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, May 1, 2017

B is for Bookiewook!

Or is it Booky Wook? Cheers; whatsyername-vote/don't-vote-labor-pop-star-bloke! I had nothing loaded for today, so a quick chuck it up here with a look at some recent additions to the library, some new (or newish!) some old, and while not that useful for the day to day stuff; all helpful titles none the less.

The Britain's Toy Car Wars book is a pleasant look at our die-cast toy car production, from the early years of the 1940's to the cataclysmic 1980's and the brand-moves to Hong Kong owners. It's an episodic history, the author (Giles Chapman) jumping between potted histories of the separate companies, comparison pieces, general stuff and drier fiscal reports.

I suspect it's a stitching together of magazine articles (Die Cast Collector perhaps?), so it's not that useful for looking up specific things in a hurry, but it is a lovely book to dip into, or read front-to-back as a 'read' if you know what I mean. Currently 3-5 quid in discount book sellers including The Works.

Making Victorian Dolls' House Furniture by Patricia King was a library sell-off for a pound, It's got lots of good ideas for modelling with household goods, found objects and chuck-outs, many of which will carry across to military modelling, especially dioramas.

The Steiff book is lovely, a Christmas present so I don't know what it cost, but it's brand new although marked 2003, so probably another remaindered title worth keeping an eye out for, but it seems to be the last word on the subject, profusely illustrated; apparently with direct access to the Stiff family archives, it also has tons of data tables, anecdotes, historical details and Bears, lots of Bears!

It also has much on the origins of the phrase/moniker 'Teddy Bear', writer Günther Pfeiffer putting a lot of old myths to bed whilst confirming others with first-hand witness accounts of what actually happened, when, why and to/by whom!

Toy Instruments, penned by Eric Schneider is well off the beaten track, but actually contains a lot of very useful stuff from a wing of the hobby I knew nothing about. It's a slightly misleading title as it really only deals with battery or mains-powered electronic instruments, so all those early plastic guitars and drum-kits are missing as are the plethora of whistles, pan-pipes, novelty horns and party blowers!

But the information on Japanese, Taiwanese and Hong Kong companies is much needed while similar products in different packages help ID some contract-manufacturers and/or their customers! A clearance-buy for a couple of quid.

Brick Wonders (another discounted book) is the second volume from Warren Elsmore, and to be honest, the first (Brick City; also discounted a couple of years ago - once you hit the profit target you just shift the 'remainder' to a wholesale warehouse!) was better, this is rather an exercise in dead-horse beating, but there's such a market for Lego titles; if you can . . .do! And some of the ideas are clever, especially the very little ones; using a few small bricks to make something instantly recognisable - the little camel is superb!

The other two are even more left field, but I always get Shire titles if they look vaguely useful and when they get to look like these they can be as little as 30/50p in old bookshops, this pair both came from the shop in Alton.

RC Bell's Dice and Dominos is more about the history of and rules for the various games, but one can always learn something . . . the dots on dominos are called 'pips'! Ships' Figureheads by MK Stammers was purchased because the subjects are figural - of course!


Anonymous said...

Hi Hugh!
Ervino here: my apologies if I post here, but it seems that we have some serious spam filter problems. I received your revisions, but they were based on the first draft of the posts I semt you. I sent you a revised version and more photos late last week, but it sems that you didn't get them.
Could you be so kind mail me with another address at which I can send my final draft of the posts for your approval?

Hugh Walter said...

Doing it now!