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.

Friday, June 17, 2016

T is for "Timmaaay"!

Cartman . . . you're such a fat'ass . . . wrong Timmy!

So if the term 'Ubiquitous' was ever deserved by a set of toy soldiers, it's got to be this lot . . . I know the Britains Guards,  khaki infantry or Airfix Para's fight for the title in the UK, and elsewhere other people may have had a more common inhabitant of the toy-box, but globally, these guys have to take the medal.

We had a few Marx and MPC from Woolies, a bunch of 'inherited' Crescent, Lone Star and Charbens (from the church fete!), tones of Airfix, Britains Herald HK (including the above-mentioned) and Timpo swoppets, but we had a bunch of these as well, in various colours; everyone we knew did!

I actually took this - rather fuzzy - shot in October 2014, when I was blogging GI's for a while, but never got round to using it. More have come in, then someone else Blogged them so I held-off for a bit, now, with contributions and a purchase, there's enough for a better view!

This is the contribution (from Brian Berke - thanks again!): the current Imperial version; Delta Force, they're poor sculpts, but not as poor as some copies you'll see! They've taken 10 of the original 12 poses and issued them with a card that illustrates other maker's better figures!

Three days after I took the original image I found this large PVC rubber mine-clearer from a Burger King promotion on the back of the Toy Story movie in another tub, so fired off a quick comparison shot to add to the folder against the day I'd use them . . . as it happens - today!

Below them are three Imperial figures of the same pose showing the differences between cavities of a mould-tool; the one on the left practically sand-blasted of detail, the one in the middle not bad, while the one on the right has one less release-pin mark and a thinner left wrist.

Boley have also had a go recently, and we did look at them before, the other figures in the set being a mixture of ex-Airfix and Matchbox poses, so these are the two Tim Mee ones - in a glossy polypropylene. The mortar operator appears to be holding an upside-down bottle in the other hand . . . very poor mouldings!

Starting a run through the poses, we'll lead with the 'Ell Tee': Thinks "Shall I shoot them or shall I throw my binoculars at them?", the chinatroops (to the right) take the choice away by giving him a more belligerent arm pose!

These Tim Mee chaps got a whole new shot in the arm, when following the Toy Story movie, various sets, tubs and other tie-ins returned to the old figures they were parodying in the film, and we see two here, bottom left, with the story behind the larger one elsewhere on the blog, he having been removed from a Mattel infant toy.

Close-ups of the bases, I think the slightly marbled one (top left) is the original (or as close as), with various other versions roughly as they are in the previous collage, along with a new 'officer with Bino's' pose thrown-up by the licensed toys, the left-hand example of which looks like he's on Charlie Brown's pitchers' hump!

He's a mobile-phone (cell phone) stand I've blogged before, and I never really did work out how it was supposed to work, a triumph of marketing over any practical value . . . very American!

The dark green guy on the right of the middle shot is a 'recent purchase', and I'll keep referring to them as that as we go through, because while they are Tim Mee clones, when we get to the kneeling-firer you wouldn't know it - if you didn't get them all together! They are re-cut to a reasonably high standard (for China), and look more like paratroopers than GI's.

Again: top left is probably the original, with three of the common clones we all knew next to him; they ran through 'till the end of the 1970's at least. Bottom row has two current Imperial and two crappy chinatroops with a Toy Story between them.

The chinatroops have reduced the calibre but appear to be firing dildos at the enemy, as they're apparently also wearing half-gonads on their 'eds, that's really no surprise! Toy Story - on the other hand - clearly mean business and have gone-up a few calibres.

If these Tim Mee's are ubiquitous, then this pose is the quintessential one! A weird one nonetheless, a sort of semi-Japanese Bren-gun/BAR on an 'avoiding-undercut' designed bi-pod! But still - such a dynamic pose, bi-pod braced against one foot as he strains to find targets, crouched over to make as small a target as possible for returning enemy fire.

He's also one of the few toy-soldier, medium machine-gunners to have his left hand where it should be: firmly gripping the neck of the butt and cushioning the cheek. Ignored by Toy Story (too much firepower?!), Boley and Imperial, he seems to have died the death of all things . . . or have Processed Plastics resurrected him?

The prone guys, chinatroops have swapped legs at the waist! Note how the 'recent purchase' (middle of the bottom row - crawling guys) has been re-tooled and 'chunked-up' a bit, the pale guy to his left might be a more recent copy of him? Both poses are also based on the previous 60mm figures by Tim Mee.

Kneeling firers: you can see that if you found him on his own, you wouldn't recognise the 'resent purchase' as being from the same set of poses, he looks more like a 1990's Revell paratrooper? Meanwhile the chinatroops have now swapped legs with the flamethrower guy in the next collage, and Toy Story has given-up trying to look like his ancestors!

The chinatroops kneeling-down on the job while the Tim Mee and clones fight their way uphill through the rain, a mix of thick jungle undergrowth, barbed-wire and smashed palm-trunk bunkers.

Here the chinatroops have taken the legs off the stabbing guy, Toy Story have a bit of a redesign and - like the knee-mortar - an increase in firepower. I particularly like the 'baselette' on the raised foot of the larger Toy Story guy, having never seen the movies I don't know if they carry them around in the film; like magnetic puddles on each boot, but it certainly gets the point across on the figure.

Digressing for a moment: have you seen the magnetic liquid that was going round the Facebook as a viral a while ago, brilliant stuff, if you want to lose five minutes of your life on a frivolity, Google the Youtube!

Radio operator/field-telephone guy; another marbled one seeming to be the original, as they were never marked and some clones are very good, what with me not being an expert on them and Tim Mee or Processed Plastic producing dozens of runs in various colours it's hard to know what I've got here with some of them!

Mine clearer guy, the only one who looks to be doing any real work is the larger PVC one; he's got it on the sand, pushing, most of the rest are waving it fruitlessly around 8-10 inches off the ground, presumably waiting until the loss of their legs tells them they've found a mine?

To be fair the chinatroops are holding it about right, and the recent copy (bottom right) is also holding it near the sought metal. This is also the other pose not taken-up by Imperial in their recent act of piracy, but I think the PP re-issues do contain him.

Waving-forward guy becomes grenade thrower guy with both the 'recent purchase' and late HK clone to his right (the viewers left), making them about the only pose in this set that are close to the contemporary Marx/MPC figure sets, the other two make's figure however, are both holding Thompson SMG's.

Although even without the grenade added, this pose is closest to those other sets, strange really as the rest of the set is quite original, while the other two sets have several poses in common, as we saw when we looked at them.

Toy Story and chinatroops have similar legs, 'recent purchase' is looking like a Paratrooper again! Called Stabby-guy (by me) - the original is top left and has a very fine bayonet sculpted, most of the others are trying to spear their enemy with a sausage on the end of their weapon.

Common to most of the line-ups, but missing from the officer one I annotated the base shot of, I've also added text here to point out the HK marked versions, they are present in most of the line-ups as are the 'China' ones. Most of the copies though, in all poses, are unmarked.

Loose-ends: Two new poses given-up by the 'reborn' franchise; 1000-yard stare'y-guy and at last . . . advancing with rifle! Still no marching with slung weapon though? Also a close-up of the finer detail on Stabby-guy and the various treatments of the business-end of the mine detector, his headphones undergo similar change/transition through the various generations.

12 original poses, four new ones and with chinatroop conversions/Toy Story variations: 23'ish to collect . . . so far! "Timmaaay, Timmaaay, Timmaaaaaaaaaay"!

More here


Jan Ferris said...


Nice treatise on our, once upon a time, favorite toys. Oh, the hours spent playing with my toy soldiers. I should write a book on my adventures.

Hugh Walter said...

Or blog them Jan...there's more than one way to skin a cat!