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.

Friday, November 22, 2013

B is for BTS Mouldings...I think!

In one or two of his books James Opie has posed the question "How many Toy Soldiers have been made". He doesn't go into paint variations, colour issues or piracies, and further supposed it may be over a million. I have tried to calculate but sort of give-up at around 'several' million, yet every time you go to a show or pop-round a mates to look at his latest stuff, more new figures pop-up and you realise that it's a bit like an iceberg, there's more hidden than showing. This is particularly true of both the European lead-flats and after-market or 'Garage' white-metal and resin;

"Rear of 19/21 Mount Road" sounds like a shed to me! I don't know if the card is typical of how these were sold, or a collectors addition to keep makers name and figures together, either way it's fortuitous as I'd never encountered this make or these figures before. Likewise; I don't know if they made many more, or other ranges, other scales, or even if they are still in production...does anyone out there?

35/40mm, and cast so fine they pass for European margarine premiums until you notice the impossible undercuts round the snake and one or two very faint mould-lines; no air bubbles, no blemishes...really nice little figures.

The other reason they instantly pass as premiums is because the clown with guitar is either a copy of a Café-de-Paris premium, or based on the Starlux clowns from the circus set.

The rest of the figures seem to be based on other existing figures, of which the balloon clown is the most obvious, being a straight lift of the clown show-announcer from Corgi as illustrated here. The mic ('mike' - I hate that word it doesn't even look right!) and cable being removed and the balloons added as a separate part.

The one on the centre is also a Corgi lift, from the panda bear in a suit that came with a stripy Mini, er...called Stripy The Mini! I think the panda was simply called Mr Panda too! He's just been given a human head.

The figure on the far left seems to be based on the asbestos-suited fireman from the old Airfix Emergency Set, but scaled up and given a  coat?

Which leaves the female snake-charmer...I suspect she is based on the Corgi water-skier (poor HK copy inset) I don't have, however she also has the stance/bust of the woman from the dolphinarium* truck also by Corgi and the head/hair has similarities with all three Corgi women.

So a right old mix, by someone I've never heard of (they/he (?) might be in Garrett's encyclopaedia but I don't have it to hand...anyone want to check?), can any reader / visitor help fill-in some blanks on this one?

*I think that's spelt right, spell checker is offering Delphinium...and I've taken an 'i' out?


Plastic Labware said...

I really like your post.Thanks for sharing such nice article.Keep posting and upgrading our knowledge.

Hugh Walter said...

I really like your blatent attempt at spam-sales, but as you're not selling spam, and this is a toyblog....I fear it will not help you!