Saturday, August 10, 2013

Linda and more Linda

Last night, I sat down to write a blog post about the latest set of Linda furniture I have acquired - and discovered that I had not blogged about the earlier ones! I thought that I had, but I only showed two chairs in my Blue-Box rooms with the Dolly Darlings.

The first sets I got came in these boxes:

Cute, hey?

I'm glad to have these sets, as they have the brand name, Linda, as well as Made in Hong Kong, on the front, side and back of the box.

Also, the back of the box shows photos of the sets available:

So, the sets I got in these boxes are -

A dining room set in orange, brown and white:

A living room set in red and brown:

And a nursery set, which, strangely, comes with a TV:

I have other sets which I acquired without their boxes, and probably wouldn't know the maker of if I hadn't found the boxed sets.

The chairs that the Dolly Darlings are using come from a yellow and white living room set, which has a table with a cardboard surface imitating tiles:

Anna-Maria has a yellow and brown living room set, which I photographed when I visited her earlier this year:

I have another dining room set, in red and white - the dining table also has a cardboard surface, probably imitating formica:

And I have a single sideboard, which came without a table and chairs. It has a cardboard desktop on it:

I wonder what colour the table and chairs would have been, if it was part of a dining room set?

The only piece I have from the bathroom set is a bath, missing its tap. It's blue, as shown on the back of the box:

I don't have any pieces from the bedroom set, as far as I know - and until recently, I didn't have the kitchen either.

Then I found this:

The kitchen is in the same colour combination as can be seen on the first box, with yellow chairs, yellow and brown stripes on the doors under the sink, a pink towel, and a blue stove top. (I will try to remove the black marker pen from the plastic covering the set.)

The box is quite different.

The back shows an ordinary girl - and a boy (I think) - playing around a large dolls house, rather than the Holly Hobbie style figure on the other boxes.

This box doesn't show the brand name, it just says Made in Hong Kong, and has a letter E in a flag. However, the sides of the box depict the same 6 sets of furniture as on the marked Linda boxes, although they are drawn, not photographed, and they are rather different colours:

The living room set is purple and yellow, and the bathroom is purple and green, blue or white!

The bedroom looks more red than pink, and the dining room looks like my red and white set, but with a sideboard that is coloured all over.

Which box do you think is earlier? I'm not sure whether photographs of the sets available would have replaced drawings, or whether the Not Recommended for Children under 3 Years Old indicates more regulation of toys, and hence a later date. As for the design of the boxes, I don't know. Perhaps they weren't from different years, but rather produced for different markets? What do you think?

As for the design inspiration for much of the furniture, compare this ad for Modella roomboxes at the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg in 1968:

You can see photos of the room sets in diepuppenstubensammlerin's article about Modella roomboxes  and on her blog here.


  1. I would LOVE that red and white sideboard thing, where DO you get these items from? ??

    1. Hi elbey, Well, guess where? As you can see, I have 3 sideboards, and Lilli has just pointed out that the furniture was also sold by Sears Department Store in the US, as part of the Action Apartment House. So there is a bit around, and it pops up on ebay now and then. You just need to keep an eye out, especially on mixed lots of plastic furniture, as it's not often identified. Good luck!

  2. Hi Rebecca!
    The same kind of furniture was sold with the "Action Apartment House" from 1971, which was produced by PMC Limited (Hong Kong)for Sears Roerbuck. You can see pictures of the house and furniture on my flickr-stream:
    I think the furniture was produced for different markets - but maybe they used the same molds in different firms like the czechoslovakian equivalent to the german "Jean"-Furniture that you've showed in your last posting?
    Cheers, Lilli

    1. Thank you, Lilli! That is definitely the same furniture, isn't it! So now I have another name to research - Linda is the brand name of these furniture sets, but I don't think it was the name of the company.
      Do you have any Modella pieces to compare with the Hong Kong-made equivalents? I suspect that the HK ones are not as sturdy - the plastic seems quite thin and brittle on some pieces, like the dining chairs, for instance.

    2. I have a lot of real Modella furniture here and the sizes are mostly different from the Hong Kong made furniture. The sideboard in my Action Apartment House has only 3 drawers instead of the original one with 5 drawers and the contours are not so accurate. Obviously the Hong Kong Companies were inspired by Modella, but they produced in their own molds. And as you said, the plastic is kind of thin and brittle.
      Right now the most of my Modella furniture is stored in cardboard boxes but I hope to "release" them soon, so I will be able to take some pictures of both kinds of furniture.
      Greetings from Germany, Lilli

    3. Thank you, Lilli, I will look forward to that!
      Greetings from Australia, Rebecca :-)

  3. I really like some of this furniture Rebecca. I think I'm going through a bit of a retro phase. I also love the top box, so cute.

    1. I think some of it is very attractive too, Sharee. Modella put a lot of work into their designs, so I think that's who we have to thank for the style of these pieces! I like both boxes, they both are so much of their time :-)

    2. I have fond memories of Hollie Hobbies and Sara Moon pictures from when I was a kid.

  4. Hello Rebecca,
    It's wonderful to revisit early miniatures. these sets were beautiful.
    Big hug,

    1. Hi Giac, Thanks for visiting! I especially like the living room sets, and I love the old boxes, too.

  5. What a fascinating collection.

    1. Hi Ann, thank you! And thanks for visiting :-)

  6. What wonderful vintage minis you've found! I love them! You have a real eye for cute vintage minis! xo Jennifer

    1. Hi Jennifer, Thank you! I especially like the yellow living room set, which I got unboxed, so I was delighted to see this boxed set.

  7. 1968 was the first year the Hong Kong makers took a stand (actually a converted, articulated lorry-trailer in the car-park, previously used to tour East Africa) at Nuremberg, Blue Box was definitely there and Linda often carried Blue Box stuff in their (Linda's) graphics, but PMC were probably also present, so not much help, with you queries but links within circles!