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.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

U is for Universal Powermaster Corporation (UPC)

Strangely absent from recent printed works on the subject, these are not too rare, you just need to get to the shows and ferret about a bit!

The important one - from a Toy Soldier collectors point of view - is set 3022-29; 'Combat Group Soldiers', it is - like the rest of the range - a straight copy of the Roco Minitanks set 'U.S. Soldiers Combat Group'. The 29 being the US price in cents, a suffix shared by the whole range.

The box states "Litho in the U.S.A.", I suspect however that the contents came from Japan, where a dozen or so companies were producing this 1:87/1:100 stuff, most of it copied either from Roco or Roskopf.

Shots of the figures, with comparison close-ups of the Roco originals. Pantographing has reduced them from the already quite small Roco's to even smaller, however they still look OK and painted-up the size differential would be even less noticeable.

Study of the Roco sWS (schwerer Wehrmachtsschlepper), in front of the UPC copy, the copy is quite good size-wise having lost less than a millimeter, however it looses heavily on the detail, note the 'washed' effect on the bonnet (hood) side plate. Piracy extends to the small hole-filler used by Roco for the GS/Cargo variant, where it fills the mounting hole used to locate the hardware of the other versions, UPC copied them also!!

One fundamental fault I forgot to mention, they have managed to get the mounting slots on the running gear reversed from the Roco original, so the drive wheels are at the wrong end!


Paul said...

Nice post, I learned a bit from that. I have one of those schwerer Wehrmachtsschlepper copies and now can trace it. Cheers.

Maverick Collecting said...

You Guy's down these aught to find some of these small Jap things a bit more easily? As you were a direct market, but UPC was a US marketing thing so you may have had them in another packaging? Marusan or Doyusha? maybe...Thank's for passing!

Maverick Collecting said...

Anonymous said

Hello?? "Litho in USA" only means the box artwork (Lithography) was done here. UPC simply re-packaged Jap kits and sold them under their name. You suspect the contents came from Japan? I suspect you need to get a dictionary....

I said

Er...no, no I don't need a dictionary; you need a brain.

My mistake was to assume (as someone with a background in graphics and experience in the printing industry) that my readers would all be intelligent enough to know that 'Litho' is the short-form for both lithograph and lithography.

As you appear to be one of those who - indeed - does know that, we can only excuse your apparent insulting of my intelligence on your lacking a brain.

If you read the post carefully in stead of brainlessly firing off a dumb-arsed comment, you will find that I am making the exact point you presume to 'correct' in the manner of one who's head is sadly hollow.

I quote from myself..." I suspect however that the contents came from Japan", do you see? No, without a brain you clearly don't...I can't help there, sorry!

The reason I used the word 'suspect' is that there is no evidence either way as to who did the copying, and one should never presume facts which are absent, I know some 'definitive' authors do, but then they make absolute howlers, publish them as fact and then quietly update them in future publications, but that's not my style.

Were you possessing a brain, you would notice that I use lots of Probables, Maybes, Mights, Could-bes, Likelys and question marks (both in sentences and at the ends), in order to get across to readers that the information being divulged may not be the actual history of the object of the blog-post, but you aren't possessing a brain - so poor you!