Tommy Doo Toys of New Zealand

Tommy Doo toys were produced in Auckland, New Zealand circa 1940. Tommy Doo was an importer, manufacturer, and distributor of many products, including fireworks. I cannot at this time confirm if the name refers to an individual or to a company.** It is rumoured that a quantity of the toys were discovered in an Auckland attic during the early 2000s, still wrapped in their original 1940s newspaper. Again I have been unable to find someone to corroborate that story, although I have purchased Tommy Doo toys with newspaper stuck to the tyres and hubs.

The toys are all slush-molded in lead and are distinctive due to their lead hubs and large, black rubber tyres. They are known to have been manufactured in central Auckland, wrapped in newspaper and stored in boxes until required for sale. It is also known that toys that have been stored for years end up with "flat" tyres (sometimes the side but more commonly a "bottom" of the tyre) and many have been found in the hands of collectors, still with a little piece of original newspaper stuck to the flat section of the tyre!

** I have now confirmed that "Tommy Doo" was Thomas Wong Doo (listed as a toy retailer in the 1958/59 Trades Directory). Die Cast Toys Ltd was run by William Wong Doo (who was an importer, manufacturer, and distributor of fireworks) and are thought to have operated only between 27 Feb 1941 to 8 Mar 1944. The toys were known coloquially as Tommy Doo toys (possibly  because Thomas Wong Doo was responsible for retailing them) and are said to have been sold on Queen Street, Auckland and at bus and tram queues in the city. The company was wound up in 1946.

A tractor and two racing cars are definitely known to have been made by Tommy Doo, although there may have been others. The tractor resembles a Fordson and one of the racers seems to be a copy of the Dinky 23e "Spirit of the Wind". Both tractors and racers have the distinctive lead hubs, rubber tyres and come in a variety of colours.

Tommy Doo also made some small, military figures in lead. The soldiers, each lying prone (flat on the stomach position) are about 4 inches long. One figure had a rather bulky machine gun and matching tripod, cast in one piece. The second figure looks to be the same but his weapon is equipped with a two wheel carriage. The wheels have the same lead hubs and black tyres as the vehicles.