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.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

News, Views Etc . . . S is for Seasonal Stuff


Part two-of-two looks at the Easter half-term stuff, a few recent minor purchases and a couple of other bits.

Movies
Films likely to have an effect on toy production, coming to a cinema near you in the next few weeks (or days) include a Smurfs cartoon; The Lost Village, a live action Power Rangers movie and (fancy that - with all the other news stories surrounding the brand recently?) a Pepper Pig feature 'My First Cinema Experience' is in cinemas from the 7th April; a hour's collection of 5-minute cartoons stitched together with sing-along sections. For older kids the Japanese manga-made-flesh Ghost in the Shell looks likely to produce merchandise - if it takes off?


Easter Events in the UK
Kew Gardens are running a Moomin Adventures 'Fun for all the family' thing from the 1st to the 17th April.

Moomins are also to be found staring in the Southbank Centre's Adventures in Moominland, now extended to August 2017

Also on London's South Bank is an exhibition run by artofthebrick on DC Superheroes . . . modelled in Lego.

The Acton Depot Museum of Transport for London (TfL) are having a double open day on April 22nd/23rd with rides on a live-steam garden railway.

Sticking with railways; the Epping Ongar Railway have an egg hunt on their full-size, steam line with Bertie Bunny putting in an appearance!

Kenwood House (Hampstead Heath) are also running an EasterEgg Hunt, with kings, Butlers and Roman Centurions helping kids solve the clues.

While the Wetlands Centre in Barnes have an Easter Giant Duck Hunt, staring Dusty Duck - also 1st-17th April, with an additional Celebrity Dusty Duck Trail from 1st April until the 21st May; Michaela Strachan seems to be involved too, so I may go myself!

Further afield Willows Activity Farm in Hertfordshire (St Albans) are running an Easter Eggstravaganza event from 1st-17th with a Peter Rabbit theme.

Other egg-hunts are being held at London Bridge (Saturday) and in Battersea Park

Museums
Rachel Whitread (the first female Turner Prize winner back in 1993) has revealed a permanent exhibition called 'Place (Village)' in the V&A's Museum of Childhood. In situ since the 25th march, it consists of 150+ vintage doll's houses, all lit from within, but empty "...evoking haunting memories and melancholy", arranged on a bank of shelving like a hill-side village.

Notting Hill's Museum of Brands (Ladbrooke Grove) is also holding an egg hunt over the half term holiday.

The Tower of London is also gearing-up for an event; the 'Go Medieval at the Tower' festival, which will be running over the bank-holiday weekend - 29th April/1st May - with knights sword fighting, archery with crossbows and other attractions recreating the world of warfare from 1445.

The National Army Museum in Chelsea (the old Duke of York's barracks) is re-opening after a three-year refurbishment/upgrade.

Recent Minor Purchases

Charity Shops

This was a 50p bag in a charity shop in Basingrad the other week, nothing exceptional and we've looked at the Cherilea chickens already, but a full set of 4 Corgi calves and rather tatty B&S (Barratt & Sons) giraffe were worth 50p - each!

The yellow camel is another of those tinny, dense, propylene-like versions we looked at when I did the premium animals (seven or eight years ago?) so there are definitely at least four origins of them including the US originals. The green one is a Kellogg's bog-standard one and by comparing the forelimbs it's easy to see that the harder ones are copies, not the same moulds being re-used.

Another Torres bull - joined by Matchbox bulls and Blue Box mini-cattle - I have a whole stadium of them now! The set of three HK rabbits have good paint and the Britains medieval charger must be worth another 50p? As - indeed - should be the Timpo farm's heavy-horse.

The two vinyl bears are modern 'CHINA' marked in the same vein as the Henbrandt we've been looking at. The goat's nice but the two HK sheep look to contain bee's DNA! The rest's mostly damaged shrapnel, or common/HK shite, but for 50p you can't fault it!

These were from the Animal Charity shop also in Basingrad a couple of months ago now; the smiley is also a bendy toy (yes! Another one!), but he's so small he's a bit stiff and I could only bend him forward a bit and slightly move his arms up.

The Bear's resin, but more anthropomorphic that the 'teddy' designs of the other resin bears we looked at last year, so she will go with similar stuff in storage eventually, unless I can put a brand to her.

Capsule Toys

As we're looking at smiley's; these blobs were 20p 'gum-ball' capsules from a corner shop on Friday last, same machine but different eggs/packages, the pale one with the cruder face being branded to CBG Bv. (Brabo) of the Netherlands, the other one to FIAM of Turin, Italy. I'm sure they both come from the same Chinese factory, just different contracts/different batches, I'm equally sure they also conform to the previous versions seen here at Smallscaleworld, I'll try not to test them to destruction!

What also set these two apart from the other 2 or 3 we've looked at in the past few years and which links them together, is that while carrying different branding, they have both been in the machine for so long they have 'stuck like that', failing to spring back to their original shape as the others did when released from their capsules, a situation which prevailed after 'hot-water' treatment was tried.

Don't Forget

Details available from;

And they are on Paypal.

The old website is to be run-down/retired. And also don't forget that table prices have been reduced this year.

Finally

Peter Rabbit is being given a starring role on the new 50p piece. Designed by Emma Nobel there are full-colour enamelled limited edition type things available from the Royal Fail website and plain stamped metal ones, due for general release, but these 'specials' rarely seem to make it into your small change! Jeremy Fisher, Tom Kitten and Benjamin Bunny will follow quarterly through the year.

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