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.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

New Product Review - Modelleisenbahn-Figuren

An odd one this, I received these figures as promotional samples at no cost to myself, and thought they were nice enough to wax lyrical about, I still do, but the review will contain a few caveats, and my feeling is 'You pays your money and you takes your choice'...caveat emptor and all that.

The first thing is that while they seem to be called Modelleisenbahn-Figuren, (Model Railway Figures) they are also called Modellbahnfiguren (model road figures?)...Modellbaufiguren (Scale Model Figures) and one or two other's to boot! Seemingly differing on each page of the website, presumably for Google search result optimisation (more on this below).

The second thing is that while I seem to have dealt with Germans from Germany (by eMail), the company claims the US of A as it's corporate HQ (Modelleisenbahn-Figuren Limited Liability Company (LLC), 16192 Coastal Highway, Lewes - Delaware, 19958, County of Sussex, USA), yet are clearly a Chinese/HK concern. The website looks like it came out of an early 90's of-the-peg website catalogue, and communication with the 'Germans' was how shall we say...'problematic.

Top and middle; 1:25th scale figures 'Old Design'
Bottom; 1:30th scale 'Indoor'

The company came to my attention through a junk-mail shot, I get a lot of junk mail from toy companies, plastics factories and general casting factories mostly based in China, due to the tags I use and the fact that my eMail in on the page...marketing robots trawl the bloggosphear and catch my eMail with die-cast or poly-something or toy-something and I get junk.

My standard reply to the toy and plastics mails is "Send me some samples and I'll review them on the blog", after a week or so I mark the mail as spam and never hear from them again, but this time some samples were duly dispatched and an eMail conversation ensued in which I tried to get a competition organised as is my wont, to get some freebies for you dear readers!

However this was all over a year ago and the closer we got to a prize deal, the less keen they were to return my eMails. Also; what you see is pretty-much what they sent, very small samples of a few figures for across the range. Read-on this is going somewhere....

Above; 1:87th scale 'Seated' figures
Bottom right; 1:50th scale mix
Bottom left; comparison between 1:50th and 1:25th scale figures - in the same pose

So, while I am happy to show these figures, and do like them and will recommend them for what they are, well sculpted civilians in modern dress, painted to a fair standard for 'toy figures'; I must also warn you that if you purchase some, you are likely to generate spam and or become part of a marketing exercise.

During the email conversation with the chaps, I said "...they seem better-painted than those bulk lots on eBay", in point of fact: They are those bulk lots on eVilbay! Not only that, the website will only allow you to purchase them in frankly huge amounts, not much use for war-gaming or diorama building, but useful if you're equipping a large railway layout, trouble is only the very wealthiest train collectors are likely to be doing so to such a degree?

Clockwise from top left; five popular gauges equating to 10, 15, and 20mm/1:87, 25mm/1;72 and 28/30mm RPG gaming sizes.
Recent Hornby US/NATO troops challenge some unauthorised civilians in a goods-rail siding
Merten Arabs compared to the new figures
Comparison with old Hornby styrene and new Hornby Hobbies PVC figures

However - every cloud has its silver-lining, and these are they...modern Muslims in typical North African/Gulf-Arab dress. Easily converted and/or coloured for other Africans, Asians or Afghans to pose a few ideas. A further confusion lies in the fact that while I have labelled them in gauges and compared them to gaming sizes, they are actually sold in architects ratios, so the Arabs in the top left shot above are 1:200, 150, 100, 87, 75 and 50.

So - well worth a look if you need civilians, or Arabs...but; The company is difficult to deal with, you need to buy them in quantity and you may have to put up with junk-mail as a result. They are reasonably priced though. I'm not knocking them, I'm just saying a few alarm-bells have gone off since they came to my attention.


tomholio said...

Hi Hugh,
Great to see this flurry of posts today. I have bought a few of these poses in bulk unpainted lots from China - have a suspicion some of the poses are copies from Preiser (perhaps explaining the 'German' front?).

Maverick Collecting said...

Hi Tomholio

That thought did cross my mind, but to be honest I think they are originals, probably using digital technology to map and 'pantograph' in the various sizes.

Figures like the girl with a cake are pretty unique, so the range is 'solid' as such, just the company seems to be a multi-faceted 'front' and the fact that you can't buy them in small quantities is a pain.


Mike Niederman said...

In just a few minutes I found several Preiser copies by using Google image.

Maverick Collecting said...

Not Good Mike;

A right-old bunch of cowboys. Well it was a review full of caveats!