Monday, 21 December 2009

DURHAM AND TARHEEL TOYS


I've long been intrigued by the similarities between the two American Toy manufacturers, Tarheel and Durham. Both of them have roots in towns in North Carolina, Durham and Tarboro, which are located quite close to each other. Both company logo's are linked by the red globe (pictured above - what's the origin of this globe?). Like many 1970's toy manufacturers there also appears to be cross-labelling of some of the same toys by Durham and Tarheel. Examples I've found are the Apollo 2000 Robot, Astroids and just for the Wotan, a toy Sewing Machine! (all pictured below)


Above Durham (top) and Tarheel Apollo 2000 (you can just see the T on the left side of the box)


Above Durham (top) and Tarheel Astroids


Above Durham (top) and Tarheel toy Sewing Machines (sorry!)

Durham have made some interesting plastic toys in there own right and I've included a selection below all found online. A google search for 'Durham Industries Incorporeted toy' revealed several patents and many law suits, which may have hastened thier eventual closure (discovered on a Holly Hobbie site).

Durham Snowmobile above and below (showing a similar 'star' text bubble found on some Tarheel toys like the Rescue Helicopter)


Durham Super Tractor above

Durham tank above

and my personal favourite, the Durham Kung Fu action figure, which I've got somewhere (well a header card at least)

So the inevitable question is - did Durham ever distribute any Project SWORD toys like Tarheel? Answers on a postcard! Happy Christmas!

2 comments:

  1. 'If' there is an origin to the red globe, it's got to be the blue globe of Pan American airlines?

    I found a similar set of similaritys between two figure manufacturers in the 'States; Comonwealth and Van Brode, I think in their case one Jonny-come-lately just ripped-off the other guy!

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  2. I just repaired my durham snowmobile. It was played to near destruction. It still sparks and goes 12 feet or so after being wound up. Not much info on these things out there. I remember thinking it was a good idea to maybe put it in the water because sparks come out the tailpipe. thanks!

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