Company Profile: Lone Star
History in a Nutshell
Lone Star was founded by Aubrey Robert Mills and Sidney James Ambridge in 1939 as the toy division of Die Casting Machine Tools Ltd. of London. In 1956, the company built a new factory at Hatfield, Hertfordshire; later they established offices in New York, Los Angeles, Brisbane and Paris. Lone Star manufactured many different lines of diecast toys and models, and was one of the leading suppliers of toy cap guns. Indeed, the name "Lone Star" was from a desire to be identified with an "old West" theme that was quite popular in the day. The company survived up until 1988, when they ceased operations, and their product lines were sold.
N Scale Products
In the late 1950s, Lone Star developed a range of diecast zinc "push-along" railway toys dubbed Lone Star Locos; the line was considered quite extensive for such a product, eventually comprising over a hundred items including trains, track (8.5 mm), structures and accessories. Most were British, but there were some US prototypes as well.
In 1960 Lone Star introduced a powered version of the line called Treble-0-Lectric. The track was increased to 9 mm, but the models themselves were all the same diecast toys as before, now powered with 12 VDC motors. However, the rubber band drivetrain was the line's Achilles Heel, as performance was poor and the locos high-maintenance.
The Treble-O-Lectric line was discontinued by 1964, although Lone Star continued manufacturing unpowered models sold as Treble-O-Trains. They were also released under the brand Impy.
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