Jason and the Argos Gnomes (Part Fifteen): The Malroy Mammoth Shopping Trolley

Come on down!

The spring of 1984 saw the UK launch of a TV programme, which was popular in the United States for several years. As with any programme likely to take off in a big way, it was panned beyond redemption in the Daily Mail. Panned for its exhibition of greed and the lack of British reserve. Yet, the programme was a foretaste of the “Greed is Good” popular capitalism mantra which would seep into British households by the late 1980s. Which is pretty much with us in some circles today, thanks to the government of the day that the Daily Mail fully endorsed.

I shall leave the UK version of The Price is Right alone for now. Well, apart from the fact that Leslie Crowther’s affable patter and tight production by William G. Stewart made for excellent Saturday night television. Whilst participants tried to guess the price of any item, you would have been likely to see in an Argos Catalogue, ‘The Price is Right’ for many households remained – as of now – checkout savings. Supposing we eschewed the hypermarket for Ashton Market, no shopper couldn’t afford to be seen without one of these:

The Malroy Mammoth Shopping Trolley

If you prefer to catch the bus or walk a short distance to the supermarket, a shopping trolley is a must for ‘The Big Shop’. The Malroy Mammoth was one of a handful of shopping trolleys sold in the Spring/Summer 1984 edition of the Argos Catalogue. Of its quartet of steerable shopping gadgetry, this was the cheapest one.

The Malroy Mammoth was, and remains, typical of shopping trolleys seen in many a market stall or discount store across the UK. It has the tartan style frontage and a flip top lid, topped with the same tartan style trim on top. Testament to their ubiquity, you are about as likely to see their like on the 346 nowadays, as you did in 1984.

Whereas The Price is Right was a popular US import, le Malroy Mammoth est fabrique en Royanne-Uni. A product of the United Kingdom. Manufactured in Dudley, heart of the Black Country. Malroy Products has been in business for nearly 50 years and specialise other household supplies including clothes horses. The company began trading on the 22 November 1965.

  • Argos Catalogue edition: Spring/Summer 1984;
  • Page and item numbers: page 58, item 8;
  • 1984 Prices: £9.99 (RRP: £13.50);
  • 2014 Prices: £29.45 (RRP: £39.80).

S.V., 15 December 2014.

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