Cherilea UK Ltd of Kirkham, Lancs. was a British toy company founded in 1946 by Cherrington and Leaver from whom it took its name. Initially specialising in die-cast military toys they began to switch over to production with plastics in the late 50s. Shortages of metals and an increased post-war demand for toys ensured the rapid uptake of plastics by toy manufacturers. Cherilea plastic daleks epitomise the 1960s dalekmania phenomenon.
Cherilea Toys Ltd initially released the Swappit dalek in three colours - black, silver and sky blue. Other colours were subsequently added to the range including dark blue, green and gold. Some Cherileas were solid colours eg all black or all light blue, but most had the main colour repeated on the base and dome only with the middle section and appendages being a different colour eg all yellow, red, green, blue or orange and occasionally white or gold. The idea was for dalek fans to swap parts so that surviving Cherilea daleks tend to be multicoloured.
Cherilea Swappit Dalek c 1960s Thanks Del
Cherilea Daleks were sold loose for a shilling at retailers such as F W Woolworths. Retailer assortments contained 36 pieces per case. Cherilea daleks can be found in two variations; with slatted or solid tops, both standing about 3" tall. The slatted versions are the rarer of the two. A variety of eye stalks and gun arms can be found for the Cherilea Daleks, though frequently it's the eye stalks that are missing. A claw arm movie dalek variant is sometimes pictured but is thought to be a pre-production prototype only.
There are reproduction parts in circulation for the 1960's Cherilea Daleks. The dalek pictured above, for example, has a repro lighter green arm; the moulding is inferior and the plastic is much harder than the originals.
Reusing their original mould for the Mechanoid, Cherilea subsequently produced these Space Pod toys up until the early 70's. The Space Pod thus has a very similar body to the Mechanoid. The examples above show how the legs of the Space Pod can be mistakenly presented as arms. The correct Mechanoid arms are longer, thinner, curved and moulded in one piece.
As well as their Dalek Swappits range, from 1965 Cherilea Toys also released the Cherilea Mechanoid in various colours including blue, green and silver (grey). Complete examples of these are extremely hard to find with all the original parts including the antenna, base, flame thrower and arms (moulded in one single piece). Authentic examples can be seen at Dalek Mania. At around 12cm tall the Cherilea mechanoids are smaller than the mechanoid produced by Herts Plastic Moulders Ltd. Like the Cherilea daleks, the mechanoids do not have any maker's mark to identify them. Note: the very rare Cherilea Mechanoid can easily be confused with the more common Cherilea Space Pod.
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