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Toy Brands and Manufacturers


After the success of International Model Aircraft's "FROG" range ("Flies Right Off Ground") in the 1930s, Tri-ang-owned IMA started to branch out, logically, into exploring more advanced lightweight materials such as plastics, and this suggested a new range of plastic models and kits.

IMA's "FROG" branding had made a big deal about the flying properties of the range, and the new model aircraft didn't fly. This required a sub-brand as a qualification of the "Flying Frog" logo, and the company selected the Penguin to symbolise a bird that didn't fly.

1930s Penguin 1:72-scale model aircraft kits

November 1939 text and listing:


Exact replicas designed to the scale of 1 in. to 6 ft. All parts correctly shaped. All kits include full-scale drawings, cement, etc. NO TOOLS REQUIRED.

  • Airspeed Envoy
  • Avro 504 K
  • Bristol Blenheim
  • D.H. Diana
  • Empire Flying Boat
  • Fairey Battle
  • Gloster Gladiator
  • Hawker Hurricane
  • Hawker Osprey
  • Monospar Ambulance
  • Percival Gull
  • Rota Autogiro
  • Short Singapore III
  • Supermarine Spitfire
  • Vickers Wellesley
  • Vickers Wellington
  • Westland Lysander
  • Hangar Kit, etc.

Post-WW2 Penguin boats

The new plastic moulding techniques did not just lend themselves to model aircraft, but were also ideal for lightweight model boat hulls and superstructure, resulting in a successful "Frog Penguin" range of plastic-bodied clockwork and electric model boats.

Post-WW2 Penguin cars

In the late 1940s, The Penguin brand was also applied to a small number of plastic-shelled model cars with elastic-band drive (inspired by IMA's earlier experience of rubber-band-driven FROG aircraft). However, these didn't stay on the market for long, and the Merton Works instead started producing plastic shelled clockwork cars for the larger Series Two Minic car range that appeared in around 1950 – these being branded as Minics rather than Penguins, due to their clockwork motors.


This category has only the following subcategory.

Media in category ‘Penguin’

The following 4 files are in this category, out of 4 total.