DINKY 353 SHADO 2 MOBILE (1971-1980):
Three models were released by Dinky, licensed from Anderson’s and Century 21 production of U.F.O., a live action and real people series rather than made in Supermarionation i.e. puppets, broadcast between 1970 and 1972. Accompanying the Shado 2 Mobile was the 351 UFO Interceptor and 352 Ed Straker’s Car.
Dinky first released the Shado 2 Mobile in 1971. It was initially issued in a military olive green colour, designed to appeal both as a TV and a military toy. The last versions released from 1978 to 1980 were in metallic blue.
The very first models probably had the smooth roofs which would have been more prone to bending and these were soon replaced by ribbed or grilled roofs. The majority of the smooth roofs were olive green although some were painted black. Once the ribbed roof became standard, they were mostly green although there are black versions. The black colour ribbed roof was standard for the later blue versions. The first versions had an orange missile base (the underneath of the revolving roof), a red interior, black grill, light green base, large red brown wheels with silver tracks and a white missile with a red tip.
The model featured a firing rocket launcher hidden underneath a swivelling roof activated by a radar shaped switch on the roof. Note the six holes on the base stanchions /pillars at the rear of the model. These were only on the first brown wheeled models (see below for more details)
IN THE TV SERIES:
The SHADO all purpose multi-terrain tracked vehicles were designed for all conditions. They were used to transport men and equipment to the site of UFO landings. and were armed with depth charges, rocket-launchers and turret mounted machine guns.
PROP v ACTUAL:
The model was a reasonably accurate rendition of the original vehicle, apart from the colours used. It had an accurate cab design with windscreen wipers although the body had a more square shape than the curved original. The weapon on the model was a missile rather than a machine gun and mortar launcher on the prop.
Further releases of the GREEN version had different interiors, wheel colours and sizes, track colours, vehicle and missile base colours and bases and of course boxes. There is no clear timeline as to what variation was released when, except that the green wheels came later than the brown ones. The green wheels were also used on other later military models such as the Chieftain and Scorpion Tanks (large size) and the Leopard Tank (small size)
There were four roof variants for the GREEN issues; green/smooth, green/ribbed and black/smooth and a black/ribbed version which was later used on the BLUE variants.
Six known interior colours were used, Red, Yellow, White, Cream, Pale Blue and Grey.
The missile base colours were orange, black or green.
Dignos Nostalgic Collections sold a version with a red base (?)
The base of the 353 GREEN variants came in three colours, black (shared with the Blue version), olive green and light green. There are some references to a white or cream version but this is tbc.
The GREEN Shado 2 model had 6 wheel variations. The earliest models had brown wheels presumably to simulate a mud caked appearance and then after military models such as 692 Leopard Tank and 683 Chieftain tank were introduced the green wheel variants, which were similar to those used on these models, were introduced.
All the larger wheels were 16mm in diameter and the smaller ones were 11.6mm. The 683 Chieftain tank arrived in 1972, sporting the larger green wheels and the 692 Leopard tank in 1975 with the smaller wheels.
Early variants had silver tracks and later versions could have either silver or black ones. The BLUE variants always had black. The six small wheel version used the smaller diameter 672 Leopard tank tracks as the standard size ones were too big.
The base of the model changed early on in the production run. The first bases had six holes on the rear stanchions and no internal strengtheners.
Later green models including later versions of the brown wheeled type had a modified base. It looks a bit thicker and had two internal cross pieces. This looks like it’s for strengthening the base. Possibly because as the toy was heavy, if it was dropped or manhandled at the factory or at home this may have distorted the frame.
Another minor variant, spotted by Ian Senior, was different lettering on the plastic canopies. Early models had the letter ‘A’ up to (so far!) later models having an ‘F’ stamp. “B’s and ‘C’ have been seen so it’s likely that A to exist plus more? These can only be seen if the model is dismantled. These letters probably refer to different moulds used over the production run.
ALL GREEN :
An all green version is owned by a UK collector and is the first one seen by this site. If there are others please get in contact. Was it a Friday afternoon job when the black paint ran out or an actual variant?
The later BLUE variant of the Shado 2 mobile was painted a metallic blue, closer to the actual model which was powder blue, but in no way accurate. The TV series had long finished and the change of colour could be charitably attributed to wanting to freshen up the model or more cynically because they had a lot of blue paint lying around that needed to be used. This version was released in 1978 and was around until the factory closed. BLUE Shado 2s are relatively rare.
All the variants had black roofs and missile bases, white interiors and a silver front grill. The most common variant had six large black wheels, a black base and green Shado 2 stickers
Other variants had two large and four small wheel combinations, these could be green and would have a light green base or black with a black base.
All the larger wheels were 16mm in diameter and the smaller ones were 11.6mm.
The last variants had no Shado 2 stickers presumably because they had run out of them. Although blue stickers are on sale nowadays these were never used on the original models.
The five known BLUE variants are shown below. Note the last one had a lighter blue colour and no stickers. The wheel variants are clearly being produced to use up existing stocks before the factory closure.
The first missile used on the GREEN version was the red and white version. The BLUE versions used the yellow and black version. The missiles were the same as the ones used with the 100 FAB one and the 361 Galactic and War chariots.
ODDITIES AND RARITIES:
The Dinky 1978 trade catalogue featured a WHITE variant of the Shado Mobile but this was never commercially released.
According to the Great Book of Dinky Toys, two colour variants were rescued from the Binns Road factory by Mike Richardson, a sand coloured and a light green metallic version. In the book there is a reference to a yellow plastic underpan for the Shado 2 which is possibly attached to the the green version below.
These models were later sold at Christie’s in July 2002.
A Dinky Shado 2 Troop Transporter prototype using a Shado 2 body with the rear cut down to accept purpose made metal canopy. The model had a machine gun (?) mount on the roof and was painted in a military green & black camouflage. There are two figures in the cab and decals. Model sold by Vectis Auctions.
ODDITIES AND RARITIES:
A prototype or possibly a one-off special has been sent in by Will, whose Uncle Eddie worked for Dinky in the late 60’s and early 70’s. He gave Will a new version of the Shado 2 Mobile in 1976, which had a radar dish in place of the firing rocket, although they both had the same base. The radar could flip in and out of the roof just like the rocket.
Leopard tank wheels and even tracks were used on some of the last 353s so this modification is not an unexpected try out for a new version although the play value of a firing rocket versus a radar was probably why it never went into production.
In the TV series, there was a Shado 2 Control with a radar dish, so it’s understandable that a Dinky would look at creating this new version. They appear to have used the radar from the 696 Leopard Anti-Aircraft Tank (1975-1980), with a bit chopped off the end of the radar receiver.
CAVEAT EMPTOR: LET THE BUYER BEWARE! Only one of these 353s was made and the owner has said he will not be selling it any time soon! So if one of these Shado Controls pops up on eBay or any other auction site then it’s a Code 3 and any price paid should reflect that.
Follow this link here to see some CODE 3 builds from contributors to this site.
From 1971 to 1980 three box types were used for the model. The first box was a pictorial card box featuring a graphically illustrated model and instructions.
The second box was a bubble pack with a blue or white base.
Later bubble boxes got the Health and Safety bug with multiple messages asking small boys not to fire missiles at their siblings. That would have worked.
Initially the bubble box base had lid removing instructions, then in later versions these were omitted. Note also the base card template changes from square to semi-circular holes.
Different fonts and sizes were used on the bubble box bases.
And the final box was the cardboard hanging boxed used for the green and the blue variants, the latter only being packed in this box. The polystyrene insert was made in one piece and snapped in half to fit.
The window box above featured a lunar scene although the Shado 2 was Earth based. The rear of the box also featured the moon but this time with the 351 Interceptor which was Moon based.
Pack 031 had 12 spare tracks and Pack 755/756 had 6 spare rockets.
Although released in 1971, it did not feature in the catalogue until the following year and was ever present till the last consumer catalogue release in 1979. The BLUE variant was never featured presumably as existing photography, featuring a GREEN variant, was used in the last catalogues.
In the 1978 trade catalogue the Shado 2 appeared in a all white paint job which was never commercially released. The consumer catalogue of the same year reverted the model back to its usual green livery.
Ed Bishop, who starred in U.F.O. as Colonel Ed Straker was employed to market the Dinky Toys licensed from the series but not strangely the 352 Ed Straker’s Car.