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M35 Cargo Truck


Deuce and a Half Cargo Truck
Modeled after the M35 2½ ton cargo truck that was first deployed by the U.S. Army in 1949 and nicknamed the deuce and a half, this 1/35 scale version from Processed Plastic is arguably the most popular army vehicle in the history of plastic toy soldiers. Its scale, realism and versatility easily makes it a perfect addition to any kid's army set. Introduced in the 1964 catalog, the #749 U.S. Army truck was sold loose in dime-store toy bins, in bagged sets with a header card and also in several boxed playsets, including the very popular Action Army Set series. It featured a removable canopy that was fastened with four pegs and metal axles with plastic wheels. Star stickers were usually placed on the driver's side door and often on the hood as well. They were a larger 5/8" variation of the typical 1/2" star used by the company on their other military vehicles. A 31072545 serial number sticker was placed on the driver side fender (later replaced with the 55239326 sticker). The Deuce was last seen in the 1988 Processed Plastic Co. catalog. It is unclear and somewhat mind-boggling as to why the company would discontinue such a widely popular toy that remains in high demand to this day.

A few variations were made over the course of its production run
which can give you a clue as to when any given Deuce was produced. There were two variations of the mold manufactured by Moldrite. The first (marked '1' on the undercarriage) did not have a hitch and the front bumper was attached to the frame at only two points (see photo #5). The second mold (marked '2') was given a hitch so the truck could tow the anti-tank cannon. The four canopy peg holes were beefed up significantly and the front bumper was now completely affixed to the frame to give it more rigidity.  Another clue are the wheel hubs which would change slightly three times (see photo below) Yet another clue is the plastic itself, which would become more rigid towards the end of its production run.

During the height of the Vietnam war, the Deuce was briefly offered in colors other than the "socially offensive" olive drab. These included red, lime green, orange or a combination of lime green and orange as it was commonplace for the company to combine different colors on vehicles with multiple parts. All are extremely rare, especially in red. 


Wheel hub changes

Cargo bed

Canopy

no hitch (left) • hitch (right)

Front bumper attachment

#1785 Processed Plastic header card

Orange/lime green truck

Lime green/orange truck

Solid colors

Quick Facts

Manufacturer: Processed Plastic Co.
Item number: 749

Production: 1964-1990
Dimensions: 7¾" L x 3" W x 2¾" H (w/hitch)

Scale: 1/35
Colors: olive drab, army green, lime green, orange, red

Stickers: white star(s), serial #31072545 or 55239326

7 comments:

Ryan L. Gonzalez said...

They need to reissue this truck and make it in both green and tan

TimMee Army said...

A reissue of the cargo truck is being given serious consideration. But I wouldn't go getting your hopes up. I think it's a long shot at best.

Lorrie Causey said...

..I've bought a couple sets of the re-issued Patton tanks from Amazon and would buy the trucks also if they're ever offered....

Erin Williams said...

Yup. I had many of these trucks when I was young. They were great to move all my infantry and pull artillery. There were many great times with these, and I'd love to see them come back for my kids and grandkids!!!

Martin Rivera said...

I live in Mexico right on the border with Nogales Arizona and used to cross over with my Mother to purchase groceries but on the way back I would get my bag of toy soldiers from time to time, this truck was great, hope they get it back, my kids love these soldiers, specially the original ones, just got a good lot of vintage soldiers including a marked "1" M35 cargo truck and some marching soldiers came with it, I am thrilled to see them again!!!

Rolfe A. said...

I was looking on ebay once and found a lime green m35 truck with a orange canopy. the next time I looked for it was already bought. I should have bought when I still had the chance.

Jarod Hackenberg said...

Did they have a version of the truck with a hole for the artillery with the tow pegs?