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.

Monday, July 11, 2016

News, Views, Etc . . . Odds and Sods!

So a few loose ends, contributions, questions and stuff which doesn't make for separate posts.

As a follow-up to the Figurines Historiques post the other week, it turned-out that I had one original in the 'various-flats-that-have-come-in-in-the-last-few-years' tub and with it being a bit late to add to the other post - here it is!

From one of the Napoleonic sets, not seen in the recent post, you can see how the different base variations we looked at the other day were produced as a result of blanking-out the original Mokarex base-mark.

Following-up from the Timee post, Brian Berke sent me this shot of his figures painted-up as UN troops (with a Crescent 'Berserker' for scale!) from an African country such as Nigeria. A first glance at the thumbnails in the eMail and I thought I was looking as some French figures I have, which look very similar with the camouflage!

Having looked at what may be the world's smallest Noah's Ark a couple-of-few years ago, I keep meaning to post this which I shot back in 2012. It's in the local shopping precinct (Farnborough 'Meads') and I assume there are others around the place [country]?

I was going to explain the sorry tale of the vile fucker who stole one of the monkeys, but I noticed the other day he is back (the missing monkey, not the thief), after an absence of several years, whether that was down to guilt, or another ark being taken out of service somewhere else I don’t know, but who'd steal a large, wooden, flat, charity monkey? The sort of selfish idiot who votes Brexit, I'll bet!

Common fault with many arks: gay lions, no lioness? Gay, fecund lions too, as they are still with us so they must have bred successfully! If you believe that sort of thing! Every other of the tens of thousands of gods in all of human history were fairy-tale fuckwits, but yours? Yours is the one true, but strangly intangible, pan-dimensional mega-being, huh?!

Some of you may have noticed that there is a six issue gap in the chronological PWxxx listings in the tag-list/index, from PW140-146 I think? This is due to the house-move back in 2011, and I have got together with Paul Morehead to do reviews of the four missing issues, and the two I found in the attic here.

I haven't decided whether to do six separate posts or one combined, and/or whether to do them here (as new posts) or schedule them to appear where they should be, but I will get on it. Also the new issue (PW163) will be reviewed soon and is out now - if you don't yet subscribe, or . . . shock horror . . . if you have let your subscription lapse!

This is a cast-iron door-stop of no particular age which I shot through the window of a charity-shop the other day, I couldn't tell you if it's a regimental uniform or a generic civilian piper, I suspect the latter, but as toy figure collectors - we should all have one!

Had an eMail last week from 'Martin' asking about this truck, as I said to him in my reply "Looking at the thumbnails, it looked like Jean or Manurba, but looking at the close-ups - especially the wheels - I'd say Hong Kong, but nicely done and uncommon..."

More than that I couldn't add, does anyone have anything else they can give to Martin? I am familiar with Tootsie Toys, but I don't know the whole range, could this be a copy of one of their larger-scale, simple die-casts; in the slush-cast style? The specificity of the 'FORD' on the front bumper (fender) and overall quality of the moulding suggest it's a copy of something a little above the usual HK fare of what looks to be mid-1970's-mid-'80's production?

Or is it something altogether 'better'? Timee; another US or European minor-make? I know as you scroll through Kent Sprecher's site, you keep seeing things like this pass up the screen! Although having the canvas tilt extend to the bed is a bit odd/naff?

We looked at these a while ago (twice - I think?), here's another one! East Asian, painted, plastic I think (it's painted all over in a thick lacquer), but they used to be wooden, ceramic or a pumice composition and this is toward the larger end of the size range for these miniatures, at about two inches.

This arrived the other day: a gift of a running man from Konrad Lesiak, for some help I tried to give him, ID'ing some figures, he came all the way from Poland - and he was duly liberated - none the worse for his journey.

I wonder how many evilBay bottom-feeders voted 'Out' the other day, not thinking what it would do for their European business and postal costs . . . at the risk of repeating myself - idiots.

Here he is 'out of the box' as it were, he's an old European 1950's/60's premium issued by several companies in various colours and is one of a set of sports figures in a fully-round style quite reminiscent of the old WHW military sets. The figure below, which I've cropped from a larger .png image, is painted by Konrad . . . would that be the Polish team-colours Konrad?

I don't know who came first, but they seem to be linked to Unimel (gold figures), Van Houten (orange), Café Martin (gold'ish? Bronze?) and Codec in this grey/gunmetal. The Codec ones would seem to be copies as the Van Houten ones are definitely better detailed sculpts; this is of no surprise - as we saw - their World Dolls were also plagiarist.

Konrad is also looking for more information on these, I know they were in a 'toob' a few years ago as I remember looking at them and thinking nice touch with the fire-pole, but I didn't collect larger scales at the time so let them go, which puts them in the 1990's/2000's.

They are not Arco, Fishel, Imperial or Jaru, nor are they Hunson (coming soon!) and are too late for Blue Box, Lucky (who copied Mecanno/Dinky anyway) or any of the usual earlier suspects, but they will have been associated with at least one branding, probably several, can anyone help Konrad? . . . DFC? Funtastic? Larami? Titan?

Finally - as I've mentioned Arks and mid-period HK stuff above - Adrian Little (Mercator Trading) let me photograph this a while ago; it's a nice 'unknown animal' identifier from 1985 (when it was retailing for 50p!), and you may be more familiar with AJP from their rip-offs of Blue Box and Marx arks and 'Home Farm' sets, often sold through advertisements in Sunday supplements, TV listings mag's and women's 'lifestyle' publications.

I reckon that circus lion-tamer has A) failed to tame his lions and B) got about 30-seconds to live, and he knows it . . .and who the hell put a tiger in there; lions and tigers go together like cobras and mongooses! The same person who would introduce a zebra to a giant bobcat, or let a lion talk to a gorilla with the cage-door open . . . no doubt.


Anonymous said...

I can not identify the firefighters brand but the reference to fire-pole is incorrect. The figure on the left is holding a hook. Some fire companies in the US are referred to as Hook and Ladder Companies. While the appliance would have a pump it wouldn't have an extending ladder or 'escape' as in the UK. The hook is used to pull down ceiling tiles from dropped ceilings as fire and smoke travel horizontally in the space between them and the real ceiling. (Brian)

Hugh Walter said...

Cheers Brian...I didn't know what it was called, the other guy seems to have a long-handled jemmy of some kind? For priseing stuff up?