PALE CARD WAGON BOXES
A. This is a
very good question as the 1992 boxed wagons always demand a high price because
they were made in such small numbers.
The first short length wagon box to be made from a box card other than the various shades of grey card was actually in 1987 and seemed to be introduced as an attempt by the Company to save money – they changed the type of card used and they also changed the box cutter for making the boxes – these boxes used a thinner card – 50 microns in thickness – in a mid butterscotch colour – and for the first time the end flaps of the box ends met and almost touched in the middle when folded in. The change in thickness of the card, however, seemed to be a false economy and it very quickly became apparent that the card was too thin, with many examples of the boxes creasing and even tearing, sometimes even before they arrived at the shops. I describe these boxes as the ‘Flimsy’ box and you can actually feel that the box is lighter and more fragile. Most of these boxes contained wagons in a white blown plastic insert or a yellow blown plastic insert. The window film of the box was also thinner and all too often the window film ripped or tore very easily – these boxes are frequently seen with damage. The picture shows a first issue 1987 Grey Cattle wagon in one of the 'flimsy' boxes.
It would appear that
many complaints were received from the Retailers as it was not too long before
the boxes were ‘withdrawn’ from use and possibly even destroyed, with new
‘thicker’ boxes being ordered from the printers. However, it took several
months for the next order to arrive and it was between weeks 17 and 50 of 1987
that the Company resorted to using existing stocks of their ‘Long Boxes’ for
their standard wagons until the new stock arrived – these reverted to the
thicker grey box card (55mm) but now with the ‘long flaps on the box ends.
These grey long flap boxes were used during all of 1988 and 1989 and probably
until late 1990 when the next darker ‘butterscotch’ card boxes were introduced in
an even thicker more durable 57mm card. It was during the life of the grey card
long flap boxes that the first yellow card inserts were used alongside the
yellow blown plastic inserts. By the time the 1990 dark ‘Butterscotch’ boxes were
introduced nearly all were issued with yellow card inserts made from matching
During 1991 an
additional order of short wagon boxes was added to the stocks – this time in a
pale card which was far lighter than the butterscotch colour. These were used
alongside the Butterscotch boxes and both were still available in stock at the
end of production in 1992 as both types were inherited as ‘stock’ by Dapol
and were used for the production of some of the ‘Winsford Wagons’. This
‘Pale’ card box was the thickest card of all of the boxes at 63 microns.
The 1991 'Pale' card box can be seen on the left of the photograph below with
the 1990 dark butterscotch box in the centre and the 1987'flimsy' box on the
The 1991 'Pale' card box can be seen on the left of the photograph below with the 1990 dark butterscotch box in the centre and the 1987'flimsy' box on the right.
Right at the
very end of production at Basildon in late 1992 the final short wagon box
appeared – it was of almost the same Pale card colour but, on the left hand
flap when looking at the front of the box the printers had introduced a
‘tapering’ line in yellow print running from the top edge of the flap to
about half way down the leading edge of the flap. This box was again still in
stock at the end of production at Basildon and was also used for the
‘Winsford’ wagons. This yellow edge box was slightly thinner at 60 microns.
The box to be
careful of is the ‘Flimsy’ box from 1987 as this may be mistaken as a 1991
– 1992 production box.
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