HomeEventsThe Many Faces of Palitoy – Exhibition

The Many Faces of Palitoy – Exhibition

Action Man, Pippa, Tressy, Tiny Tears, Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, Star Wars and many more are returning to Coalville.

This autumn, the toys are coming home.

Action Man, Pippa, Tressy, Tiny Tears, Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, Star Wars and many more are making a welcome return to Coalville this autumn.

The Many Faces of Palitoy exhibition which celebrates 100 years of Cascelloid and Palitoy opens on the 12th October and runs until the 10th November and will be located at the old Palitoy factory on Jackson Street, Coalville which was is now the Heartwood Conference Centre, Rothley House. The exhibition is open daily during this period and is free admission.

The Cascelloid and Palitoy story will be told through the iconic toys which include Girl’s World, Discovery Time Treehouse, Action Man and Action Force, Tiny Tears as well as Tressy and Pippa, Care Bear and Star Wars. 

The Cascelloid and Palitoy exhibition will feature 100 toys for a 100 years and the story of Palitoy will be told through a selection of iconic toys including pre and post war dolls, Girl’s World, Tiny Tears, Care Bears, fashion dolls such as Tressy and Pippa, action figures such as Action Man, Star Wars and Action Force, early years toys from the Discovery Time range such as the Discovery Treehouse, games and hobby ‘toys’ such as Mainline Railways.

The free exhibition will include how the company was established, the growth and popularity of each of the toys plus historical dolls and toys from the 1920s up to when production stopped in 1985. There will also be a chance to hear some of the key people at Palitoy telling their story of the work they did and activity area for children to play with modern representations of the historic toys.

The exhibitions Historical Advisor and Co-curator, former Chief Toy Designer at Palitoy, is over the moon that this important toy company is at last getting the heritage recognition it deserves “Palitoy cannot be over-estimated in its forward thinking approach to children’s toys. In the early years Pallett and BXL, owner of Cascelloid, introduced many toys using new plastic materials such as Bexoid, which meant that previously dangerous celluloid dolls could be replaced with safe new plastic dolls. After the Second World War they introduced into the UK innovative ways to make dolls, and bottles, using blow moulding, and later injection moulding machines and other technologically advance in construction techniques.”

“But the 1960s was the making of Palitoy when it acquired licences from the USA to make Tiny Tears, Tressy and of course Action Man in 1966. Palitoy never looked back and after being acquired by the American General Mills Company, in 1968, went onto introduce many other great toys and games such as Stars Wars. It was sad that due to globalisation the company changed and eventually Palitoy ceased in 1985. We had a wonderful time working at Palitoy and it was like a family but as a designer we had one main focus in mind, a toy company only survives on the whim of an eight year old”.

Stuart Warburton Curator said “This is a major exhibition telling the story of Palitoy and what more of a fitting place to tell that story but at the factory site where the dreams and magic was created. The starting point was a 100 toys for a 100 years showing the variety and types of playthings which came out of Palitoy. The exhibition is grateful to Leicestershire County Council Museums Service for access to their extensive Palitoy collection. The exhibition will also include important toys from private collectors, which will include the very first doll ‘Diddums’ an early example of a popular children’s book character licenced from the illustrator Mabel Lucy Atwell in the 1920s. The exhibition is part of the Many Faces of Palitoy project which the National Lottery Heritage fund has supported through a grant to celebrate the heritage of Palitoy.

Steve Duckworth Chairman of the Coalville Heritage Society, who are leading on the project in partnership with North West Leicestershire District Council, Leicestershire County Council, the National Trust Museum of Childhood and Leicestershire promotion said “We are extremely grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and their grant assistance towards the £86,500 Many Faces of Palitoy project. The exhibition is one part of the overall project, which includes archiving the Palitoy story and creation of a new website, working with schools and colleges, creating a film and radio play as well as gathering oral history recordings of the people who worked at the factory and bring the former workers together in a series of ‘staff reunions’ which to date have been very successful.  Coalville people are really proud of the town’s heritage and in particular Palitoy.”

The exhibition is open each day from the 12th October until 10th November 10.00am – 4.30pm and is free. For further information log on to www.choosecoalville.co.uk/palitoy

An exhibition celebrating 100 years of Cascelloid and Palitoy toys is coming to the old Palitoy factory on Jackson Street. In 1919 Alfred Pallett started the Cascelloid Company in Leicester which in 1935 created the ‘Palitoy Playthings’ brand. By 1937 Cascelloid acquired a factory in Coalville where Palitoy toys were made, assembled and distributed until 1985.

The exhibition opens on the 12th October until the 10th November at Heartwood Conference Centre Rothley House, Coalville Business Park, Jackson Street, Coalville LE67 3NR and the story of Cascelloid and Palitoy will be told through the toys associated with the company, including iconic toys such as Girls World, Discovery Time Treehouse, Action Man and Action Force, Tiny Tears as well as Tressy and Pippa, Care Bear and Star Wars toys will be on display alongside historic dolls and toys from the 1920s and 1930s. Both Cascelloid and Palitoy were leaders in toy development and the story of Alfred Pallett and the people who worked at the factory is central to the Palitoy story.

The exhibitions Historical Advisor and Co-curator, former Chief Toy Designer at Palitoy, is over the moon that this important toy company is at last getting the heritage recognition it deserves “Palitoy cannot be over-estimated in its forward thinking approach to children’s toys. In the early years Pallett and BXL, owner of Cascelloid, introduced many toys using new plastic materials such as Bexoid, which meant that previously dangerous celluloid dolls could be replaced with safe new vinyl plastic dolls. After the Second World War they introduced into the UK innovative ways to make dolls, and bottles, using blow moulding, and later injection moulding machines and other technologically advance in construction techniques.”

“But the 1960s was the making of Palitoy when it acquired licences from the USA to make Tiny Tears, Tressy and of course Action Man in 1966. Palitoy never looked back and after being acquired by the American General Mills Company, in 1968, went onto introduce many other great toys and games such as Stars Wars. It was sad that due to globalisation the company changed and eventually Palitoy ceased in 1985. We had a wonderful time working at Palitoy and it was like a family but as a designer we had one main focus in mind, a toy company only survives on the whim of an eight year old”.

Stuart Warburton Curator said “This is the first major exhibition to tell the story of Palitoy and what more of a fitting place to tell that story but at the factory where the dreams and magic was created. The starting point was a 100 toys for a 100 years showing the variety and types of playthings which came out of Palitoy and exhibition is fortunately and grateful to be able to display the extensive Palitoy collection held by Leicestershire Museums as well as important toys in private collections. The exhibition is part of the Many Faces of Palitoy project which the National Lottery has funded through the Coalville Heritage Society to celebrate the heritage of Palitoy with the exhibition, oral history, website school activities and resources and many other elements that will become a permanent legacy of this very important company and the people who worked there”.

The exhibition would not have been possible without Leicestershire County Council Museums Service large collection of Palitoy products and marketing material going right back to the early toys such as ‘Diddums’ an early example of a popular children’s book character licenced from the illustrator Mabel Lucy Atwell in the 1920s and baby’s rattle, also from the 1920s. In addition many private collectors have supported the exhibition with iconic Star Wars toys.

Steve Duckworth Chairman of the Coalville Heritage Society, who are leading on the project in partnership with North West Leicestershire District Council, Leicestershire County Council, the National Trust Museum of Childhood and Leicestershire promotion said “We are extremely grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund who have given us a substantial grant to  deliver the project, which the exhibition is part of, but also includes archiving through a new website, educational work with schools and colleges, creating a film and radio play as well as gathering oral history recordings of the people who worked at the factory. Coalville is really proud of its heritage and in particular Palitoy.”

The exhibition is open each day from the 12th October until 10th November 10.00am – 4.30pm and is free

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