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 When was the black panther produced?

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rogerpgvg



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PostSubject: When was the black panther produced?   Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:01 pm

The toy animal wiki says that the black panther was produced between 1960 and 1989, the same period as the spotted panther:
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But this seems unlikely given that it is so rare. In his book “Suspended animation” Peter Cole says that “At some point [it] was available in black.” And an Ebay seller says it was produced around 1968. The latter date makes sense because there is information in this forum that says that the black panther was produced in both polythene and PVC. 1968 is the year Britains switched from polythene to PVC for their animal range.

The question is for how long around 1968 it was produced. My impression is that the black panther is rarer than the brown standing bear cub, which was produced for only one year, in 1964. So perhaps the black panther was also produced for just one year?

Does anyone have any information to narrow down the production period?
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SUSANNE
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PostSubject: Re: When was the black panther produced?   Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:21 am

Thankyou for pointing this out. Unfortunately I know very little about Britains study

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Kikimalou
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PostSubject: Re: When was the black panther produced?   Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:26 am

I agree with you, the Black panther is very rare, especially in polythene IMHO.

We will need to ask Chris Stweetman Wink

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Chris Sweetman

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PostSubject: Re: When was the black panther produced?   Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:15 am

Britains panther 1347 was introduced in 1960 and deleted along with the rest of the Zoo / Wild Life range in 1998.

The only official version was the tan plastic with spots and there are a few different mouldings as one would expect over this period of production. This also includes the change of plastic from polythene to PVC which, for the Zoo and Farm animal ranges is stated as 1968. It has to be noted that Britains used PVC before 1968. OK that is the background out of the way so what about the black plastic panther?

Firstly, this black version was never in the main catalogue illustration for the Zoo range. This had the models available depicted in a line.

However, if one takes a close look at the illustrations depicting the Zoo Box Sets it is clear that the black panther version was available for limited periods in a select Box Set.

Re: Britains 1969 consumer catalogue Ref: 10 (124th edition) on page 16 the black panther appears in Box Set number 7317. However, in the 1970 catalogue the black panther has been replaced by the normal version in the same Box Set with reference number 7317. In the preceding catalogue, 1968, Box Set 7317 doesn't exist and the normal colour panther is only included in 7329, the Large Folding Boxed Set. Even with the 1969 dateline this black panther could have been the polythene version as the full change over to PVC may have taken a couple of years to complete.

Re: Britains 1973 consumer catalogue Ref: 10 (128th edition) on page 10 the black panther appears in Box Set number 7317. However, this is a totally different set to the 1969 version of 7317 with 12 models not the 11 included in the 1969 version of this Box Set. Again the normal panther colour is available in the largest Box Set 7326 with 23 models. In the 1974 catalogue page 8 is identical in every way to page 10 in the 1973 catalogue.

Therefore, in summary, based on this evidence the polythene black panther was only available for one year namely 1969 and the PVC black panther was available for 2 years - 1973 to 1974. As both versions were only available in Box Sets for a limited period it can be regarded that they are rare. In fact Richard Lewis classifies the black panther as Extremely Rare.

Hope this is of assistance.  Very Happy

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SUSANNE
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PostSubject: Re: When was the black panther produced?   Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:33 am

Hurraaay for Chris cheers

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Taos

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PostSubject: Re: When was the black panther produced?   Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:47 am

Its really nice to hear the history of the rare black panther.I remember getting them when I was younger and luckily still have 2.I did at one time have 4 but traded 2 on this forum. Smile

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rogerpgvg



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PostSubject: Re: When was the black panther produced?   Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:25 pm

Thanks, Chris. That's very interesting. It explains why the black panther is so rare and also, as Kikimalou suggests, why the polythene version is even rarer than the PVC version. Taos, do you remember whether you indeed got them in box sets as a child?
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PostSubject: Re: When was the black panther produced?   Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:53 pm

Its a long time ago since I got them but I have a hazy memory of buying them with the normal leopards and I think they may have been loose in a box together. question question

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rogerpgvg



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PostSubject: Re: When was the black panther produced?   Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:58 pm

I can imagine that it’s hard to remember, it’s a long time ago. I had a look in the catalogues. In 1969, box 7317 indeed had a black panther, but in 1973-4, I don’t see it. The picture of the box is very small, but I think it’s an anteater. So the black panther may only have been produced in 1969 in box 7317. That would still be consistent with the fact that it was produced both in polythene and PVC because Britains switched plastic around that time. Or if Taos’s memory is accurate, then it might also have been produced in boxes with the spotted panther. It would be great if we had more people with a good memory who could confirm that.
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PostSubject: Re: When was the black panther produced?   Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:39 pm

According to Plastic warriors; "Zoo animals, Britains Herald Plastic models 1960.1971 - a collectors guide" by Barney Brown the Black panther was issued around 1968 and I read it as in small numbers. He then writes " Around 1980 the standard model was painted...///...whilst the Black Panther was later reintroduced in glossy PVC" As he describes it the later version it had a more detailed painting than the first.
The more You read about Britains, the company seems to have worked more by chance than You might expect. Models came out with different painting. Figures were set out in different ground colors and not as it seems always in a planned order. This is especially common in the farm series, where cows can be made as Jersey cows but also can appear in bl/w or b/w. Some horses are more common in different kind of brown but also in black, white and with several different paintings. And so on.
I guess they mould in the what plastic they had or if they had some black plastic left said "Hey, lets do the panthers black this week".
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