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.

Monday, March 6, 2017

S is for Spirit of '76 Marches On! Against Great Odds?

Well, I was looking for the baseless 40mm versions of the Spirit of '76 as flagged-up by Chris Goddard in his article for Plastic Warrior magazine (issue 153; pp.19), it’s a search I do occasionally when I'm feeling rich (spare fiver!), when I found these a couple of weeks ago with a $7-something BIN and three watchers! You can guess the rest 'cos I'm the one photographing them!

Aren't they lovely! Before and after cleaning and before I got the black off the boy's nose and straightened the drum-sticks. Isn't it typical - they were beautifully packed and you could see from the photographs on feeBay they were not damaged, yet USFail, Royal Fail and/or Parcel Farce managed to crush both drum-sticks, despite a mountain of bubble-wrap! I gave good feedback as it wasn't the seller's fault in any way!

It was nearly a year ago that Brian sent the Award International set to the Blog, and here they are again with their diminutive clones . . . clones neatly-spliced with a dwarf's DNA though! I also took an Airfix comparison shot for that Blog as it was clear they weren't 'any-old' cake decorations . . .

. . . they are in fact the same maker (in Hong Kong) as the old Airfix piracy Redcoats - actually cross-painted Bluecoats!

Now, I may be no particular fan of terrorist insurgencies (did you hear that collective murmur of WTF from the PSTSM?), especially when it involves spilling tea, but even I can see there's something not quite right about expecting two old guys and a small-boy, armed with three musical instruments and a flag to march across a birthday cake (other puddings/desserts are available for decoration) to certain death while whistling whatever-came-before-Dixie!

It 'ain't right, I tells ya!

However, as far as I know these 40mm Spirit of '76 figures were never available in the UK, yet the Redcoats (based on Airfix'sWashinton's Army - still needs text!) seem to be freely available over here, usually as a set of 7 - with the 7th sometimes glued to his horse - or as an 8-piece set.

Now, here's the thing . . . assuming that they are neither that rare, we are probably looking at Culpitts handling the UK invasion, while someone like Wilton was distributing the spirited fifes & drums of the tea-party wreakers.

Here's a 'What if?';

What if Wilton (or someone similar) ordered a bunch of figures for the [then] upcoming celebration of the bicentenary of the success of said terrorist insurgency, say from a dodgy-looking bloke down the mainly toy-producing industrial estate alongside Port Tain Sang, at the end of the really long, really wide (with lots of hotels and restaurants - says Google) Grainville Road [don't look for any of this on Google Earth, you'll be wasting your time, it's only known to Erwin Sell and Paul Stadinger!].

And suppose the dodgy-looking bloke said "Yes, no problem, 20,000 units American Revolutionary Soldiers like these (opened hand to reveal Airfix Washington's Army figures given him by Wilton's rep's shipper's buyer), but twice size yes? And 20,000 units of men in painting (waving magazine-cutting of Archibald Willard's famous doodle with other hand), two months, real good, no problem".

Three months later, a tramp-steamer (this was the '70's!) arrived in the US (having left Kowloon harbour some weeks earlier) loaded with this sure-fire patriotic money-maker of cake decorating joy.

The cartons were shipped to Wilton (or whoever), and are opened . . . "What the Effing-mother-of-C?!!?" said [yelled] the Sales & Marketing guy (they always cuss in the movies - maybe I'm a closet Sales & Marketing guy?); "Get me another box!", he barked; it too was opened "No! They're all Effing red too - Godammit! What the Eff are we gonna' do now; they were CoD not FoB?

Now cake-men - like toy-men - probably have networks, and just suppose someone in the office said "What about PJ [Culpitt] over in Ingerland (they didn't call it Ookay then), he owes us a favour after he dumped all those dumb soccer players on us for Mexico" [or something improbable like that!], a phone call was made, a deal was struck and Britain got the Redcoats, while the American market kept the Spirit of '76 figures as a nice stand-alone vignette;  sans armed-support?

Only a 'what if?'!

But they were definitely from the same maker (image stopped right down to be readable; translucent white is a bugger to macro!), and I recon they were designed to be together, but unless there are Bluecoats somewhere - and I've never seen them - it's not right to face them off . . . on a cake!

Are the Redcoats readily available in the US does anyone know, or do US collectors scan UK evilBay for them? Have you seen Bluecoats? Did you see the Sprit of'76 figures in UK bakers at the time?

A couple more comparison shots while I was in the mood! Did the Americans win the war by drumming us to death? No, but they drummed us out! Boom-boom! I wonder if those colonists ever dreamed what America would become . . . ?

You can see that the small-boy will make a decent adult for 30mm figures, here Marksmen/Rado-Ri-Toys, but SAE or Spencer Smith AWI would also benefit from his attendance at muster.

Still looking for the baseless set though! Maybe next year . . .

I seem to recall more reverence when I posted the Award set last year, it all depends what mood you're in when you sit down to type, anyone offended by any of the above - for any reason; should go to their doctor tomorrow and ask for a sense of humour - except the PSTSM; you can stay offended! More, less irreverent AWI tomorrow . . .


Anonymous said...

Check your email. I sent pix of the baseless trio.

Hugh Walter said...

Found them Bill, brilliant! The mini-season is stretching into a 'season' - Brian sent me some lovely wagons as well today!