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, July 22, 2016

T is for Tresco's 'Triffic, Tube-operated Tepid-Tub Toys, or . . .

. . . S is for Suck-it-up You Suckers and Blow-off!

Brian Berke's name keeps cropping-up at the moment, but that's because he keeps sending me brilliant images and examples to work from. Today's is a case in point . . . he sent three images of his divers, and I wrote back saying I'd dig out what I have here to 'fill-out' the post (knowing I had a submarine), well, turned out one of my Hong Kong divers was different, and I had two slightly different 'subs', in addition I found a couple of old feeBay images in the archive, I wouldn't usually use, but as the story is told by the stuff already in the folder, I've added them for research purposes and completeness.

If you didn't get one of these from your parents - and I'm talking to anyone between the ages of nought and about seventy here, as they are still available - you probably have a case against 'mum and dad' for mental-cruelty, deprivation and abuse of position as parents in order to prevent you obtaining your full human right to an unencumbered childhood!

Brian's two divers; on the left a Hong Kong copy (both British - see comments), and on the right a Tresco original from the 1960's with its box to the left of them both. My memories of these were that you had to really blow to get him to rise, and really suck to get him to dive, the result being that you got itchy ears . . . and the odd mouthful of soapy-water!

Brian's Crescent 'berserker' giving us a sense of scale, they are about 75/80mm depending on the origin. Below is an evilBay image of the box I remember from the 1970's, we definitely had these as 'consolation' prizes at someone else's Birthday party.

Birthday parties were a win-win when I was a kid, you took an Airfix kit - he probably already had and was only going to ruin with too-much tube-glue and gloss bottle green paint - which your parents had paid for and you left with a bath toy, a Marx six-inch Indian, a balloon and a bag of sweets or a giant-lollypop . . . Bargain!

I have a Tresco (on the right) and a Hong Kong figure that has been upgraded from the traditional deep-sea diver, with a modern pressurised helmet and scuba tanks . . . if you have scuba tanks you don't need a line to the surface do you? Clearly that didn't occur to the sculptor!

There was also a Submarine, again originally made by Tresco, and much copied by HK makers, I have definitely seen this recently somewhere, I tried The Works but it wasn't there, I'm sure Google/eBay/Amazon will provide, if you have youngsters of your own and don't want to be sued!

If you got too much water in them, they would eventually split, as the weight was a ferrous lump of cast-iron and flaked to twice its size once the rust had got a hold. The other feeBay image shows the Tresco box. The original has finer-etched details, but is otherwise no different to the clones, as the clones were kept (and priced) with the pocket money novelties, it's easy to see where all our toy companies went . . . to the knackers' yard . . . or should that be Kowloon Knockers' yard!

Everybody had one of these . . . didn't they?

Thanks to Brian for all his help and contributions.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Hugh. The first picture shows two divers. The left one dates from the 1950's with it's gray air hose, the one with the red air hose came in the green box around 1970. They are both Made in Britain.

Hugh Walter said...

Sorry Brian...I'll tweak the post!