Category:FROG (International Model Aircraft)

From The Brighton Toy and Model Index
Jump to navigationJump to search
Toy Brands and Manufacturers

FROG logo, 1930s.jpg
FROG Model Aircraft, 1950s logo.jpg

FROG (International Model Aircraft)

1931 -     

FROG (IMA) was quite possibly the greatest example of confusing marketing in the entire confused history of British Toys, and originally applied to a successful range of wind-up model aircraft.

International Model Aircraft was created as a joint enterprise between the brothers Charles Mandeville ('Bill') Wilmot and John Wilmot with Joseph Mansour, in conjunction with the Lines Brothers, with Wilmot and Mansour and the three Lines Brothers as company directors. The arrangement allowed IMA a great deal of independence, plus funding and premises as part of the Lines Brothers factory complex in Merton, London. I.M.A. also got to use the football field in the middle of the factory grounds as a safe (and confidential) place to test their flying model aircraft. The company founders made sure that IMA and Lines didn't own their patents, and had a separate company that dealt with the founders' intellectual property. This came in handy when they created the Jetex rocket system as a separate project independent of IMA.

Branding complexities

Branded as "FROG Trademark", "A product of Lines Bros.", and "Made by International Model Aircraft", F.R.O.G. was an acronym that stood for "Flies Right Off Ground", so the defining quality of a "frog" was that it flew, and the FROG trademark helpfully expressed this with a cheerful image of a frog with wings.

However, after their initial burst of enthusiasm for (successful) flying aircraft, the people at Frog realised that there was now a growing market for model aircraft that didn't fly, and they decided that they wanted a part of this new market. What was now needed was a new sub-brand that expressed the concept of a bird that didn't fly, and so was born the Frog Penguin range.

The FROG Penguins did well, and the FROG brand was too recognisable to abandon, so the company continued using the name when they started making model boats, presumably reasoning that, after all, penguins swam.

So the boat range were "FROG Penguins" because they didn't fly.

The "Winged Frog" trademark

Post-WW2, the FROG branding became primarily known for a range of high-quality polystyrene kits, whose buyers were probably unaware that "FROG" was always shown in all-capitals because it had started out as an acronym.

1939 description:


All parts ready staped out. Covering material, cement, elastic, full-scale working drawings and instructions are included. NO TOOLS REQUIRED.

1939 range (FROG flying models only, Penguin range listed on separate page)

November 1939 listing:

  • Heston Phoenix
  • Hawker Hurricane
  • Supermarine Spitfire
  • Vickers Wellesley
  • D.H. Leopard Moth
  • B.A. Swallow
  • D.H. Hornet Moth
  • Hawker Demon
  • Fairey IIIF
  • Miles Hawk Major

" Also many others, including models elegible for S.M.A.E. competitions. "

External links



This category has the following 2 subcategories, out of 2 total.


Pages in category ‘FROG (International Model Aircraft)’

The following 2 pages are in this category, out of 2 total.

Media in category ‘FROG (International Model Aircraft)’

The following 24 files are in this category, out of 24 total.