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.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

M is for Mainzelmännchen from Mainz

A bit of a departure these - my 'main' present under the tree the other week and no surprise as I'd bought them myself! And they don't represent an expansion of my collections either, as they are up for swaps! I saw them in a charity-shop window and thought "Ah! Mainzelmännchen, I've been after some of those for a while...", but passed on them as they were not the size I'm looking for. As is always the case when you don't buy something when you see it, I then regretted not getting them, so when I passed the shop a couple of days later, and noticed they had gone, went in and asked if they were still around (why I didn't immediately assume they'd been sold I don't know!), the lady on duty said "Do you mean the little gnomes?", "Yes" says I, "Oh, I think someone's put them out the back", off she went to look for them and there they were...prompt purchase ensued!

When we we kids we used to go and stay with Dad, down in the French Zone of Germany (long story) and if he was busy we would stay with a German Officer ('Fritz' - I kid you not)  and his family, where we were introduced to the duty of kids being responsible for clearing the snow from the foot-paths (call this weekend's slush 'real snow' do you?!!) before they were allowed to build snowmen, Playmobile and these chaps...

Mainzelmännchen...and proving there's nothing new under the sun, compare these small, fat, cartoonish, woolly-hat wearing kids with the denizens of South Park?

I won't bore you with the history because I don't really know it! But there is a Wikipedia page in German HERE. I just like them because they have an attached nostalgia hit! I do remember that their little 'ad'ventures were like the old 'Intermission' on early BBC TV, coming between the normal programming.

These particular figures are big, and - for want of a better description - are basically squeaky dog-toys without the squeak! Blow-moulded PVC-rubber by Goebel, who were/are the same Goebel/ Hummel AG known for rubber-headed dolls and more recently ceramic 'collectables'? Can anyone point us to a decent web-page on these little chaps?

From left to right in the above line-up we have Berti, Conni, Fritzchen, Edi and Derti and don't consist of a full set, I'm missing a 'Anton' and the Wiki-page says Derti should be Det? He also seems to be missing a small accessory which I suspect is a plastic representation of a clay-pipe, probably in an ethylene or polypropylene, but possibly a styrene, which he should be holding in his left hand and sucking on.

The Wiki-page also tells of a re-birth of the Mainzelmännchen, but with 'new' features, as mine don't seem to conform to the stated format on that page I knocked-up this table. I suspect that there were 'typical' dress-codes and adventure-specific variations, and that some of these figures show those variations, but I don't know? Anyway; I've put it here in case it has significance.

When I say they are up for swaps, I'd like to swap them for a set of the smaller vinyl figurines if any German collector fancies the idea - I believe Goebel are quite collectable and I know someone like Bully or Schlicht produced these fellows in a 40/60mm'ish range, if so; eMail me.

Added 19th Sep. 2017 - Another one which fails to conform to clothing/colour schemes of all the figures listed on the Wikipedia page?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have 6 for sale just now. They are from around 1970. See

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=380726372742&ssPageName=STRK:MESE:IT