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.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

L is for Late, thanks to Blogger!

Well - you nearly didn't get this post at all, for some reason the 'New Interface' has made it almost impossible to place text above the first image, and in trying to make it I managed to lose the image, and thought that the copies were elsewhere, luckily they were here and I've not only managed to find them but also find a way back to the old Interface, not for long, but hopefully by the time they force it on me again they might have ironed out the couple of dozen problems I've already encountered...some hope huh?!

Simple instructions for how to find the old template/interface if you wish to go back to it for a while...

Old Blogger Tip

I have a bit of a soft spot for tonight's subject. Long before Paul Morhead over at Plastic Warrior talked me into collecting up to 45/50mm "Because no one else will...", I had already started collecting up to 40/45mm in part for the same reason, in part because the lack of formal/industry standard 'size' between scales leads to a natural scale-creep in the collection! These guys would always come in in mixed lots as the unloved dwarves of 54/60mm collectors!

So, to look at one of the earliest sets of toy soldiers, and - like most early stuff - quite well pirated, copied and changed over the years.

The above image shows the Marx 40/45mm PVC vinyl G.I.'s from the early 1950's with the first version (small/no based) sets at the top, the larger-based re-issue below them with two painted variants; one PVC and the other a hard polystyrene on the second row. The third row shows the later Hong Kong production also in a styrene with the MG.

The problem with moving production to HK is that while it was done under 'if you can't beat them join them' conditions, due to the piracy that was already going on, as Britains found; it just makes it easier for the pirates to obtain product to copy. As a result Payton in the 1970's issued the figures in the forth row, not marked HK but almost certainly made there, the quality and plastic type matching a lot of similar production from the then British colony. The forth row are 'all' HK.

The Marx originals, on the left the earlier set with the smaller or non-existent bases, where there are bases; they are smooth and unmarked. To the right are the larger-based replacements with the characteristic dimples or hollows of so much Marx production

The hard-plastic versions from Hong Kong (top right, middle and bottom right) with the painted vinyl bazooka-man and the white plastic marching soldier on a less common oval base.

The bazooka-man has the same mould-line as the HK production, and as the HK one has no mark, I'm assuming they are from the same mould. The white plastic guy must be a 'special', perhaps to go with a stand-alone vehicle or something? he might just be a Marine - I don't have one to compare, but is still in an unusual colour, and seems to have been factory-painted? (see comments now - thank you to Mike Niederman)

I have somewhere a perfect copy of the guy with an empty shell case from the Airfix kits of the 6lbr and 25lbr, but in 40mm and with a very similar paint-job to these dudes, but he has a silver helmet (and I have several now), so I'm suspecting he actually went with an HK military vehicle or something, anyway I would have shown him but I don't know where his bag is at the moment!

The Payton pirates - lower shots. These are in a polyethylene or polypropylene type plastic and come in various colours and had some real HK shite by way of accompanying AFV's. The two above with the plug-feet are more likely full-HK copies, issued with some form of military vehicle or vessel like a PT Boat, Landing Craft or AA Gun? The guy missing his feet has the same poor quality as the other two, so probably shares the same source.

Some comparison shots showing the evolution (degradation?) of the figures over time, and the support weapons issued with these guys in the Marx play-sets. The MG in the middle was the sort of 'standard' piece of kit, but they also made a recoilless rifle to fit the same tripod and there was also an earlier water-cooled Browning MG for the same mount. The Japanese version to the right seems to be a copy, in a more tinny polypropylene with added 'rivet' detailing to the legs...do any of the larger-scale experts know the origin?

Marx favoured this scale in their early days and we can see a few more here.

Top left; the PVC circus and Tom whatsit/Space Patrol/Rex Mars etc... 'Space Academy' figures.

Top right; Wild West in a Cowboy and Indian and a Hawaiian dancer I should have added to This Post.

Bottom left; Some navy figures, again - like the marching figure above - the yellow guy is a non-standard figure, in an odd colour and missing the kit-bag he is more commonly seen dragging behind him.

Bottom right; Navy bases and a mechanic in an ethylene polymer.

Tom Corbbet!

Added 17th July 2012;

This is the Airfix piracy I mentioned above, he has a green helmet not a silver one and is in a very dense polyethylene or polypropylene, so not actually connected to the above HK Marx, except in size and vauge paint-style, so probably a HK AFV accessory, but I mentioned him so he can stay here!

These have also turned-up, they are definitely a polypropylene or even nylon type polymer, the stretcher is almost impossible to keep together due to poor tolerance/QA and a they have to face each other as there is just the one moulding! However several of the poses are from the Marx 40mm and the rest are other Marx poses scaled down. Again I would imagine HK (or 'China'), and quite recent rack-toys - within the last 15/20 years?

[Added 14/01/2013 - I haven't the faintest idea why this post has moved here this afternoon? But as I can't find it wherever it was (June/July last year?) it will have to stay here! I guess it is a stupid new-version Blogger thing? reading the post it seems it was the first post I did after the first forced-change which might have something to do with its sudden migration. The link to old version no longer works. Weird...]

[Added 26/11/2013 - Another one, no base, no paint but same plastic, there doesn't seem to be signs of the base being removed but neither is there a locating stud to mount him in an AFV? Both will go on to the Airfix Blog eventually]


Mike Niederman said...

Tom Corbett- it was an early TV show tie-in. The guy to the left of the blue "mouse-faced" alien is by Lido, not Marx. Lido had a Captain Video line (another TV show) with figures and charming vehicles. They seem to have been made in a couple different sizes, but it is the 40/45mm ones that I bought in the 50s and still have. The white hard-plastic painted Marx figures came packaged in mini playsets of a half dozen or so figures with some scenic bits. They came in window boxes. The packaging touted them as being "Hand Painted by Artists".

Maverick Collecting said...

Ah yes! He has the 'Lido-feet'!! Thanks Mike, I'll get him out of the bag and relabel him...as to the white chap - I thought there'd be a story, so thanks for that as well, you can't help with the yellow styrene sailor sans-kitbag?


Brian Carrick said...

Hi Hugh, lots of interesting stuff in this post, the brown Japanese machine gun looks very much like the the one in the Atlantic Japanese set.

Best wishes, Brian

Maverick Collecting said...

Hi Brian

It does look like it, but I know the Atlantic one, and its legs have a round cross-section, this is the same as the two Marx ones, with a sort of boomerang cross-section, having a rounded ridge with sharp edges and a recess underneath. It also has the 'rivet' (counter?!!) detail of the Marx ones?