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, June 8, 2011

L is for Lilliput

Having now cleared those companies linked to the original Trojan post, we might as well clear-up the other loose-ends that have been raised one way or the other. As the Britains/Horton 'Lilliput' range were touched upon, let’s do them first…

Loose figures and other items from the farm range, all badged to W. Horton. The tractor has been looked at before here, and these animals are - for the most part - a bit tatty, but that’s life on the farm for you! Since taking these pictures I have removed the larger pig from the Britains box, there’s no evidence for him being there and I don’t know why he was…probably a piglet from a 54mm range? These are - basically - scaled down from the 54mm range, with the exception of the tractor-driver.

There is no cataloguing differential for black or brown splotched cattle, nor for the pink or black finish on the pigs.

Also Britains Lilliput (originally) are the hunt scene, and in metal; very rare, due to their thin legs and small parts (fox and dogs), as a result I only have one and he’s a very headless rider!

The mystery is where the (really quite common) plastic mouldings come from, they could be unlisted (in the only catalogue found) Trojan figures, for the mould-destination reasons brought-up in the above posts, but for the same or similar reasons they could be Trix, an independent Horton thing, a late Britains thing to accompany the plastic Herald downscales (but why has no packaging turned-up?), or even someone not yet mentioned…Culpitts (for cake decorations), Hilco or Cherilea (who both liked other peoples moulds/sculpts…Hell - the saddles are all Skybirds (and Crescent) khaki infantry colours! Meanwhile the horses in the upper image (earlier set?) are manufactured in colours common to both Britains/Herald AND Timpo plastic?

What we do know is that they come in two distinct issues, the earlier, better mouldings in flat realistic-coloured plastic and the later sets with a more glossy, translucent (is that the right word?) plastic in brighter colours. Sitting here pouring over an enlarged image of both sets together, my vote veers toward Culpitts. Mercator Trading had lots of these at the PW show last month, in little bags, and Culpitts used to use un-carded little bags in the big stand-alone revolving 6-foot and counter top 2-foot Perspex display units they used to use, it would also explain the difference between the first issue (made for Culpitts by Britains/Horton…or Gem?) and the later ones which look like the later HK produced versions of other Culpitts/Gemodels stuff?

The other thing we know is that no one has ever seen the fox in this range, but there was a metal one? Well - you wouldn’t want a fox about to die on a cake, but a little might want to celebrate horses or horse-riding on her birthday or Mum might make a cake to celebrate the beginning or the end of the hunt season? This set is different from the 54mm Hollow-cast range, where most of the horses are standing, and there are three dog poses, not the single one found in this set (there are only 2 poses in the Lilliput metal set), while only three of the four (Lilliput metal) rider poses are reproduced in the plastic sets. Finally note how the woman rider (all black) is side-saddle.

The two box sizes the Farm came in, Horton also produced a lot of the Papier-mâché buildings and scenics that Britains used with this and the larger-scale ranges, a job which had previously been undertaken by Hugar. Also a look at some larger-scale farm from Taylor and/or Barratt versus small scale Lilliput figures from Britains/Horton.

As we also looked at the Crescent military figures above, here is their small scale farm, larger than Britains offering they are quite crudely painted and were probably sold on small cards as penny (or from the likely dates thre’penny or sixpence!) toys. As with the military figures; there are crude home casts/piracies around - not shown here.

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