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 29, 2013

M is for Matchbox - Miscellaneous

Following on from the previous posts; tying up a few lose ends from Matchbox ancient and modern.

The road signs follow the old pattern pre-the 1960's reforms. There are two issues of these the first lot were die-cast alloy (front row in larger image and smaller image) the re-issues were polyethylene (7 in rear row) and there is a close up of them both metal to the front (top left).

The early cast petrol-pumps and attendant, replace with a totally new design in the 1970's, I can only hint at it as mine is in storage, but I do have the broken legs! The legs were attached to the pump-stand in white-finished die-cast, the upper body came on a separate sprue with two lamp-stands. The supported brand changing from Esso to Shell.

Various boats, mostly from the 1-75 series of 'matchboxes', I think the Gemini-craft might be from a Super King? the earliest is all die-cast (cream deck - top right), then we get a nice die-cast engine on a polystyrene plastic body, then plastic boats without engines and finally the polypropylene of late production.

Top left - two early die-cast horses from the milk float with a 1980/90's reissue of the whole assembly.

Top right - one of several 'Pub-signs', I have a few (again in storage) but happened upon this one a while ago. Others are Rose & Crown, Volunteer (a kneeling Highlander), George & Dragon, City of London (arms), Mermaid, Pig & Whistle etc..I don't know how many there were in total, but it was eight or more, ten maybe (anyone know?)

The rest are just bits and bobs, a pair of dogs cut-off the parcel-shelf of a Morris-1000 (I think!), a 'Kaiser Wilhelm' caricature, various drivers (one of which may be Lledo?) a window cleaner from a cherry-picker, a fireman in 40mm from the airport fire-tender a statue from the 1:32 scale military play-set and both the Matchbox river-police and a HK copy (darker blue pair), and a small fireman in his cherry-picker.

Mega-Rig figures from about ten years ago, not really my thing, but I pick them up when they turn-up - if you know what I mean? Space, construction and military sets clearly existed and there may have been a tie-in with GI Joe or Action Man at some point?

The row top and bottom are a marketing tie-in with (I think?) TSR around 1980, who were at the time the holders of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise. Again I think there were only about 10 in the range and they are in that odd 45/50mm bracket.

The Toy Story figures are actually Mattel's Hot Wheels, but from the period when both brands are under one roof. And are also in that mid-size range.


Artūrs said...

this is cool! Please i have to know! what set is the red berret half naked soldier from? i saw an awesome playset commercial in the late 90s, some kind of jungle attack, the red berret guy was mounted on a gun turret or sitting in a tiny chopper, it all looked awesome and i really want to find it! Im not sure if it was mega rigs, cause there were no military mega rigs, were there?

Hugh Walter said...

That's all I know Artūrs, Mega-rigs, about the mid-1990's? Not something I study with any depth.


Unknown said...

What is the name of the line of toys from Matchbox of miniature military figures? They came in a few different packs with different color camouflage/paint schemes like red/black (not sure why), desert tan, jungle green and mountain grey camouflage.

Hugh Walter said...

There was a Battle Kings revival a few years ago, 23-odd mmm Micro-Machine derivatives? But they were mostly one colour? Your description sounds more like the Realtoy (believed to be by Galoob) figures but they are closer to 50mm and no red/black colour-way? So can't help you really! Sorry - Keep looking!