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.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

T is for Tub Fun!

Courtesy of Brian Berke comes this set and the associated photographs, some taken of the sample he donated to the blog! You can't beat a good bath/beach toy - when you're six! But as we saw in Brian's own diorama of Operation Dynamo they can paint-up well and prove more useful than throwing at your younger sibling in a tantrum, when he tries singing over the wafted sounds of Bob Dylan Live at Blackbushe, blowing in the evening wind (see what I did there) across Bramshill Forrest and through the bathroom window!

Previously issued by Amloid (now holder of Crayola brand, still carrying beach toys and celebrating 100-years in the toy business!), these will be a copy of what were probably originally US desings, such is the nature of the toy business!

Common designs, they are based on earlier sets with more detailed sculpts, one of which - 'Pee Wee Boats' - is on Kent Sprecher's Giant page, I would disagree that Giant 'made' them, Giant issued them, as many other firms did, as Ja-Ru does, but they were (and still are) made in the plants of otherwise anonymous contract manufacturers in China or what were the 'New Territories'; these (and a dozen copies of them) were available in every sea-side kiosk in Europe when I was a toddler (and still are).

In recent years Ja-Ru have taken to getting their own logo placed/moulded-on to larger items (and most - but not all - packaging) this will likely be in response to China's decision to develop 'own' (or actuall!) brands (primarily to serve a domestic market) rather than exist purely as a contractor to the West and to establish Ja-Ru as a 'player' (or the player they have been for 55 years) rather than the [in the background] 'Jobber' they've been happy to operate as, thus far!

Two of the other designs from the Ja-Ru set, along with an earlier un-marked version of the yacht, and a carded set of smaller clone yachts from Pay Day Products (a Madeupbrand if ever I heard one!), we looked at a similar (but 20-odd years older) set from Ri-Toys quite a while ago.

The Ferry, again a common enough design, similar to the Lido dime-store model, and the barge I was chatting to Ed Berg about on his blog the other day. Basically an on-shore, inland or harbour ferry design with a roll-through facility to allow quick-turnaround, here loaded with rack-toy copies in soft ethylene of old hard styrene US dime-store mini-vehicles - more on them soon.

Yes - I am fully aware of the garbled block of 'text' pertaining to Ja-Ru (in answer to a totally unrelated comment about new production Nappies?) which have appeared after my recent mentions of them and apparently trying to pre-empt the A-Z entry being forthcoming; as have also appeared comments on Amscan, Ackerman and Hing Fat, also within days of them being mentioned here, most of them rubbish or containing a barrow-load of rubbish amongst the commoner 'facts'!

As there are only so many days in a month and this is Rack Toy Month, not 'Start a War with the Penn-State Toy Soldier Mafia (hereafter: PSTSM) Month; such things can wait, after all: Give a man enough rope and he'll hang himself! 'So called jogger' - Too funny! Somebody tell him what a jobber is, I hate the phrase - it's too similar to FoB'er, prefer 'importer' and only use it out of deference to the PSTSM!

The Ja-Ru A-Z entry is now here, and sensible feedback or additional links, product listings or empirical evidence will be happily accepted and credited/acknowledged, however made-up rubbish from secret ..."business chamber international system"…'s won't be! Although it's nice to know he's following the blog so closely!


Jan Ferris said...

The only boat worth its plastic in a tub was the motor cruiser. It was the only toy boat that did not get readily swamped.

Hugh Walter said...

Not worth their plastic, Jan? A crime against humanity! My favorite was a little MTB...I saw one bagged at the Birmingham NEC show, the dealer had a bunch so I though 'HK, I'll get the next one', never saw them again! I still have mine, but I painted it when I was a kid!