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, May 3, 2016

B is for [not] Bendy Toy!

Interesting little post today: any toy collector, especially toy figure collectors will instantly recognise these as 'Bendy Toys', those daft elongated caricatures of people, cartoon characters or anthropomorphic animals with little pairs or triangular arrangements of holes at the joints and a wire armature buried in the PVC to enable manipulation of the figure, as part of the play value, or 'play element' of the toy.

Clearing last year's tomatoes (toe'mate'ohs!)

Except that . . . in a brilliant piece of capitalist marketing (or creative 'out of the box' blue-sky thinking?) someone has decided to re-invent them as plant or garden ties! It is a very clever use of what may even be an original 1970's  moulding (?), but what rankles is that you can now get four to a card from the gardening sections of discount stores for the same money (in real, inflation adjusted terms) as you used to have to pay for one!

Have we had this shot before?

I have several of these and we've looked at them on the blog before I think . . . pretty sure the Pink Panther had his moment here, there are some Cowboys and Indians from Italy via-Hong Kong (image added above) and I know I have a 'combat soldier' type in storage, but there were loads of them back in the day, whether this frog was one of them, I can't say.

Mysterious holes

Giving thought to the little holes: I can only assume that they are left by holding 'pins' for the armature?

They could just as likely be due to the volatile nature of PVC; that when being moulded over cold wire as a hot semi-liquid, gas or condensation of some kind forms and the holes are to prevent larger blisters or blemishes' being created by letting such a build-up escape as the moulding is released from the mould-tool?

Another explanation would be that the holes allow for movement at the likely points of articulation (elbows, knees, wrists etc...) chosen by the child-user; to prevent stress cracks appearing too early in the toys life. But that seems even less believable and would seem to require more holes than are usually present.

All explanations are only my own thoughts on the phenomena, and anyone who knows for sure; please let the rest of us know!

If you collect bendy toys and haven't found these yet, try a search with 'garden-tie' or 'Plant Tie' in it, I'm sure there must be others out there!


Anonymous said...

The holes are a manufacturing artifact. "Holding pins" as you call them. The wire armature is braced by pins inside the mold. After the vinyl is sufficiently hardened, the piece is ejected. In some cases the pins withdraw before ejection, in other cases the piece is ejected away from the pins by "pushers" which leave their own artifacts.

Hugh Walter said...

Hi Anonymous...yes I know about release-pin marks...little disc-like protrusions or flat areas, but thaks a lot for confirming the nature of the little holes...as an aside: whould you know how long the PVC takes to 'harden' sufficiently...I know modern machines work on a aimed-for six-second cycle (or thereabouts) with ethylene or styrene polymers...is it the same with PVC?