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 Wend-al - UK vintage aluminium figure manufacturer

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DaveScriv



Country/State : England
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PostSubject: Wend-al - UK vintage aluminium figure manufacturer   Sat Dec 21, 2013 2:13 pm

Wend-al was based at Blandford, Dorset, near the south coast of England, and was set up by Edgar Kehoe about 1947. He had seen the aluminium toy figures made in other European countries, and was advised and assisted by one of them, the French company Quiralu. This was before plastic figures were established, and Mr Kehoe thought aluminium figures would be better than the then usual hollowcast figures as toys because they were much stronger, however it seems that it was impossible to produce fine detail in aluminium, so (like Segal lead figures), Wend-al figures are very simple, toy like, and rather cartoony, although they do have a certain charm, and some unusual items, such as the farmer's wife holding a hen. They are beginning to get expensive, because they, like Segal figures, appeal to US dimestore collectors.

The people at Wend-al could see they couldn't compete with plastic a decade later, so the factory closed down in 1956, although the owner continued to make a few figures at home in his garage, and then set up a small operaton making flock covered plastic (if you can't beat 'em, join 'em) wild animals, most of which were sold in UK zoo souvenir shops. He had the plastic figures made by inmates at Lewes Prison, and then did the flocking (furry coating) process at home. You will see in the photos that some aluminium figures were wholly or partly (the bison) flock coated as well. Some UK lead companies also produced flock coated figures, with their flocking being done for them by a company called Laing, but Wend-al had its own flocking equipment.

Some of the animals exist in two versions, with a base are earlier, without a base are later - to reduce metal costs.  

First, my Wend-al farm figures:

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The man at the top right served as ploughman or pushed a wheel barrow. The old lady knitting is by Quiralu (I think), not Wend-al.

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The two animals at the top right seem to have been used at random to portray either a farm dog or a zoo wolf. They were TOYS!

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That's all of my Wend-al farm collection, zoo animals to follow shortly.
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DaveScriv



Country/State : England
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PostSubject: Re: Wend-al - UK vintage aluminium figure manufacturer   Sat Dec 21, 2013 2:57 pm

Now for Wend-al zoo:

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The camel here, with a saddle painted on, was really intended for any of 4 'desert peoples' to ride, or in Wendal's circus and nativity sets, and an non saddle painted version would really go in the zoo.

The white clothed man was Wend-al's jack-of-all-trades, and was painted in a variety of clothes/uniform colours in various guises.

That's all folks for my Wend-al zoo collection.
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SUSANNE
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PostSubject: Re: Wend-al - UK vintage aluminium figure manufacturer   Sat Dec 21, 2013 3:34 pm

What fantastic, wonderful models  Shocked 
And so many...I never even heard abouit the brand before !
And some are fuzzy  cheers 

Funny thing is that some of the wild animals look almost exactly like the ones I think are Clairet , - the elefant, croc, and these :

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widukind

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PostSubject: Re: Wend-al - UK vintage aluminium figure manufacturer   Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:36 pm

Very interesting , thank you for sharing  cheers cheers cheers 

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Kikimalou
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PostSubject: Re: Wend-al - UK vintage aluminium figure manufacturer   Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:47 am

Congratulation Dave, you have an incredible collection  Applause I have myself a few... But only a few. Those are relatively expensive models. It is funny that in France, Wend-al are cheaper than their Quiralu ancestors.

The differences between the two brands are the painting and the shape, Wend-Al are more "square" than Quiralu

Here is a comparison pic: Quiralu on the left and Wend-Al on the right.

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[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:

Funny thing is that some of the wild animals look almost exactly like the ones I think are Clairet , - the elefant, croc, and these :

The croc and panthers are indeed Clairet copies but the elephants are Quiralu copies. Wend-Al didn't copycatting.  Wink It was a business deal between the companies, just like Schleich and Safari Ltd did  a few years ago.

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SUSANNE
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PostSubject: Re: Wend-al - UK vintage aluminium figure manufacturer   Sun Dec 22, 2013 9:04 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:


[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:

Funny thing is that some of the wild animals look almost exactly like the ones I think are Clairet , - the elefant, croc, and these :

The croc and panthers are indeed Clairet copies but the elephants are Quiralu copies. Wend-Al didn't copycatting.  Wink It was a business deal between the companies, just like Schleich and Safari Ltd did  a few years ago.

Thankyou, very much for this great info  cheers 

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Chris Sweetman

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PostSubject: Re: Wend-al - UK vintage aluminium figure manufacturer   Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:30 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Wend-al was based at Blandford, Dorset, near the south coast of England, and was set up by Edgar Kehoe about 1947. He had seen the aluminium toy figures made in other European countries, and was advised and assisted by one of them, the French company Quiralu. This was before plastic figures were established, and Mr Kehoe thought aluminium figures would be better than the then usual hollowcast figures as toys because they were much stronger, however it seems that it was impossible to produce fine detail in aluminium, so (like Segal lead figures), Wend-al figures are very simple, toy like, and rather cartoony, although they do have a certain charm, and some unusual items, such as the farmer's wife holding a hen. They are beginning to get expensive, because they, like Segal figures, appeal to US dimestore collectors.

The people at Wend-al could see they couldn't compete with plastic a decade later, so the factory closed down in 1956, although the owner continued to make a few figures at home in his garage, and then set up a small operaton making flock covered plastic (if you can't beat 'em, join 'em) wild animals, most of which were sold in UK zoo souvenir shops. He had the plastic figures made by inmates at Lewes Prison, and then did the flocking (furry coating) process at home. You will see in the photos that some aluminium figures were wholly or partly (the bison) flock coated as well. Some UK lead companies also produced flock coated figures, with their flocking being done for them by a company called Laing, but Wend-al had its own flocking equipment.

Some of the animals exist in two versions, with a base are earlier, without a base are later - to reduce metal costs.  

The two animals at the top right seem to have been used at random to portray either a farm dog or a zoo wolf. They were TOYS!

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

That's all of my Wend-al farm collection, zoo animals to follow shortly.

Dave you have a fabulous collection here and the information is first class.

Regarding the charging bull figures you have - you may be interested in the following plastic bull:

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[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] by [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], on Flickr

This plastic version I think was made by Timpo but the pose is strikingly similar.

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Kikimalou
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PostSubject: Re: Wend-al - UK vintage aluminium figure manufacturer   Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:29 am

Here is the original Quiralu Wink

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Pic stolen on eBay Embarassed

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Roger
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PostSubject: Re: Wend-al - UK vintage aluminium figure manufacturer   Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:17 pm

Here is a top quality topic that I missed. Thanks to all of you that contributed to share all this useful information! cheers

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