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Charbens started business in the second half of the 1920s and was named after its two founders, brothers CHARles and BEN Reid. The factory where they established themselves and stayed for 40 years was based in Hornsey Road, Holloway, London N7, in close proximity to Britains, Taylor and Barrett, John Hill & Co (Johillco) and The Crescent Toy Co. Ltd.
Charbens lead items were often marked RD ‘Registered Design’ and, from the 1930s, some carried the brand name MIMIC TOY. This was a tongue in cheek choice as many Charbens products were ‘inspired by’ the likes of Britains and other leading manufacturers.
In an advertisement in the March 1928 issue of the trade magazine ‘Games and Toys’, Charbens took an advertisement and described themselves as ‘manufacturers and designers of metal and electro-plated novelties and die-casters’. Best known for their amazing circus figures, their lead range also included cowboys, Indians, medieval, farm, zoo, promotional, trades people and civilians.