The Company

   

Merit, a brand of the long-gone J&L Randall Ltd. of England, was a line of toys that included model railway detailing accessories that were manufactured for them in Hong Kong.

Sold in small blister packs, this line was seen in at least two different packaging schemes; 5150 and 5151 (*) are shown in the earlier scheme. Also, the items were available under the generic name Miniature Railway Accessories (MRA); the mushroom artwork makes it look as though one might expect to see these hanging in Michael's.

 
 

Subsequently the Pritchard Patent Product Company of England, a.k.a. Peco, obtained ownership of the old Merit line.

Confusion about this product line abounds. For starters, all of the items are now marked "Made in England," which raises the question, did Peco somehow obtain the old tooling from Hong Kong? Animal sets were initially painted, sometimes in different ways, and included humans, such as the pig farmer. Then they were unpainted but individual, and finally unpainted and still mounted on the casting sprues.

Additionally, the line now includes unpainted figure sets, which comprise complete casting trees; however, these do not appear to be the source of the painted figures. Finally, several items are now missing from their website, raising the question of whether or not they've been discontinued, while still appearing in many online shop catalogs; these are marked "OOP?".

Meanwhile, all of these same figures and animals also appear to have been imported, painted and rebranded by Silver City in California.

The Figures

These are plastic figures sold in blister packs. The unpainted figures look like Preiser knock-offs with bases added. Photos are mine, plus a few from eBay auctions.

Merit #

MRA #

MS #

Description

Remarks

5150*

 

 

Station staff

 

5151*

221

 

Passengers set A

 

5152

 

 

Passengers set B

 

5153

222

 

Passengers set C (male)

 

5154

223

 

Passengers set D (female)

 

5155

224

 

Passengers set E (seated)

 

 

 

5156

Unpainted figure set A

 

 

 

5157

Unpainted figure set B

 

5166

227

5166

Cable laying party

 

5167

228

 

Track maintenance party

 

5170

229

5170

Loco crew

OOP?

5171

230

5171

Porters & luggage

OOP?

5172

231

5172

Porter, barrels & sacks

OOP?

5173

232

5173

Porter, drums & crates

OOP?

5176

233

5176|5176|5176

Pigs (and farmer)

 

5177

234

5177|5177|5177

Sheep

 

5178

235

5178|5178

Horses

 

5179

236

5179|5179|5179

Cows

 

Where to Buy

Available through some online UK shops, as well as eBay.

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Copyright 2017 by David K. Smith. All Rights Reserved.
Corrections and contributions greatly appreciated. Thank you!