About Me

My photo
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.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

M is for Motron and Multimac

A complicated one tonight, when I first saw these they were under the Motron brand and while I took time to study the packaging and note that they used Roco-Mintanks figures for the illustrations on the cards I didn't buy them. A few years later I saw this and bought it, although by that time I had also corralled a few loose bits and pieces in a tub...

Some sort of dozer contraption called '№ 9074c - Power Shovel'. The inset top right shows a very good copy of the driver from the Tomy Zoid's mechanical dinosaur sets, while the bottom shot shows the 'BW [Bundeswehr] Troops Marching' from Roco, painted yellow and running around doing admin stuff!

Both the use of the Roco figures and the inclusion of the Tomy driver give an overall size of around HO guage (1:87th scale) for these sets, while the sets at the bottom are nearer 35mm.

The loose bits I've also collected, there are various bits that have the familiarity of having been seen elsewhere, not least the 'knuckles' either side of the cab/cockpit. Again a shot of the Tomy rip-off driver, or were they both buying him in from another sub-supplier?

I think I've seen three or four front-unit designs now and about 6 add-on items of heavy-equipment or weapons, but the follow-on unit seems to be the same basic item each time. Although the basic units are the same, the front units have most of their items glued-on while the rear unit's are all detachable.

Also carrying the Multimac trade mark is this Ocean Discovery box; Item No. 92884W - Octopathfinder Set', which is more of a construction set, half-way between Lego Bionicles and the Tomy Zoids. This figure (identified by Bill over at Moonbase) also bears a resemblance to something, but I can't put my finger on it...Cylons?

If you click on 'Silverlit' in the tag list you will get a partial list of the other items in both ranges, there used to be a whole list of Motron stuff somewhere on the Wibbly Wobbly Way (Toy Chest? Toy Locker?), and one day I'll sort the list out properly.

So Silverlit seems - on the face of it - to be the modern equivalent of the old unbranded hollow-horse guys frantically copying Giant, but targeting a more mainstream company (Tomy), or are they a (one of many) Tomy/Takara subsidiary?

2 comments:

Orniphus said...

I always thought that while for the most part Multimac was aping Zoids the larger figures they put out were influenced by Manta Force from Bluebird, they mini figures are the same size.

I recently saw that silverlit are still using their multimac moulding for some of their present offerings. You'll find them under SILVERLIT Transfighter if you do a quick search for them.

Hugh Walter said...

Hi Orniphus

It's funny, but both 'Zoids' and 'Multimac' are rather amorphous brands, being attached to all sorts. It's amazing how little there is on the Internet really, but then if you were specifically interested in them, I'm sure there are some sci-fi/action figure/gaming forums with the odd thread going into more detail than I did!

I myself made the mistake of ID'ing the above figure from the diving set as a Bluebird! And I had the Ocean set, but not to hand when I did the BB articles!

The ranges do shift, but I'm begining to think some of the parts were bought-in generics, the little radar which doubles as a helicopters tail with a third maker (name escapes me) and the little knuckle-wheels, which appear as shoulder things on larger 'Bots'.

The Tomy Zeroid dinosaur-bots (?) have little rubber 'locks' on the assembly points, I've seen them being used for other purposes on other toys, so I wonder if some/all these companies aren't just Tomy subsidiaries, selling through to different budgets?

The site I couldn't remember the name of when I wrote this post was...

The Virtual Toy Chest

...its been revamped since then and is a very useful resource for this more resent stuff.

Cheers - Hugh