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.

Monday, August 29, 2016

T is for Tyrannotoy!

You couldn't have a Rack Toy Month without some 'Chinasaurs', it would be like having a Summer Pudding Month without strawberries or a Marquis de' Sade Month without two greased piglets and a bucket of baby-oil!

These are larger JPW/Hunson chinasaurs, four to a pack and looking to be a softish PCV vinyl-rubber, given a basic overspray in one colour (two, for the Stegosaurus) with the eyes dibbed-in, these are quintessential chinasaurs, available off-the -rack, Stateside, now!

Similar paint-job, similar material, but much smaller, these were bought over here a few weeks ago for, err . . . well . . . it says - I thought they were a Pound - Doh! Amscan (FoB'er) organised for Riethmüller (importer/party wholesaler), and they look exactly like the minisaurs given away with dinosaur themed comics/kid's magazines, which they have probably also been used for somewhere?

Medium-sized monochromatics from MTC and Bely, The Bely ones  (imported by AAI) look like old copies of copies of US 1960/70's rack toy dinosaurs or cereal premiums, as do the ones on the smaller MTC card, but the ones on the larger MTC card look to be newer, better sculpts. They all look to be polyethylene, but the left-hand set could be one of the newer, softer materials? Anyone able to tell us?

Alternate packing for MTC and more poses from that better set, even with higher resolution it's hard to judge the material.

These were sold by Henbrant about four or five years ago, now: I believe - to be found in Tobar packaging, they are made of the same material as those retro-looking Robots we saw on the Blog a while ago; five poses in a very soft, squidgy, silicon-rubber and four metallic colours best described as gold, bronze, petrol and copper-verdigris.

Interesting only because the other day someone was saying Ja-Ru always mark their packs; they don't and he makes stuff up as he goes along! The Greenbrier/DTSC importer combination being common to Ja-Ru (I think this is the third we've seen recently?), but Ja-Ru being a FoB-operator doesn't always mark the packs, they provide whatever pack graphics whichever clients want in whereany of the countries they deal with.

If Ja-Ru mark in combination with an/other brand/s or importer/s it's because the packs are either a joint contract (managed by Ja-Ru) or a Ja-Ru own-commission/issue over-printed or stickered after being jobbed-on to a client. Ja-Ru also sell-through themselves and anonymise product, so if someone tells you "...their products and pack had been always branded as made by (JA RU)"; tell them they're making it up as they go along.

Again, these have had a quick pass with the airbrush by way of decoration. They look similar to the better MTC sculpts, but have striated or folded surfaces instead of the former's spotted or bobbled skins. If you open this and the forth image in two new tabs and flick between the two you'll see what I mean.

Another Ja-Ru, this one marked, but the same sets can be be found only marked with Toy Industry Association Inc. of Hong Kong or with both brand-marks. It looks like these are a re-issue of old hollow blow-moulds from the 1970's, but the smaller ones may be solid?

If you look at the accessories you'll see the log-props and rock-pile (also blow-moulded) are from the AJP Noah's Ark boxed-sets copied from Marx via Blue Box (also from the '70's), it might be that AJP turns out to be an abbreviation for Another Ja-Ru Product or something! Could just as easily be Jetta though (long-standing HK contract manufacturer) so don't quote me - I try not to make it up as I go along!

What's come-in vis-à-vis loose examples, via mixed/job-lots in the last four years (we've looked at various sets as they came), not many; I have a load more in storage, and they are similarly bagged with post-it note 'notes' until ID'd from a branded set.

Before 'Chinasaurs' there were no Hongkongasaurs! But plenty of dinosaurs from Hong Kong! Brush-painted, unpainted or air-brushed, polyethylene, silicon or PVC, there are many more bags like these in the storage unit, and now they're all chinasaurs!

Perhaps 'Hongkosaurs', just to differentiate; it doesn't grate off the tongue? Now; I'd like to draw your attention to the bottom-left HK bag . . .

. . . as I had the Dimetrodon when I was a kid, I think it was a Christmas stocking thing one morning of the 25th December, late '60's/early '70's, although sometimes we were so excited I think we might have woken and started emptying ours while it was still the 24th for grown-ups!

I was really taken with it, and had it for years, but I had ripped down the membranes between the spines, it's almost impossible to stop yourself as they are really tactile; and in the end it lost - one-by-one - all the spines and, looking like a fat lizard, was consigned to either the bin or the church-fête as I was heading for the teen years and scaling-back on the toys.

Anyway, this one's come in, in the last few years, and I can’t tell him apart from the memories of mine (the previous owner has also torn the membranes between all the spines!), along with a matching kurthunkersaurus (Ankylosurus?) from the same silicon-rubber set.

In the background is another Dimetrodon (my favourite dinosaur when young), but he's ethylene and marked with his name and a full 'Made in Hong Kong' against the small blocked Hong Kong of species-less rubbersaurs.

That's enough somethingsaurs, even for Rack Toy Month's Chinasaur Day!

Many thanks to Brian Berke for all the bagged examples bar the Amscan one.

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