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.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

N is for Now Let's Play Space Legion UFO's

I was so keen to sort out the stuff from the Birmingham show, I'd put most of it away before I thought about a show report, so there wasn't one! But a lot of it will appear here soon one way or another as I got some things specifically with the blog in mind, and shot other things while I was there with the same reasoning.

This post is a case in point, I bought some of these and photographed the other two, all are available from Mercator Trading, link to the top right, who may well be taking them to the Sandown Park toy-fair next (this coming) Saturday.

The title of this set translates to 'And now let us play', and it's a nice Italian space set from - I don't know - maybe the early 1970's? One of the things I like about continental 'cheepie' toys of the 1960's and '70's was that a lot of it was produced domestically, so while the HK stuff we had in UK was also what the Americans got, the Spanish and Italians produced their own, Germany had Manurba and Jean, the French just re-issued earlier hard-plastic figures in bags of brighter coloured unpainted plastic.

This is just that type of carded rack-toy: the rocket is a common design which also turned up via Hong Kong and was later copied/produced by some South American 'cheepie' experts, while the figures are quite unique. The full card is top left, any Italian followers have an idea on the maker? They are not the known Co-Ma designs but I don't think they are Cane either so any clues out there?

10/08/2017 - Now ID'd as Torgano and added to the tag list. 

Over the Alps in Spain a more established company; Comansi, produced two space sets: the quite common Thunderbirds sets (which like the Beatles I published earlier tonight - command a price way above their actual value), and this Ovni set, or 'UFO'. Having pretty-much missed UFO the UK TV series (too young, or was it on ITV? We didn't do much telly when we were kids - always out on the heath playing 'Army', fishing for Airfix at the local tip (rubbish dump) or building 'camps') I didn't know if these bore any relation to the TV series, but a quick Google suggests not, so just generic UFO's!!

Indeed one seems to be a rather topical (in current popular [read; American] culture) zombie! I've seen other versions of the claw-handed alien/robot, and other humanoid poses. Again - do any Spanish followers know if there is a link to something on TV over there? Does 'zombie'-man have something of significance in his hand? Also - like the T'bird set, I think these were latter re-issued unpainted in that floppy silicon rubber?

Back across the Alps went Caesar, and if we follow him - we get back to these...I love these, so these are the ones I bought. Definitely earlier then the others, based on the old Ajax/Archer/Lido/Pyro/Kleeware/Tudor*Rose generics of the classic 'pulp' fiction era, but smaller at 45mm and in a hard plastic, these were already in my collection as 'Unknown Italian Space' in a silver styrene, and they will stay unknown Italian for the time being as the card only has a title!!

They came either 5 to a card, or 10 to a little bag, which looks like it may have ended-up in something else, soap-powder, Christmas crackers (did the Italians have Christmas Crackers in the 1950's? One tends to assume the rest of the world has the same cultural 'stuff' and they don't always!), or some other premium? The bag has a little metal tie that will open you finger if you're not careful!

The carded ones are all one colour, while the bags have various colours and flecked/marbled ones. I've also seen them in black plastic, have some silver ones somewhere as I mentioned and I'm sure gold ones will turn-up eventually.The green marbled one points to other greens, but I've yet to see blue.


thingmaker said...

That "zombie" may only appear to be a zombie because the figure is poorly sculpted. I'm guessing it represents an INVADER - as in "The INVADERS - A Quinn Martin Production". In the 1967 TV series the invaders looked like ordinary people and they sometimes used a disc with several glowing circles on it to kill. The disc was held in the palm of the hand and pressed against the back of the victims neck to cause sudden, apparently natural death.
An odd subject for a figure.

Maverick Collecting said...

Hi Thingmaker

You could very well be right, do the other figures represent characters from the series? Thanks for stopping-by to comment.


thingmaker said...

Looks like a pair of generic astronauts and the two aliens with three-fingered hands remind me of something I may have seen from... was it Britons?
Anyway, The Invaders was a very earthbound series about secret invaders from space who appeared just like us - their true forms never shown. As I said - an odd subject for a figure.

Maverick Collecting said...

Yes _ I know what you mean vis-a-vis the Britains thing, some of them did have a spiky-tentacled appendage in vinyl-rubber! And possibly around the same time?

Maybe not so much 'odd' subject as 'generic' target?!!