Plastics Design – Rutland Vintage

Made in Britain

Did you know that prior to becoming the trade moulder & Plastics design that we are today the company made toys under our own-brand called ‘Rutland’ which went on to include the Katie label on a range of domestic-themed toys. Most were moulded in polystyrene and quite brittle; it is unlikely that many survived the scrapes and bashes of a typical playtime.

A change in import control subsequently triggered market competition in the late 60s from Japanese, German and American toy imports. This brought about a sharp decline in the sale of British made toys. Smaller toy manufacturers started to be bought out by larger companies looking to restructure and this included buying up toy brands. Some of the leading players were Lensey, Mettoy, Airfix and Dunbee-Combex and in 1971 we sold the Rutland toy brand to the latter. Sadly, Dunbee-Combex-Marx was liquidated in 1980.

The above photograph features a few items from our vintage toy collection. Our archive is not entirely limited to toys, it includes bunches of delicate flowers, baby essentials such as feeding bowls with suction pad to sturdy potties and an amusing assortment of budgerigar paraphernalia!

There is a Museum of design in Plastics (MoDiP). MoDiP is a specialist resource at the Arts University Bournemouth. It is the only accredited museum in the UK with a focus on plastics. It is the UK’s leading resource for the study and interpretation of design in plastics.

As well as Plastics Design we now have a website for 3D prototyping check it out -

Free design guide

Rutland Plastics has produced a free Design Guide to help you with all aspects of designing for plastic injection moulding.
Download free guide


We can provide advice and quotes on anything from a simple sketch to a 3D computer model. Most drawing formats can be handled although we find STEP, Parasolid and DXF translate most successfully.