Heller – vintage model toys beautifully illustrated

Heller catalogue 1979 N° 607 La Sardane.

Welcome to a new entry for TVTA’s toy archive… Heller models.

I have to say it’s been raining here for three days + storms + flooding. I live near the sea, and at the moment I feel like I’m living in it. What better way to begin today’s post with some vintage marine images – courtesy of the 1979 Heller catalogue from France.

Heller catalogue 1979. N° 603 Le Capricorne par J Blanche.

Heller catalogue 1979 N° 604 Marie Jeanne par Roger Chapelet.


Heller is a French toy company founded in 1957 specialising in model yachts, military ships, cars and racing, aircraft, motorcycles, toy soldiers, and military vehicles. TVTA is pleased to present a selection of Heller’s models from the 1979 range as featured in its tri-language European catalogue. Also included are the full scans. The paintings are quite exceptional I think, with care taken not only in representing the intended model toy but the staged backgrounds too.

Artist Name Hunting

It took me a few good hours to research the French artists responsible for the catalogue images, and the ones I came up with are: Francis Bergèse, J. Blanche, Roger Chapelet, and Olivereau. It was worth the effort, as the images you see in this post are simply magnificent and deserve to be credited. Although plenty of original artwork was commissioned to sell toys during the later half of the 20th century, not much of it is credited. When you do find an artist’s signature on a catalogue page, advert, or toy box, it’s usually grainy and unreadable. So, trying to track down Heller’s 1979 catalogue signatures was a good challenge for me, and I’m pleased I managed to find the majority of them.

Click images to go bigger and enjoy the art!

Heller catalogue 1979. Art by Olivereau.

Heller catalogue. 1979. Art by Francis Bergèse.

Heller catalogue. 1979. Art by Francis Bergèse.

PZL P 23. Detail. How cool is that tiger decal!?

Heller catalogue 1979. Art by Francis Bergèse.

Heller catalogue 1979. Artist unknown.

Heller catalogue 1979. Artist unknown.

Heller catalogue 1979. Artist unknown.

Heller catalogue 1979. Art by Francis Bergèse.

Heller catalogue 1979. Artist unknown.

Heller catalogue 1979. Art by J Blanche.

Heller catalogue 1979. Art by J Blanche.

Heller catalogue 1979. Art by J Blanche.

Heller catalogue. 1979. Art by Francis Bergèse.

Heller catalogue. 1979. Art by Francis Bergèse.

Heller catalogue 1979. Artwork by J Blanche.

Heller catalogue front cover. 1979. France.


The full scans


Thanks for looking 🙂

All images scanned by TVTA from the 1979 Heller catalogue, France.

Information sources: heller.fr

12 thoughts on “Heller – vintage model toys beautifully illustrated

  1. Hi TVTA, great catalogue and artwork. And the cool thing is I mentioned my dad was a bit of a scale model maker, well he had the HMS Victory model! I think I mentioned the Star Wars C-3PO model by MPC that he built….the Victory was even more fiddly! I still to this day remember seeing the sprue (frame) with all the Victory’s cannons attached to it amd my dad said “Oh your job is to snip all those cannon from the frame and stick them onto the deck plate” – there was a LOT! It even had replica “Brass Monkeys” Thanks for sharing once again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful! And extremely well done for researching the artists!!

    Btw, here weather forecast agencies have copied the American hurricane naming into every bad weather pattern…
    Do you have that also?
    Till now it’s more like a fear/ bait trick than an actual reference to the severity of the phenomenon.

    Anyway, maybe ” Waterworld ” would be a good watch nowadays… Dark humor 😉

    Be well and safe my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you my friend. It was a labour of love finding the artists 🙂 Re: the weather… it calmed down for a couple of days then it rains again today. Southern regions in France, Italy and parts of Greece had been hit hardest I read during the strorms. Yes, ha, Waterworld would be a good companion film 🙂 I haven’t heard if they name the local storms here in France yet, but I read that the UK adopted it to mixed reactions.
      Be safe too in these winter storms of ours! Though I love winter, I’m looking forward to the return of sunshine 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, those really are exceptional – the light and atmosphere on that 727 painting, captivating! But such grandeur from top to bottom. Fab! Hope the weather calms down where you are – incidentally, just as I read about that it started bucketing down here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jacob, I too love the atmosphere of that 727 painting. Very special artworks all. The rain is bizarre here compared to the UK. You can go weeks, especially in the summer, without a drop, then when it comes it absolutely persists it down for a number of days causing all sorts of flooding issues. We’re at the bottom of a mountain range so it comes down from the slopes rapidly, plus it never helps that they constanly build new apartment blocks and shops, taking away green spaces which would help soak away the water.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yikes. I generally enjoy rain, but with that setup I’d probably fall out of love quite quickly. There have been issues locally with building houses and retail parks on flood plains – we don’t learn.

        Like

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