Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow


Could this have been one of your well-loved toys as a child? Or, maybe you prefered model aeroplanes?

I recall ‘falling in love’ with LEGO, as a child. Before that, my brother and I fought over Hot Wheels toy cars ;)

  1. sk says:

    Yes, I remembered my Mom put me in a black Jeep in a Sailor suit & took a picture. That was the trend & the Photo studio must have made a lot of money from the Jeep.

  2. NCK says:

    If I’m not mistaken, this was a palm-sized toy ran on clockwork (spring and gears). There used to be a lot of clockwork toys of old, and it wasn’t just toy cars – I remember there were walking robots, among others. I guess clockwork should have been fully phased out by battery-powered motors in today’s toy making.

    • NCK says:

      The clockwork toys that I saw were not Lines Brothers’s products. I’ve not seen any Lines Brothers products, which I think should have been relatively expensive at their times. The toys that I saw ran on plastic gears (cheap stuff) and were not durable at all.

  3. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Lines Brothers was one of my favorite companies: privately held, highly organized, very ambitious, they took great pride in their work. At one point they were the largest toy manufacturer in the world. What’s more, all their toys were beautiful and beautifully made; and many were tin-plated to prevent rust; no need to guess where they got their tin.

    During WWII, Lines halted production of toys and used their factories and workers, mostly women, to make weapons, including Sten Guns. True to their spirit, they soon became one of the largest producers of armaments. The Luftwaffe took note and made special raids to bomb their factories in London.

    With the war over Lines returned to toy-making. The clock-work Jeep toy shown in the photo above probably dates from the late ’40s or early ’50s and, at the time, probably cost about $3. The larger Jeep toy, the one a child could pedal, probably cost about $75. There are a few examples of these bigger toys in the ipohWorld data base (here and here and here in the photo on the right); note that “Tri-Ang” was one of the Lines Brothers’ trade-marks. Lines also sold rubber-band-powered toy “FROG” airplanes that could fly hundreds of meters.

    In Ipoh you could have bought all these toys at Whiteaway’s on Station Road or, later, at Paramount House on Brewster Road.

    Yes, they were not cheap. For comparison: In the late ’40s, after the war, at a time when the government was offering good basic meals to locals for less than 50 cents each, a Minic toy car cost $1-3; a small Minic electric train-set cost about $20; and some of the bigger Lines toys could cost $100 (and more). I imagine most people never saw much of them.

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