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.

Monday, January 16, 2012

U is for Usurpers

No, not King/Prince John, he was a regent or 2 i/c! I mean Speedwell and Hong Kong, who both took liberties with the originality of their sculpting - if you know what I mean! But we'll look at the Cherilea set first;

Robin's gang consists of the man himself, Friar Tuck and a Little John type, there is - I guess - a sixth character in this set, but I suspect it's more likely to be another man-at-arms than a member of the Sherwood woods lot!

This set - already rareish - is becoming so brittle they do command a premium when tracked down, of my sample (7 figures) only Little John is complete. The friar has had another tool inserted in place of the original staff, which has again broken while one hand is splitting from the previous surgery. Robin's bow broke during the photo-sesh despite my treating them all with kid gloves.

The man-at-arms with the patented half-a-cross-bow (TM; Waltii Industries - we didn't just make TC Gunships!), and the Sheriff of Nottingham doing everything in his power to convince you the viewer that his sword isn't held on with luck and a micron of plastic filament!

I have another Friar and another sheriff, they are both no more than bits in a bag!

Friar Tucks from Speedwell and Hong Kong (bagged). Speedwell borrow from Britains (err...and Sontara!) while Hong Kong soak it up!

From the lack of evidence of staples on the bag (which would point to there having once been a header card) it must be assumed that the HK figure was either destined for Christmas crackers or for use as a cake decoration, as both groups of products often got to the end user in such bags. Given that HK pirates of the Britians ethnic dancer/musician pairs were issued in the same fashion, I favour the cake decoration theory.

The Speedwell sheriff has been to the HK school of originality and is a clear usurper although his horse seems to come from America? Ajax?

Speedwell also lifted the Maid Marion almost exact and here are two shots of their entry..."Tonight Mathew - I'm going to be..."!

The King/Prince/Sheriff is a different-kettle-of-ball-game-fish altogether, covered above (in a day or two!!) this is the Lone*Star figure as good as, and while I thought it might be Reamsa or a similar Spanish figure (from the base), Paul Morehead from PW [Subscribe - you know you keep meaning to!] recalls them being part of a reissue fort play set from France about 10/15 years ago, originally by a company called Gem or Jem, neither connected to Gemodels over here?


Brian Carrick said...

Hi Hugh, nice post about the Herald Robin Hood set, which got me thinking..........

The number of figures in a set was dictated by the capacity of the injection moulding machines or the number of cavities (individual moulds) that could be mounted on a standard sized bolster. In the 1960's you usually got six foot or two/three mounted figures (depending on the size of the horse) on a bolster, this meant that all the cavities were injected with the same colour plastic, so you get six Zulus in black, six ACW in blue or grey etc. you get my drift.

Earlier in the 1950's the machines were much smaller and couldn't inject as much plastic with each shot, so the fact that you always find Little John and Friar Tuck in blown plastic while Maid Marion and the Sherrif are in red suggests that these were moulded as pairs on the same bolster. Robin Hood is always in cream so if there were two cavities being used on the bolster it wold explain the sculpting differences and also why Robin is so much more common than the rest of the gang. The Sherrif's horse being larger and so needing a much bigger shot of plastic would probably have been moulded on it's own, hence it is always in white. Over time there would also have been repairs made to the cavities as you mention.

Sorry to be so mind numbingly boring and best wishes for 2012, Brian

PS. The French "copy" of the Lone Star King in black plastic was reissued by JEM (as Paul Morehead says) but the painted version you have here with the sand coloured base is the original by Norev (more mind numbing detail, sorry!)

Maverick Collecting said...

Nothing boring there, it's exactly what the comment section's for!

Makes perfect sense as well, the extra Robins perhaps being sold as stand alone tourist 'novelties' alongside the 'giant' one I'll post maybe tonight? In and around Nottingham...

Nice also to know that the 'king' is Norev, I knew they did 40mm metals the other year as they are A) in one of this months Die Cast Collector mags, and B) Some chap had a rack of them at a toy show in Gatwick a few years ago but he wanted about eight quid a figure (at the time - current production) so I gave them a miss and made a mental note!!

I'll have to start looking for the rest of them then! I've been building a smallcollection of the Solido 60mm's which I'll post here in the fullness of time, if I can track down some more Norevs they'll make a nice twin post?

Happy New Year to you too.

PS - you couldn't help with the last row of my post on 12 Dec. could you...you were the 65th follower refered to!!?