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British Toy Companies : Gaiety Toys – Castle Art Products Ltd.

March 27th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments


Gaiety Toys was the trading name used on a relatively small range of toys produced by Castle Art Products Ltd., a die-casting company incorporated in March of 1946 with its trading address given as Prospect House, Tyseley Industrial Estate, Seeleys Road, Birmingham, England. As far as I am aware the range of road vehicles simply consisted of three racing cars, a Morgan 3-wheel sports car and a fire engine although at the time of this post I have yet to come across the fire engine model.

The racing car models were a well detailed, one piece casting, with holes drilled through the body to accept the metal axles onto which were fitted the all metal wheels. The racers had no baseplate and had ‘Gaiety Toy – Castle Art Products’ cast into the underside of the body along with a castle image.

The Morgan sports car was produced at 4.75″/12cm in length, no driver within the model and it came in various colourway finishes, red, blue and green as well as an all chrome version. 

The racing cars were produced in 3 different sizes :

  • model 1 – Produced at 5″ / 12.7cm length, head and shoulders single driver cast in.
  • model 2 – Produced at 4″ / 10 cm length, head and shoulders driver and co-driver cast in.
  • model 3 – Produced at 3.25″ / 8.25cm length, head and shoulders single driver cast in.

All racing car models came painted in various single colourway finishes, red, blue and green as well as all chrome finish.

The racing cars, along with the Morgan 3 wheelers, were all produced in either free running or clockwork modes and came in a simple thick cardboard box with a single coloured line drawing lable.

Also produced under the Gaiety banner by Castle Art Products was a range of electric ‘OO’ gauge railway locomotive models which came in a plain card box with a simple printed black and white lable. Alternatively one could purchase the loco body shell only, either painted or unpainted, which could be fitted with your own chassis. These body shells had ‘British Railways’ cast into the side tanks and came in a plain, thick cardboard box.

The following pictures of the Gaiety Toys fire engine were kindly sent in by Don Stephens – much appreciated Don !

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  1. Mrs Phyllis Short
    July 22nd, 2013 at 17:05 | #1

    Amongst my husband things I came across an engine in a white box with Gaiety models,electric scale model locos “00” gauge. on one end side it says: Electric 0-6-2,pannier tank loco,british railways 46917. He did have other train sets but this one seems tobe alone. Could you please let me know if it’s a collectable engine and when was it made . Thank you very much.

  2. dave
    July 23rd, 2013 at 14:23 | #2

    Hello Phyllis, your Gaiety loco certainly is collectable. As far as I am aware the 0-6-2 pannier tank loco British Rail running no. 46917 was produced as either a 2 or 3 rail operational model although originally also a static scale model for your layout. Motorised they sold for around the £3.00 mark, nowadays with the box (depending on condition of box/model, working or not etc) I would have thought around £30 + level. As for when it was produced ? best guess would be in the early 1950’s say around 1952/3 time but not 100% on that.
    Best I can do I’m afraid, David.

  3. Mrs Phyllis Short
    August 22nd, 2013 at 14:25 | #3

    Sorry for the delay in replying , David. I have been away. Thank you for the information it is most useful. Regards

  4. dave
    August 25th, 2013 at 20:52 | #4

    No problem Phyllis, glad to be of help.

  5. don stephens
    January 27th, 2014 at 05:58 | #5

    hi David. I have 2 of the gaiety fire engines both slightly different. One has the post for the fire hose one not. In the photos I have seen there is a ladder with wheels, a hose and a fireman hope this info might be useful . Regards don

  6. dave
    January 27th, 2014 at 15:43 | #6

    Hi Don,
    Thanks for the info. appreciated. Any chance of a pic or two for the site ?
    Cheers for now, David.

  7. Derek Rigby
    May 30th, 2014 at 09:22 | #7

    I have a chrome Morgan car which is marked under the body as Gaiety Reg No 850429 A Castle Art product. Can you advise me if it has any value

  8. dave
    June 10th, 2014 at 16:00 | #8

    Hi Derek, Morgan chromed three wheelers usually sell at auction for around the £35-£40 mark in good condition – so not a fortune but they are pretty common.
    Cheers, David.

  9. Graham Shaw
    March 17th, 2015 at 12:28 | #9

    Hi, I have a 3-wheeled Morgan Gaiety by Castle art models – do you know what size key I need for the clockwork motor or is there any other toy’s key I could use?

  10. dave
    March 25th, 2015 at 17:08 | #10

    Hi there Graham, unlike most mechanical toys of the the 1940’s / 50’s produced by the likes of Chad Valley or Triang to name but two, Gaiety toys did not produce a key stamped with their name. Or I might be safer saying that I have never come across one ! One reason for this was that quite often the clockwork motors were a ‘bought -in’ item. Consequently you will find that one key will fit many different models from several different manufacturers. I think you will find that any ‘standard’ clockwork key will operate your model. I usually carry around a triang Minic key for this purpose and consider myself unlucky if it doesn’t fit ! However a friend of mine .. yes I do have one .. bought from a watch/clock repairers a multi-purpose key having four different size apertures coming off a central boss. (No doubt there is a technical name for this type of key but I don’t know it !).
    Hope that is an adequate answer to your question, cheers David.

  11. John
    February 16th, 2016 at 21:25 | #11

    Hi I have got a clock work race car looks like a gaiety toy it’s red with metal wheels and a driver and a passenger in it but I can’t find no stamps or anything on the bottom I was wondering if anyone can help me out I would like to no the make and year if this is possible if anyone as any information please message me and I can get you a picture many thanks

  12. dave
    February 20th, 2016 at 11:38 | #12

    John, if you can send a picture through I’m happy to post it and if I am unable to help I’m sure there will be someone out there who can.

  13. John Lindop
    August 10th, 2016 at 16:51 | #13

    Seeking steering wheel for Gaiety Morgan Threewheeler..
    Any clues ?

  14. dave
    August 25th, 2016 at 20:50 | #14

    John, I personally can’t help you out John as I’ve no Gaiety models for parts but if anyone out there can help please drop me a line.

  15. Mel McG
    March 27th, 2018 at 16:28 | #15

    Hi I have a Gaiety model car that I am looking to sell. Do you buy items?
    Kind Regards

  16. Jens Breinegaard
    April 19th, 2018 at 09:09 | #16

    I have on ebay bought a Gaiety Toy Morgan 850429 “clockwork untested”. On arrival it turn out it has no clockwork, never had, as no mount and no keyhole! I have never seen them as a pusher car only like this. Was this normal, sold with and without clockwork? Without more rare or? Best regards Jens , Denmark

  17. dave
    April 28th, 2018 at 15:46 | #17

    Hello there Mel, sorry I personally don’t buy items offered through this site but if anyone is interested if you message me I will put you in touch with Mel.
    Cheers, David.

  18. dave
    April 28th, 2018 at 19:42 | #18

    Hi there Jens, the Gaiety Toys Morgan, like the rest of the cars from this company, were produced with or without a clockwork motor. To be fair almost all of the Morgan models I have come across have been fitted with a mechanical drive and on that basis I would suggest that finding one without a motor fitted would be more of a bonus. Cars without a motor fitted originally would not have been produced with a keyhole in the side of the bodywork.
    Cheers, David.

  19. October 24th, 2018 at 12:03 | #19

    Good morning, on my retirement I am following my pation of toy fairs and I have come across
    a small three part cast metal train set which you can just read Gaiety Toys on the casting
    unfortunately it has been re-painted in red and black not much value I expect but is it of any
    intrest. Cheers Steve

  20. dave
    December 15th, 2018 at 20:47 | #20

    Hi there Steve, sorry to be a while getting back to you on this one. Thanks for the offer but the Gaiety Toys three part train carried little value in original condition and even less, as most things are, when repainted. Pity really as these old toys were once loved by young boys but sadly have little value now. Can I make a suggestion, I spent some time last year as a volunteer at my local museum and did a display featuring toys which I would have played with as a boy. Without blowing my own trumpet too loudly it went down a treat with our visitors, so why not see if someone like that can make use of it, just a thought.
    All the best and keep on trawling those fairs, might bump into you one day, David.

  21. John Lindop
    November 15th, 2019 at 10:05 | #21

    Any idea when Castle Art / Gaiety Toys ceased production ?

  22. dave
    November 16th, 2019 at 18:37 | #22

    Hi there John and thanks for visiting and your question.
    As you may know from previous posts on this site the information I provide on the various manufacturers is intended as something of a ‘thumbnail’ view on each company. As I have said many times over I would dearly love to spend my time dedicated to researching the many different toy companies but alas I don’t have the time or the resources now. In saying all that it is surprising how many acknowledgements this site has received in various publications where the information we provide has been used.
    But back to your question and sorry to say I cannot provide a simple answer. The Company status is listed as dissolved that much I do know. The major problem I have without spending much more time on this is that Castle Art Products Ltd. were a Company that mainly supplied die-casting parts to the automotive industry. It looks from a quick trawl that the Company was dissolved sometime in 1983 with the then formation of Castle Diecasting Ltd., which I believe was also later dissolved.
    As to when Castle Art ceased producing the various toy models I could not say. I’ve not come across any old catalogues etc. of theirs which may give us a clue to this fact, although they were producing their locomotives well into the 1950’s.
    Now you can understand why I only supply limited information on each company as even a small producer of toy models can lead one to asking more questions than one has answers to !
    Sorry I can’t be more help, David.

  23. Leslie Boland
    January 12th, 2020 at 15:24 | #23

    @John Lindop
    I Worked for Castle Diecasting about 1994,the company producing components, for the car trade ,also Coffin handles and hinges for household items, no Toy items were produced.
    I believe that when I left ,the company had large orders for wing mirrors for Rover cars Longridge and you know what happened there.
    At the time I was there I believed it was a Subsidiary of Crofts & Assinder who still trade.

  24. dave
    January 13th, 2020 at 17:33 | #24

    Thanks for the info Leslie much appreciated.
    Primary source information such as this is invaluable when compiling information on any Company. It doesn’t matter how much or how little because if its not put down then its lost forever.
    In my youth I worked as an draughtsman for a large engineering company in Sheffield, part of the job was to prepare works layout drawings covering the whole plant. I always meant to copy these plans as a historical record but sad to say I never did. Some years after I had left one of the sites had been completely demolished and built over. The office block long gone along with the drawing office and all the plans gone on the bonfire. No doubt at some point a futuristic version of ‘Time Team’ will be scratching around trying to work out what was there – my drawings would have saved an awful lot of head scratching.
    Cheers, and thanks again, David.

    February 6th, 2021 at 21:03 | #25


    Query, does anyone have a Castle Art box for racing car or a copy of the label ?

  26. dave
    February 12th, 2021 at 19:50 | #26

    If anyone can help on this just message in and I will put you in touch with John.
    Cheers, David.

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