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.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

T is for Tower Fortress (with Soldiers!)

Thanks go to James Opie for both these sets, neither of which is the Giant brand! There were thousands of these Hong Kong sets produced from the late 50's to the switch to 'China' marks in the early 90's as HK geared up for the return of the colony to the mother country in '97.

Very few were ever marked Giant, or of Giant quality, and because Giant was nothing more than an American trade-mark, even when it's from Giant sources, the packaging is as often-as-not unmarked. These two however aren't even of Giant quality.

Bought by Mr. Opie in Islington in March 1967 for the then princely sum of 3 shillings and eleven-pence (no wonder my mother would never let me buy them!), a quite good 2nd generation copy of the Giant fort, with the 'mongol' tower tops and flags, and a set of Greco-roman warriors based on Britains and Marx originals.

Check-out the artwork, a Roman Centurion is yelling expletives at a Mongol warlord while two rather cheeky looking (not allowed to use 'gay' anymore!) Guardsmen smile rather too-knowingly, are they wearing make-up!?!

A year later and Bristol is going all ceremonial, the price was the same (Ah! the days before the oil-crises!), but the card had been changed to a printed courtyard you could set the fort up on, nice added play value but who was going to be that careful removing the staples!

This set includes the guardsmen with separate heads and swivel waists, based on the Crescent 60mm set, and first seen here as 'Royal Guards' (click on 'Ceremonial' and it's the third post down), and the card is sometimes found over-printed with the Woolbro label, under which guise it appeared a while ago (Click 'Carded).

Close-ups of the figures, the ancients are not bad compared to Giant, but the detail isn't there and they are more glossy than the Giant Originals. For those trying to identify all the variations of these, this is the lot with a very small, neat 'HONG KONG' and the chariot mounting-hole blocked up.

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