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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Die-Casting Machine Tools Ltd (DCMT) was started in 1939 as a business called "Toys and Houseware" in Green Lanes, Palmers Green, North London to make both metal and plastic diecast equipement for other manufacturers. DCMT, as it became known, eventually began manufacturing their own diecast toys and are said to have chosen the Lone Star name due to their interest in Western movies which went along with the name of one of their first of 220 different toy guns they eventually made and other Western cintric products. They also made model trucks, farm equipment, construction vehicles, airplanes and trains.

In 1947, the began making diecast vehilces that were marketed by Crescent Toy Co Ltd. This relationship ended in 1950. DCMT started their own distribution company to market their castings as "Slikka Toys" or "DCMT". Their second line of castings (?) were called "Roadmaster" in 1956. These were done in 1:35 scale and also contained plastic components.

In the mid 50's, Lone Star acquired Harvey. The "Modern Army" series was designed to accompany the Harvey line.

They started producing (OOO scale), 2mm to the foot, of British and American outline model - "Push Along" -trains in 1957. Which were followed in 1960 by the "Treble-0-Lectric" electrically powered working models of two British diesel locomotives that would later become British "N" gauge - 10 years ahead of the competition. Powered by a patented band driven motor systm the wheels on all rolling stock were changed to plastic to avoid shorting out the power supply. They were initailly sold in card boxes and later in blister packs.

A new numbering system was introduced starting at 50 with all items prefixed by "EL"

Lone Star also made diecast model jet liners starting in 1959 with its 250 Series (1:250 scale). Featured planes were American Boeings, such as the 'Pan Am' 707, Bristol Britannia ('British & Commonwealth') and the Vickers Viscount. Planes came assembled but unpainted with transfers and painting instructions.

In 1960, they made current to the era American car castings for Tootsietoy in 1:50 scale. They were also marketed in Britain as "Roadmasters" (2nd generation series, no hyphen). There did not seem to be any differences between them except the name used on the base plate. Among the new features of these series were plated window glazing, suspension and plated parts. Neither of the cars nor the early boxes carried any reference numbers, but the catalogues of the time listed them in a sequence from 1470 to 1482.

Some of the early DCMT castings were acquired in the early 1960s by Gamda Koor Sabra in Israel. These were military vehicles and crudely reproduced by Gamda until they introduced a newer line of 1:43 scale mostly American cars around 1967.

In 1966, and now known as Lone Star, they discontinued the 1:50 scale Roadmasters series and introduced their "Impy" line of 3" scale diecast vehicles. Officially known as "Roadmaster Impy Super Cars" actual scale sizes ranged from 1:58 to 1:63 scale. They had more opening features than the Roadmaster Series.

A known Lone Star oddity are Impy series castings sold in the United States as "Mini-Cars". These were imported and packaged by the Physio Chem Corporation (USA) in blister packs that showed a hand 'holding' the car in the clear blister with the car visible from both sides of the package. The cars were standard Lone Star Impys though the Lone Star name does not appear anywhere on the package. The bases of the cars are standard Impys and say 'Made in England'. Impy castings were also distributed by Durham and SS Kresge (before they became K-Mart).

World Toy House also distributed Lone Star Impy, Mercury Speedy and Majorette made castings as "Micro Mites" brand diecast.

In 1968, Lone Star modified some of their castings to resemble Mattel's Hot Wheels castings and renamed them to be "Flyers". These castings were fitted with low friction wheel sets on thin wire axles and designed to work on gravity track sets. The first wheels were simple shiny silver wheels with black hubs. Eventually cars were given a five-spoke wheel. In some markets the "Impy" name was retained though. Those commercial and construction vehicles castings that were not modified transitioned into their new "Commercials" series line up with the Impy name stopped being used for this series.

From 1969 to 1979, Lone Star also made a series line up caled "Tuff-Tots". These truck and car castings were made in the 2" scale range. They were offered in window boxes and blister cards. There were (4) cars, (16) trucks, and a few other type vehicles offered. Cars were a - Citroen DS convertible, 1968 Dodge Dart, Corvette Stingray, and a Mercedes-Benz 280 SL. The 1st series offered were all convertibles with plastic drivers in different colors. The 2nd series had no driver and a plastic black roof. Some vehicles were released again in the mid-1980s, as brightly colored "Zippy Zoomers" Others, like the DS convertible were used by (Oxford) Microlink Industries of Wales in a series named "Mokes" which were tied to a comic book storyline. Littlietois were repackaged Lone Star Tuf-Toys for a Dutch retailer chain called HEMA.

In 1976 though, the Impy brand name was revived and all prevously moving parts were cast shut. Interiors were deleted and darkened window pieces were used.

In 1977, for the Queens Silver Jubilee, each of the Lone Star "Commercial" models still in production were made with a chrome finish for a short time. They were also issued in special boxes. Each models issued received an "S" prefix to its normal number. These items are very difficult to find now.

DCMT and Lone Star both ceased operations in 1983.

One of there suppliers did buy Lone Star, Wicke GmbH & Co. of Wuppertal, Germany, took over as an ongoing concern, since they were a manufacturer of explosive caps used by Lone Stars cap firing guns. During Wicke's brief ownership, the company was renamed Lone Star Toys Plc until it eventual closed in June 1988. Toy car production is thought to have continued on a limited basis with toys continuing to be made at the Hatfield plant.

But in 1988, the entire complex closed with production being moved to Hong Kong. The factory was demolished a year later. Sohni Esco of Wetherby, Yorkshire, took over the importing and marketing of Lone Star products. They had previously imported Weco fireworks. Sohni Esco itself closed down in 2001 and in its later years focused solely on fireworks.

Known Series Names

Lone Star Impy Road-Master Super Cars
Lone Star Modern Army Series
Lone Star Treble-O-Lectric
Lone Star Treble-O-Trains
Gulliver County - 1963 to 9??; scale 000 (N) buildings and vehicles; Vehicles include: Citroen DS, Land Rover, School Bus, Fire Engine, and Austin Truck
Lone Star Flyers
Lone Star Commercials
Lone Star Tuf-Tots
Lone Star Dune Buggies
Lone Star Roadmasters Series
Lone Star Silver Commercials
Lone Star Locos

Sourced references -

Lone Star
Lone Star Cap Gun Toys
Encyclopedia of Small-Scale Diecast Motor Vehicle Manufacturers - Sahakangas, Foster & Weber (2006)
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