Next to the obligatory books and annuals,jigsaws were the most common bits of merchandise for kids tv series in the 1960's and 70's .... despite never figuring that highly [if at all] on most christmas lists !
So maybe sales were driven by well-meaning parents who thought they were helping to develop their kids' intellect and powers of concentration in some small way.
An attempt to balance out the more inane items that always filled most wishlists.
For every Slinky,a jigsaw...for every Kerplunk,a Chemistry set,and so on.
And fair do's.Because tetanus jabs and trips to the dentist weren't much fun either,but time teaches you to be damn grateful for the love behind the act.
When you think of tv spin-off jigsaws from the period,the name that keeps cropping-up is Arrow Games.
So it's no surprise they were responsible for all 3 sets here -2 for The Herbs and 1 for The Adventures of Parsley.
What's particulary nice is that they all used still photos of the actual puppets and scenery.
And not all were lifted directly from the series footage either.Because some were clearly specially staged for the purpose -either at the time of filming with a view to future use,or after the event when a licensing deal had actually been done.
The sizes of the sets varied.As did the materials used.
And I presume the decisions about box sizes and whether to use wooden or cardboard pieces had more to do with production costs than sales potential.
Although the use of cardboard over wood could also serve as a handy metaphor for the problems faced by most large British toy manufacturers of the time,as they got sucked into a downward spiral of producing lower quality goods to try to offset increasing labour costs.And we all know how that ended up.
But you're not here to listen about the demise of the british toy industry.And it's too darn depressing anyway quite frankly.
So I'll end by getting back on-message with these "thanks for the memory" offerings ....
Sets in chronological order.
The photos below are all the same size,but if you check the measurements you'll see that the boxes for the 1st set are actually a fair bit smaller than the other 2
The Herbs Set of 4 1968 copyright date
All 4 have the Arrows reference "No. 2197".They're not numbered 1 to 4,but each box mentions the fact that there are 3 others in the set.
Small box size - approx. 21.5cm x 16.5cm x 3cm. 15 cardboard pieces.