Boys' Vintage Toys

Beautiful toys from yesteryear

What marvellous and beautiful toys these are ! By the standards of today's electronic wizardry these submarines seem postively ancient, but when I bought my Sea Wolf in 1977 I was thrilled. To see it diving to the bottom of Beaumaris's paddling pool , and its probe on the front gently tapping the bottom before the spring power lessened and it gradually rose to the surface. The beautifully shaped hulls and the gentle ticking of a well oiled motor. I stayed at the pool for many hours on the day I bought it. No surprise that the spring failed not too much later . I used to wind the spring furiously - I just couldn't wait to see it dive to the bottom again. I sent it off to Horsforth for repair . What a wonderful service. I must of read the side of a the Sutcliffe box a hundred times simply marvelling at service offered. A splendid service from a bygone age.

Sutcliffe Nautilus 1960

Sutcliffe Submarines.

The Nautilus c/w submarine was released shortly after the film 20,000 leagues under the sea was shown for the first time.

As  with all Sutcliffe submarines it dived dynamically - it used the speed of the water over its diving planes to overcome the buoyancy of the submarine and force the submarine under the water. As the clockwork motor wound down it gradually rose to the surface in a very realistic manner. The first issue of this sub can be distinguished from the later version by noting that the earlier version is different shade of green and that it does not have the hole in the rudder.

The later issue of the Nautilus from 1976. Note the darker shade of green and the hole in the rudder. Supplied with short key in the original paper bag.

Sutcliffe Late Sea Wolf 001 Sutcliffe Late Nautilus 001

The later and less rare Sea Wolf. Note the static missile illustration on the box. Supplied with a long key so not as to foul the persicopes when winding.

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Blue Sutcliffe Unda Wunda 1975 Sutcliffe Early Sea Wolf 001 Sutcliffe Very Early Unda Wunda 001

The earlier Sea Wolf submarine. Note the absence of the front projection compared with the later Nautilus. Note, also the illustration on the box showing the missile firing from the submarine. The missile did not in fact fire , and Sutcliffe had a few disgruntled customers complaining that they expected the missile to fire from the deck.

The lovely Unda Wunda from 1976. My personal favourite of the submarines. I'm not sure why - it may have something to do with its colour - Manchester City sky blue ! Supplied with a short key.

One of the earliest Sutcliffe submarines - pre second world war. The keel allowed for various small lead weights to be attached with wire to obtain the correct buoyancy.The carton encouraged you to 'Take command of your own Submarine'. Supplied with a short key.

Cox Tri and yellow Unda 003

Very rare yellow Unda Wunda.