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.

Friday, October 14, 2011

E is for Eko; Part 1 - Vehicles and Figures

Eko, Valladolid, Spain

Probably the Spanish for ‘Echo’ rather than the Ee-Kay-Oh they tend to be called in the English-speaking world (including by me!). HO/1:86 were the two given scales of this half-pirate, half-inheritor of other people’s Spanish prototype vehicle range, however on the undersides of the vehicles 1:88 was as common as 1:86. Figure-wise; Airfix suffered from the most plagiarism with Atlantic and Wiking also getting the boot put in. Still available from some sources outside Spain as late as 2000, while within Spain display cards could still be had in corner shops in late 2008. Vehicle-wise Roco Minitanks and Roscopf both seem to have provided ‘inspiration’ for the military stuff, the civil range being partly inherited from Anguplas.

A selection of products and packaging types, some early'ish, some quite recent, indeed these were mostly still available from the larger stockists in the 2000's. The shop cards (which I've put a selection of non-contiguous figure sets in) were bought about three years ago from a corner-shop in Spain! (thanks John!).

A selection of the sets with figures, the small truck comes with unpainted figures and it's likely you could have got any vehicle that fitted in the blister? The little bag of seated figures actually came with the 6x6 truck when boxed separately, but is here hiding a gap where a jeep should be!

A few lose vehicles, they are very similar to and clearly based on the Roco Minitanks and Roscopf ranges, but they are different, and there are unique items in the range, so it's more homage than plagiarism! The DUKW (not Duck, Duke or Duwk as I saw it spelt the other day!) is a particularly nice model, and while smaller than either the Airfix kit or their (Airfix's) ready-made, it's cheap and cheerful and a handful would make a fine sight on the war-gamers table.

A few civilian bits and bobs, the Traffic Police set is one of my all-time favorites, and for war-games purposes can be used for several Nations around the WWII period. Thanks go to Bill at Moonbase for the little N-gauge truck (front right; middle shot) - which is in soft white-metal - about which I knew nothing, and still can't find anything!!

A question-mark still hangs over the guy with the sack, but he matches the artwork in the catalogues so I'm pretty sure he's Eko. The Civilian sets seems to have taken their lead from the little strips of early Wiking I think I've already covered?

The four British sets, one based on Britains Lilliput, the others all Airfix. The Tommy-gunner from the commandos is one of only 2 duplicates in the range (ignoring the seated set) the other being the stretcher-team in the German set. The HK copies at the bottom (which I've seen described as Airfix copies) are in fact - technically - Hong Kong copies of Eko copies of Airfix! As evidenced by the bases.

The 'Interesting Toy' set they originated in. Hummm...yes...the interesting thing is; How come the kneeling poses have a shed-load of base and can't stand up! Good old Hong Kong!

The native Spanish sets, the Desert Legion (sandy-coloured set) and Spanish Foreign Legion (bottom left) are again among my favorite sets, despite the anachronisms of a hawk the size of a golden eagle appeartly having a combat role and the waving of large flags, like some doomed charge of Confederate volunteers across an open field somewhere in North Carolina! The support weapons are curtasey of Atlantic and the seated set don't seem to have an origin vis-a-vis piracy (bearing only a slight or passing resemblance to the Roscopf set), so would seem to be originals, albeit; rather crude sculpts.

Various Nations including two German sets (from Airfix again), the really rather good Russians, the Swiss who seem to fight in baggy pajamas, or at least they did in the 1970's (Hey - Spain was a bit isolated at the time!), and making-up for the quality of the Russians; you get the Japanese, without any doubt at all - THE WORST set of toy soldiers ever made, I say; EVER MADE! AND...they are mostly casualties!!! And...I've promised myself I wont mention the racist paint-job...And...

The Americans; the sculptor of the Russian set (who is also responsible for the Spanish legion), clearly had a hand in the two sets of paratroopers and they are lovely as a result, the GI's are OK and original sculpts that match-in very well with the Airfix first version set, the shot bottom right compares the Spanish and US gunners and their MG's.

In all the above shots there are self-explanatory colour variants and other comparative shots, in a whole post below this one is a load of ephemera and the listings as I know them, there are one or two gaps which it would be appreciated were someone to fill them. This was supposed to be the last word on the subject but one of the images below just wont load, so I'll have to go home and sort it to post at a later date!


Paul´s Bods said...

Good grief!! I used to have a lot of these!!! :-D
Thanks for the Gladiators..they got here :-D
I´ll get the "blue men" posted soon...been a bit sick lately though..painting is ok..but actually going out and doing stuff..not so good.

Maverick Collecting said...

I've eMailed you seperately Paul, that was quick, I'd posted it, gone outside for a nicotine-stick and you're comment was up when I came back in!

It's a nice little range and if they hadn't pirated so much, would be better thought-of. The guy who sculpted the better figures had real talent, the Russians and Spanish Legion are really nice figures, but the motorcycle cops are my favorites (one of the ten sets I'd save from a fire!!!!), as they can be used as military outriders for a half-dozen or more European nations between 1918 and 1959....

I'll keep an eye out for the Quaker Gladiators all beautified on your blog...you are going to 'ruin' them with a full paint-up aren't you?!!....

Maverick Collecting said...

PS - Should be driving to Herne this Autumn, if the Volvo holds itself together...buy you a drink if you're around!