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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I is for Indians (or Native Americans!)

Carrying on from the post above I want to look at the markings of the cowboys and Indians in greater detail, as to the Giant purists this is everything; if it's marked Giant it must be Giant'. There are three distinct phases of marking on the foot figures bases, while there are dozens of horse types and the different horses have different marks while the riders have no mark at all, so we'll concentrate on the foot figures.

These are the least common, and best detail so by default - the oldest! It is a rule of thumb that the newer the toy soldier the poorer the quality, you only have to look at the Britains Detail Americans and how they slid to see that particular 'rule' in action! Likewise the harder something - originally mass-produced - is to find, the further back in time it was issued. Not hard-and-fast but a useful starting point in these things. A larger GIANT above a smaller HONG KONG, I call these; Type I.

We then arrive at the problematical one, a smaller GIANT on all the Indians and the odd Cowboy with the same HONG KONG, but with most of the Cowboys just having a HONGKONG with no space between the 'Hong' and the 'Kong' [and bloody difficult to capture on film!].

The reason these are problematical is that they are not that common so the above rules suggest this is a 'Type II', but the quality is poorer than the ones we will look at next? Yet for reasons we will come to the others pretty well have to be Type III, also these are sometimes mixed with the next type, but only occasionally. It is my view that these were a poor mould, hence the need for a third, and were phased out a bit sharpish?

These are the most common, sometimes with the colouring of typical Giant I tried to describe in the above post, sometimes shiny and 'new, sometimes in Giant sets sometimes not, sometimes not even with Giant horsed mounted figures, and they seem to have overlapped the Type II's, and gone on for a long time (a bit like the last version Knights - but that's for another day!).

The most important thing about the Type III is; No GIANT anywhere. Just a neat blocked MADE IN HONG KONG, this gets a little fuzzy on very late non-Giant product.

When I say quality is good or bad with these figures, I'm really talking about the level of detail in the tooling, the rifle of the yellow figure above shows that otherwise they suffer from all the usual problems of HK production - a lack of care in the finished article! One of the problematical things about the Type II is that the actual detail is poorer than I's or III's?

Direct comparison of the Type I/II 'GIANT' size differential, the bases are also different in outline and as I've said the figures are overall poorer with the Type II, almost as if they are copies of the I's while the Type III is a new or re-engraved mould?

Western wagons, the upper one is likely to be the later one with it's (P) conceit, while the lower one was typical for earlier sets. Note also that the early ones have no seat/footstep and are - apart from the marking - identical to many other non-Giant HK wagons.

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