|No matter where you lived in the country, the Santa Fe|
warbonnet graphic was a familiar sight on toy trains.
Many tin toy trains were marked "Santa Fe," because the distinctive red-and-silver warbonnet livery was so striking.
Mobilgas and Shell show up frequently on Japanese tin toy gas trucks and toy train rolling stock. But those were international companies with a presence in Japan, and so would have been familiar to Japanese toy designers.
I first wondered if Linemar was creating specialized vehicles for promotional use -- or at least regional sales -- when I discovered their Potomac Electric Power Company(PEPCO) truck in the corporate colors (Collecting -- and collecting information 5). A recent purchase of a Bond Bread truck, also in prototypical colors seemed to confirm this idea.
It would be a simple thing for Marx to contact these companies (or be contacted by them) to create these promotional vehicles, and then have the work done in Japan for a fraction of the price it would cost Marx to produce them in the states. Here's a gallery of the Line Mar 3" vehicles that seem to fit this pattern. What do you think? (click on images to enlarge)
|Linemar Coca-Cola Truck|
|Linemar RCA Service Van|
|Linemar NYC Fire Department|
|Linemar Bond Bread van|
(Eastern Seaboard-based baking company)
|Linemar General Electric Courier|
|Linemar Central Coke and Coal Co. Dump Truck|
Kansas/Missouri-based coal company)
|Linemar Potomac Electric Power Company Service Truck|
(Washington, DC regional power company)