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.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

N is for Not Fontanini - Part Not The 7th - Rome Today

When he heard I was preparing articles that would cover the Carrara marble figures, Brian Berke kindly sent me these shots of a trip he took to Italy a while ago; they give a flavour of what's on offer now that Fontanini has bowed-out of the tourist-trap trade to concentrate on its US partner - Roman Inc. - and explore the East; where the fourth generation of the company are stated to be looking for new markets.

These are timeless and - in various guises - common if not universal, but they are fun! They just wouldn't 'represent' anywhere, even if they reminded you of a visit to somewhere. We had smaller versions when we were kids (a tiger and a zebra I think?), and I've blogged a modern soldier-guardsman here before.

I'm always looking out for the ones we had as kids, just to replace them for nostalgia reasons (as you occasionally see older ones on evilBay), but the trouble with them is that the day their string or fishing-line fails, the bits fly everywhere, and they never get put back together again!

Looks like a poured-resin Swiss Guard, and long-time followers of the blog will know I don't rate the stuff, I'll collect it, I’ll blog it, but it's a low-tech, cheap tech, which damages easily. At least this is or says 'Italy' or 'Rome', anywhere in the world you'll find a tropical fish fridge magnet with that town's name marker-penned into the plaque-space left for such labelling!

I don't get the very long drum sticks? Is it meant for overnight storage of rings and jewellery, or just poorly finished? Or is it some form of foreshortening caused by the angle of the photograph?

These are starting to look better, hard to tell if resin or white-metal is involved and the chap out of focus (front left) seems to be a different make (heavier sculpt, different base?), now does anyone recognise these? The distinctive hex-bases should be known to someone and I'd happily bring that masked, wolf's headed signifier back from a trip to Italy.

More Swiss Guards and Napoleonics from at least two makes, again; does anyone know who they are made by - I know Figur are still going, are some of these theirs? The two mounted Napoleonic figures look to be rather superb.

Meanwhile; Carrara now seem to be using aged or distressed copper-bronze casts, they could just as easily be white-metal or resin, but the verdigris looks like a chemical dip, not a painting technique? Still - it's rather nice isn't it; that chariot?

It seems to have found an excuse to take the Thomas Toys charioteer's sculpt forward for another decade or two as well! Although scaled-up and just out of shot is what appears to be another scale-up; of an old Atlantic Greek! But might be something else entirely and more 'Roman' - a sword and a foot's not much to go on!

Can anything be added to this!

I think a caption competition - just for fun; put your lines in the comments, I'm going with the Danny De Vito lookalike saying . . .

"Are you representing the Army of the State of Rome, or are you representing the state of the army of Rome?"

. . . but at the back of my mind I can hear Waynetta Slob yelling "I AM HAVIN' A FAG!"

They look like they are recovering from a fight - with each-other! Thanks Brian, four interesting toy photographs giving us some idea of current tourist mementos where once Fontanini featured heavily - and one priceless shot.


Terranova47 said...

Not foreshortening from the angle of the shot but 'huge' drum sticks. I like the idea that it could be a ring holder.

Hugh Walter said...

Cheers Terra', I did try imagining them form other angles and they still looked very long!

Big guy's saying,

"I think they were Gauls, a small one with a huge moustache and a big one with stripy-trousers!"