Sadly the company’s premises, along with all its manufacturing equipment were destroyed during the Blitz in 1940 and when the war ended, it was almost a case of starting from scratch.
Robert and Harry Gibson, sons of the founder, re-established trading from Barrett Street in London’s West End. The company continued to sell its own family games and pastimes, alongside ranges from other established names, including Waddingtons and Chad Valley. 1966 Harry Percy’s grandson, Michael Gibson joined the family business. He remembers his father paying him £11.00 a week out of which he had to pay his mother living expenses. In the late 70s H P Gibson & Sons shortened its name to ‘Gibsons’, and shortly after, in the early 80s, Gibsons introduced their first jigsaw puzzles.
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1960s Toy Box memories, like so many of my jigsaws, was a charity shop purchase, from charity shop Dorothy House Hospice shop in Warminster, Wiltshire.
Any thoughts or comments are my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article promoting Gibsons puzzles.
I personally do not agree with ‘rating’ a purchase, as the overall experience is all a matter of personal taste, which varies from person to person. However some review sites do demand a rating value, so when this review is posted to such a site, it will attract 5 out of 5 stars.