Verified by:
Verified at:
2020-04-30

Fun Ho!

Brand

Fun Ho! diecast models were manufactured by a New Zealand company known as Underwood Engineering Co., Ltd. for over 50 years. Jack Underwood began the company in the 1930s with the first toys manufactured in lead. In the 1950s the company made cast aluminum toy cars and commercial vehicles.

Some vehicles are very similar in selection to Matchbox, although in a slightly smaller scale. In addition, the line included Australian cars not commonly produced by other manufacturers. These models are simple castings with distinct painted colors and typically have an un-painted base with the name, model number, and "Made In New Zealand". Early examples included re-issued Streamlux castings. The "copper plating" look was also rendered on several models. Wheels are reminiscent of the Matchbox regular wheels. There are no plastic inserts for window glazing.

More

Fun Ho! diecast models were manufactured by a New Zealand company known as Underwood Engineering Co., Ltd. for over 50 years. Jack Underwood began the company in the 1930s with the first toys manufactured in lead. In the 1950s the company made cast aluminum toy cars and commercial vehicles.

Some vehicles are very similar in selection to Matchbox, although in a slightly smaller scale. In addition, the line included Australian cars not commonly produced by other manufacturers. These models are simple castings with distinct painted colors and typically have an un-painted base with the name, model number, and "Made In New Zealand". Early examples included re-issued Streamlux castings. The "copper plating" look was also rendered on several models. Wheels are reminiscent of the Matchbox regular wheels. There are no plastic inserts for window glazing.

The Fun Ho! "Midget Scale Model" series was introduced in 1962 and eventually a total of 72 models were issued. Many were single castings while others were duplicate castings utilizing a different theme. The "Mighty Mover" series were produced simultaneously, according to Richard Jordan of the National Fun Ho! Toy Museum.

Various types of packaging were employed with the offerings. Packaging types include a box of simple graphics with yellow and orange colors. Inside the box, a small, single sheet depicts 40 vehicles in the series and is wrapped around each model. Different types of blister-cards, and gift sets were also issued. Others most likely exist. Later, 72 vehicles made up the series, with a portion being the same in an "Army" guise, packaged in "Military Mover" blistercards.

The series did not have a wide distribution but are not too difficult to find today, having sold mainly in New Zealand and Australia. They were not well known elsewhere. But presently, it may be possible to pay far less for them than for the more popular names in the diecast arena.

In 1982 the line was discontinued due to competition from other sources. The factory finally closed five years later. For a few years, Zee Toys "Dart Wheels" were distributed with a Fun Ho! label. The legacy continues with the Fun Ho! National Toy Museum in Inglewood, New Zealand opening in 1990. Former Purchasing officer Barry Young gathered together a full collection of Fun Ho! toys.

In the mid 1990s, models from the original Fun Ho! castings were again assembled featuring translucent window glazing. Even the boxes were reproduced as exact copies of the originals. The basic color schemes do not take away the modest and elegant nature of the models, however, the originals have a higher quality finish due to the fact that a larger and more precise production system was utilized.

Less