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.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

M is for Magazine Mash-up

Just a quick round-up of recent (and not so recent!) magazines with a figural element, it is a fact that any time you glance at the kids section of a newsagent of supermarket's magazine racks, you will find several carrying figures or animals. We have seen magazines dedicated to dinosaurs already on this Blog, and have covered the Dr. Who Adventures mag on several occasions, but there are others.

Magazines specific to cats or kittens, dogs or puppies, farm animals, horses or ponys, wild animals or TV and movie characters go around and come around again, they often have figurals on them as premiums, if premiums is even the right word, they are now an intrinsic part of the 'package', with something small, cheap and plastic or paper on every cover, were - in the past - it was maybe one in ten issues that had a 'freebie' or the first two or three issues of a new title.

The 'premiums' used to build the title, or as a bonus to prop-up sales through the slow summer, or during the christmas period when pocket-money was being spent on other things, now they are an intrinsic part of the cost from the inception of the magazine, with specialist companies manageing severl dozen titles, and running the 'gifts' in sequence, or on rotas!

Snowmen Skittles last Christmas (or was it 2013?) on an infants publication were fun, I actually bought two copies so I could have a decent 4, 3, 2, 1 line-up for something I did on Facebook, the Octonaut's - aimed at slightly older kids - have a whole series of these toys, styrene they will prove ephemeral and I notice they are already appearing on FeeBay with imaginative descriptions and equally imaginative buy-it-now's!

The Thomas I photographed on the rack a while ago, these horses will appear in mixed lots, years for now, and no one will know the origin, leading to all sorts of ammusing forum comments; "....probably...look like...same as...similar to...IIRC...a friend told me...", in turn leading to; "...I think you'll find...I Know for a fact...I went to the factory...I've got somewhere..."!

Also last Christmas; the Dr. Who Adventures issued thier advent calender again, look out for it this year, but the mag has gone from weekly to fortnightly to monthly as we've followed it here on the Blog, and earlier this summer I thought it had gone for good, but saw an issue the other day (nothing useful on the cover), so it may stagger-on 'till November?

Like the Star Wars Command range from Hasbro and the Horrible History figures we covered here, this has been poorly managed by 'pretty young things' who have the degree in marketing, but no clue as to the real world, and follow algorithms that tell them what to do and when to do it, rather than using life-experience to decide when to boost a product, or when not to issue a rival title in the same stable!

The two new figure poses added to the range last year (or the year before? It all goes so fast these days!), and the classic Dalek sculpts (both advent calenders have reverted to the traffic cone 'new shape') meant that this was beginning to look like a fine set, and it should be expanded. Boxed or carded as a stand-alone, tied into specific episodes of the TV series and promoted, instead it's just an ephemeral add-on to a crappy magazine, being strangled at birth.

From the same source as the Octonaughts come these BBC characters, same polystyrene construction in a blow-mould style (but actually two halves glued together before decorating), with the odd accessory.

"One banana, two banana, three banana - four..." A 'swamp-hog' may prove more useful, de-stickered and repainted that as issued? The set of fish inclued larger styrene lumps and smaller PVC animals. As with the shark-submarine in the next image, these would work well with 28mm role-play, especially 'Steampunk'.

More Octonauts, note the breakables, especially on the rabbit-thing, these are very ephemeral, and while I excuse the purchasing of the ones I do buy as 'rather me than you', as in - I buy them for the blog so you don't have to...in twenty years these will be uncommon and worth having stuffed in the attic, if only as examples of cultural history/mores?

Sometimes even I can pass on the tat, and just fire off a photograph in passing, last week I shot this in a store, there was another mag with sheep and lambs , a dinosaur magazine (there's always a dinosaur magazine!) and another one with a horse. I don't advocate buying any of this shite, but it's worth keeping an eye-out, as sometimes the stuff is useful...scenics or buildings for instance, semi-flat trees are often included in these not-so-freebies.

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