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, July 24, 2012

C is for Classic Charbens

These are relatively common, and in recent months I have picked up quite a few in various states, the early ones having very little paint on, but some of the later ones are reasonably good. Michael Melnyk is to be thanked for some of these.

As with the recent post on the Crescent/Kellogg's guards, I have started with a shot of the whole lot marching up and down, oldest - or believed to be oldest - to the left, later issues to the right.

There are basically two versions, the earlier being taller with smoother bearskins, the later are shorter with more textured headdress. At the back are a set in polystyrene, which - by the nature of the material and the ability of paint to adhear better to it over time - are harder to date, but are the later mouldings.

Trumpeters (someone's bound to say they are cornets or bugles!); again oldest on the left with the hard plastic one on the right, the paint changes (black base to apple green to summer green) seems to be the same as with the Highlanders by Charbens, which we will look at another time.

The earliest base is flatter than the more domed versions of the later moulding, and there is a shot of the three base types with the white-styrene one to the right of the line-up.

More instruments, more variety, the very short guy is a heat-shrink, caused when the figure is pulled from the mould too early, but he's usable. Charbens had quite poor QA with these and they often turn up with the odd deformed one.

The Band-Major, these are all the late version, with quite gloss paint on the first one, both sides of the second and rather different painting on the third, who is again a hard plastic one.

Finally a few of the ceremonial poses, these are in poor condition and with only four poses, probably not even half a set, but they do show the difference between the early squarer bases and the later rounded ones, this 'marker' is shared with the Highlanders.


John M. said...

Bring back happy memories. I remember having as a kid a good few figures like these, also others with kilts and some Life Guards. So when would the earliest of these figures date from more or less ?



Maverick Collecting said...

With my Plastic Warriors in storage I can't say for sure but they are classic 'fifties' stuff, and the earlier ones will date from (about?) 1954, with the second mouldings being probably mid-60's.

The stock remainder was wholesaled in little carded bags as rack toys titled 'Buy-a-toy' or 'Pick-a-toy' or something and could still be found in older toy shops in 1980/81.

Some of the Charbens moulds went on to be resurected by someone like Marlborough or Dorset...Wild West and Circus - I think?

Thanks for passing John.

Dan said...

Back I the 1960s my Gran had a wooden cigarette holder/ashtray which had on it a wooden sentry box with the "Present Arms" figure standing in front of it. She didn't much care for it so I was allowed to snap off the sentry box and the Guardsman to add to my toy box.

Maverick Collecting said...

Yoooooou....vandal you! Have you still got it!!!?

I have the wooden sentry box by Crescent somewhere (green with a red roof and a simple routed interior), but I'm always on the look-out for unusual boxes!

Thanks for stopping to leave a message Dan, although I'm not sure we should encourage such destructive behaviour?!!