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.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

C is for Corgi Civilians

Civilians? How boring! What? I'm forever putting 'civi' stuff up here...they have their place in the oeuvre...and while Corgi were pretty hopeless at military figures compared to Matchbox, when it came to figures in general they are about ten blog-posts in a clear lead! Just about everything other than bog-standard family saloons came with something to add play value.

The larger image shows the Husky / Corgi Juniors rally car winner's with driver and navigator leaning on the bonnet, and are in the same style as the little sets we looked at here, while the larger figure has the distinctive helmet of a real driver; Graham Hill (did he have a whingeing whining blame everyone else before yourself, kind of a son?), from the larger 1:43 range.

Bar-B-Q'ing tonight top left, with one of the earlier figures on the right; changing street-light bulbs from what we now call a cherry-picker, in those days they were called reach-platforms or something. This figure is interesting as it is polyethylene and seem to come from the same stable as the contemporary Spot On range of figures, we've also looked at before.

Below them there is a milkman and cabin-cruiser 'captain' from the 1960's range and two colour variations of the street-sweeper operator from the '70's, he is a tad larger and in a harder polypropylene.

The standard racing driver - like the standard pilots from Airfix and Matchbox - he was reused in more than one model, being fitted to a lot of the racing car and sports tourer models in the early years, and would reappear from time to time. There are subtle differences between both these two. Likewise to the right are the Bermuda tourist Mini-Moke / Taxi driver...I'm not sure if these are two versions of the same vehicle's driver, or if one if (like the Batman & Robin scale downs) a Corgi Juniors figure?

Below them is a female bus conductor in a close 25mm size, I know she is Corgi, but see the next panel (below) for all the 'maybe's'!

The last group are more problematical...I have notes to the effect this set is Corgi AND Dinky. Now, they are definitely in the style of the few other Stadden-designed Dinky figures, also I'm pretty sure I found them in a Corgi capacity when I was preparing these articles over a years ago. That site is now no more, and I can only ask if any one knows for certain...it's likely that they were a Dinky set inherited by Corgi.

Various bus drivers and conductors which may or may not be Corgi (or Dinky, Matchbox, a minor make or a HK something!), can any die-cast collector give definite ID's for any of them.

The accessories were as important as the figures and the two everyone seems to be looking for are the BBQ already show further above and the golf bag shown here with golfer and small-boy caddy. Also pictured here are the ice-cream seller and his customer.

The upper shot is an attempt at a scenic vignette photograph, while below it is one of the most awful toys ever sold in a retail form...

..the backing card is pre-printed with Mr Sheen graphics (a popular UK furniture polish in the 1970's), the packaging contains two clues to brand (Smiley and Roundabout) while almost certainty being neither and the contents cover 20-odd years of Corgi figure 'production' in about four scales and at least three polymers!

I have seen another! Different graphics, different contents.

I would guess that - far worse than being some Hong Kong thing - these were cobbled together from tail-end stock and sold through sea-side kiosks as sand-castle enhancers? Not only that, the boat isn't the Corgi boat, it's the late Cullpitt's from HK copy of the Corgi boat!

One thing is sure, despite these Corgi accessories often fetching a tidy sum on FeeBay, you often see dealers at shows with large quantities of ex-out workers stock, usually of one or two poses, the Detective Ironsides in wheelchair is a common one - seemingly being made in the millions, the tractor drivers are others while the various James Bond figures are common, although the ejector-seat set was sold with spare figures?

What all this hints at or suggests - among other things to be pondered endlessly - is that a single UK importer / jobber (possibly Roundabout Distributors?) was handling the figures of probably several Hong Kong producers both for Corgi and Cullpitt, maybe others and may even have been getting the painting done here?

All-in-all a hideous but interesting addition to the collection, I only wish I'd picked-up the other one when I saw it!


Anonymous said...

I've seen those Dinky road workers listed as Corgi as well mate?


Maverick Collecting said...

Well...someone had a dig about these elsewhere (having not read the post!) and I called him out - with no response, so I'm leaving it in the check-list for the time being, but I'll re-show it/them with the planned Dinky post soon?

See if one of these 'mistake spotters' will have the balls to comment!!