Hamleys 1939 catalogue

From The Brighton Toy and Model Index

An original 28-page (including front and back covers) Hamleys catalogue for 1939/40.

1939 and the toy industry

1939 (and specifically late 1939)' is generally considered to the high point of the Golden Age of British interwar toymaking – the industry's products and ranges were improving year by year and almost month by month, until World War Two was finally declared in the autumn of 1939. Toy production didn't stop immediately with the onset of war, but toy designers and manufacturers were facing the likelihood of their being diverted to production for the war effort, so after an initial appearance of some war-related toys (anti-aircraft guns, modern fighter planes, dolls in uniform), the industry was effectively "paused" for the rest of the duration. After the war, some product lines continued to improve (such as Hornby Dublo), but metal shortages continued due to the Korean War, there was a period of austerity, and then, when the traditional manufacturers finally started to get back on their feet, they were hit with competition from a new wave of plastic toys, which changed how the market worked.

Dating

These images are from the Hamleys "Late 1939/40" catalogue. It's undated, but the cover art suggests 1939, and it's selling 1940 annuals, so it's presumably their "Christmas 1939" issue, undated so that it could continue to be used through 1940.

1939 Catalogue images:

Hamleys 1939 catalogue, page-ifc, Dolls, Soft Toys, Jigsaws (HamleyCat 1939).jpgHamleys 1939 catalogue, page01, Teachem Toys for the Toddlers (HamleyCat 1939).jpgHamleys 1939 catalogue, page02, More Teachem Toys (HamleyCat 1939).jpgHamleys 1939 catalogue, page03, Fit-Bits (HamleyCat 1939).jpgHamleys 1939 catalogue, page04, Homework and School-play (HamleyCat 1939).jpgHamleys 1939 catalogue, page05, Minic, Bayko, Lotts, Minibrix (HamleyCat 1939).jpgHamleys 1939 catalogue, page06, Home Playsets (HamleyCat 1939).jpgHamleys 1939 catalogue, page07, Books and Annuals (HamleyCat 1939).jpgHamleys 1939 catalogue, page08, Dressup and Playscenes (HamleyCat 1939).jpgHamleys 1939 catalogue, page09, The Three Fighting Services, Britains (HamleyCat 1939).jpgHamleys 1939 catalogue, page10, Art and Magic (HamleyCat 1939).jpgHamleys 1939 catalogue, page11, Trix Twin Railway TTR (HamleyCat 1939).jpgHamleys 1939 catalogue, page12, The Modern Army, Dinky Toys (HamleyCat 1939).jpgHamleys 1939 catalogue, page13, Science Sets (HamleyCat 1939).jpgHamleys 1939 catalogue, page14, Carpentry and Boats (HamleyCat 1939).jpgHamleys 1939 catalogue, page15, Cycling and Radio (HamleyCat 1939).jpgHamleys 1939 catalogue, page16, Frog Model Aircraft (HamleyCat 1939).jpgHamleys 1939 catalogue, page17, Sports (HamleyCat 1939).jpgHamleys 1939 catalogue, page18, Miscellaneous (HamleyCat 1939).jpgHamleys 1939 catalogue, page19, Indoor Games (HamleyCat 1939).jpgHamleys 1939 catalogue, page20, Indoor Games continued (HamleyCat 1939).jpgHamleys 1939 catalogue, page21, Indoor Games - Boardgames (HamleyCat 1939).jpgHamleys 1939 catalogue, page22, Party Games (HamleyCat 1939).jpgHamleys 1939 catalogue, page23, Motors, Cycles, and Wheeled Toys (HamleyCat 1939).jpgHamleys 1939 catalogue, page24, Doll-Land (HamleyCat 1939).jpgHamleys 1939 catalogue, page-ibc, Baby Things (HamleyCat 1939).jpg