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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.

Friday, March 10, 2017

L is for Liberty . . . Toy Soldiers


The last of this mini-season on the AWI, and we return to the figures for the forth time in less than a year (I said that yesterday, but it's a bit neat, as I've added to the 'whole' each time!), and again we have Bill Nevins to thank for the imagery.

One of the things that were missing from the posts last year was the Shell bag with header, and here we have the evil local representative of the hated occupier (surly that should be 'legitimate government'? Ed.), one; Lt General Earl Cornwallis! From both sides - of the bag; he never 'crossed the floor'!

Close-ups of both sides of the header, the mounted 'officers' become 'lieutenants' in the MO76 retail, carded-issue, but are otherwise indistinguishable from Washington and Cornwallis as far as the figures go; Paul Revere gets a grey jacket and non-weapon hands.

You can produce regular cavalry by swapping their gold facings for the white of the infantry, indeed, once you've picked a few of these up, including the later clearance and copies, you can swap various facing with various jackets to make specific regiments or imagiments - new word!

"What unit are you with soldier?"

"1st-15th Imagiment Sah - Foot & Mouth!"

Some forts get a decent 'starter set' of figures - being at least one each of all figure sculpts but no Paul Revere nor Hessian/French colour-ways. The above seems to have an extra marching Bluecoat and missing marching Redcoat, but a typo on the white boxes seems to be the '1 Standing Bluecoat' - all the sets I've seen in pristine condition have two.

Compare with this old screen-cap of an ebay lot, the marching Brit's marched-off again (well - they left him in  a French fort!) but the rest are 'right'. This tray is to be found in the white printed '76 fort boxes and [presumably] the Jefferson Sales Corporation sets, but Bill says they (the figures) don't come in the plain brown 1776-coded set (with hard plastic fort), which rather mucks-up some of my musings on the time-lines of the sets over the last two days, but without one of the boxes it's still be to better sorted.

At an RRP of $1.49, the Shell fort was too cheap (even in the early '70's) to have the figures and doesn't suggest it has them on the above card, so it looks like the soft plastic forts were first made available in a box yet to be rediscovered, but similar to the 1975 box, they then carried over into the white boxes (with figure tray), then the hard plastic fort appeared as the 1776-coded box (no figures) the quality being offset against the price of a big ticket item, the soft plastic forts being retained for unit-cheapness made-up by/with the added play-value of the figures.

Like Airfix selling you just a hard-plastic fort in a box, or a full battle set with figures and a soft plastic version of the fort - which they did for a while and at around the same time - early 1970's? By 1975 all Airfix forts were hard plastic as all Innovative ones seem to have been in the end?

The pamphlet (issued with some retail cards but all forts it seems) we looked at the other day is © 1972, 1973, 1975, and clearly shows the grey, hard plastic fort with the metallic charcoal accessories, while the Shell card seems to be hinting at the gold soft-plastic fort. And do earlier pamphlets have less dates on the front cover?

They seem - in fact - to have run alongside each other for a while, the soft plastic as Shell and the code-101 Revolutionary Fort box (although its instructions were 'Liberty'!) as a stand-alone play-set after the '72 premiums, and before the '75 retail figure-cards? Then with the hard plastic code-1776 full Fort Liberty as a budget 'accessory' to the '75 retail issue.

At some point, the pinky-grey soft plastic fort was issued as an 'off' batch, possibly mid-term, ending up in some white (code 101) boxes and some plain (code 1776) boxes, before the hard plastic - Bill is sure his 'soft grey' is in a code-1776 box too? The hard-plastic eventually replacing the soft in both box types, but only for the . . .

. . . final sighting; this was the Jefferson Sales issue, hard-plastic with the (a?) figure tray but with no mention of 1776, either as a code or as a bicentenary! It does however have the MO76 flyer, Fort Liberty title and MO76 fort instruction-sheet - a right old curate's egg!

More digging is needed, we need to find an original Shell carton (from '72) with a date and code and contents to settle this!


Listing
Shell Petroleum 'Liberty Toy Soldiers'
Premiums (bagged with header-card, all sets © 1972 - bases fitted to figures)
Unit 1 - Kneeling Bluecoat, Standing Redcoat
Unit 2 - Kneeling Redcoat, Standing Bluecoat
Unit 3 - Marching Bluecoat, Marching Redcoat
Unit 4 - American Officer on Horseback
Unit 5 - British Officer on Horseback
Unit 6 - Standing Frenchman, Kneeling Hessian
Unit 7 - Indian Scout, Standing Minuteman
Unit 8 - Kneeling Minuteman, Molly Pitcher
Unit 9 - George Washington on horseback
Unit 10 - Cornwallis on Horseback
Unit 11 - Paul Revere on Horseback
Unit 12 - Cannon
Purchasable Accessory
? - Fort Liberty (© 1972 (?) carton unknown, with moving gates, jail, British and American flags and flag-pole, soft plastic only - no figures)

Interim Play-set
101 - Men of '76 Revolutionary Fort (© 1973 - white carton, with moving gates, jail, British and American flags and flag-pole, soft or hard plastic - includes below-listed figures:)
Muster List (bases fitted to figures)
1 George Washington
1 Standing Bluecoat [seems to be a typo printed on all boxes, actually: x2 are present]
2 Kneeling Bluecoats
1 Marching Bluecoat (Afro-American features)
1 Standing Minuteman
1 Kneeling Minuteman
2 Cannons
1 Cornwallis
2 Standing Redcoats
2 Kneeling Redcoats
1 Marching Redcoat
2 Indians
1 Molly Pitcher
1 Fort

Innovative Promotions 'Men of '76' (blister cards, all sets © 1975 - all bases separate)
501 - Set No 1
Muster List
1 George Washington
1 White Horse
1 Standing Minuteman
1 Standing Bluecoat
3 Stands

502 - Set No 2
Muster List
1 Cornwallis
1 Black Horse
1 Field Cannon
1 Marching Redcoat/Cannoneer
2 Stands

503 - Set No 3
Muster List
1 Paul Revere
1 Brown Horse
1 Indian Scout
1 Kneeling Redcoat
3 Stands

504 - Set No 4
Muster List
1 Field Cannon
1 Molly Pitcher
1 Kneeling Minuteman
2 Stands

505 - Set No 5
Muster List
1 American Lieutenant
1 Brown Horse
1 Kneeling Bluecoat
1 Kneeling Redcoat
3 Stands

506 - Set No 6
Muster List
1 American Trooper (Afro-American)
1 Field Cannon
1 Standing Redcoat
2 Stands

507 - Set No 7
Muster List
1 British Lieutenant
1 Brown Horse
1 Kneeling Hessian
1 Standing Frenchman
3 Stands

508 - Set No 8
Muster List
1 Standing Redcoat
1 Kneeling Redcoat
1 Indian Scout
1 Standing Bluecoat
1 Kneeling Bluecoat
5 Bases

509 - Set No 9
Muster List (not necessarily in correct order)
1 Standing Minutemen
1 Indian Scout
1 Kneeling Hessian
1 Standing Frenchman
4 Bases

510 - Set No 10
Muster List
1 Aaron Burr
1 Field Cannon
1 Standing Bluecoat (Afro-American features)
2 Stands

Accessory Fort
1776 - Men of '76 Revolutionary Fort (© 1975 - plain carton, with moving gates, jail, British and American flags and flag-pole, hard plastic only - no figures)

Jefferson Sales Corporation (© unknown - full-colour, foil-laminate carton, with moving gates, jail, British and American flags and flag-pole, hard plastic only - no figures)
? - Fort Liberty
Contents (to be confirmed, assumed the same as Innovative)
1 George Washington
1 Standing Bluecoat [typo printed on all Innovative boxes, actually: x2 should be present]
2 Kneeling Bluecoats
1 Marching Bluecoat (Afro-American features)
1 Standing Minuteman
1 Kneeling Minuteman
2 Cannons
1 Cornwallis
2 Standing Redcoats
2 Kneeling Redcoats
1 Marching Redcoat
2 Indians
1 Molly Pitcher
1 Fort

Generics (clearance, blister-cards)
? - Various contents

Star Toys - S For Star (blister-cards, Timpo-style bases)
606 - Redcoat Soldiers (1x foot, 1x mounted, 1x gun in pieces, horse is Timpo-copy)
607 - Bluecoat Soldiers (1x foot, 1x mounted, 1x gun in pieces, horse is Timpo-copy)

Sub-Piracies (blister-cards, Timpo-style bases)
? - Various contents

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