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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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

B is for But is it Giant?

So, are they Giant or aren't they? We'll look at all those Wild West sets in my collection with some element of Giant in them and try to make head-or-tail of them...

The upper set has properly marked Type II figures (you can see straight away the poor quality of them) and reasonably good Smoothies with a Giant-marked wagon, yet is clearly not Giant, nothing about Giant on the packaging (bought in the UK - along way from New York), not typical Giant packaging or layout, this is 19660's salesman's sample-case sell-through and nothing more.

Below we have a similar pack without foot figures but including Giant quality Mexican Smalls (post-Giant versions of this horse can get very poor indeed, these are good though), but again NOT Giant in my opinion, not least because one has been overprinted with W.H. Cornelius's (WHC) 'Success' label! [They were still taking a stand at the January-dated British Toy Show about 6 years ago, so should still be around somewhere, still shipping-in HK rack toys 48 years after they took delivery of the pictured card.]

These are all Giant-marked horses, with Giant type riders and the set to the top left has Type III foot figures,all in typical Giant colours, I would say they are contemporary with Giant, but again not Giant product, just production from the same plant/s supplying Giant Toy Corp Co Inc Ltd of New York, New York NY, NY! But it's just not the same thing...

Note the set bottom-left; yellow Indians on black Smoothies, green Cowboys on brown Mexicans (both large and small).

Here we have Giant product in Giant style packaging with Giant style graphics, but no Giant logo. I believe these are Giant, shipped over to Europe by Giant either from NY, or by pre-arrangement with the HK suppliers - direct from the colony? These are probably worth a premium to a dealer, but not the silly money people were giving for Viking sets a few years ago!

On the left we have a genuine Giant set with the logo and address and the whole nine-yards, but instead of the oh-so-collectable little 'one inch warriors' we have a poxy piracy of a Thomas/Tudor*Rose paddler! Notable for the brittle state of the figures - boats are OK but the figures are shot.

Which brings us to the last one, more brittleness, more Giant in a non-Giant set. It doesn't ever get more Hong Kong than this, two Cowboys and and an Indian on Giant Smoothies supported by a Giant wagon fighting six Giant-marked mediaevals who are - apparently - Crusaders!

Points to note with this mish-mash of a set; the card was never used, the chads for the towing horses are still in place as are all the other cut-outs; the entire contents of the bag were in a heap at the bottom with the shrivelled and crumbled remains of a couple of elastic bands, but nothing had been placed.A Friday afternoon job if ever I recognised one!

Secondly is the brittle wagon; the Coyboys's horse - same colour - is also brittle, while the wheels (different shade of brown) are fine (as is everything else in the set) and can still be bent double, which backs-up my theory re. batches and production problems with over/under or re-cooking leading to the flaws that heat, damp or - mostly - ultra violet then exploit to release the free-radicals that lead to the polymer breaking-down.

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