Soap characters by Wright,Layman & Umney and Jean Sorelle.
The first incarnation was produced by Wright,Layman & Umney in1970.
A range of individually packaged novelty soap figures.
Each box is about 4.75" tall.
And the characters that I've been able to positively identify so far are ...
3 from Camberwick - Captain Snort ... Mickey Murphy ... PC Mcgarry
3 from Trumpton ( still in "Camberwick" boxes ) - The Mayor ... Captain Flack ... Mrs Cobbit
Any more ? Well,Windy obviously.Although I confess it's very odd I've never seen him.
But after that it gets a bit more tricky.
Because you'll notice they all have a uniform of sorts so they're easily recognisable.
And Mrs Cobbit got around that by having a very distinctive dress sense along with her compulsory bunch of flowers.
So whilst Mrs Honeyman was more than worthy,based on air time and notoriety,she's not as likely a candidate as someone like Sgt Major Grout.And then you're soon into the "B" listers.
All of which means that there may only be another couple in addition to Windy. If that.
The Mayor gives a very good idea of the general quality.
With each one getting a box specific to them. Some more of which are shown below.
Another range of character soaps.
By a different manufacturer called Jean Sorelle.
And the pic to the right is one of their retail trade display packs.
Strangely,there's no copyright date on any of the boxes.
But I know they're definitely later than the Wright,Layman ones.
And definitely came out sometime in the 1970's.
In addition to the 4 Camberwick ones in the trade pack,I've also managed to obtain another 3 from Trumpton.
And,as none of the individual boxes mention other characters,it's just a case of waiting to see who else turns up ... if anyone.
But let's have a closer look at those 3 Trumpton examples :-
The Mayor ... Mrs Cobbit ... and Captain Flack.
The boxes are 11cm tall.And all follow exactly the same design format :-
Top :- Character name.
Bottom :- Sorelle reference number,"REF. 801" -nothing else
Front :- Character image
Sides :- Images relating to that character. ie. the Mayor has the Town hall on one and the Mayorial car on the other.
Back :- The same text information on every one.
I reckon both companies should be complimented.
It's always good to see such quality -even down to the individually printed boxes rather than a one-design-fits-all.
The level of detail they've managed to include has really surprised me to be honest.So crisply done too.
And these compare very favourably with all the other character soaps from other 1960's and 70's kids tv shows that I've ever seen - of which there were many !
One thing that slightly puzzles me though is whether they were bought to be displayed ... played with ... or used ?
Because they were really only suitable to be displayed.
As they obviously chipped easily if knocked about.
And an irregular-shaped bar of soap with lots of unforgiving edges is hardly the nicest of bathroom experiences !
But it's hard to believe many kids would've just popped them on a shelf and admired them !
In other words,really well-executed,fun little items.
But what the heck were kids supposed to do with them ?!
Fast forward 50+ years,and their role as a nostalgic collectable is far more clearly defined.