About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
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. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

V is for Volkseigener Betrieb (VEB) Part 1; Introduction

Years ago (1990) I went back to Berlin, where I had been stationed in the Cold War, to stay with friends and attend Roger Waters 'The Wall' concert, on what had - in my day - been the large dog-run infested minefield to the left of the Reichstag, down at Potsdammer Platz.

The day after the concert I was bumming around the flea-market that grew up in the shadow of the Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate), when I chanced upon some little Soviet era AFV's by a company calling itself MAB Mobile. I bought them!

When I returned to Britain I wrote to the company, asking them if they had an importer, and if not - could I be that man! They sent me one of everything gratis and I put in an order!!!

Since then - as my AVF collection has grown - I've linked the little die-casts to various plastics, both civil and military and these next 5 posts are that story, it's not complete, it's not totally accurate, but it (hopefully) gives a flavour of the thing!

My Advertisement for the civil trucks, carried in Model and Collectors Mart, until my modest investment was eaten up, and I wound-down the company, braking-even but with stock left (so a mental profit!). The Fire Engine sold so well I never ended up with one for myself...Doh!

P.S. Given that Roco Minitanks were charging between 6 and 12 quid for their models at the time, I think I was quite cheap!

A lot of East German toys have the VEB prefix on their box end labels and/or box graphics, it means; 'People-owned [ie; STATE-owned!] enterprise' and would often refer to a group of older independent companies, who - producing similar products - were lumped together. One of these was VEB Kombinat Plasticart Annaberg-Bucholz (Plasticart Berlin).

First selling as Mini Car, they then marketed under various guises, handed over to VEB Kombinat Metallaufberitung Halle (MAB Mobile) and were finally swallowed by Western concerns.

Other names which may or may not be/have been associated with Plasticart/MAB mobile;

VEB Kombinat Plasticart Annaberg-Bucholz (taken over by MAB in 1984)

Modell-Fahrzeuge/VEB Berlinplast (part of Plasticart? production ceased)

VEB Prefo Dresden (now Hruska-Permot)

Hruska-Permot (have MAB moulds)

MEG; Modell Eck Gäuer (made accessories for Espewe trailers)

Mini Car; (VEB Plastspielwaren, Predecessor of SES)

SES; Schmidt Electronic Systeme (had some of the Espewe moulds, now called...;)

Modelltec (ex SES since 2003)

IMU Motorsport GmbH/Interspeed Modellautos Ülsmann (supply SES/Modelltec)

Only useful link I can find on the web...and it's a good one;


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