There are 2 versions of this small bagatelle game, both produced by the famous Louis Marx Toy company in Swansea.
The first 2 photos show the most commonly seen version .......with 2 different box designs.
The red box is the earlier one,dating from the year Camberwick was first broadcast,in 1966.
And it's described in the 1967 Marx Trade Catalogue as follows:-
"A game of skill and chance,measuring 13.5" long,5.5" wide and 2" high,with a full-colour lithographed metal base and fully enclosed in clear plastic.Scoring is achieved by 5 coloured marbles which are propelled by the full spring plunger -the rotating arrow indicating bonus or penalty points.Individually boxed."
It's also listed with a reference number - G.70C.
But,sadly,the catalogue photo is just a black & white shot taken at a rather obtuse angle.So I haven't included it here.
Marx stopped using individually illustrated packaging for each of their different bagatelle products.And replaced them with a bland "one design fits all" box,in blue white and cream,that simply had a window so you could differentiate one from another.
Hence the 2 different designs here.
And whilst it obviously made totally rational business sense,it's also rather a sad indicator of the declining fortunes of the British toy industry in the 1970's -although I've yet to establish exactly when the illustrated Camberwick box was ditched.
Obviously it's exactly the same game,just different artwork.
And it's definitely the later of the 2 releases and only ever seen in the later,generic box by way of confirmation.
Survivors of both aren't that hard to find.Which is hardly surprising with a toy that had a long enough shelf life to merit 2 different versions.
But this later one does seem to surface less often.
Either way,they're nearly always in full working order when they do.
Although they usually share the same common battle scars:-
- scratching to the persex top.
- the loss of the small foldable foot that lifts the top part above the horizontal.
- rust to the base plate.
And if you're considering an online purchase you'd probably do well to ask about all of the above.
Boxed examples aren't that rare either to be honest.
Although the earlier red box is harder to find,and certainly more desirable than its bland alternative.
One of those items of merchandise they probably thought would be a banker even before it was released.
And it's not hard to see why they were proved right.
Because it's a colourful bit of fun and annoyingly addictive for something so simple. And that goes for adults,nevermind small children !
I said at the top of the page
that there were 2 different designs of the actual game,
as well as 2 different boxes.
And the 2nd version of the game is below ...............