Farming in Miniature -
Further Discoveries

Mettoy (see Volume 2 page 590)

Page numbers refer to Farming in Miniature Volume 2; bold numbers in brackets refer to photos in the Mettoy chapter.
Click on a thumbnail to enlarge.

No.3274 Tractor Hay Rake (page 591)
Mettoy Hay Rake
As (4) but in a box with the same design as the boxes for no.3270 Tractor-Mower (3), no.3272 Disc Harrows (7) and no.3278 High Speed Hay Cutter (17).

No.3262/0246 Mechanical Tractor Set
(page 591)
No.3262/2468 Mechanical Tractor Set (page 591)
No.3263/2368 Mechanical Tractor Set (page 592)
Mettoy’s Modern Farming Mechanical Tractor Sets went through a number of changes from 1949 to 1958, and there appears to have been little co-ordination between the designers of the implements, the box labels on the large sets and the Mettoy catalogues.  The sequence of events is a little complicated, but the following is based on the catalogues and the sets that we have found.
Mettoy Mechanical Tractor Set
The first version (1949-50) was numbered 3262/0246, containing a tractor and four implements: a trailer, disc harrows, hay rake and a mowing machine with rotary blades.  The set was illustrated in the catalogues (14), but the box lid never pictured the rotary mower.

In the second version (1951-3), no.3262/2468, the rotary mower was replaced by the high speed reciprocating hay cutter, but this was not shown on the box lid which remained unchanged (16).  A driver was added in 1952.
Mettoy Mechanical Tractor SetMettoy Mechanical Tractor Set
In the third version (probably 1954), the box for the same set was correctly illustrated with a driver and all four implements, including the reciprocating hay cutter, but the old label continued to be reproduced in the catalogue.  Strangely, the trailer’s hay raves were never illustrated on the lids of the Mechanical Tractor Sets, although most sets apparently did have them, and they were shown in the catalogue illustrations of the sets ((14), (16) and (25)).

Mettoy Mechanical Tractor Set
A fourth version of the set with a new tractor and plough came out (1955-58) as no.3263/2368, but the box design was not modified in time, and a clumsy sticker with an irregular shape showing the plough was stuck over the illustration of the rake.  However the picture of the tractor was not changed, although the new tractor and plough were both introduced at the same time.

Mettoy Mechanical Tractor Set
Later a corrected version of the box label was used, showing the new tractor (no.3263) and the plough.  However the catalogues for 1955 to 1958 showed a slightly different box design, without the hay cutter and with the trailer pictured top right (25).  We assume this was an 'artist's impression' of the new box prepared for the 1955 catalogue, before the actual box was ready.

No.6438 Tractor with Caterpillar Drive
(page 593)
Mettoy No.6438 Caterpillar Tractor (clockwork)
In Farming in Miniature we were only able to illustrate this model with a catalogue picture (27).  This example is as shown in the catalogue, in blue and yellow with yellow plastic rollers (missing the rubber tracks).  The colour scheme was identical to the later friction-driven version no.6439 (34), and the box was also identical apart from the change of catalogue number (140mm including towing hook).

No.660 Miniature Clockwork Tractor
(page 593)
Mettoy No.660 Miniature Clockwork Tractor (plastic version)
Version with plastic body as (44), but with red plastic hubs.

© Robert Newson, Peter Wade-Martins & Adrian Little