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.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

N is for New - to the collection; Acquisitions, Donations, Gifts etc...March

I hope that people don't think posts like this one are designed to 'show-off', at the end of the day this blog is about collecting toy and model soldiers and figures, based on my collection, and I feel it's as interesting to see how a collection develops as it is to give chapter-and-verse on a specific maker, range or set.

I hope it gives people thinking of starting a collection the idea that everything counts and you don't need to spend a fortune tracking down otherwise mass-produced Airfix, Britains, Timpo, or Marx (because 'demand' has pushed-up the prices) when there is so much other stuff out there!

As it happens; there is nothing really special in the next six pictures, but there are a few nice pieces or interesting pieces and a few oddments that have joined the slow-build mountain of plastic, vinyl, silicon, paper, card, metal, rubber, ceramic, resin and wooden crap that constitutes my eclectic horde; 'Quality Crap' - as I'm always telling John, Paul and Adrian (who replaced George and the other one - that's a bad Merseyside beat-combo joke there!).

James Opie has posited the question both on his web-site and in his books - and I paraphrase; "How many different toy and model figures have been made?"...well allowing for copies/piracies and knock -off's but ignoring paint and colour variations I'm sure it's well over a million, add those two variables and a collection of 'one-of-everything' would probably require room for 4?, 5?, 6 million figures?

Here are 0.00001% of them!...

This little lot came from a chap on the East Coast who got in touch with me back at the start of the month, I won't name him as he has said he'll look out for more and a contact like that is to be treasured not shared! Especially as the Car Boot sales round here have been picked clean for a decade, and if there is a nugget to be found it gets dug by Messrs. Harding, Harris or Lewarne at Oh-six-stupid-o'clock in the morning...I think they use miners lamps and a couple of big shoulders! He will get a full acknowledgement in future books!

This is a typical bag or box of mixed, played-with ex-childhood stuff, random in it's acquiring and bundled together for sale when childhood things are 'put-away'. Of note (numbers in red above) were;

1 - A couple of the FFL/Arabs currently under the microscope in Plastic Warrior magazine (but you know that as you're subscribing - aren't you?!), minor damage to the rifle will be fixed.

2 - Above the numeral is a 'nice-paint' Cherilea US Cavalry officer and an equally good horse, sadly missing it's tail, but worth keeping until a better one turns up, and I should be able to photograph it with the damage hidden by camera-angle at some point in the future! Below the numeral are a couple of good (and one damaged) Cherilea ancients.

3 - A Robot bubble-gum dispenser/capsule type figurine.

4 - Two wagons marked 'HONG KONG' but seemingly perfect copies of the Tudor*Rose covered-wagon, is that where the moulds ended-up?

Speaking of Hong Kong; the modern mark is always 'CHINA' and a lot of the production is undertaken on the mainland but this stuff will always be 'HK' to me! A pound each and I photographed them in Asda's car-park and gave the vehicles to a lad throwing a tantrum in the back of his dad's car! Don't worry - his father was there, I wouldn't advocate approaching children you don't know in public with a handful of toys!

Close-ups of some of the Funtasic figures; the fireman is quite a good pose, the policemen on the left is awful, he's holding that automatic pistol like he's at a handbag fight - "OOH - Get Her!"! But I like the other one; "Ma'am, could you walk along the curb-line for me please? Don't put you arms out or up, don't look down, don't deviate from the line..."

Last week the Dr. Who Adventures magazine gave us another 'army' but there were two new poses, they will appear separately in the next few months, sure as eggs-is-eggs, so to be looked-out for. More firemen from HTI and the Knights originally sold by Supreme/SP Toys (or Accoutrements?) now in Halsall packaging.

Mimi sent us Martenitsa this March and they are interesting in that they are reverse colours, around 35/40mm and new to the collection! Also of note - not that clear in the photograph - is the girl in the right-hand pair has some silver-ribbon detailing by way of an apron.

Finally my haul at the London Toy Soldier Show a week ago, I'm keeping the main shot small as some of the bits were bought with the express purpose of future Blog posts, something that is new to the way the collection builds. Again of note;

1 - A plaster tree; semi-flat/reliefe sculpt which was in two pieces, but the break was clean and a quick glue has returned it to its original state. it's Plaster-of-Paris so not a fish-tank ornament? Possibly a fair-grownd piece from the mid-20C? Below which is a bag of the Aoshima (was it? or Tamiya?) Samurai, they were a bit broken-up but all the pieces were in the bag and with my brothers bits I should be able to get a decent sample.

2 - A nice Roman and some Starlux bits below that, including a Giraffe and two of the early-based firemen missing from the post the other day.

3 - Another Roman, this one is marked RP (for Res Plastics), but is too bulky for a Kinder egg, so actual RP issued production?

4 - Left is a push-and-go racehorse and jockey from HK, right is a huge fantasy thing and above are four French Algerian/Moroccan Tirailleurs (?) which I was informed are early Jean, I'd always thought they were one of the minor French makers?

The insets are; above - what I found on the floor at the end of the show and below - a Charbens wagon from Steve Vickers who trades under the same name on evilBay and always has something nice or unusual on his stall.

Finally; Speaking of 'future books' as I did above - my fellow conspirator and I had our first proper editorial meeting this week and three books are now 'in the pipeline', subject matter still under wraps! But with me off to Andover for six months on Tuesday, it will be a while before there is major movement on those, however a framework is appearing out of the gloom!


Brian Carrick said...

DOH! How did I miss all that stuff you picked up at the London Show? Well I guess you probably started out at like 2am in the morning so fair play to you, you've got some good stuff here and I look forward to seeing it in more detail.
All the best, Brian

Maverick Collecting said...

Thank's Brian, it wasn't 2AM but Fra...you know who - did get us all out of bed hellish-early in his growing frenzy for 'Timpo Toys'!