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Oh Penny and friends
Although Oh Penny was manufactured by Bluebird, you will see on the packaging that this was "Under licence from Seven Towns Ltd, UK"
This is were it gets complicated and why the toy industry is so fascinating! The toy was designed by Origin Products Limited, but it is Seven Towns who own the rights to the toy. Seven Towns Ltd, create concepts and licence the intellectual property & exploitation rights to distributors. The original concept for Oh Penny was, "Everything in one box, including dolls!" which was probably a somewhat unique idea at the time.
All the items were designed by Origin in the UK. Seven Towns sketched each item up and made the first original model of each item. These were sent it to Portugal where the items were tooled. Some items were made in the UK, some in Portugal, and some in Hong Kong.
|At the time Origin had an in-house design and modelmakers team of about 15 to 20 people. They worked very closely with Bluebird Toys on the design and selection of each item. Seven Towns were responsible for making all the early samples for toy fairs and the photography models for catalogues etc. You can see the some of these original models on the older Oh Penny packaging. If you look closely you will see that they are made from a sort of clay or plaster and hand painted. They are not jointed, and in fact if you look very closely you will see the joints to the arms and legs have been painted in! Later sets started to feature the plastic dolls from the main production run. Of course if anyone still has any of these prototypes out there, we'd love to hear from you!|
Oh Jenny Family figures
|Bluebird subcontracted to a number of different distributors
in Europe and Asia. Oh Penny was also sold as Oh Jenny when it was distributed
by Matchbox in the USA. Our friend, Denise was first to discovered the Matchbox
version of the Oh Penny range for us. It now seems the entire Oh Penny range,
was also available as Oh Jenny! The sets are exactly the same as the Oh Penny
version, although different decorations, and stickers appear to have been
used, however the dolls in this series are of a different design, presumably
to appeal to the American market.
Oh Penny was the last product which Origin licensed through Seven Towns Limited.
|More figures & furniture though we are not sure about the horse?|
|Again if you have any more information about Oh Jenny items we'd love
to hear from you!
We'd like to extend our special thanks to Chris Taylor of Seven Towns Ltd for the information he has provided for this section.