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REL PLASTICS

REL PLASTICS used subsidiary the PLAStic art COrporation (PLASCO) to market doll house furniture and western themed figures and playsets in the 1950s-1960s.

Early 1950s figures may come with swirled plastic and factory paint. Some figures may have yellow paint applied at factory as flesh! Earlier figures (1951-56) are hard plastic while later ones (1956-60?) were made in soft plastic. The stagecoaches, wagons, caissons and cannons were made of hard plastic and can suffer from heat warping after years of storage in attics. Plastic Art had a nice line of plastic doll house furniture, but the western themed sets seem to have become the companies most popular sellers (at least for boys). The western figures were sold in header bags, small and large boxed sets. They got out of the toy business in the early 1960s.

Above are two store demo boards to entice youngsters into begging their parents to buy them a REL set (circa 1956-60). Both have spring loaded pellet shooting cannons (with ammo) which are not very common in REL sets. Pictures courtesy Tracy & Glenn Salyer.

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The Cowboys

Kit Carson set picture courtesy Gregory Urbach.

Rel Foot Western Figures

Rel only made three foot western figures as seen above.

Hard Plastic $4 each, Soft Plastic $3 each

RL3 Sheriff hands on pistols; HP; 1 charcoal swirl, 1 blue, SP; NONE.

RL4 Bandit w/ 2 pistols;HP; 1 blue, 1 yellow, 13 red, 3 lighter grays, 1 brown, 4 lighter brown swirl, 4 graybluish with swirl, 3 medium gray swirl, 1 silver, 5 darker grays, 3 swirl colors, 4 translucent brown, SP; 2 orange, 2 red, 1 yellow, 1 bluegreen, 1 pinkred.

RL5 Cowgirl w/ hat in hand; HP; 2 red, 2 gray, SP; 1 blue, 2 bluegreen.

Rel Mounted Cowboy

Rel only made one mounted cowboy pose. Usually seen in red, yellow, blue and gray/silver. The blue and gray figures were also used in ACW sets. The HP (hard plastic) examples often have some factory paint.

$2.00 Each

RL10 Cowboy mounted w/ felt hat: SP; 4 red, 2 blue, 2 pale yellow, 2 pink, HP; 3 blue, 2 red, 1 brown with red & gray swirls, 1 tan with yellow paint, 3 gray, 1 painted yellow.

Mounted Cowboy

Indian Braves set picture courtesy Gregory Urbach.

Examples of Rel Indians

Most of the Rel Indians we have seen are soft plastic, so it is possible they were the last figures made.

$4 each

RL12 Mounted Indian w/ tomahawk, SP; 3 darker blues, 2 lighter pale blue, 3 red, 4 pinkred, 1 dark blue swirl, 1 black, 1 purplebrown, 2 pale yellow, 2 yellow.

RL??? Indian chief standing w/ arms folded over chest; HP; 1 yellow, SP; 1 pinkred, 1 pale yellow, 1 greenishyellow?, 1 red, 1 blue, 1 pale orange, 1 tan.

RL??? Indian advancing holding tomahawk; SP; 2 darker blues, 2 paleyellow.

RL??? Indian mounted shooting bow; SP; 1 lighter blue with bow split.

Rel Pioneer

4.00 Mounted Pioneer (Davy Crockett), SP; 1 medium yellows, 2 pale yellow, 1 pinkred.

Gray cavalry picture courtesy Gregory Urbach.

Rel ACW/Cavalry Figures

Earlier figures are made of hard plastic and often have a bit of paint applied (yellow as flesh!! seems common). The hard plastic figures can be found in both blue and gray colors and were used in ACW playsets. Most of the soft plastic figures we have seen are blue and were probably sold as plains cavalry. Also pictured above is the generic rubber saddle used with Rel mounted figures.

Mounted Figures $2 each unless notes

RL6 Civil War MTD w/ kepi;

SP 15 lighter blues, 12 darker blues.

HP; 11 dark aqua blue.

3.50 RL7 Walking, ring hand; HP; 1 gray, SP; 8 lighter blues.

3.50 RL8 As if throwing?, HP; NONE, SP; 9 lighter blues, 7 darker blues, 1 gray.

4.00 RL9 Kneeling shooting, HP; NONE, SP; 8 lighter blues.

NONE Mtd kepi figure Your choice of figure + saddle and horse (may or may not have harness, REL used the harness horse for wagons and mounted figures).

Rel Wagon Drivers

Rel made two generic seated figures to man their wagons and caissons. The driver is wearing a hat while the "shotgun" is holding a shotgun down by his leg. Many fanciful hard plastic swirl color variations exist. We have never seen the soft plastic versions in blue. A dark charcoal gray/black is the most common soft plastic color.

2.00 RL1 Wagon driver

Hard Plastic; 1 off white, 8 mostly grays/browns some with paint & some with swirls.

Soft Plastic; 2 white, 8 mostly darker colors.

2.00 RL2 C.B. Seated shotgun

SP; 1 white, 8 mostly darker colors..

HP; 11 mostly grays/browns some with paint & some with with swirls.

Rel Horses

Rel made two horses, one for mounted figures and one for the wagons and caissons with harness straps. The pose is the same. There are two slight versions of the horse used for mounted figures. The middle horse in the picture has a slight protrusion after the front leg. Many fanciful swirl plastic colors can be found.

1.50 EACH RL13 Wagon horse w/ molded on harness

SP; 21 assorted colors.

HP; 15 assorted colors?

Rel Caisson and Cannon

The cannon barrel does not lock in place and has often been lost over the years. We have only seen these is hard plastic.

NONE - Cannon, blue body and yellow wheels, blue barrel, black hubcaps.

12.00 RECAST cannon and caisson (black bodies and hubs and white wheels) + 2 horses and both riders in cream SP. (2 IN STOCK)

Rel Wagons

Like the nice Rel stagecoach the wagons front two wheels are attached to the separate wagon tongue. Wagon tongues exist for teams of two or four horses. Wheels were originally held on by "hub caps". This was eventually changed to a wheel with hub extension molded as one piece. Some wagons have words on the covered top (as seen above). The wagons have not fared well over the years as heat tends too warp them. The mold still exists and recasts have been made since about 1995.

WAGONS IN STOCK

NONE

WAGON PARTS

1.00 Large wheel; 14 yellow, 4 red, 4 black, 1 gray.

1.00 Small wheel; 6 yellow, 3 red, 5 black, 4 gray.

1.00 Hubcap; 4 reissue yellow, 2 silver, 1 brown, 2 gray. Hubcaps may have broken peg inside that you will need to remove.

1.00 Later wheels with molded hubcaps; NONE.

REL made a number of one sided western accessories. Payton also sold identical fence pieces.

Original Pieces

4.00 Full Tree, green. (NONE)

4.00 Less full tree; NONE.

3.00 Larger Cactus, green. NONE.

3.00 Smaller cactus, green. 1 darker green, 1 lighter green.

1.00 Larger fence piece, SP; 1 tan

1.00 Smaller fence piece, SP; 3 brown, 3 tan.

Reissue Pieces

2.50 Full Tree, green. (1)

2.50 Less full tree; (1).

1.50 Larger Cactus, green. (3).

1.00 Smaller cactus, green. (4)

4.00 Vacuform campfire. (NONE)

3.00 Vacuform Rocks. (1)

Email: sprecherko@aol.com