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I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play.

Monday, 15 August 2016

JARU - Jaru - JA RU - Ja-Ru Inc. - JA-RU Inc., The Rack Toy Co.

JARU - Jaru - JA RU - Ja-Ru Inc. - JA-RU Inc., The Rack Toy Co.

4030 Phillips Highway,
Jacksonville, FL 32207,

11F, Intercontinental Plaza,
94 Granville Road
Tsim Sha Tsui [TST] East
Kowloon East
Hong Kong

USA (via Hong Kong/China)

1961 - Present

Phone: 904 733 9311 (USA)
Phone: 011 852 3602 7000 (HK)
Fax: 904 730 0113 (USA)
Fax: 011 852 3602 7001 (HK)

Privately held company, incorporated in 1967 in Florida.

Bernard Selevan - Founder and 1st CEO, Jack Selevan - President/Treasurer and Russel Selevan - Vice President (sons), Esmond Y P Lo - Director (Ja-Ru (HK) Limited) , Marc and Andrew Selevan (Jack's sons), Bruce Connor and Arnold Prodber - Directors

A US Toy 'Jobber' (importer), or more likely; given the date of inception (and definitely now) a FoB importer/facilitator, named after the founder's sons; Jack and Russell, sourcing/supplying imports from Hong Kong (now China) including many figures, animals and dinosaurs of interest to collectors along with other toys in various scales/sizes.

Some products were (1990's) similar to (or better than) those carried by Hing-Fat (and there may have been a direct connection - Hing Fat copying as fast as Ja-Ru commissioned!), Fishel (2000's), PMS (2010's) &etc. Products include (and have from the outset) all the common cheepie-toys; 'impulse' (rack toys), 'spring & summer' outdoor toys (water guns, beach / sand toy sets), hobby goods and supplies, 'classic' toys and novelties and other playthings.

In the 1980's they climbed on the D&D bandwagon, being responsible for handling Marty Toy copies, Hercules themed figures and other sci-fantasy tie-ins. A tactic which must have paid-off; they purchased a new site in 1984, moving-in in 1985 (the Philips Highway headquarters/warehouse).

Also owning a warehouse in Powers Avenue (since 1972) and leasing another in Haines Street, the company bought 22+ acres of land at the Flagler Center in South Jacksonville (12 miles south of Philips Highway) in the spring of 2013, the plan being to close the other three facilities and run Flagler as a combined office/warehouse/distribution centre.

As at 2015 the Hong Kong arm (office and product showroom) was reported to be in the 26-50 employees bracket of SME's, having been formed by the US parent in 1998 to facilitate the smoother running of the Asian end of the FoB'ing business.

Spring 2016 finds the US parent still in the three old premises with no word on a/the move?

Now also a major wholesaler in their own right selling-on to what can be forth parties, they are also available branded as Ja-Ru in the UK's Asda supermarket chain, through their respective Walmart relationships. Overall the company reportedly employs in excess of 100 people in the US and another 50+ world-wide, while exporting to the whole of the 'States and another 35 countries.

They also run joint-enterprise lines with an outfit called Toy Industry Association Inc. from [the autonomous Chinese region of] Hong Kong, Greenbrier International Inc. (USA, an pre-existing - and known to the author - jobber) and DTSC Imports in Canada, presumably to spread any financial risk (between order and delivery) a little wider/thinner.

Known Product Listing
100 Million Years Ago Dinosaur (2003, assortment number: 1720; large vinyl models, sold individually, tagged)
- Spinosaurus
- Stegosaurus
- Styracosaurus
- Triceratops
Explore Planet Earth: Prehistoric Dinosaurs (2010's, standard size, ethylene models, mostly Marx copies, bagged)
- Allosaurus
- Ankylosaurus
- Brontosaurus (Apatosaurus)
- Dimetrodon
- Macrauchenia
- Stegosaurus
- Styracosaurus
- Trachodon
- Triceratops (design 1)
- Triceratops (design 2)
- Tyrannosaurus
- Uintatherium
Mini Dinosaurs (bagged, synthetic rubber, as issued by PMS/99p Stores in 2015/6 in the UK)
- Allosaurus (or Tyrannosaur? Meat-eater - design 1)
- Brontosaurus (Apatosaurus)
- Iguanodon
- Ornitholestes (?)
- Pachycephalosaurus
- Polacanthus
- Spinosaurus
- Styracosaurus
- Triceratops
- Tyrannosaurus (or Allosaur? Meat-eater - design 2)
- Velociraptor
- Pterosaur (winged dinosaur)
Other Dinosaurs
No.1734? - 100 Million Years Ago Dinosaur Miniatures (contents as per Mini Dinosaurs set but spray-painted polyethylene
# 1655 - Explore Planet Earth - Play Dinos (large ethylene - or blow-moulds? With accessories.

Other Items
#1073 - Invasion Force (small scale Airfix and Roco piracies, issued in other graphics as generics)
#2306 -  Radical Sky Parachute Diver (60-80mm parachute-toy figure, 2016)
#425PDQ - Battle Force Paratrooper (2010's)
#81664 Battle Force Army Soldiers (2012, also marked 180351 on bases of figures, crude GI's, 45mm)
- M*A*S*H Checkup Set (1981, 54mm Marx stretcher team copies, small truck, flag, stand and picture card)
- Modern US GI’s (with ‘Fritz’ helmet)
- Wild West Frontier Set

Fantasy Sets (1980's/90's)
No. 527 - Demons & Wizards, Warriors, (bagged copies of Marty Toys, 18 figures plus accessories)
3709 - Hercules Hero of Strength, Dragon Warrior (1996, carded, 4 different with sub-scale dragon)

Emergency Sets
No. 3910 - 911 Fire & Rescue (red, white and blue figures, 50mm, each numbered, may previously have been issued by the same outfit as factory-painted soft vinyl figures)
Figures from above set 3910
1 - Cop kneeling firing AR15/M16 (blue)
2 - Cop pointing, holding telephone (blue)
3 - Cop writing in notebook (blue)
4 - Cop striding forward with night-stick [truncheon/baton] drawn (blue)
5 - Cop firing very small pistol (blue)
6 - Cop kneeling drawing pistol (blue)
1 - Rescue worker leaning over with chainsaw (red or white)
2 - Rescue worker carrying casualty (red or white)
3 - Rescue worker raising fire-axe (red or white)
4 - Rescue worker running with rope (red or white)
5 - Rescue worker kneeling with water hose (red or white)
6 - Rescue worker in fire-protective gear with foam-hose (red or white)
No.597 - Fire Rescue (different figures to 3910)
- Emergency Rescue Police Big Bag (different figures to 3910)

Other Toys/Novelties (alphabetical)
- Dino World
#80664 - Cyber Shot Sliding Disc Loader
#1528 - Fun Bubbles
No. 1492 - Ninja Eraser (carded, 4 different)
- Pocket Travel
#2304 A - Radical Sky 3 Sky Divers (one figure over two blister)
#2304 B - Radical Sky 3 Sky Divers (two figures over one blister)

24710 - Rocket Balloons (with Greenbrier and DTSC)
- Splash Fun, Explore Planet Earth
- That's Gross!
- Toss 'Em Water Bomb
No. 1820 - Tub Fun 4 Play Boats (2000, marked JARU, seem to be from old 'Pee-wee Boats' moulds)
- Baseball Playset (with plastic play mat)

Joint Contract / In Association with Toy Industry Association Inc. of Hong Kong
#1658 - Army Command Soldiers (as 81664 above, new card 2016)
28233 - Explore Planet Earth - Zoo Animals
28403 - Explore Planet Earth - Horse County
- Explore Planet Earth - Farm Animals
- Explore Planet Earth - Frogs Snakes & Lizards
- Explore Planet Earth - Play Dino's
- Explore Planet Earth - Sea Animals
549065 - XBotz Snap-a-Bot (3 colour-ways and 3 designs, give 9 to collect)

Company History
Ja-Ru Facebook Page Shean's Blog
Dinosaur Page
200 Fifth Avenue Showroom Architects
Amazon Listings
STS Animal Wiki Page
Ja-Ru Posts on the Home Blog

What They Say
"It is rare to go into any [toy] retailer anywhere in the world and not find a JA-RU toy" (company website)

What This Entry Needs
- Early History
- Better Listings

Thanks To / Contributors:
Brian Berke - New York (samples)

Wednesday, 24 February 2016


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