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. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

R is for Ro-Ro - Roll-on, Roll-off

So; a return to another perennial favourite! Why do I keep coming back to this little car?

Well firstly it keeps turning up in new versions/configurations, second it looks a bit like a Morris Minor, of which we had two when I was a kid, a small powder-blue/grey hardtop...very boring, and a darker 'morris-green' soft-top which my brother and I would stand-up in the back of, as if riding a chariot (or reviewing the troops?), until some idiot pulled-out in front of us one day on the A30 duel-carriageway between Hook and Hartley Wintney and we both nearly went airborne over the windscreen as Mum jammed the anchors on! After which is was sitting only!

One of about five 'best purchases of the day' at the recent Plastic Warrior show (I'm like a kid...running back to the stall every now and again "Best of the day" I go, 20 minutes later...."Could be best purchase today!"), this is the marked Kleeware version of the Pyro Ferryboat, issued in the military green, it's more commonly found in the bright primary colours of the 'infant' / dime-store toy it was.

There are four of the little cars we have now looked-at about three times already (and will doubtless return to!), and the design is the sort of - non ocean-going - ferry you find running river or lake routes the world over. I have photographs of similar ferries on the Bodensee (Lake Konstanz/Constance) from our holiday in 1969 and they were still there in the late-1970's when Dad was stationed down there.

When I gave it a clean, the previously invisible residue of the 50+ year old sticky-tape that held the cars in on display suddenly made itself known, fortunately it came off with a dry cloth!

I've taken the right-hand photograph three times but the shiny plastic just won't allow the focus to er...focus! But you can just about make out the Kleeware mark about the sprue-scar. This also highlights the carpet-wheels. The cars do have differences in internal roof-marking, but we'll look at these another day when I marry the ones I've picked-up in the last few years with the ones in storage (and any others I pick up!).

There was also a military version of the petrol station, this has been seen with the little Humber trucks from Kleeware, but I bet they did a version with the cars as well? There would only have been three in that set. These have some minor damage (a windscreen spar and tow-hook missing) so I will have to replace them with the spares.

The other brilliant thing about this - for the inner-child in all true toy collectors, is the simple fact that...IT FLOATS!

"Your mission Captain Willard; is to proceed up the Nung River in a Navy Ferryboat. Pick up Colonel Kurtz's path at Nu Mung Ba, follow it, and deliver four new staff-cars."


James O'Connell said...

It is beautiful. What scale is it?

Maverick Collecting said...

The little cars are about 20/25mm figure scale, but the ferryboat is 'dime-store' scale...the real ones are capable of carrying larger numbers of vehicles!

Ed and Bettina Berg said...

I have a bunch of these cars in kindergarten colors but have yet to latch on to the ferry in any color. excellent find Hugh!!

Hugh Walter said...

Cheers Ed - of the various 'best buys' at this years Plastic Warrior show I think this is the favourite. I've only seen the civilian one on Bill Hanlon's Dimestore site...but the thing is it's really an 'infant toy'...nothing to do with 'Toy Soldiers' so a general toy fair would be the place to look, rather than a toy soldier show?