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.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

C is for Clones

Swiftly drawing a veil over the previous post and the Scot's falling for the oldest trick in the book (exploitation of simple minds) - watch this space though, I wouldn't mine betting there'll be another referendum within the decade, if not within a year or two - which will herald the break-up of the UK...do you remember when we looked at the Merit Circus 'Wagon-train' and the associated Hong Kong small scale piracies?

No? Well it was way back at the start of the blog! I happen to have encountered a few lose examples in the intervening years, and having seen the animals attributed to 'possibly Marx' the other day, thought it was time to visit the sets again...for the card-art, check the above link.

The five figure poses and all the animals I've found so far, seems to be near the full set of Crescent (originally for Kellogg's) circus items, reduced to around HO-OO gauge sizes, the clowns being less reduced than the other figures. There is a pointing clown missing, and a dwarf with a hoop, I've never seen them in this set, but there are 40mm HK copies of the pointing one for sure.

The elephant is way too small, but then so was the original Crescent one. The Performing horse has no hole for the dancer (acrobatuerse? Or whatever you'd call a female acrobat, bound to have a name, the one thing humans are good at while lying to each other and destroying their own home is labelling things, sub-things and components of things!), who gets a little base to pirouette on, as the large-scale original did - in case you never got a cereal pack with the horse!

The other thing to note about these is that while the bases are smooth and unmarked, the colour pallet of the figures is identical to the Giant original Cowboys and Indians. Not only that but...

...the horse teams are clearly the Giant supplied creature I call 'Mexican Small', right down to the mould marks on the draw-bars, and the large finials on the side-plugs. While I've never seen a Giant circus, there is no doubt in my mind that these come from one of the factories that were supplying Giant with product.

Better shots of all three of the Merit wagon designs (one was missing from the carded sets) and the other 'puller'; a locomotive which was not a merit design!

As they come on the card, the four-horse team pulling four little/short wagons and the locomotive three long ones and a short one. The animals were clearly added and then the wagons thrown in a skillage for someone else in the factory to place in the blister, with the result you often get duplicates of some animals, or an uneven mix of short wagon designs.

Comparisons with some of the Crescent/Kellogg's originals and some Hong Kong copies, the Maysun ring-master is marked and came with the others I've attributed above, they are of slightly better quality than the other HK clones and may well be the 'original' copies!

Both the seals are missing their beach-balls, this pose is heavily copied - particularly in the mid range (between the two illustrated sizes) - and when I get the rest of the larger ones out of storage we'll come back to this set for a third (and last?) time. I've also got about half the poses converted to hold mini-candles as cake-decorations.

2 comments:

Bernard Tyalor said...

Hi Hugh
I reckon the loco body is a copy of the old Matchbox Yesteryear 'The General' apart from the slightly ridiculous wheels.
http://www.matchboxmemories.com/Models/1st%20Series/Y13/Copy_of_Y13a_dark_green.jpg

Hugh Walter said...

Hi Bernard...following the link; I think you're very right Sir! Thank you for that piece of detective work, I'll add Matchbox to the tag-list!

H