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.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

S is for Siblings

A few things that were raised by the Tudor Rose article, sort of more lose ends or, things I hinted at but didn't cover properly...

Staff Cars - The middle row are all Pyro (issued in the UK by Kleeware in threes in a service station set), showing the difference between the two designs with the coupe on the left, the booted (trunked) saloon in the middle and a civil colour-variant on the right.

Behind is the Lido example, not a straight piracy, but clearly drawing on both with the boot of one and the long swept-back wings and windows of the other.

Finally in the foreground, a bit of a problem vehicle, unless someone knows for sure? The colour is near Tudor Rose, the tow-hitch is more Lido and the wheels are similar to those used on Poplar Plastics helicopters and Pyro/Kleeware & Tudor Rose spaceships. Size wise it could be Tudor Rose or Banner, but Banner had their own 'Woodie' estate body/shooting break staff car?

With three votes it stays in the Tudor Rose box until I know otherwise!

Jeeps - With so many made, I will cover Jeeps and Land-Rovers on another occasion, but here are a few to be getting on with. Rear row, left to right; Tudor Rose, Manurba and Airfix. Middle; Lido large size with towed equipment. Front row - the real subject of the post - Pyro, Kleeware, Merit, Lido small size and Marx.

The four 'similar' jeeps, I say similar as close inspection reveals three different mouldings. On the left the Pyro original with the Kleeware produced casting (from the same mould) next to it. Due to the vagaries of import tax in the late 1940's-1950's, it was cheaper to ship the moulds over for a month or so than it was to import finished product, and a lot of mould sharing went on. Also some of the UK companies at the time were set up by the same guys who owned the US companies so natural affinity/group ownership played a part in the - sometimes hard to follow - duplication.

However, the fact that duplication was widespread, only made it easier for the less scrupulous to take advantage, with the result that on the right we see the Lido piracy, a smaller (pantographed) copy, with less detail transferred. To it's left is the Merit version by J & L Randall, this has a number of detail differences, not least the turn-in at either end of the windscreen and the rounded corners of the seat cushions. This was probably a licenced copy rather than a complete pirate, Merit did carry some of the Kleeware (Pyro) spaceships in a boxed set at one point.

Undersides of all four, the first two have just had the trade-mark stamp changed in the mould while the Merit one is quite different. The Lido one is clearly scaled down all round and of lesser surface quality.

Begs the question - why didn't Merit and Lido just design their own, this is a very crude, too-wide-for-it's-length (scale wise) simplified model, in one piece, they could have done much better!!

Kent Sprecher has now published a better picture on his news page;

TSHQ News page

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