DINKY 477 PARSLEY’S CAR (1970 -1973):
The Dinky 477 Parsley’s Car was created by Meccano after FilmFair the makers of ‘The Herbs’ which featured Parsley the Lion wanted suitable transport for him to feature in their spin off show, ‘The Adventures of Parsley’, a children’s animated TV series shown in the early 70’s. The film company and Dinky designers worked together on the project.
The base plate carries the original 476 labelling ‘1913 Morris Oxford’
There’s no roof but there is a Parsley figure whose head can be turned and an opening boot.
The film company picked the 476 Morris Oxford (Bullnose) model (1965-1969) to create the prop and Dinky also used this to create ‘Parsley’s Car’. The 476 Morris had also been used to create the 486 Dinky Beats.
THE TV SERIES:
The Herbs was a television series for young children made for the BBC by the FilmFair company. It was written by Michael Bond (creator of Paddington Bear), directed by Ivor Wood using 3D stop motion model animation and first transmitted from 12 February 1968 on the BBC1.
A spin-off series entitled The Adventures of Parsley was transmitted from 6 April 1970 in the 5-minute period between the end of children’s TV and the BBC Evening News. This had 32 episodes, some of which were released on VHS as Parsley the Lion and Friends.
PROP v ACTUAL:
As both models were based on Dinky’s Bullnose Morris Oxford and FilmFair and Meccano (Dinky) were liaising about the project, its not surprising that the prop and the toys are very similar. FilmFair also used Meccano parts to create their prop.
And Parsley himself is well reproduced in the model.
Other merchandise featuring characters from The Herb Garden and Adventures of Parsley included books, comic strips, colouring books, puzzles and many others
There was one variant which had yellow wheels and this is much less common.
The colourful box featured cuts outs of many of the characters from the TV Series including Dill the Dog, Bayleaf the Gardener, Constable Knapweed and Tarragon the Dragon.
A single pictorial appearance in the 1971 catalogue was achieved. The short production run reflecting the lack of significant marketing.
The August 1970 Meccano magazine gave an extensive write up to the model.