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.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

LP is for Lots-more Plastic!

Another follow-up to previous posts tonight;


An all-time favourite 'side-bar' or sub-collection within my wider collection has been these chaps from LP and their derivatives, before I was collecting all scales I scoured some of the larger ones for Paul at Plastic Warrior magazine (when they could still be found in cake shops!), only to be asked to do an article for the small scale off-shoot and then after I Blogged them here I was asked to Blog them at Moonbase Central, so this is definitely a perennial we will return too!

Indeed the boys at Moonbase have subsequently blogged some of these, pointing me in the right direction for collection expansion...all the following have been picked-up in the last two years, most in the last two weeks!

So, first the additions to the large scale LP's and clones. The only marked original is the unpainted darker-green one, which I was looking for last time I blogged them, having unpainted red ones and believing they must have done the green ones unpainted as well. Couldn't you just take the paint off some spares? I hear you ask; well, you could but that would defeat the object of confirming production runs!

Reviewing the old post I notice the two smaller gunmetal clones with the deeper, unmarked, puddle-base are duplicates, but the cream and day-glow yellow ones are new to the collection. I suspect they were once day-glow all over, but time and sunlight have been unkind to them!

The little green one is the smooth-based sub-50mm version, while the larger chrome-plated one is actually larger than LP originals, and is also unmarked.

Previously Blogged over at Moonbase, theirs was an English language market one, this is...er...Spanish? Although emanating from Russ Berrie, the 1960's US-based toy company behind those bloody mad-haired trolls!

These two silver astronauts and their lander (along with a simple flag) seemed to replace the old armed spacemen in the smaller size and ran-on with the robots for a few years as cake decorations, in white. While there is no mark the base is in every other respect the same as the robots.

In the snow-shaker (moon-dust shaker!) form it's just another way of marketing the figures. Virca SPA will be the importer, and the little gold tag is reminiscent of tourist/gift shops the world over! Can a Spanish follower translate the motto on the side of the shaker (I'm assuming 'Gallarate' means gallery?), the English one was 'Galaxy Collection Water Ball'.

Moonbase's Wotan has been very good at tracking these down, especially the big grinning doozer far right (of the picture...although he looks like his politics might be "Hang'em-Flog'em" as well!), as he used it as his ID image for a while.

Seemingly made by two firms, the darker ones have come-in in dribs and drabs, the paler ones came in on Saturday at Sandown Park (at the same time as the shaker, but from different dealers).

The odd looking fellow (inset views) came with them, although; A) he's not got a sucker, nor any signs of having had one and B) the lot was accompanied by several other 60's/70's toys in the same material and pale brown colour (pencil tops, dinosaurs and a sea-monster), clearly from the same maker/source, not that he looked like he went with them either, so I've added him here for now as an 'Alien'!

His back has the same treatment as the backs of all those silicon-rubber spiders and bats we used to get in joke-shops, gum-machine capsules and Christmas Crackers...a sort of novelty-condom effect! They (spider and bat) were both in the same lot - along with a large silicon-rubber ant - so I think it was the remains of a salesman's samples?

An old scan from my original One Inch Warrior magazine article, that was 12/15 (?) years ago (late 1990's anyway), yet some people persist in calling them ID or IDL on-line and in auction listings...it's quite clear that it's LP with a line through it, held between the arms of a monster who's head is above the gap between the two letters, with a sun-ray effect carrying-out to make the full disc.

Indeed...the line-through may well be the monster's arms grasping/hugging the LP?

This is a CAD'ed rendition of the logo found on [some of] the darker green, olive and grey versions of the silicone-rubber robots, it could be ATS, AST, AIS....any ideas? The paler ones (and more transparent ones) only have a generic HONG KONG marking, sometimes two.

Another scan which originally appeared in black and white in 1" Warrior - this is the Russ Berrie contents in their LP / Culpitts cake decoration state, with low-lighting and no flash on a tray of door-mat beatings, after I've sieved out all the fibres and twiggy bits!

Also from the old article, a nice early/mid 1960's set, these are copies of the small-scale Triang / MPC supplied figures with unmarked flat bases, I say early/mid 1960's as the artwork is more late 1950's but the contents are later stuff. I love the two middle aircraft as they are reminiscent of the Trigan Empire's 'Atmosphere Craft' from Look & Learn magazine.

Although the MPC Golden Astronauts were the same chrome silver styrene ones as Triang, their space-base play-set contained these lesser ethylene clones...in red, white and blue.

Further Reading;

The Trigan Empire (Wikipedia)

LP on Moonbase Central


Giano said...


Just a quick post about the snow-shaker: the language is italian, and the writing says more or less "with you everywhere". that's a rather sweet thing to say to a beloved one.

Spa (or better S.p.A.) means "società per azioni", it's a kind of legal organization for societies or firms. It's a very common acronym, usually it is part of the firm's name. Thus "Virca spa" it's the name of the firm - never heard about it though.

Gallarate is a town not far away from Milan, it's quite famous in Italy but I can't remember why (maybe it's the seat of a big factory or something like that).

I hope I've been useful somehow. Cheers!

Maverick Collecting said...

Very useful indeed Giano, thank you very much...I wasn't sure it was Spanish, but was half expecting someone to tell me it was Portuguese...so I was miles out!


WOODSY said...

Great post Hugh, read it before but after reading it again I want to tell you! Your knowledge of types of plastic is so impressive - styrene, ethylene - I just wouldn't know here to start! As for the Acrobat Team, that is one cool LP set. I too love those middle jets and I will have to look up your reference to the Trigan Empire. They look a bit like Tri-ang SpaceX Supply Force Mercury's too. I got a bag of the same two types of jets a few years back - they came with a parachutist

As for Culpitt's I'm well jel that you were able to still find some LP's in cake shops! Fondant!


Hugh Walter said...

Cheers Woodsy (Paul!), and back-at-cha' on the knowledge front!

They had a whole tub of them, but the shops long-gone now (that was about '97-98)...and yes, they do like Mercury's!

I remember the article, I have the little helicopter in various sets...of various qualities! Between our blogs, there's not much left to say on these Spacemen, yet some people insist on calling them ID or IDL!! Especially on evilBay!