Toy steam engines

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A selection of models in my collection. 

A Bowman E101

A rare 1969 Griffin and George version of the SE3

A Burnac Vulcan dating from c1946-49 - engine detail

A Bowman M140 twin

A rare 1967 SR1a with aluminium wheels and straight lever control

A Hobbies 'Arrow' boats powered by Mamod ME1 and ME3 engines

Mamod SE engines from c1954-78

A "Luton" Bowman PW201 dating from 1946-50

Some thoughts . . .

I have collected Mamod steam engines since I was a boy, I got my first engine, and SR1a Steam Roller in 1973, since then I have aquired many over the years - I mainly concentrate on wick-type/early vapourising type burner stationary engines made between 1954 and 1970 as well as some of the rarer mobiles such as the TE1 and SR1.
Having collected these wonderful toys for over thirty years I have amassed a varied selection of engines, the earliest being a 1937 SE4 and the latest being an unfired SE1a dated September 1978. 
The build quality of present day engines is a little lacking when compared to the better quality and workmanship of the engines built over 50 years ago, as the latest SPs demonstrate.
Todays Mamod models are built more for adult collectors than young children, the range is very biased towards the mobile steam engines, the stationary range is very much reduced although the Malins inspired SP4 and SP2 are still available - the recent SP5 is a mere shadow of the orignal SP5 of 1979 - stripped of everything to offset the cost of a motor/dynamo. The new SP6 and SP7 models with the latest (for Mamod!) piston valves are capable performers, but somehow the grace and charm of the Malins designs is not there (just see the new piston valved TE and SR). The new SP8 James Watt beam engine marks a real return to form, as this is a very well priced toy beam engine with either solid fuel or gas heating. A brave move by the company which deserves commending on this move. Newer additions to the steam marine engines as well as locos ensure that the company's products are breaking into new ground once more.