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.

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!