There are 2 versions of this small bagatelle game, both produced by the famous Louis Marx Toy company in Swansea.
The first 2 photos show the most commonly seen version .......with 2 different box designs.
The red box is the earlier one,dating from the year Camberwick was first broadcast,in 1966.
And it's described in the 1967 Marx Trade Catalogue as follows:-
"A game of skill and chance,measuring 13.5" long,5.5" wide and 2" high,with a full-colour lithographed metal base and fully enclosed in clear plastic.
Scoring is achieved by 5 coloured marbles which are propelled by the full spring plunger -the rotating arrow indicating bonus or penalty points.Individually boxed."
It's also listed with a reference number - G.70C.
But,sadly,the catalogue photo is just a black & white shot taken at a rather obtuse angle.So I haven't included it here.
Marx stopped using individually illustrated packaging for each of their different bagatelle products.Replacing them with a bland "one design fits all" box in blue,white and cream,that simply had a window so you could differentiate the contents.
Hence the 2 different designs here.
And whilst it obviously made totally rational business sense,it's also rather a sad metaphor for the declining fortunes of the British toy industry in the 1970's -although I've yet to establish exactly when the illustrated Camberwick box was ditched.
Obviously it's exactly the same game,just different artwork.
And it's definitely the later of the 2 releases as it's only ever been seen in the later,generic box.
Survivors of both are still readily available,as you'd probably expect with a toy that had a long enough shelf life to merit 2 different versions.
But this later one does seem to surface less often.
Either way,they're nearly always in full working order when they do.
Although they usually share the same common battle scars:-
- scratching to the persex top.
- the loss of the small foldable foot that lifts the top part above the horizontal.
- rust to the base plate.
And if you're considering an online purchase you'd probably do well to ask about all of the above.
As you'd expect,boxed examples are thin on the ground
Although the earlier red box is considerably harder to find,and certainly more desirable than the its bland counterpart
One of those items of merchandise they probably thought would be a banker even before it was released.And it's not hard to see why they were right.
Because it's a colourful bit of fun and annoyingly addictive for something so simple ........ and that goes for adults,nevermind small children.
2 different designs as well as 2 different boxes.
And the 2nd version of the game is below ...............