Bill Nevins sent these to the Blog a couple of weeks ago, but they were a bit blurry, and then, last week he sent them again and they're now better than the shots I'm taking at the moment! They are also very interesting and raise a few points building-on what's gone before as Tatra have revealed themselves here at Smallscaleworld.
Well: what colour would you call it?!! I know Bill refers to them as creamy, and they're not really dark enough for full-on 'peach', but it's not pink, definitely not pink! They seem to be closer to the footballer's Tatra had on their website, which we've looked at before; it raises the tantalising prospect of them turning-up in apple green, as those footballers did?
Bill pointed out that a lot of the finer detail is miss-moulded and wondered if that was a clue to anything, on one level I don't think so as the delicate bits were often a bit poor with these figures, and while most of the flags in the first image are short, this one (left) is one of the best I've ever seen, so it is - at it always was - a bit of a lottery! However see the note on the Roman at the end.
Back when they were Rubenstein/Kellogg's, there was a common belief that Rubenstein issued them in red, white and blue, and while the red and blue remain findable, it's clear the white are harder to come-by, although at least two lots have turned-up in the interim.
The brown someone reported on the old post may be miss-remembered darker gold/bronze or the paler brown/fawn that Tatra also showed on their Blog as Magic Roundabout figurines? Does anyone have 'brown' ones to share, or white, or any other colour to add to the known red, dark red, ultramarine, silver, gold, bronze and now peachy-cream?
Bill's full line-up bar the two above and below, it's not a full set of 16, but has within it figures from both 'sets' of eight, so we can probably safely assume that all 16 got a shot in peachy-cream! Also while the height difference in the Cavalry shot above seems to be due to photo-angle; looking at some of these (FFL and Russian) there do seem to be differences, so possibly a set of duplicate moulds/cavities for faster production?
Bill got them from a source in Wales, quite a way away from Tatra's plant in Stevenage, Hertfordshire (North of London), in bags of the quantities seen above with the 7th Cavalryman; my thoughts - for what they are worth - are that they may have been ice-cream premiums or giveaways?
Back in the '70's the domestic sea-side tourist market was stronger than it seems today, both with day-trippers and week/fortnight holidaymakers, and a feature of Britain's sea-side towns and beaches were the various (often rival) ice cream-vans with their little jingle-horns; "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice-cream!" (they didn't say!), and I'm sure some of those smaller companies are responsible for the numbers of 'euro' premiums (Tito, Olà, et al.) available over here, even before feeBay starting shifting everything, everywhere!
Another interesting aspect of Bill's sample is that both the peach and blue versions of the 'Mexican Bandit' figures are mere 'Mexican', having lost their status as banditos! You can clearly see where on the surface of the mould a groove has been routed over the edge of the base where 'BANDIT' was extant, leaving a raised 'worm' of excess (or 'extra'!) plastic where the second-half of the moniker used to sit. It seems that figures on French feebleBay are usually sans 'BANDIT' as are those of South America.
I did mention the name changes back when I first Blogged them (and they were still Kellogg's/Rubenstein!), but it seemed at the time (and in plotting the reports of the foreign commentators) that the change took place when the moulds went 'walkabout', but now we know they were still here for Tatra to sell a few years ago, and looking at these - it's clear the change took place here in the UK.
Returning to the question of poor moulding or damage on some of the peach figures; a quick study of the Roman's shield here shows a major shrinkage split, it might suggest that these were 'seconds' or rejects of some kind, but not rejected enough for trashing at the time? Maybe they were earmarked for recycling, or a charity?
Remember, also, we learnt about Tatra from the son of someone who used to give the 'spares' away to him and his school-mates, while the chap I corresponded with at the time of the Tatra 'reveal' said " We moulded these in the 70’s I think for Kellogg's and I remember selling them in school to my mates in the playground.", so maybe these were taken by/given to a member of staff and then forgotten about in a move to Wales?
However they came to be in Wales, a real treat for the Blog, adding more knowledge (and new mysteries!) to the Tatra canon - many thanks Bill.