About Me

My photo
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.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

C is for Corgi Combat

There were not many figures of a military nature from Corgi, they weren't that keen on military stuff, remaining more of a civil vehicle producer with a growing range of licensed cartoon, film and TV character related products.

The previous sentence obviously divorcing the modern brand 'Corgi' (who churn-out military stuff like it's going out of fashion) from the old Corgi Mettoy.

In the Husky range there were a few vehicles given a military finish, a Citroen Ambulance, a petrol tanker and such-like, all without figures. Once the Corgi Junior brand had replaced Husky, there were a few more military vehicles issued, of which my favourite was the rather large-scaled Daimler Dingo, top left with an MG gunner who matched the figures from the play-sets (dark chocolate brown ethylene or polypropylene) and was pivoted in a manner that allowed him to spray bullets like a demented-demon!

A Jeep had a similar matching driver and two of the figures (on their distinctive shared base) came with a small gun which I think is aiming to be an air-portable US pack-howitzer, and  it achieved that aim to a far higher standard that the Matchbox offering we looked at the other day!

My other favourite (and who wouldn't like a vehicle made by someone called Cadillac-Gauge?) was the V-200 Commando, that icon of cold-was television news bulletins, being used, sold, licensed, supplied or copied to just about everyone not in NATO (or the Warsaw Pact), who had an army or police force! Indeed remembering a gloss-blue one at Stuttgart airport in 1977, some members of NATO took them as well.

So the few figures of a military nature from Corgi; The chocolate brown ones ran for a number of years (decades even) and apart from the odd change in shade of chocolate, there's no surprises. The pair front-centre are the more common as they came as crew with the pack-gun, the rest came in the play-sets which - due to their higher cost - shifted less units.

These near-25mm figures and the late Corgi Junior vehicles (V-200, Jeep towing the howitzer, Helicopter, Dingo, Land-Rover ambulance and Land-Rover pick-up truck (wrecker) were issued in the late 1990's or early 2000's by the then Woolworth's owned (and - then - recently resurrected) Chad Valley label.

The figures have the feel of Polypropylene, but the poor-detail suggests a high-density ethylene.

Below them are the roughly 1:48th scale figures that slightly pre-date them, on the left; the crew of the AMX Armoured Recovery Vehicle; you got two of the squatting pose with a pair of trestles and an AFV's spare barrel, all in a dense PVC. On the right and in the same ethylene/propylene as the brown 'Tommies' is the MG-gunner from the Sd.Kfz.251 Half-track. One wonders if it was intended to produce some German 'pairs' to combat the Brits?

It's interesting to ponder for a second why Corgi went with an AMX ARV while Dinky sat on the opposite self with a Leopard ARV despite the fact that at the time (mid-late 1970's) Britain had several indigenous ARV's, BARV's and AERV's and the like -  the old Centurion and newer Chieftain engineering and recovery variants? I can only suppose that both companies were pandering to wider markets than the domestic?

At the time of the marketing campaign I call 'the Corgi flood' (turn of the century and a good 6-8 years either side), there were several military ranges, in various packaging, some were given as a set 1:48th scale, the others (budget range!) were less forthcoming on scale but several of them came in at 'war-gaming' size, and two of them are shown above, a Churchill and a Scorpion (taken from my old Imageshack account so lower-res), the vehicle box is somewhere else at the moment! There were two Shermans from this range and that missing box in this post; S is for Sherman

We looked at the two recent sets in another post a while ago...Here while the old plastic-chassis forward-control (FC or F/C) Land-Rover from Husky can be seen Here. I will do Husky one day, but it will be a while.

No comments: