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.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

B is for Buck Bucks Ageing . . .

. . . by 400 years and finds a world pretty-much unchanged, but with very stupid robots and the odd spaceship! I didn't think much of the TV series back in the 1980's and the toys which sat on its coat-tails weren't much better, this one being TSR's effort: Buck Rogers: Battle for the 25th Century.

Also a bit of a box-ticker as it's got a big section in/on Boardgamegeek and has been Blogged elsewhere/elsewhen. It's a funny one for another reason; I have the whole set which when I was preparing a few board-game articles for One Inch Warrior (link below) years ago I realised was missing one of the character figures.

At a show in Birmingham (NEC) some chap had a set's-worth of figures in a tub for about 50p per figure, this was about 6/8 years ago, so I picked the gold character figures out, he too only had five, but I thought "Well, chances are!" only to find that actually Murphy dictates that sod's law trumps chances-are, and the missing figure was the same (it's one of the two women but as they are all in storage I can't report which one).

At probably the last Car Boot Sale I attended, also about 6 years ago, I got four in a bag of game pieces, still with the same missing figure, as one of the two absentees! Some time ago, maybe a couple of Plastic Warrior shows ago I picked up another five with one female missing but still didn't know which one, and with the other growing pile in storage, still couldn't blog the whole set!

Then last weekend Gareth brought me a small bag of stuff among which were the full set: 'Good things come to those who wait'! So I can now Blog them, but all the player characters, killer satellites and micro-rocket ships are still in storage, so you win's some you lose some . . . anyway I had fun taking the pictures!

So these are the six character figures (I think the names are with the right piece) each in charge of an army of a different colour in a game with a Risk-type look (the mechanism however, is much more convoluted), the first thing that become clear is that there are two sizes and what looks to be three sculptors across the set (including the two 'army' figures) and I believe there is a naughty reason for this . . .

. . . although I can't pin them down (yet), several of them look familiar, and I suspect they are all lifted from metal sets of the era (the game was issued in 1988), there were tons of companies around '78/82-onwards advertising regularly in the modelling press with this sort of stuff, and I think that's where they come from?

The smaller-scale hooded-girl on the left (Adarla?) for instance, looks very familiar as a role-play 'sneak thief', the equally small guy (Killer Kane?) on the other end of the line-up also seems familiar, while the guy next to him with the 'aytees' jumpsuit and notebook (Doc Huer, supposedly an older man?) looks likely to be based on the Guildford, Surrey dwelling alien - Ford Prefect - from the BBC's TV rendition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? Again I seem to remember him from a Hitchhiker's set (not the Denizen Miniatures set) announced in Military Modelling's On Parade or G2?

The 'army builder' figures, I've only got the one big one here, but it's all you need for a post like this!

Again a massive difference in size and sculpting style, with the smaller one looking like he's been taken from a lead/whitemetal, post-apocalypse, Sci-Fi, war-games, street-gang, while the larger one looks like he's from a 28mm Role Play range, and possibly based on some cartoon figures from Heavy Metal, the graphic novel magazine, I also remember a set of space warriors called 'Doomguards' who looked a bit like this figure, is he a Drilliet or Mobius character?
If you followed the BBG link though, you'll know he's meant to be bigger...genetics!

The only contemporary plastics were the Matchbox Adventure 2000 figures (ironically copied by HG Games in their equally poor Buck Rogers set), one of whom has the same hussar-jacket buttoning (which has a special name I know, but: no Internet at home, library in storage!) as one of the Buck Rogers figures, they (the Matchbox) were also a bit bigger yet.

Although, giving it a moment's thought - as well as possible connections with the TV series and maybe lead figures, along with the Matchbox design similarities it must be said; both the main TV characters also bear more than a passing resemblance to the equivalent figures in the Airfix 54mm set, also contemporary with both the TSR and Matchbox issues, and containing other figures which paid homage more to both Dr. Who characters and members of Blakes 7's motley crew.

Playing on the plains of Planet Bhoringcova! Daleks with mind-slaves (why not - Cybermen seem to have them these days!) maneuver into attack formation, a mixed group of older (but much better) Daleks and Cybermen surround a last stand of the characters, and . . . "Can you tell me where I am . . . and when, please?"

Sometimes in Picasa you highlight say, two Merit shots, you want to collage, then, accidentally - or absentmindedly - hit the collage tool for the set of photo's in the folder above - the result was so abstract that I thought it suitable to subject you to!

I realised afterwards that the gold-backed character line-up has the look of Nigella Fáràgê (rymes with c**t) meeting The Trumpton (war with Iran now odds-on!) in that wholly overblown and tasteless vestibule last week!

A man who decorates his corporate HQ like a set on Dr. Who, circa 1983 has just been elected President of Oohessay, but then, I guess he has kept his hair-style from 1983! Mullets and war, with sexism and rusty pick-up trucks, there's your end-of-year predictions for what to look forward to in 2017, from the oracle at Waltii, get that tinned food in now.

If any of the metal guys recognise the sculpts let the rest of us know, if not I'll do a little digging myself in a couple of weeks (I happen to know I have four days of unlimited free Internet coming-up - whoohoo!) and see what I can come up with!

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