Camberwick Green "Stand-up,Cut-out Figures" produced by Philmar.
Unusually,there's no copyright information or date,just a Philmar reference number - M812.
But I do know..... it definitely came out sometime in the 1970's ..... it was the only one they ever produced for Trumps ..... they also did a version for the Magic Roundabout at around the same time ..... and it only merits a generous 3/10 !
The box is 39cm x 19.5cm.
The figures range in height from 11.5cm to 10.5cm.
Each one consists of 3 jigsaw pieces,and they're all made of 1cm thick sandwich plywood.
The artwork is uncredited,but it'll strike a chord with anyone familiar with the Camberwick books produced by Dean & Sons,because this particular artist's work features quite heavily.
Not sure about the interior packaging either,because there was probably some sort of pre-formed insert to keep them more firmly in place than the ones above.
Whilst they made other toys,Philmar's bread & butter products were the standard,lay-flat jigsaws we're all familiar with.
So this variation must've seemed like a business no-brainer,as it was different enough to market seperately,yet still fundementally a jigsaw that didn't require large amounts of money to be spent on things like re-tooling.
Unfortunately,that sort of logic only has any commercial sense if people actually buy the things.
And when you launch on the back of 2 hugely successful tv series like Camberwick & the Magic Roundabout,and the product still doesn't do well enough to be rolled-out then you know you've got a turkey on your hands !
No surprise either.Because it's just so poorly-executed.
The figures require a fair amount of coaxing just to stand-up,nevermind stay up.
The bases are insufficiently wide,the figures are top heavy and the pieces are too loose a fit to give them stability.
But maybe that was a cunning plan to improve kids manual dexterity,rather than poor design or manufacture !
And they're not even proper "cut-out" silhouettes,because random bits of scenic background are included.
Which is fine if these were indeed part of a flat jigsaw where you could make them into one coherent picture.
But they're not.So it just looks slightly odd -as though they weren't finshed off properly in the factory.
And I'd imagine lots of parents were simply bemused when confronted with a cross between a proper jigsaw and a play tray set that ended up doing neither job as well. And they probably just thought "What's the point ?!"
Which is exactly what someone at Philmar should've asked before putting it into production.
Kids always deserve better than poor design and lazy thinking.And a later re-working of the basic idea,by Kiddicraft, proves this Philmar effort is clearly guilty of both.
So,why not see how it should've been done as the Camberwick version of that "Jigbits" product is here.