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.

Monday, December 24, 2012

C is for Cristmas, Crimbo and CAKE!

A bit of a thematic - indeed - 'Seasonal' post tonight. We have looked at this sort of stuff before and will again, tonight's have all come into the collection in the last 15 or so months.

This is a surprisingly sophisticated design from Festival, a UK company, and I suspect a late production attempt to fight back against the onslaught of cheap imports from Hong Kong, who were simply copying their older polyethylene cake decorations in polystyrene.

Made from a polypropylene type material, it's in two parts which slot together, the white trim and red cloak reducing the need for the quantities of paint they had used in the 1950's and '60's. Supplied to Culpitts in the UK (as most of their output seems to have been), we see also a late Culpitts packaging.

Another carded set; this company (Anniversary House) are still extant and based in Bournemouth, although this item seems to be a discontinued - probably 1980's - piece, it has a spike or spigot to punch through the icing on a Christmas cake.

Nothing to do with cake this one, except that I have a whole set of cake decorations somewhere with this trombonist, so he's a case of cross-marketing, being supplied to cake decoration wholesalers and glued into snow-domes/snow-shakers.

Some older or more traditional ones - to me that is...or people of a certain age! Tradition with regard to Christmas is a very movable feast! But these are the sort of thing I remember from my childhood. The top picture's items are all by Festival, with the deer, the motto and the cupid all being copied in Hong Kong in polystyrene at one time or another, these are all originals with the registered trade numbers and/or Festival logo showing. The clown is only in the picture because they were all in the same bag, he's more of a Birthday cake decoration!

Bottom left are my favourite type of Christmas cake decorations; the plaster-of-Paris ones, going back to the turn of the century they ran alongside the bisque ones for years as the poorer brother, but have slowly lost out to plastics in the last 40 years, although they are still around and two of the above were bought new from a bakery in Newbury a year ago.

The final shot are 1970's style Hong Kong imports of a tree with and without a metallic finish and a little church, with another Festival item - the other tree - to the right.

Mostly more modern types although the large picture of the Santa' with a spigot looks to be early British (1950's) and could be Festival or Gem (who I think are connected anyway). Top left are poured resin (or 'Poly-stone'!!), the chap next to them seems to be made out of that oven-cure modelling compound, used by kids for craft stuff, but here used commercially.

A mixed bag which starts with a pair of earrings, these were imported by several companies a few years ago. and somewhere I have a bunch of them with the hangers removed and various treatments, both hand-painted and sprayed, in various schemes.

Next is a 'Mr. Man' pencil top who looks like a snowman and - you'll be unsurprised to hear - is called Mr. Snow! The very small one skating is interesting as he appears to be a polystyrene HK effort, but is quite finely designed and may be a copy of an earlier European moulding, but I've never found a soft plastic or marked version?

The chap on a card-plinth is the only Christmas themed cake decoration I could find in Britain's main supermarkets in the last month, and I tried Tesco (Andover and Aldershot), Walmart-call-me-Asda (Farnborough), Waitrose (Fleet) and Sainsbury's (Fleet and Farnborough). Not one of them thought to stock Christmas dec's, despite all having large displays of 'year-round' and birthday decorations? Oh...and he's made out of Royal Icing and is good for eating or removing teeth!

The lower image shows a china/ceramic 'fairing' type candle-holder of indeterminate years and origin...possibly made in Japan post war for the German market? And a hideous glitter covered, pipe-cleaner 'enhanced' Santa' who came with a commercial cake years ago, but was being sold with 5 other coloured fellows as tree decorations in Tesco this December, so the mould - unfortunately - survives somewhere in Hong Kong/China...

Going back to earrings for a moment; the main shot here shows three ex-earrings, which are just the right size for filling in at the top of the tree where you want little baubles and other hangings, and both the stripped bauble and the Christmas pudding were so converted a few years ago, while the little bell was courtesy of Tesco's about a week ago!

Below them is last years Christmas cake, with a poured resin and Santa Claus and his tree, which lost out at audition to a more traditional brush-type with plaster snow...and this years Yule Log with a squirrel bought from the local toy shop.

At the risk of repeating myself - wherever you are and whoever you're with; have a lovely Christmas, and get cake, eat cake, only...save the decorations!


Sam's Blog said...

nice decorations!
I think that the last picture is the better: that little things are reallly better when they are on a real cake!
some give me some remembrances of my childhood too: I was always fascinated with those little "toys" on the Christmas Cake!

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Maverick Collecting said...

They are the first 'dioramas' in our lives!! And we get to play with them as things need to be moved around to make way for the knife, coming to take another slice!


Mosstrooper said...

The seasons greeting to you and yours

Paul´s Bods said...

Merry X-mas to you and yours.
I went to the X-mas market..the procelain houses looked very tempting, scale wise from 28mm to 1/7nd but the prices they were asking were not so tempting. I´ll have to wait for the sales and see if the prices fall