While out at last Sunday’s Sandwich Antiques Market, this avid toy hunter happened upon a whole slew of 3-inch plastic cars bearing the mold mark F&F Mold & Die Works, Dayton Ohio on the underside. Further research revealed them to be Post cereal premiums inserted into boxes of Grape-Nuts, Bran Flakes, Fruity Pebbles and other favorites between 1954 and 1967. What makes these cars unique is the fact that each one is based on a particular model and make vehicle, with a heavy emphasis on Ford automobiles.
The business began right after the war in 1945 and continued all the way through 1987. During the entire time all they did was manufacture and market a very narrow niche product: Plastic premiums. There’s some question among collectors as to whether a series of 1969 Mercury autos exhibiting very F&F like traits constitute the real deal. Those vehicles are marked JVZ Co.
Debate about pedigree aside, construction of these toys is incredibly simplistic, as the economics of cereal premiums would dictate. They are composed of a single molded body with a pair of solid white wheel/axle sets snapped into slots underneath. But the attention to styling detail is impressive, as you’ll see in your Chicago Treasure Hunter’s slide show.
The earliest models are the most valuable. These would be Ford sedans and may or might not have a magnet glued to the underside of roof. There are plenty of color variations ranging from the darker green, red and copper to lighter yellow and grey. There are convertibles and even a station wagon in the mix. Odd balls of the lot include Greyhound busses, Tractor Trailers, a Mercury show car and a couple of Plymouths. Collectors differ about how many models exist but the base figure hovers around 50. This doesn’t take into consideration the color differences for each mold.
As previously stated all F&F premiums are very easily identified by the company stamping on the underside and also the solid white wheel/axle sets. They’re definitely worth digging through buckets of tableside fodder to find.