Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.



  • Place of origin:

    England (manufactured)

  • Date:

    1940s (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Mettoy Ltd (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Given by Alexandra Buhler

  • Museum number:

    B.100:1, 2-2010

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This object was donated to the Museum from part of the Michael Buhler collection of tin toys. Tin toys cover a vast array of subject matters ranging from the space age to domestic objects. This spitfire was made in England by Mettoy, who were one of the main manufacturers producing tin toys, alongside Wells Brimtoy and Chad Valley, producing good quality tin toys during the 1940s and 50s.

The plane is part of a set of three somersaulting planes which have an arm under the fuselage which periodically tips them head over heels as they go along.

Physical description

A clockwork plane which has an arm under the fuselage which periodically tips them head over heels as it goes along. The main body of the plane and its wings are covered in a yellow and green camouflage pattern with three red, white and blue targets on either of the wings and on the body. It has black wheels and a white propeller. The cabin to the drivers seat is clear.

Place of Origin

England (manufactured)


1940s (manufactured)


Mettoy Ltd (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques



Height: 11.5 cm, Width: 25.6 cm, Length: 22.9 cm

Object history note

This object was donated by Alexandra Buhler from the Michael Buhler collection. Buhler collected a vast array of tin toys and published a book on the subject called 'Tin Toys 1945-1975'. His collection covers a variety of subject matters ranging from space toys to more domestic objects. The collection contains tin toys from around the world including Japan, Europe, India and the USA.

Descriptive line

Spitfire tin toy, made in England by Mettoy in the 1940s.


Children & Childhood; Dolls & Toys

Production Type

Mass produced


Museum of Childhood

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.