Game - M & L Plastics, Raceplay Horse Racing Game, Melbourne, 1945 Object Reg. No: SH 900247

This boxed children racing game was manufactured in Melbourne shortly after World War II.

It consists of eight plastic race horses and jockeys attached to a 'control box' by approximately one metre of string. The object of the game is to draw out all horses to the full extent of the string and then wind them in with a crank located on the control box. The horse that reaches the control box first is the winner.

All the horses are named after famous Australian racehorses, including Phar Lap.
.1:"Raceplay" racing game consisting of eight plastic race horses and jockeys attached to a 'control box' by approximately one metre of string. The object of the game is to draw out all horses to the full extent of the string and then wind them in with a crank located on the control box. The horse that reaches the control box first, wins. .2: cardboard direction manual. .3: lid of cardboard box upon which is a picture of racehorses nearing the finishing post, watched on by spectators. At the bottom right of this picture is a patent applied number '26359'. On the sides of the box are the words "Made in Australia"/by/M & L Plastics, Melbourne*. .4: cardboard base of box. .5: printed token board with the names of the eight horses children have written in the odds in pencil. Features famous Australian racing horses, such as 'Phar Lap' and 'Bernborough'. *A price that looks like "27/6" written in pencil on lid.
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 14.00 cm (Height), 5.80 cm (Width), 30.00 cm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: horse racing, manufacturing, toys, horses, sport, racing industry, games, making history - phar lap, i have one of these games 2 of the horses are damaged and there is no box but still have the race card ., i have one of these games 2 of the horses are damaged and there is no box but still have the race card .i am interested in selling
Themes this item is part of: Childhood & Youth Collection, Domestic & Community Life Collection, Leisure Collection, Phar Lap Collection
Primary Classification: GAMES & TOYS
Secondary Classification: Board Games
Tertiary Classification: racing
Inscriptions: Printed on the sides of the box are the words "Made in Australia"/by/M & L Plastics, Melbourne*.
Manufacturer: M. & L. Plastics, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1945-1955


Tony Schembri Posted on 05 Feb 2010 11:32 PM
Hi, I had this game in my home as a child.
It surprises me that it is from 1945.
I have been looking for this game for ages but did not remember its name.
I remember having hours of fun playing this with my family.
I would be interested to know if its ever been remade or if there is still any originals floating about.
A great game and such a simple device.
John White Posted on 15 Feb 2010 5:15 PM
I have one of these although a few of the horses are slightly damaged. I used to drag it out every now and again for fund raising nights for my local cricket club where "punters' could bet up to $1 on a horse of their selection. Sadly one night three people had 50cents on Phar Lap at 33/1 and he duly saluted after not having won in over 200 trial races conducted before the night. After that the game has stayed firmly tucked away.
Tony Posted on 17 Aug 2010 11:59 AM
Hey, I've got one of the originals with names of horses on rectangular cardboard sheet. I actually picked it up at a goods and services auction about 10 years ago. In really good order and is also entertaining, particularly during spring carnivals
Mark Borri Posted on 30 Sep 2010 10:53 AM
Hi, I had this game when I was a kid. Have tried to find it again as a adult with no luck.
Robyn mackellar Posted on 30 Jan 2011 12:56 AM
Ive still got the original...with the race cardboard too and instruction card...although all their tails are broken and slight damage to box still works well. I actually just found it again and googled its origin.
Emma Posted on 16 Mar 2011 7:41 PM
This is the game I've been looking for. Dad had it when we were little, i don't know what happened to it. I didn't realize it was so old. how do we find one to buy?
tina johnson Posted on 07 Aug 2011 6:19 PM
Wow, this was a game we used to play for hours as kids and somehow between moving from place to place it was lost. i have been looking for this game for years. many treasured memories! would like to know where i could purchase this game or if anyone would like to sell to me. i would love to recapture era over again with myself and my older brothers and sister again.
mark borri Posted on 09 Aug 2011 7:19 PM
hi early this year i posted above that i was trying to buy this game with no luck .well i found it on ebay i only for $500.00 bought it in great condition with the original rare blue horse so so happy. wish you all luck with your seachers.
Maurice lynch Posted on 07 Oct 2011 8:04 PM
My uncle Maurice Lynch A founding partner of MNL Plastics produced this game and I can remember as a child we had one at home in Sydney. i also recal as a child of about eight visiting Melbourne and the factory and being able to collect a number of the horses (somewhat damaged) which i played with for many years.
Darren Young Posted on 30 Dec 2011 9:52 AM
Hi all, just started looking for this game. We played with it when I was very young and now I'm looking to buy one to pass on to my daughter. If anyone knows of where I can buy this game, please let me know.
Darren Young Posted on 01 Mar 2012 6:15 AM
Just found one with seven good tails, took one horse off another set and presto, perfect set..woo hoo!!!
Annette Chappell Posted on 16 Mar 2012 10:34 PM
My dad has this game at home, however when I was in my late teens he converted the game from strings to wire and has it mounted on a board. We still have all the horses. Looking back now I wish he had mounted them this way. I would love to buy an original game. If anyone would like to sell one please make contact. A treasured family game i would love to have in my collection
Mike Bailey Posted on 09 Apr 2012 6:50 PM
Hi All,
Like many others, this game gave me many many hours of enjoyment when I was a kid in the 50's. After moving out of my parents house, I lost track of the game but recently, to my disappointment, I found that my sisters'grandkids have got hold of it and now there is only three horses left -none with tails! If anyone has a set in similar condition and would like to help me create a full set, I be forever in your debt!
Darren Posted on 03 Jun 2012 5:40 PM
Like others I used one of these games at my Grand Parents house as a youngster. My Grandfather was a owner and trainer of race horses. Some one leant the game to someone and it was never seen again. I just found another one and bought it. It is in great condition I just need 2 horses to male it perfect. If anyone could help I would appreciate it. It is a great game and so many great memories.
jack Posted on 05 Jul 2012 12:04 PM
My brother use to have this game back in the 60's and i played it with him and friends and had bets, still have the original horses but some are worse for wear, i have made my own version of this by copying the design and race my own horses on strings with 3 different tracks of 12, 14 and 16 horse fields and a circuit track of 8 horses and have lots of fun with my family and friends
jumbo Posted on 13 Nov 2012 5:28 PM
I have one of these in my collection in the same state as photo.Took me a long time to untangle strings.Wonderful toy.
Tom Posted on 27 Jan 2013 1:23 AM
I have a complete game, like new. All the horses etcetera. It live in my wardrobe. Hmm I wonder what it is worth?
Roy Posted on 04 Feb 2013 5:35 PM
As A Child of the 40's and 50's, a member of a big family, I remember vividly of many hours of great fun on this game. (but only when dad was home) I have been looking for some years now, plastic horses that I could use, as I have been planning to make one myself to use at family reunions. I remember most of the names of all but one of the horses, all Melbourne Cup winners. Would love to come up with an origional though!
mark Posted on 09 Jun 2013 10:14 PM
One of these in nice condition currently for sale on e bay
graham Posted on 04 Nov 2013 8:47 AM
There is one in what seems to be perfect condition on e bay at the moment. They seem to be worth a lot these days
LJ Posted on 05 Nov 2013 12:37 AM
I saw one of these for sale at the vintage market 'Mill Markets' in Ballarat!
grant Posted on 23 Oct 2014 5:44 PM
I have this original game, some damaged horses,no tokens, still in original box, still working great.
Ross Turner Posted on 28 Oct 2014 6:15 PM
Hi Grant,
I remember spending hours playing with a horse racing game on the kitchen table. Not sure if you have the same horse game but would appreciate if you could make email contact.
Cheers Ross
Deb Posted on 05 Nov 2014 12:42 PM
I have the original game if anyone might be interested in. 3 of the horses have broken tails and a tatty box but other than that it is in very good condition for its age. It still has instructions , betting board and blank cards and some with writing on them.
Ross Turner Posted on 13 Nov 2014 7:41 PM
Hi Deb,
This will be the third time I have tried to add a comment to reach you with no success. I would like to contact you regards to the horse racing game. I am in Brisbane
Ross Turner Posted on 16 Nov 2014 9:47 AM
facebook contact
Michelle Scragg Posted on 22 Nov 2014 10:26 PM
Can't believe Mum threw out the one we had....didn't know it was that old, it must have been my Dad's
Keith Lofthouse Posted on 10 Jan 2015 2:41 PM
Ah yes, spent many hours of playing this fabulous game which helped stimulate my interest in horse racing. Ajax, Shannon, Windbag were names I remember. Currently writing a short story soon to be published and the game gets a mention. Really, such a simple game. It could easily be resurrected and would sell the pants off some more sophisticated race games, I am sure. And of course would love to find an original. I remember how brittle the tails of the horses were. They always broke off!
jon Posted on 04 May 2015 10:28 PM
hi.was going threw the thing my grandfather gave me and found this game,at the moment tying to get a price for it, the box is in as above picture condition with a small piece ripped of(still have it),the game stills works fine and only 2 tails missing, the race manual,a cardboard mat with all the horses names on it in a line.both in almost perfect condition and divitote race game with 8 card for racing 1st 2nd win and dividend odds in excellent conditions.any ideas on this.
Mick Posted on 10 May 2015 10:40 PM
Hello Jon, I had game as a kid, no idea where it is today, very much into HorseRacing, do you want to sell ?

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