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.

Friday, July 20, 2012

A is for Arco or Argo or Ahco or Giant!

I've been looking for these for a while and they turned-up the other day in another box of other stuff! I was trying to find them following the post and discussion here Argo Toy Soldier with RPG with the blog's owner 'M-7'. Since his post there has been more information diseminated around the place and it seems that ARCO (who sometimes put ARGO or AHCO on the base!) were some new framework for the old Giant importer of the 1960's. however they seem to have mostly sold through to Mattel as a budget brand.

Clearly based on the film Rambo II - First Blood the figures here are from the Mattel carded rack-toy 'Vietnam US Recon'. The references to the film (head-band, RPG and er...bow!) date this set to no earlier than 1985 and while the figures are typical HK/China stock - quality wise - they are none-the-less, original poses.

The lower shot shows the A for Arco logo, it's clear that an earlier Hong Kong mark has been removed, so this might be a post 1997 reissue, or...near-1997 as the film Rambo III was issued in '96?. Whatever the relationship with Giant and/or Mattel the one thing that is absolute is that they weren't the second biggest producer in Hong Kong as someone has suggested; Universal, Lucky, Marx and Blue Box all being bigger for a start!

Big 'John' Rambo himself - all ready to take out a Hind D with a bow and arrow! Yeh...whatever...in the first movie he ran amok in the good old US of A...probably with an unregulated firearm...you can see where this is going can't you;

For god's sake (and the sake of your children) join the civilised world and regulate guns dudes! And hey - Hollywood; instead of taking good European films and ruining them, why don't you stop churning out violent pap (soma for the brainless masses) and learn to make films as well as your own Independent sector...just a couple of thoughts there for the good'ole'boys as BATMAN - the Darkened Franchise goes mortal.


The Ferrymen said...

Hi Hugh,
As a fellow collector of toys, I have enjoyed your blog for quite a while, though I am not a follower (or any other kind of joiner).

I am hoping that you are just having an off day, because I find your comment "...join the civilised [sic] world..." offensive in the extreme.
Think about how would you feel if some American in a rant said "Why don't you get rid of your monarchy and join the civilized world?"

A little research would uncover that there is a large volume of gun control legislation in the US, which is being widely mis-used by unscrupulous ATF agents to steal legal gun collections from legitimate collectors. You can't stop people from obtaining illegal firearms via legislation, any more than you can stop them obtaining illegal drugs, from raping women, from molesting children, or from murdering each other in a surprising variety of ways that don't involve firearms. All you can do is punish them when they are caught breaking the law. However, you can, if that is your intent, create so many laws that no one knows for sure what is legal anymore; then you can pick and choose when to enforce them (and against whom), which seems to be the preferred solution.

Before you conclude that I am a NRA nut, I don't currently own a firearm, although I have in the past -- and the way things are going, I almost certainly will again in the future. I do own a WWII-issue Japanese katana received as a 10th birthday present, so I guess that makes me some kind of weapons nut to those who are inclined to think that way.

Personally I feel that the 2nd ammendment to the constitution of the USA is very important to preserve, along with our other steadily-eroded civil rights. I am approaching 60 now, and I have watched the way things work. The elite, "one-percenters" or whatever you want to call them, are never satisfied no matter how much they own -- they always want more. They hate any and all social programs and always work to undermine and destroy them, especially public education, which is their gravest danger bar a socialist uprising. They just can't conceive that by raping their own economy they are in effect killing the goose that lays the golden egg; and that at some point they will make conditions for the non-elite so bad that they have nothing to lose by taking to the streets to seek a redress. Their unscrupulous greed and corruption is the root cause of the continuous boom and bust cycle that regularly disrupts our entire planet; and every time there is an economic downturn, the masses gravitate towards the fascists who tell them they will fix everything if they will only give them unlimited power.

I know people in the military, and they are adamant that they and their troops would not fire on their countrymen in times of social upheaval, which explains the ever-increasing emphasis on developing robotic and/or remote-control weaponry: someone is going to have to be willing to shoot the starving masses to protect the elite when the inevitable collapse occurs.

When it reaches that point, I fervently hope lots of non-Elite Americans still have personal firearms.

John Ferryman

Anonymous said...

I agree with John everything he wrote regarding the 'elite' and their plans for us in their 'New World Order'. If you see movies like Terminator, then it's one step closer to reality. Their plan is to have complete and utter dominance of the masses and if we all hand in our firearms, nothing will stop them. They will install a police state,quite probably using automations to keep the masses in check, and once stem cell research is perfected, they will have immortality while the rest of us will be living lives not far off from the Matrix. The elite are quite happy to see these madmen and 'terrorists' (CIA operatives) to make the world such a frightening place that we will give them our freedom for peace - on their terms. Just to show you what I mean, blogger has blocked one of the two words, so I can't spread my opinion anyway. Bastards!!!

Maverick Collecting said...

So - 'Anonymous', you agree with everything John wrote, how nice it must be to have no independent thought, how easy for you - to go through life blindly accepting the words of others, verbatim.

I get quite a few anonymous commenter's here, usually either signed Alonso Sanchez or something, or trying to get me to sign-up to their Adelaide property blog! Blogger is so good at screening out the later I can leave the comments menu open for the former, occasionally I get someone like you; a stranger to the art of writing, and the sort of worm who won't be recognised as the author of his missive.

Automations huh? What - like chocolate-vending machines with hidden cameras or something like that? I've seen the movie Terminator several times, am I several steps closer to reality? I hope so as I'd hate to find I've been in some 'automation'-generated falsehood like the Matrix all my life!! Speaking of the Matrix; will it be a parallel network or more of a polygonal one? And how close do you think we'll be to it? Hundreds of yards, a few kilometres or miles...nautical miles? Will it be underground or in the sky? Oh No! Perhaps it will use Sky (R), TM, to get into our heads and mess with our reality!

What one of the two words? I think the world should be told, and what was the other word?. When I see ATF and FBI agents risking their lives to remove an explosive arsenal of booby-traps and fuel from a madman's flat I tend not to assume he was one of their fellow 'operatives'. That you do is some measure of you distance from reality, you really need to get out of your 'Matrix', I recommend a piece of well-chewed gum wedged onto the goidle-bling precursor button, then jam the stump-drive in third and just blow the gangle-charger.

Anonymous - I don't suffer fools gladly, I try not to suffer them at all, and you are a fool...

Maverick Collecting said...

Hi John, thanks for passing, thanks for commenting, I too am not a follower, and never ask people to link to me and rarely tell people when I link to them, one should always be and take responsibility for; ones actions, huh?!! The Blogger character limit means I have to split this in two to publish it!...

So - was I having an off day? No, this is something I've had strong felling about for as long as I can remember, my parents went to the 'States in 1969 and were involved in two gun-related incidents, and they were only there for 6 weeks and spent most of their time 'on-site' at the Fort Bragg campus!

Were an American to not only suggest, but succeed in getting rid of the Monarchy, it would make no difference to our background homicide rates (which - following tightening of the legislation, twice, following Hungerford and Dunblane respectively - are at a 30-year low) so the argument is a rather spurious one! I guess you were aiming more at the non-American aspect of my commenting on an 'American' problem? The trouble is it regularly impacts on people from elsewhere in the world, both through the killing of tourists in the US and in the trigger-happy approach of Americans abroad.

I don't need to conduct research to know that several Presidents have tried to regulate gun ownership, nor do I need to do research to find that they have failed to rein-in the NRA, failed to control semi-automatic weapons in the general populace, failed to regulate the number of weapons an individual can own, buy or barter, nor the amount of ammunition, nor even; the ease of purchase.

I do know that a non-military citizen (with a zed, unlike 'civilised', cheap shot but I'll throw it back!), might well feel the 'need' to own a decent twelve-bore or four-ten for game or vermin, or a 7mm garden-gun (I've owned all three in my life), but no civilian has a 'need' for a fully or semi-automatic high-velocity military-style assault weapon, and no sane person can argue that they should.

If you could free-up police officers from thousands of spurious gun-related death (and maiming) incidents, you could police child-molestation and rape with more efficacy, especially in a nation that hates paying the tax requisite for an efficient law-enforcement organisation! Likewise, take the mass of firearms out of circulation and it would be far easier to follow and 'sting' the illegal ones, as they would be going up the very routes that also bring in the illegal drugs.


Maverick Collecting said...


John - I am a 'weapon nut', I was raised with a variety of shotguns and air-weapons (including a really nice BSA Original with an illegal spring! - put a hole through both sides of a metal dustbin that one would!), as a kid I made bolt-bombs and rockets, cannons and other potential death-dealing gizzmos, and through both NITAT (Northern Ireland Training and Advisory Team) and Soviet Studies courses I did whilst in the army, handled and fired most of the popular weapons of the 20th century. But I also know that when you grow up, you should put away childish things, and while I ignore that rule with regard to toy and model figures, I believe one of the things to put away is big bangy gun-guns...

I happen to agree with some of your tenets re. 'the elite', but we 'the people' and the media are working on that within a democratic (and peaceful) framework, witness the lost three-trillion in untaxed savings that has come to light this weekend, some of it owned by the very banks bailed-out with our money! Change is afoot and change will come, history dictates it (and I'm the arch-cynic!), but America is not Syria, and will never need a revolutionary army. You had one once if I recall correctly, but Canada and Australia gained their independence without resorting to firearms and are better for it. Should they chose to drop the Monarch they currently share with us, we (and the Royal Family) will - I'm quite sure - deal with it in a mature fashion and they will be free to add zees to everything!

If your friends in the military are so adamant they won't move on you, you have no need to fear the outcome you seem to. It's true that robotics are a worry, but the prime driving force in their development has been the reduction in casualties (on all sides), and while the 'elite' might try to use them themselves they A) won't have time to learn how to use them - in the event of a popular uprising (weather it has recourse to large numbers of weapons or not), while B), the presumption is that an 'adamant' military wouldn't allow that to happen anyway?

What you should fear is the Nation Guard! I've worked with them and they frighten me!


Maverick Collecting said...


Dude - we (weapon nuts) didn't like the legislation that limited further our already tight gun-controls, neither did the rural/non-metro Australians when they had a mass gun-surrender following their 'nutter-massacre' a few years ago, but in neither country has mass slavery of the people ensued. And this is about more than just legislation, the Swiss have at least one automatic assault weapon (with ammunition) in every household, yet apart from the odd suicide or 'domestic' (very rare), they just don't have the same homicide rates as the US (nor does Canada), it's about a mature attitude to firearms.

I would argue that the basic precepts of the general paranoia displayed by both of you doesn't really hold up to an intellectual exploration of the facts or wider scrutiny of comparable evidence; gun-owning countries tend to be violent society's with a violence in the culture (witness Hollywood and the new Batman film), countries with a mature approach to gun-ownership tend to be peaceful countries with a deeper culture (witness the art-house and gentler drama of the European and Australian film industries), we didn't invent Death Race 2000 or Fight Club and we tend to set violence in its historical contexts rather than placing it in dystopian futures full of Aliens and Predators.

It is a basic tenet of free-speech that one can say things another won't like to hear, and I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on a few points! I have debated with myself whether or not to put more of my 'voice' in a 'Toy' blog, and have decided that those which only deal with their core subject are the more tedious ones "...here's our weekend war game, here's another, here's one we had a few weeks ago..." while those which reflect the personality of the author are the more interesting (John's Medway views, Mik's vegetable containers), so I will opine more often and combine the other blogs with this one in time, so expect to read more that you may not agree with, and do comment if you feel strongly about it, it's your 'Free Speech' too, and Blogger leaves both words in!

It's only an opinion, don't go getting offended as you might reach for your six-gun!


The Ferrymen said...

I'm sure we can agree to disagree, Hugh. It's unfortunate that you feel the need to talk down to people to make your point.

Optimism is great. Unfortunately I see no basis, considering the continual flow of wealth to the upper 1%, the continuing destruction of the environment, the continuing erosion of public education, personal freedom, and freedom from surveillance in the USA. None of these are popular with the majority of Americans, but when their choice is limited to voting for rich crook A or rich crook B, their impact on these evolving processes is NIL. I don't know what the level was of reporting on the Occupy Wall Street movement overseas. I saw city governments and city police violating their own laws and the constitutional rights of their citizens to stop the protests. I saw the national news media -- the same ones who so willingly parroted the "weapons of mass destruction" lies that resulted in yet another war for the benefit of the oil men and the military-industrial complex -- focusing almost exclusively on the nut fringe elements in order to discredit the entire movement.

I don't know if you're aware of the millions of Americans who buy their medically-necessary pharmaceuticals illegally from Canada or overseas at 1/3 or less of the inflated government-supported prices they have to pay for those same substances produced by the US pharmaceutical industry -- who not coincidentally have one of the largest lobbies in the country.

You may still have control of your government. We in the USA don't. I admit that it is our own fault. Complacency and willful ignorance on the part of the majority of our voters have exacerbated the problems I have described. When the facts about the heinous CIA operations within the USA were finally made public 30 years later, they barely noticed. When the truth about the WMD lies came out, no one took action. They don't know what's going on and apparently they don't want to know, as long as they can have a big TV to watch the ball game. The fact that they are taking on unsupportable levels of debt to maintain their lifestyle is apparently irrelevant. It's like the entire nation has been brain-washed by the media on behalf of those who worship money and materialism.

I wouldn't mind being wrong; I'm just commenting on the trends I have observed. It's like watching a train wreck in slow motion: you can see what's going to happen, but you're helpless to influence events.

Maverick Collecting said...

John - I don't mean to talk-down to anybody, it's my manner, blame the Asperger's, it brings out other people's worst opinion of me!

Happen I agree with most of what you say today, and it's sad that so many are against the attempts by both Clinton and Obama to give Americans the sort of social healthcare we enjoy in Europe.

Complacency too is a problem here and we had the Occupy movement, who were equally poorly treated, outside of the normal channels.

Nor would anyone who knows me call me optimistic! It's just that every generation thinks it's in THE time of change, every millennium there is a crisis of confidence and while this time might be 'IT', it isn't yet, and those who lived in the North in 1070 were really living in 'it', the colonists of 1770's America might argue that they were 'really' living in it, the peoples of 1940's Europe would make the same claim...you see what I mean...

It might be bad, it might look worse, but it's still better and a thousand other 'times of change'. The rich have always fucked us over with the help of fat complacent middle-class burgers, but we keep chipping away at the law, through case-law and liberal, socially responsible legislation and hope things will be better for our children.

Violence be-gets violence and keeping a mass of unregulated arms in circulation in the general populace makes the cinema apparently no better for our children.

Less controversial Charbens Guards or Matchbox Firemen next...I haven't decided...you chose!


The Ferrymen said...

Hi Hugh,
RE: "we keep chipping away at the law, through case-law and liberal, socially responsible legislation and hope things will be better for our children." -- from your lips to God's ears.

Not familiar with Charbens. Most of my non-orthodox(?) figures are Giant, I think. Let's have a look.

Thanks for an intelligent and reasoned exchange, Hugh. That's a rarity.

Maverick Collecting said...

'Unothodox' Charbens it is then...done before you read this!