353: Shado 2 Mobile

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.

Group UFO.JPG

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.

First and last versions of Dinky 353 Shado 2
Green and the later blue version of the Dinky 353 Shado 2 Mobile

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.

353 3_4 rocket.jpg
353 A Side.JPG
353 A Front Back.png
353 A Top.3JPG.jpg
353 A Top.4JPG.jpg
353 A Bottom.JPG

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.

Shado's Multi Purpose All Terrain Vehicle in action

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.

Prop v Actual.png
Prop v Actual2.png

GREEN VARIANTS:

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)

ROOFS:

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.

INTERIORS:

Six known interior colours were used, Red, Yellow, White, Cream, Pale Blue and Grey.

Interiors x 4 3.jpg
Yellow, Red, Pale Blue and White interiors
353_Cream COMP.png
Cream interior with white one for comparison. Image: Matthew Trbuhovic

MISSILE BASE:

The missile base colours were orange, black or green.

353 missile bases.png

Dignos Nostalgic Collections sold a version with a red base (?)

353 Red Base2

BASE COLOUR:

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.

Shado 2 Green base variants
Black, olive green and light green bases

WHEELS:

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.

353 Wheel variations

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.

Wheels 6L COMP.png
683 Chieftain Tank, 353 Shado 2 Mobile, 690 Scorpion tank and 691 Striker anti-tank vehicle
Wheels 6S COMP.png

692 Leopard tank and 353 Shado 2 Mobile

WHEELS:

The Green 352 Shado 2 had seven wheel different wheels. The most common large wheels were made in two shades of brown and two shades of green. Later models used a mixture of the large wheels and smaller ones, again in two shades of green and the final version had the small wheel type only.

TRACKS:

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.

Tracks COMP.png
Silver and black standard tracks and smaller black size for six smaller wheeled version

BASES:

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.

rear view x 2.jpg
(L) Very early models had holes on the rear struts

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.

Rear side COMP.png
The base is extended a little and is thicker on later models
Bases only COMP.jpg
The base on the right is the later version, which did not have holes at the rear, and had two additional cross pieces to add strength

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?

All green COMP.png
Image: Gary Cooper

BLUE VARIANTS:

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.

Box blu model.png

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

353 B Side.JPG
353 B Front Back.png
353 B Top3.png
353 B Top4.jpg
353 B Bottom.JPG

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.

Bases Blue COMP.png
BLUE variants could have black or light green bases

All the larger wheels were 16mm in diameter and the smaller ones were 11.6mm.

Wheels Blue COMP.png

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.

353 Blue_Var2.png

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.

missiles COMP.png

ODDITIES AND RARITIES:

LATER MISSILE PLATFORM VARIANT:

A pre-production technical drawing from an ISOSHADO member has recently surfaced showing a Blue Shado 2 fitted with the later missile platform. This platform was used on the 361 Zygon War Chariot and the 368 Zygon Marauder. The part started life as a Meccano piece number 460.

Copy of original Dinky Design document Image: ISOSHADO

There are a number of dates on the drawing referring to previous iterations since the original (?) was created on 20th April 1970. The colours specified are, blue body , black base, black roof with black tracks, in fact the only difference to the most common blue 353 version was a yellow interior specified which was normally white. Like the 361 War Chariot, the missile base evolved from an all metal version to an all plastic one, cheaper to manufacture and readily available. Its likely that this Shado 2 was a final version, designed but not put into production before the factory closed. Here’s a photo mock up of what it would have looked like. The only technical modification would have been to change the fitting on the roof to accept the new missile launcher mounting.

Photo mock up of a preproduction 353 version

ADDITIONAL COLOUR VARIANTS:

The Dinky 1978 trade catalogue featured a WHITE variant of the Shado Mobile but this was never commercially released.

White version3.png
CODE 3 version Shado 2

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.

Sand coloured3.jpg
Two colour samples of later green wheeled models from The Great Book of Dinky Toys
Sand coloured 353 edt.jpg
Image: Martin Gainsford

TROOP TRANSPORTER:

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.

Prototype Tropp Transporter.png
Prototype based on 353 Shado Mobile sold by Vectis Auctions

SHADO CONTROL:

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.

Prototype COMP2
Image: Will

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.

Prototype COMP 3
Image: Will

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.

shado and 696 COMP

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.

BOXES:

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.

Box COMP .png
Shado 2 1st box
Packing piece and instructions

The second box was a bubble pack with a blue or white base.

box bubble 6.jpg
box bubble blue base.jpg

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.

box bubble blue base2.jpg
bubble base 1 white edt

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.

bubble base bottoms COMP

Different fonts and sizes were used on the bubble box bases.

box bubble variations COMP.png

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.

Box Window green .jpg
Box Window Poly .jpg
Box Window Blue .jpg

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.

box bubble back.jpg

ACCESSORY PACKS:

Pack 031 had 12 spare tracks and Pack 755/756 had 6 spare rockets.

Accessory packs.jpg

CATALOGUES:

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.

Catalogue UK 1972.png
Dinky 1972 consumer catalogue
1973 UK C 351_352_353.png
Dinky 1973 UK consumer catalogue
1974 UK T 102_351_352_353.png
Dinky 1974 UK consumer catalogue
1975 UK C 351_352_353.jpg
Dinky 1975 UK Catalogue
1976 UK C US C 351_353_602.png
Dinky 1976 UK consumer catalogue
1977 UK T 101_351_353_357_358_359_360_602.png
Dinky 1977 UK trade catalogue
1977 UK C 351_353_359_360.jpg
Dinky 1977 UK consumer catalogue

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.

1978 UK T 353_361_362_367_602.png
Dinky 1978 trade catalogue
1978 UK C 351_353.jpg
Dinky 1978 UK consumer catalogue
1979 UK T 353_361_362_364_367.png
Dinky 1979 consumer catalogue

ADVERTS:

Dinky Ad 8.jpg
Dinky Ad 6.jpg

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.

Ed bishop 351 353.jpg
Dinky Ad 1972.png
Advert 1972

201 thoughts on “353: Shado 2 Mobile

  1. Hi Kevin,
    I just acquired an all green version! From what I can ascertain, it seems original. I will receive it in a couple of weeks. It is traveling across the pond. I guess your all green version on the site was not just a Friday afternoon rushed job after all ? Here are the pics of it from the seller. When I receive it if you like I will take much closer and better quality pics for you.
    Best Regards,
    Matt

    Like

  2. Ive just been looking at my Shado 2’s and noticed that on 1 the roof flips over the other way. The hinges look original so Im guessing it was made like that. Any others out there ?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi..anybody here looking to buy a refurb shado 2 tank? I’m letting go of mine. Much better if it go to a collector. It’s repainted to white, with maroon wheels, cream interior. It has one red tip rocket and everything is working great. I’m from the Philippines and i can have it ship. It has no box, just the tank and the rocket. If interested, send me an email. Thanks!

    Like

  4. Love this site, thank you for all your work.
    I’ve had an all-olive green 353, with white cabin and white/black-nosed missiles since ‘80.
    Bought on the blue card tray bubble pack (which it still has)
    This was bought in Australia. Perhaps there was a batch run sent to the colonies?
    Sending pics for you to compare.

    Like

    1. Hi Richard, Thanks for the pictures, a very nice model. The ‘all green’ version also has the top front grill painted green rather than the usual black that yours has. So yours is a standard production model although the olive green base is less common on this version. Cheer Kevin

      Like

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